March 10, 2021 – Executive search and non-profit consulting firm KEES (Kistner Eddy Executive Services) has been enlisted to help fill two key leadership positions for a new organization being created by the strategic partnership of the non-profits Envision Unlimited and United Cerebral Palsy Seguin of Greater Chicago (UCP Seguin). KEES’ president and CEO Heather Eddy is leading the search for a chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president Laura Weinman is helping to find a chief external affairs officer (CEAO). Envision Unlimited and UCP Seguin are coming together in what the non-profits describe as a stronger advocate for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and those with mental illness. Working together, the organizations are looking to expand services, serve more people and achieve greater effectiveness. The new entity’s mission is to provide high-quality programs so that all people with disabilities, regardless of their ability, reach their full potential and achieve their greatest level of choice, independence, and inclusion in their communities.
Envision and UCP Seguin seek a CFO to lead all areas related to financial strategy for the new organization, which in turn will support each affiliate member, said KEES. The CFO will work directly with the CEO and executive leadership team to create, initiate, analyze and recommend changes in the areas of organizational revenue and expenses.
Further, the CFO will be charged with designing, recommending and implementing overarching strategies and processes to the CEO and board of directors, including integration of the two founding agencies, exploration of future merger and acquisition activity, and development of analysis and strategy to ensure complex and blended funding streams are maximized.
Envision Unlimited and UCP Seguin seek an experienced CFO to lead the new entity through the ongoing consolidation and beyond. “The successful candidate will bring strong experience navigating complex organizational changes, preferably steering an organization through an era of significant change such as a consolidation/merger or organic growth,” said KEES. “Candidates must have served an organizational leadership team and carried responsibility for all areas of finance in an organization with an operating budget of $100 million or more.”
The newly created CEAO role will lead all elements of externally facing strategy, driving organizational impact recognition and stakeholder engagement within the new organization and the federation structure, said KEES. The CEAO reports directly to the CEO, serves as a member of the executive team, and leads a department of eight to 10 marketing and communications, development and government affairs team members.
The CEAO will lead initiatives that build and execute the organization’s new brand, strengthen marketing and communications, foster strategic partnerships, grow the institutional and individual donor base, and expand relationships with policy makers, industry leaders, and other influencers and stakeholders, said the search firm. The development of a comprehensive strategic positioning vision, and the subsequent implementation of marketing and fundraising efforts, will define success in the CEAO’s first three years.
Envision Unlimited and UCP Seguin want an inspirational, savvy CEAO. The individual should be an entrepreneurial and motivating leader who will serve as the head strategist and primary executor of externally facing initiatives, elevating stakeholder engagement and philanthropy. The successful candidate will be a goal-oriented, dynamic leader with demonstrated and proven abilities in generating diverse revenue streams and managing teams of highly engaged and effective fundraising and marketing professionals.
“The CEAO will serve as an articulate, passionate, and visible spokesperson for the new organization and as a prominent fundraising face throughout the organization, among stakeholders, and in the Chicagoland community,” said KEES. The right candidate will have a record of successful partnerships with a president/CEO and board of directors and have experience working with other senior leaders, effectively deploying them in service of communications and fundraising as appropriate.
Candidates must have served an organizational leadership team and held responsibility for all areas of marketing and fundraising in an organization with an annual philanthropy goal of at least $5 million and an operating budget of $100 million or more.
KEES, based in Naperville, IL, focuses on building transformative teams and leaders in the non-profit sector. The firm was founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search. It is women-owned and operated and provides a wide variety of services, including executive search, specialty and interim staffing, HR consulting and leadership development.
Ms. Eddy has worked with non-profits and institutions to build capacity for more than 20 years. For the past 12 years, she has focused on strengthening executives, boards, managers, and philanthropic leaders. She co-founded KEES and leads the organization’s team after serving for 17 years in multiple executive leadership roles with the Alford Group/Alford Group Executive Search, a national consulting firm that partners with non-profits and provides fundraising and organizational strategy consulting.
Ms. Weinman has more than 20 years of association/nonprofit leadership experience, including seven as a development/ marketing consultant for over 30 organizations. She has extensive experience with development, staff recruitment, staff management, career coaching, major gifts, planned giving, prospect research, strategic development planning, grant writing, event management, sponsorship, volunteer management and annual fund raising. Ms. Weinman has been a member of the KEES/Alford executive search team since 2012.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media