KEES Selected by United Way of Will County to Find New CEO

January 29, 2021 – Executive search and non-profit consulting firm KEES (Kistner Eddy Executive Services) has been retained by United Way of Will County, in Illinois, to lead its search for a new president and CEO. Mike Hennessy, after 31 years leading United Way, recently retired. The assignment is being led by Heather Eddy, president and CEO.

United Way of Will County is seeking a visionary and strategic executive as its next leader. The new executive will lead the organization into a new age during a pivotal time in the organization’s history. The organization is poised to envision, design, and pursue a new strategic plan to ensure United Way is prepared to meet the evolving and diversified needs of Will County in dynamic and innovative ways, according to KEES. This executive will provide leadership for mission affirmation, vision-setting, diversified revenue efforts, program effectiveness, and programmatic and community growth. The search firm says that the relationship focused executive will invigorate United Way’s presence in the community, ensuring that leadership always has a “seat at the table” when conversations and decisions are generated about key human services topics affecting the county.

Working closely with and reporting to a passionate board of directors committed to United Way’s mission, the CEO will be expected to address both long- and short-term goals set by the board. The CEO leads a team of four professionals in executing elements of an operational plan and operates with a $2.1 million budget.

United Way of Will County wants a passionate, visionary, strategic, executive leader as its next CEO, said KEES. The individual should be a confident relationship builder and community advocate who will usher the organization into the future. The successful candidate will be a proven executive with a track record of identifying, establishing, and growing coalitions to address both short- and long-term community needs. He or she must also be a passionate leader with demonstrated knowledge of Will County and its unique challenges and opportunities.

Specific requirements include:

  • Strong, authentic passion for United Way’s mission and the community and people it serves.
  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience, with at least five years in progressive leadership roles/management experience; documented ability to manage and motivate staff, lead teams, and meet or exceed financial goals.
  • Ability to build strong external relationships with a variety of volunteers, public leadership, partner organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Track record in financial management, stewardship, and developing strategies to successfully increase revenue and proven success in building strong and productive work teams with a focus on mentoring and nurturing staff development.
  • Strong analytic and strategic thinking skills with demonstrated ability to create, implement, and monitor complex plans and translate those plans into goals and concrete strategies.
  • Career track record that shows stability with an organization and capacity to develop and nurture relationships culminating in overall success.

Southwest of Chicago, Will County is Illinois’ fourth largest county. Established in 1936, United Way of Will County (United Way) partners Will County’s 30-plus communities and resources to empower people and create positive, sustainable change. United Way is governed by a 13-member board representing multiple industries, including banking, public and higher education, organized labor, and private sector business.

Non-Profit Recruiters

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 staffingHR 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.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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