July 30, 2020 – Non-profit recruitment firm m/Oppenheim Executive Search has been selected to find the next president and CEO of the United Way of Anchorage. Founder Mark Oppenheim and principal Patrick Salazar are leading the assignment for the San Francisco-based search firm.
The non-profit’s board “seeks a CEO to drive shared and measurable goals that strengthen civil society, and stimulate growth of financial, in-kind, volunteer and other donated support contributed by individuals, business, labor and philanthropic organizations,” said m/Oppenheim. “The CEO will have experience working with people of different cultures, and exhibit the ability unite the region’s private, public and non-profit sectors in support of philanthropy and programs that improve lives in Anchorage and Alaska.”
The CEO must be a highly motivated, deeply experienced, visionary and imaginative executive able to unite the community behind funding, action and volunteerism to improve education, financial stability, health and other programs addressing a broad range of complex social issues. “A tireless fundraiser and advocate, the CEO will help shape a United Way that delivers indispensable, evidence-based value to donors, partners and the community in the form of knowledge, services, volunteerism, convenings, advocacy, public recognition and impactful results,” said the search firm.
Key to the CEO’s success will be the ability to cultivate networks, influential relationships and partnership that leverages United Way’s unique position to proactively increase visibility, reputation, competitive advantage and investment that turns philanthropy into action. “This is an organization that cares about people and that helps the community to pull together in order to solve complex social problems,” said m/Oppenheim Executive Search. “The CEO must have a practical sense for what works, value delivered to different communities and causes, evidence of impact, and for effective, efficient back office operations. The CEO will be a visionary thinker, community engager, change agent, cheerleader and tireless fundraiser—a doer with passion for building collaborations that shape a strong Anchorage.”
Reporting to the board and working closely with the board’s chair and executive committee, the CEO will be charged with leading, integrating and scaling the organization by enhancing the organization’s effectiveness in convening and catalyzing the community around common goals and achieving positive lasting changes. The new leader will also be expected to help boost: fundraising penetration throughout diverse sectors of the Anchorage and Alaska business community; direct solicitations of corporate, business and staff/labor donors (including individuals at all levels); and event-based fundraising activities; among other areas of responsibility.
The CEO must be an experienced leader possessing demonstrated success as a philanthropic and/or business development leader with proven senior-level management, operating, problem solving and financial experience in an applicable non-profit, business or public-sector organization. A degree or equivalent experience in management, fundraising, non-profit leadership or other applicable field is desired, but past accomplishment trumps educational pedigree, said m/Oppenheim Executive Search. Exposure to the challenges of non-profit fundraising is preferred.
The right candidate will be a visionary leader open to different perspectives and practical approaches. He or she should be a life-long-learner focused on evidence, data and trends who is able to shape programs that are effective, highly leveraged and sustainable. The individual should also have a track record of attracting substantial financial support for non-profits from businesses, individuals, government sources and foundations. Sales experience of some type is also important; building on-going relationships based on value continually delivered to customers will be critical.
m/Oppenheim was founded by Mr. Oppenheim after a 28-year career in organizational development, professional services and executive search consulting. The organization goes back to two firms founded by the Oppenheim family: CM Oppenheim & Associates, a New York-based company which later extended its operations into Europe, and Phillips Oppenheim, based in New York and focusing on service to non-profits.
After a career spanning the business, non-profit and government sectors, in 2003 Mr. Oppenheim joined Phillips Oppenheim and upgraded the firm’s operating infrastructure, founded the West region’s office, extended its presence nationally and drove an expansion of its business. In 2008 the East and West regions split, and Mr. Oppenheim and his team founded m/Oppenheim Associates.
Mr. Salazarhas served diverse non-profits for over 25 years, including helping the Assistance League of Los Angeles, Pacific Battleship Center, University of Utah, Pierce College, East LA Classic Theatre, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, among other non-profits to raise funds and achieve management excellence. He previously served with the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea , and received the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for service during the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1980. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Utah, and an MBA with an emphasis on non-profit management and ethics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media