May 3, 2022 – The Moran Company, an executive recruitment firm that specializes in the non-profit sector, has been enlisted to find a new chief executive officer for the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement (CLM), a social and emotional learning program. Scarlett Lewis, who founded the organization shortly after her six-year-old son, Jesse, was murdered during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, will be stepping down from the top leadership role. Senior search consultant Gretchen Kunkel is leading the assignment for the search firm.
“Our founder is ready to hand the reins of the business to an inspiring CEO who has a strong entrepreneurial spirit anchored in solid business practices,” said CLM. “At the same time, Scarlett will remain engaged as a partner to help drive much of the harder top of funnel activities and continue to build the heart underlying the movement’s success.”
The Choose Love Movement seeks a seasoned, highly skilled, and collaborative leader to take the organization and movement to the next level, said The Moran Company. The CEO will work with the board and founder/chief movement officer to further develop the organization’s platform as a leader within the character and social emotional development (CSED) industry and the choice for creating safe and more loving schools, homes, and communities.
Areas of Responsibility
With an eye for growth and future sustainability, the CEO will be expected to provide overall leadership for strategy and operations, staff and organizational development, financial oversight, and revenue generation. Responsibilities of the role revolve around leadership and vision, revenues and operations, personnel management, and board relations.
CLM’s new CEO will be charged with establishing a clear vision and strategic pathway for the growth of the organization in partnership with the founder and board of directors, said The Moran Company. He or she must serve as an effective spokesperson for the organization and be able to articulate the organization’s history, mission, and programs.
On the revenues and operations side, the new CEO must efficiently lead the development and implementation of appropriate process, system, and structural improvements that ramp up service delivery and product utilization, said the search firm. Evaluating and prioritizing opportunities for program and organizational development and growth is essential.
The CEO should be an accomplished leader with experience driving an organization through a rapid growth phase, including any needed change management steps, said The Moran Company. He or she must be a skilled strategist with a track record of revenue generation through diversified fundraising and building and executing business models for organizational sustainability and growth. Proven successful leadership, managerial, team building, and financial management experience at an executive level within a 501(c)(3) membership organization is also required.
Candidates should have the ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future and growth to staff, board, members, industry partners, and the public. Experience listening to and communicating with diverse groups and demonstrated success in communicating effectively in writing and verbally is essential. The new leader must also have five to 10 years of senior leadership experience demonstrating increasing responsibilities. A bachelor’s degree is required.
Based in Newtown, CT, the Choose Love Movement’s mission is to create safer and more loving communities through CSED programs that are suitable for all stages of life. CLM is operated under the guidance of a 12-member board of directors, managed by 14 full-time and part-time employees, and delivered by over 125 trained ambassadors worldwide with countless volunteers helping spread the message within their schools, homes, and communities. Since its inception in 2013, three million children from more than 120 countries have used CLM’s programs across more than 10,000 schools.
The Moran Company, based in Leawood, KS, specializes in searches for non-profit leadership, including executive directors, fundraising/development directors, hospital foundation directors and other senior executives.
Bill Moran founded the search firm in 1996. He has worked on more than 60 non-profit searches over the past 12 years. He has spent another 10 years as senior fundraising staff and 12 years as a fundraising consultant serving more than 100 clients.
Ms. Kunkel has 25 years of experience addressing a broad array of family and community health issues, including children’s and women’s health, community development, early care and education, food systems and food insecurity, healthy eating and active living, and public health. In 2004, she helped found KC Healthy Kids, a non-profit organization advancing children’s health by increasing opportunities for healthy eating and active living. From 2008-2018, she served as the organization’s second president. Before that, Ms. Kunkel served as associate executive director of the Center for Community Solutions, a research and advocacy non-profit organization, and the director of community health services at the Center for Health Affairs, a metropolitan hospital association, both located in Cleveland.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media