Morris & Berger Tapped by Operation Gratitude to Find New CEO

September 26, 2017 – Morris & Berger, a recruitment firm that specializes in searches for non-profit organizations, has been enlisted to help find the new CEO for Operation Gratitude in Encino, CA.

Operation Gratitude is a charitable care-package provider. Each year, the group puts together more than 200,000 customized care packages filled with an assortment of goods, including snacks, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation. The packages are then sent to veterans, first responders, new recruits, gold star families, wounded heroes, their care givers and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and to their families at home.

The CEO will be responsible for leading and advancing the organization’s vision, strategic initiatives and priorities, said Morris & Berger. With an expectation of continued growth, the incoming executive will initially oversee a staff of 15 and an annual budget of over $3-million cash and upwards of $8-million of in-kind gifts and services.

Ideal Candidates

The successful candidate will passionately embrace the mission and values of Operation Gratitude and convey sincere compassion for military and first responder families, said the search firm. The CEO is expected to exude a spirit of volunteerism, and understand and appreciate the critical role that volunteers play in the organization. The individual will also have unquestioned integrity and the ability to provide inspirational leadership in a mission-driven environment.


Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.

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Operation Gratitude wants a compelling, credible CEO who can move an organization forward by motivating people, while being an active and intuitive listener who builds genuine relationships with package recipients, staff, the board, volunteers, donors and community partners, said the recruiters. In addition, the CEO will be a hands-on leader willing to do the essential tasks required to develop the organization and meet its goals.

The CEO should also have excellent public speaking and written communication skills and be an articulate and persuasive leader with the ability to serve as a national spokesperson and representative of Operation Gratitude to its various constituencies, Morris & Berger said. A demonstrated ability to reach out, form effective relationships and work collaboratively in a diverse community is important, as is the ability to facilitate group discussion, group decision-making and group action.

Candidates should have proven success in building a highly qualified and effective staff and possess a strong belief in, and respect for, the power of volunteers to build the capacity of non-profit organizations, the recruitment firm added. An appreciation for the immense diversity of the volunteers and an ability to relate to and communicate with all of them is essential.

Satisfaction From Success

Founded in 1984, Morris & Berger’s specialty practice reaches across the non-profit sector. It includes institutions of higher education, independent schools, foundations, human and social service agencies and clients in the performing and visual arts


Non-Profit Sector Opens Up New Career Path for High Performing Leaders
One of the fastest growing sectors within executive search today can be found in non-profit. Presently, close to 150 recruiting firms specialize in some form of talent acquisition in this sector, which includes foundations, cultural institutions, and academia, to name a few. One of the leaders in this burgeoning field, Koya Leadership Partners, has moved to the forefront.


The firm is led by partners Jay Berger and Karin Berger Stellar. It has recruited CEOs for non-profits like Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM), Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Hospice of Santa Barbara, National Math and Science Initiative, Portland State University Foundation, and the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

“My entire career has been devoted to serving the non-profit sector,” said Mr. Berger. “There is a wonderful satisfaction that comes from enhancing the success of our non-profit clients.”

Ms. Stellar, for her part, said she has a strong commitment to those who are working to help others. “I tend to see the best in people and believe that those who are committed to the non-profit sector genuinely want to make the world a better place,” she said.

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

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