June 5, 2018 – Executive search firm Noetic Search has recruited Raissa Allaire as the new executive director of the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago. Rhyan Zweifler, Noetic’s founder and president, and vice president Jane Luiso led the search.
Tree House was seeking a highly experienced leader with demonstrated vision and passion for the humane and ethical treatment of animals, said Noetic Search. Experience in a senior leadership role in which the individual had either reported directly to or worked closely with a board of directors was expected.
Ms. Raissa fit that profile. She brings a wealth of experience in non-profit leadership to her new job, including various roles over the past 12 years at the Center for Economic Progress (CEP), a mid-sized organization focused on improving the financial lives of 20,000 families in 15 Illinois communities. Most recently, she served as chief operating officer, overseeing the agency’s administrative operations and direct services and serving as a member of its leadership team. During her tenure at CEP, Ms. Raissa was responsible for developing and leading the organization’s fundraising and re-branding strategies. Before that, she served as a vice president for a Chicago museum and developed and managed communications campaigns for major non-profit clients as an account executive for a top-ranking public relations firm.
In her new role, Ms. Raissa is responsible for oversight of Tree House, which includes administration of all programs and services, said the recruiters. She will develop and oversee a budget of $2.5 million. Additionally, Ms. Raissa will be responsible for the strategic processes of the organization, managing and developing a staff of 40 and more than 150 volunteers.
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The Tree House Humane Society, founded in 1971, opened a new 15,000 square-foot shelter and clinic on the north side of Chicago last summer. This modern, progressive and attractive building allows the cats in its care to live in a cage-free, comfortable environment while awaiting homes.
“I’m honored for this opportunity to help realize a world where every cat is valued,” said Ms. Raissa. “I am excited about building on the many successes Tree House staff, board, volunteers and partners have achieved to date – saving thousands of lives, creating an innovative 21st century shelter and providing valuable services to Chicago’s community cats.”
Finding Non-Profit Leaders
The non-profit sector has gained economic strength in recent years, making it the third largest employer in the country. Nearly two million not-for-profits employ 10.7 million people and produce $1.9 trillion in revenue. In the past decade, employment in the sector grew by 17 percent. With demand for non-profit talent at an all-time high, search firms have plenty of work looking for candidates.
Noetic Executive Search specializes in finding leaders in the non-profit sector. Its clients include animal welfare organizations, cultural institutions, foundations and human service groups, among others.
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.
Throughout her 30-year career, Ms. Zweifler has focused on the charity sector through her work in executive recruitment, museum management and development. She launched Noetic Search in 2010. Specializing in CEO and senior management searches, she has placed more than 170 national leaders for cultural, human service, educational and grant-making organizations. Ms. Zweifler has overseen all aspects of the search process, including marketing and sales, client management, candidate development and closing.
Ms. Luiso, who has upwards of 25 years of management experience with non-profit agencies, has held positions in the arts, education, association management and the social service sectors.
“While the demand for talent is very high, the supply is growing with individuals who are moving from the public and private sectors to the non-profit sector in greater numbers,” said Ms. Zweifler. “We have always tapped into all sectors for our searches but with the shifting economic climate, there is greater openness to exploring a role in the non-profit arena.”
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