Peña Search Recruits Chief Development Officer for Healthy Futures of Texas

May 31, 2023 – Virtually every industry needs top-drawer chief development officers. CDOs play a key role in planning, coordinating, and administering capital campaigns, corporate giving, and galvanizing new donors while keeping previous funders content. Implementing funding strategies that “keep the lights on,” according to recruiters specializing in the function, is job one. Recruiters continue to report that CDOs are in high demand. Fundraising prowess and having an ability to drive growth are essential parts of the job in nearly every competitive organization today. Recruiters generally say that the best training for these positions is experience, noting that there are many industry conferences and summits that are beneficial for benchmarking and sharing of best practices.

Peña Search recently assisted in the recruitment of Stephanie Russell as chief development officer for San Antonio-based Healthy Futures of Texas. Travis HillierMaria Dickson Parigi, and Nsemere Farquharson led the assignment.  With over two decades of development experience working at the Senior Source, Ms. Russell is a creative, innovative results-driven leader and non-profit professional with proven strengths in fund development, donor relations, special events, project management, prospect research, and data analysis. She most recently served as chief development officer for Senior Source for more than eight years. In this multi-faceted role, she served as the strategic lead and managed the day-to-day operations of all aspects of income development, including creating and executing a formal fund development plan to drive revenue growth and diversification. Prior to that, Ms. Russell held the director of special events position with Senior Source.

As CDO for Healthy Futures of Texas, with an overall $6.5 million budget, Ms. Russell will be responsible for securing the non-federal/state revenue portion of the annual budget, which is upwards of $3 million per year. Ms. Russell will work with colleagues across the organization in Texas to ensure that fundraising targets are met, that grant/contractual obligations are adhered to, and that community relationships remain strong. She will often be the face of the organization in Texas and will meet with donors, partners, and civic leadership.

Related: Peña Search Seeks Key Leaders for Two Texas Non-Profits

Since 2006, Healthy Futures of Texas has worked to reduce unplanned and teen pregnancies through science-based education and advocacy efforts that empower young people, women, and families to make the best decisions for their futures. Every year, the non-profit serves 12,000 young people through our programs and millions more through its advocacy efforts. At the state level, Healthy Futures of Texas has maintained or increased millions in funding for preventative healthcare for women, young people, and families.

Veteran Recruiters

Headquartered in Dallas, Peña Search’s specialties include: non-profit organizations, mission driven organizations, foundations, higher education, independent schools, religious organizations and educational institutions, human services organizations, museums, collective impact organizations, professional and trade associations, art culture and humanities organizations, environment and animal welfare organizations, fundraising, chief financial officers, chief executive officers, healthcare organizations, chief development officers, and advocacy organizations.

Mr. Hillier joined Peña Search in 2015. He conducts and supports searches at many different levels, and is committed to finding and placing the right leaders that will have a demonstrable impact in their communities and organizations. Mr. Hillier has search experience across a broad array of sectors and positions, bringing expertise to searches on behalf of educational organizations, those with religious affinities or affiliations, and agencies with international programmatic or fundraising components. He has also carved out a niche on the Peña Search team for his skill identifying development officers.

Ms. Parigi began her recruiting career in 1997 with a boutique legal search firm, and she now combines that experience with her passion for service in the non-profit sector. From West Texas, Ms. Parigi holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from Baylor Law School.

Ms. Farquharson brings experience and knowledge to Pena Search as a recruiting coordinator.  With her combined experience in client relations, training, mentorship and personnel development, her career has transitioned from the financial services industry to focus on workforce recruitment, team advancement and continuous business progression.

Related: Peña Search Seeks New Executive Director for Leadership ISD

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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