June 1, 2023 – Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates has been selected by the YWCA Greater Los Angeles (YWCA GLA) to lead its search for a new CEO. The incoming CEO will join the organization at a formative time in its history, succeeding long-time CEO Faye Washington. Like all human services organizations, the YWCA GLA faced an unparalleled human crisis during the pandemic that intensified structural inequities in Los Angeles. Following the receipt of a $20 million unrestricted gift bestowed by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the organization is continuing to focus its work in the community, redefine its needs, and serve at a high level.
“Our client is positioned to empower a transformational leader to have a long-lasting impact on the organization, clients, stakeholders, and the broader communities served,” Shelli Herman and Associates said. “The YWCA Greater Los Angeles seeks an innovative, dynamic, and people-focused chief executive officer to provide aspirational vision and guidance that helps reshape the future direction of the organization as it builds upon its record of empowering women and working to eliminate racism. The position offers an ambitious and optimistic advocate the opportunity to play an integral role advancing equity in Los Angeles.”
The CEO is also charged with providing leadership, direction, and high-level coordination of programs and services, ensuring the YWCA GLA meets all goals in the areas of programs, advocacy, fiscal responsibility, external relations, and—most fundamentally— mission impact.
As the YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ leader and a champion for social justice, the CEO must possess and project the utmost integrity and highest standards of professional conduct, said the search firm. This individual must be distinguished by accomplishment and experience to exercise the leadership of a qualified, collegial, and motivated professional community.
Shelli Herman and Associates is looking for a proven leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and at least five years of C-suite level experience in a multi-million dollar non-profit organization. The successful candidate will demonstrate a dedication to the mission of the YWCA and will bring a nuanced understanding of the societal forces affecting women and people of color. The CEO must have the ability to reinforce the existing culture while being a diplomatic agent for positive evolution, unifying staff and board members behind proposed changes while being attentive to relationships and results. This empathetic listener will approach with grace the understandable apprehension due to a leadership change following a long-tenured CEO who helped shape the organization, according to the search firm.
Founded in 1894, the YWCA Greater Los Angeles prides itself on advocating for “justice and dignity for all people with the goal of transforming lives, aiding individual and family self-reliance, and, ultimately, strengthening the Los Angeles community.” For more than a century, the organization has provided housing and supportive services; currently, the organization is pioneering a model of community centers and housing—co-created with diverse stakeholders—to improve lives and build resilience.
Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc. serves trailblazing clients across the corporate, nonprofit, and higher education sectors. The firm’s long roster of clients includes the Annenberg Foundation; the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation; BENlabs; The Capital Group Companies/American Funds Distributors; City Year, Los Angeles; the Fresno Chaffee Zoo; the Griffith Observatory Foundation; Jewish Family Service LA; Laguna College of Art and Design; Loyola Marymount University; Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium; P.S. ARTS; the Saint Louis Zoo; Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County; the University of California System; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and YWCA Greater Los Angeles.
Shelli Herman and Associates Recruits CEO for Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium
Shelli Herman and Associates has assisted in the recruitment of Luis Padilla as the president and chief executive officer of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “Our challenge was to find someone who could build on the legacy of Dennis Pate,” said Mogens Bay, chair of the board of directors, Omaha Zoological Society. “We are confident that Dr. Padilla is that person. He was chosen after an extensive and thorough process by the search committee and is the next right leader for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Dr. Padilla is a mission-driven leader who values collaboration, innovation, staff development, resiliency, and wildlife conservation. His background as a veterinarian ensures that the highest quality of care for Omaha’s animals and their habitats will remain a top priority and commitment.”
Shelli Herman, who has more than 25 years of executive recruitment experience, has a strong record of leading searches and building upper management teams for a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies. She has completed senior-level assignments in many industries, including consumer products, healthcare, high technology, and finance, as well as for nonprofit, conservation, and cultural organizations. Additionally, she brings an in-depth understanding of the unique cultural environment of academia that was gained while she held significant management positions at the University of Florida and Loyola Marymount University.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media