Sterling Martin Associates Seeks CEO for Society of Surgical Oncology 

October 5, 2021 – Sterling Martin Associates, an executive search firm which specializes in recruiting talent for associations and other non-profit organizations, has been called in by the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) to lead its search for a new chief executive officer. Leading the assignment for the Washington, D.C.-based recruitment firm are CEO and managing partner David S. Martin and vice presidents Brian J. Glade and Karen Lombardo. “This position will provide the right candidate with the opportunity to think strategically and drive innovation,” said the search firm. “The next leader will help lead the organization as the SSO steers the transformation of cancer care into the next decade.”

The CEO serves as the chief staff executive responsible for the management of the Rosemont, IL-based non-profit and its staff members. Reporting to the society’s executive council, the CEO provides strategic leadership, has fiscal, program, and administrative responsibility, and advises and makes recommendations to the SSO executive committee and executive council, said the search firm. The CEO oversees strategic and tactical initiatives, operations, governance, financial management, revenue generation, executive council, and SSO leadership support.

The CEO is responsible for effectively communicating the organization’s purpose, plans, goals, and objectives to internal and external stakeholders, including members, industry, and the public, said Sterling Martin Associates. The leader has regular contact with the leaders of the society, the executive council and the executive committee, and maintains appropriate relationships with other associations, industry, government, and advocacy organizations to enhance the image of the SSO.

Enhancing Visibility

The Society of Surgical Oncology’s CEO is tasked with enhancing the visibility of the surgical oncology profession with internal and external stakeholders. He or she must position SSO as a leader in the interprofessional healthcare community. It is also critical that the leader explore, develop, and maximize partnerships that support collaboration and innovative approaches to healthcare. Advocating for issues that impact the surgical oncology profession and its members is essential.

Essential duties and responsibilities include oversight over leadership/governance, management/administration, and financial leadership.

Candidates should have a minimum of 10 years of experience in a senior position at a national non-profit, volunteer professional association preferred, especially one in a health or medical field, said Sterling Martin Associates. Experience working with physicians and other medical professionals would be considered helpful. Senior management experience with direct reports is required. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree or certified association executive (CAE) is preferred.

Key Personal Qualities

Prospects must have a demonstrated, sustained ability to advocate across healthcare disciplinary boundaries. He or she should also have a track record of innovation and success leading change.

Personal qualities required for this position include strong verbal, written and interpersonal skills. The individual should also be adaptable, resilient, and highly motivated. Candidates should also have the ability to manage multiple projects, manage people and respond effectively to requests.

Since its founding in 1940, the Society of Surgical Oncology has provided support and resources to help cancer surgeons at all stages of their careers strengthen their skills, increase their proficiency and drive increasing levels of excellence in practice. SSO advances leading-edge research and education related to cancer treatment. The SSO hosts an annual International Conference on surgical cancer care and is responsible for the publication of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, a high-quality peer-reviewed journal. SSO is a 501(c)(3) organization with an operating budget of $5.6 million and a staff of 19 members.

Non-Profit Specialists

Sterling Martin Associates, established in 2006, focuses on finding leaders for associations and non-profit organizations. The firm has been engaged by over 150 clients throughout the U.S. Its staff consists of professionals located in Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Orange County, CA. Eighty-five percent of the firm’s searches are for roles at the CEO/executive director level with the balance being for senior staff.

Mr. Martin guides the firm’s overarching business strategy while maintaining a lead role on multiple national projects each year. For nearly 30 years, he has led complex executive search projects throughout the U.S. Mr. Martin started his executive search career in 1989 after spending eight years in the corporate world. He has held senior-level positions with such global search firms as Korn Ferry and has launched new offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Irvine, CA.

Mr. Glade, vice president of client services, joined Sterling Martin Associates in early 2021. He has over 30 years of non-profit experience with both trade associations and professional societies. Mr. Glade is responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships. He also interviews C-suite and executive-level candidates on behalf of Sterling Martin’s clients.  His responsibilities include identifying and qualifying candidates and preparing detailed candidate profiles.

Ms. Lombardo, vice president of search operations, has been a key contributor to Sterling Martin Associates since 2014. She has over 25 years of human resources management and recruiting experience. Ms. Lombardo conducts in-depth interviews with C-suite and executive-level candidates on behalf of Sterling Martin’s clients. She has extensive experience working with search committees and client executives in terms of ascertaining key criteria for open positions as well as discussion of candidate profiles.

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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