Sterling Martin Seeking CEO for Camp Fire

March 19, 2019 – National youth development organization Camp Fire has enlisted Sterling Martin Associates to help find its next president and CEO. David S. Martin, managing partner; Tricia Bork Canavan, senior consultant; and Katherine Carter, senior executive recruiter, are conducting the assignment for the Washington, D.C.-based recruitment firm.

Camp Fire wants a CEO who will be an innovator to oversee and implement a new strategy for headquarters/council collaboration, said Sterling Martin Associates. The new leader will be expected to drive transformative change for the non-profit, partnering closely with its national board of trustees. The CEO will lead a strong headquarters team, serve as Camp Fire’s brand champion and partner closely with the chief development officer.

Camp Fire’s national office and council leaders agree that the most effective strategy to secure more sustainable corporate and philanthropic support is through collaborative philanthropy-building, said the search firm. As such, it will be essential for the CEO to lead the way in building credibility and trust in this initiative over time. The ideal Camp Fire president and CEO will provide leadership, strategic planning, resources management, relationship development and partnership development.

A Compelling Vision

As a leader, the president and CEO will be charged with creating and sharing a compelling vision for making a difference in the lives of youth and the community. The individual must develop organizational support for the direction and priorities; provide leadership and direction to ensure the effective operation and delivery of programs within Camp Fire and community; and use involvement, participation, distributed leadership and collaboration to make decisions as appropriate.

The president and CEO will also be expected to delegate effectively to staff; ensure an environment that facilitates the achievement of youth development outcomes; ensure that programs, services and activities support youth development outcomes; and establish and comply with policies and procedures, among other responsibilities.

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and a master’s degree is preferred, said Sterling Martin Associates. Prospects should also have a minimum of seven years’ senior executive experience in managing programs or operations in a non-profit or for-profit organization, with at least three years in a leadership capacity. Knowledge of the principles and practices of managing complex, disbursed organizations is also expected.

Required Abilities

The successful candidate will have demonstrated success at resource development activities; demonstrated ability to organize, direct, plan and coordinate operations; demonstrated distributed leadership skills, including negotiation, problem solving, decision making and delegation; a history of inventiveness and resourcefulness; and strong communication skills, both oral and written.

Other requirements include: the ability to support, empower and delegate authority to highly-qualified staff; the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the board of trustees, staff, councils, community groups and other related agencies; and a commitment to youth to help them find their spark and support their desire to shape the world.

Camp Fire, founded in 1910, is among the oldest non-profit organizations in the U.S. Its mission is to “to guide young people on their journey to self-discovery.” The organization began as Camp Fire Girls, the first multi-racial, multi-cultural and non-sectarian organization for girls, but became co-educational in 1975. Today it serves all youth and continues its commitment to inclusion. Over its history, millions of youth and their families have benefited from the organization’s programs and camps that help young people learn the life skills they need to succeed now and in the future. Today, with 53 councils in 24 states and in Washington, D.C., the organization serves nearly 185,000 youth between the ages of five and 17. Its national headquarters is in Kansas City, MO.


Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Non-Profit & Higher Education Search Firms
Hunt Scanlon Media presents its first ever roundup of leading recruiters in the non-profit / higher education sectors. Check out these top 50 trailblazers – ranging from the largest recruiting and talent leadership solutions firms to the leading boutique specialists.

Top 50

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.

Non-Profit Specialists

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

Ms. Bork Canavan specializes in establishing strong relationships with clients, search committees, boards of directors, volunteers and other stakeholders. She is an expert in candidate identification, recruitment and organizational assessment. She has successfully completed searches for more than 40 organizations during her nine years in the executive search field.

Ms. Carter’s background and career includes more than 20 years of experience in the human resources management and executive recruitment for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Prior to executive search, she served as the vice president of human resources for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She also worked as senior director of human resources for the YWCA. Ms. Carter began her career as an executive recruiter with American Express, TRS Co., responsible for nationwide executive search for sales professionals and various leadership roles within the division.

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

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