Executive Director
McCormack & Associates 3 reviews - Highland Park, MI

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Founded in 1999, the Ruth Ellis Center is one of a handful of agencies nationally dedicated to the needs of homeless, runaway, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning youth. The Center is one of the nation's leaders in providing culturally sensitive and gender appropriate care within a trauma informed and positive youth development philosophies. The organization has three core program elements that provide a continuum of care for the youth it serves. Specifically, the Center operates a State of Michigan licensed child caring facility, a drop-in center, and a street outreach program. Ruth Ellis Center clients are predominantly youth of color between ages 12 and 24, from Detroit metro area and southeast Michigan.

Governed by a 15-person Board of Directors, the Ruth Ellis Center has an operating budget of approximately $1.4 million, a full and part-time staff of 18-19, and over 40 dedicated volunteers. 50% of its funding comes from government contracts, 35% from foundations, corporations, and about 15% from private donations. Fiscally sound, Ruth Ellis Center has consistent funding sources and a prudent operating reserve. Visit www.ruthelliscenter.org for more information.


The Ruth Ellis Center is seeking a dynamic and talented Executive Director to help take the center to next level of youth-centered impact in the community. The Executive Director will act as the face of Ruth Ellis Center and will be responsible for the organization's administrative and operational leadership and is expected to provide strategic oversight in programmatic and fundraising areas. Areas of particular focus include day-to-day involvement in the areas of fundraising, HR/Personnel, office management, financial management, community and professional involvement.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and supervises the following eight direct reports: Director of Residential Programs, Director of Drop in Center Programs, Gifts Officer, Community Collaborations Coordinator, Psychologist, Accountant, Grant Writer and an Executive Assistant.

Duties and Responsibilities include the following:
Fundraising & Communications

Working closely with the Board of Directors and the Development Department to identify, solicit and acquire new sources of funding and to build long-term, sustainable sources of income for the organization.

Working with the media and the Board to enlist support for Ruth Ellis Center's work and to raise the profile of the organization, especially among the donor community.

Actively seeking major donor support among friends and allies; maintaining and building on-going relationships with existing major donors, ensuring continued support.

Managing and oversight of all grant writing, as well as monitoring government contracts and required reporting to granting authorities.

Overseeing all event-related activities, particularly in regard to finance and budgeting.

Organizational & Community Leadership

Assuming the leadership role of the organization, maintaining the staff's focus on the mission of the organization.

Acting as the primary spokesperson for the Ruth Ellis Center in the grant-making community, including foundations, corporations and government agencies.

Serving as the liaison to other coalitions of youth service organizations and agencies serving the homeless.

Supervising Department Directors and Managers, ensuring specific measurable goals are met.

Finance & Administration

Overseeing all of the organization's finances and budgeting and submitting the annual budget for Board approval.

Ensuring the preparation of regular financial reports, including budget variances and projections, in advance of monthly Board or committee meetings.

Overseeing and strengthening the organizational infrastructure necessary to support and sustain the Ruth Ellis Center's growth.

Participating in all Board activities.

Managing all human resources functions, including the hiring and evaluation of staff.


Ruth Ellis Center is seeking a mature professional with a minimum of 5-7 years of experience, including at least two years as an Executive Director, COO or senior executive with a non-profit organization, public sector entity or for-profit corporation. Two years of experience in a child care institution or child placement agency is preferred.

The successful candidate must be a proven fundraiser, ideally in the area of youth and/or social services. Experience with a capital campaign, while not required, would be an asset. S/he must have a solid understanding of board dynamics and governance in a growing not-for-profit organization. Particular strengths in administering government licensing, grants funding and administration and compliance are important.

The Executive Director should be a strong communicator and spokesperson who can represent Ruth Ellis Center effectively to the public. The candidate must be a proven manager with a demonstrated record of leading and motivating a team of professionals and support staff.

An undergraduate degree is required, and a graduate degree in public or business administration, social services or other professionally related field is strongly preferred. Alternative blends of education and experience shall be considered if deemed appropriate for effectively carrying out the duties of this position.


The ideal candidate will be a leader who combines stature and presence with a passion for the mission of Ruth Ellis Center. The Executive Director will be leading a team of dedicated staff members; our client is therefore seeking a manager who enjoys developing organizational relationships, and who has the ability to foster an environment of teamwork and collaboration. Cultural competency skills in serving LGBTs are preferred.

S/he must be respectful of staff and volunteers, and supportive of their dedication and hard work. The Executive Director should be a good listener, an excellent motivator, and an accomplished communicator. The ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and to work effectively under pressure is important. Familiarity with the greater Detroit philanthropic community would be an asset.


Ruth Ellis Center is offering a competitive salary, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate, and an excellent benefits package including health and dental insurance. The client may be willing to pay basic relocation expenses for the exceptional individual they are seeking.


Ruth Ellis Center offers a unique opportunity to make a substantive and long-lasting impact on the lives of Southeastern Michigan's homeless youth.

The successful candidate will have the satisfaction of guiding an organization through its next phase of development and of leading a collaborative group effort of profound humanitarian merit.

About this company
3 reviews
Established in Los Angeles more than 18 years ago by veteran search consultant Joseph A. McCormack, McCormack & Associates is a national...