The Institution and Community Being Served
Urban League of Greater Hartford, Inc. (ULGH) is a community-based, not-for-profit 501(c) (3) offering direct social services to more than 3,000 individuals and families annually. The organization’s mission is to: reduce economic disparities in our communities through programs, services and educational opportunities. ULGH’s core value states: Our focus is on empowering people in need to change their lives. The organization will be:
- The PROVIDER of choice by serving the comprehensive needs of Greater Hartford residents;
- The EMPLOYER of choice by providing training that enables our employees to be successful in their jobs;
- The INVESTMENT of choice by offering programs and services that provide a sustained impact in the Greater Hartford Region; and
- A MODEL of integrity and excellence.
Hartford, the capital city of the wealthiest state in the nation, with a population of about 125,000, is ranked among the poorest cities of its size in the country. Unacceptable disparities in Hartford and the surrounding communities result from inadequacies in four critical areas: education, employment, health, and financial stability. The Greater Hartford Region has a total population of 1.2 million.
ULGH, founded in 1964, is an affiliate of the National Urban League (NUL). The organization’s programs and services prepare youth and adults to be educated, trained and equipped to confidently enter the workforce and lead successful and healthy lives. Programs and initiative are in: Adult Education; Youth Development; Workforce Development and Training; Economic Enrichment; and Health and Wellness. In addition, Urban League of Greater Hartford Young Professionals (ULGH-YP) is designed to provide young professionals (ages 21-40) with a forum to foster professional development, community service, social awareness, equal access to opportunities, and self-reliance. ULGH-YP is one of 42 chapters of the NUL-YP, which serves to support the League’s three pronged agenda: financial literacy, real world education, and political education.
As in any good planning process, the ULGH board and senior leadership team explored whether or not the organization is still relevant. And, if so, was there a change in focus or ‘marketplace’ niche. A Sustainability Plan was developed with the assistance of a widely recognized nonprofit/fundraising consulting firm, and the plan was approved by the ULGH board earlier in 2018. The resulting strategic focus for this plan as stated is: strengthening our infrastructure to achieve sustainability. And, as we pursue sustainability, we will build an innovation fund for program enhancement, and future new initiatives.
The organization’s total revenue and support is approximately $2.0 Million. Its funding includes government grants, contributions, United Way allocation, special events and rental revenue. ULGH is governed by a committed 14-member Board of Directors. The board collaborated effectively with the previous President and CEO during her eight plus years of leadership, and the Board is currently very engaged in the leadership transition process. Board composition includes ethnic, gender and generational differences, as well as corporate diversity and inclusion, medical, academia, manufacturing, distribution, finance, government, community engagement, and nonprofit expertise. Day to day operations are managed by a strong and committed staff of 15+, and the culture is caring, helpful, hard-working, dedicated and service-oriented, transparent and collaborative, and described as a family atmosphere.
Hartford is centrally located between Boston and New York City and 20 minutes from Bradley International Airport. Cultural sites include: Harriet Beecher Stowe Center; Amistad Center for Art & Culture; Mark Twain Museum; a new minor league baseball stadium; riverfront activities; and the UCONN basketball teams and tournaments. Area educational institutions include: Trinity College, St. Joseph’s University, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Capital Community College and Manchester Community College.
Leadership Transition: Assessment and Opportunities
The previous President/CEO was recently appointed as the new CEO of the YWCA of Greater Hartford, effective May 2018, after nearly nine years leading ULGH. The board seeks a new leader who can leverage the organization’s passion, well-executed programs and services, assets, and young professionals to further align the organization’s mission with contemporary societal issues.
To support this important leadership transition, the board has engaged TSNE MissionWorks to facilitate a thoughtful and inclusive executive transition process. Participants in the process (via meetings, emails and online surveys) included staff, board and nearly 25 community partners/stakeholders. The organizational assessment and survey feedback, describing ULGH’s strengths, challenges and priorities, were used in the development of the position profile, and will inform the next leader of ULGH.
Role as President and CEO
Reporting to the board of directors, and working closely with the staff and key constituents to promote the organization’s mission, the President and CEO will have full responsibility and authority for the management and coordination of the organization’s operations and finances, supervision of the staff and their activities, and implementation of ULGH plans and programs in accordance with the policies formulated jointly with the staff and the board.
The President and CEO will be the organization’s primary representative to the broader community; serve as the chief fundraiser, spokesperson, and advocate of ULGH; be a visible and involved member of the Greater Hartford and Connecticut communities, as well as with select regional and national opportunities; keep abreast of issues facing the African-American and minority communities; and engage in dialogue across race, gender, sexual orientation, economic, and other differences.
The new President and CEO will provide strategic leadership and bring a fresh perspective; revisit, refine and implement the strategic plan and vision; leverage ULGH’s assets, reputation, and talented staff; galvanize its community and alliance partnerships; implement a staff development program; drive fundraising efforts; a be a strong communicator/social media proponent; and maintain and develop a strong relationship with the Board.
ULGH Strategic Challenges and Opportunities: ULGH is guided by the recently approved Sustainability Plan and complemented by feedback from the recent stakeholder surveys:
- Collaborations: further leverage and explore opportunities that will better serve ULGH’s community.
- Marketing and Communications: improvement in evaluating results and ‘telling our story’ regularly to all community stakeholders and supporters.
- Programs: leverage well-executed programs and services; and identify/implement new programs to address societal issues
- Build Sufficient Resources for Sustainability and Stewardship
Profile of the Candidate
The ULGH President/CEO role is considered a critical position in the community for the City of Hartford, the Hartford Region, the State of Connecticut, and for NUL. Candidates for the Affiliate President and Chief Executive Officer position must have a proven track record of leadership and management in a modern community-based nonprofit organization. The successful candidate will be passionate about the organization’s current role and future aspirations, be a systems thinker, understand the big picture, and have the ability to excel in ULGH’s principal roles and be a connector on community engagement. The new leader will be a strategic thinker, a problem solver, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a coalition/team builder, with a lens of equity and advocacy.
For consideration, candidates must have five years of optimum senior nonprofit or for-profit management experience, including experience in: administration, fund raising, fiscal management, strategic planning, marketing and promotion, board development and relations, communications, resource development, and community mobilization and collaboration. Other optimum attributes considered in the review of candidates include direct service delivery, administration of demonstration projects, advocacy, policy development, and work with the public and private sectors. Experience in research; public and community education; the development, implementation and evaluation of programs; and management of volunteers is preferred.
The candidate must have a professional background that demonstrates the following attributes and abilities: the ability to implement change, following healthy analysis and engagement; solid business acumen; and an eagerness and ability to quickly form and maintain relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, including residents, government officials and agencies, grant makers, and collaboration/alliance partners. Candidates will have proven skills in generating and using innovative approaches to enhance an organization’s impact.
Qualifications: The Board of ULGH seeks candidates for the President and CEO role with the following experiences, abilities and personal attributes to assume the following associated responsibilities:
Senior Leadership, Strategic Thinking and Planning
- Senior management experience including leading, inspiring and managing a diverse staff; managing a significant operating budget; multidisciplinary nonprofit experience; collaborating with the board; and working with a diverse group of funders and community stakeholders.
- Proven ability to provide the vision and leadership for accomplishing the mission and long-term development and growth. Experienced and accomplished public speaker serving as the primary spokesperson.
- Strong track record of strategic thinking, planning, and ability to align mission, business model, internal systems/structures, and staff/board skills, while creating/enhancing/evaluating/aligning programs and activity to support that strategy.
Strategic Communications and Community Collaborations and Alliances
- Proven ability to develop and implement marketing/communications programs creating a clear and consistent identity that generates understanding and enthusiasm for the mission and goals, and a clear understanding of the accomplishments and impact generated by ULGH.
- Experience working with the media and developing an organizational communications plan that is strategic, proactive and includes emerging communications platforms (e.g., social media).
- Initiate, develop and maintain productive and mutually beneficial collaborative relationships with individuals and organizations.
- Demonstrated commitment to effectively represent ethnically diverse communities across the City and region, including as a liaison/coordinator with community groups.
- Extensive experience in grant writing/proposals.
- Demonstrated experience cultivating and maintaining relationships with private and public funding sources; developing fundraising strategies and executing them in partnership with the Board.
- Experience providing leadership ensuring the success of ULGH’s special events.
Advocacy and Educational Leadership
- Experienced with staying informed of legislation impacting the local community.
- Participation in policy development and debate affecting stakeholders.
- Ensure ULGH programs are of the highest quality and meet the needs of a variety of audiences.
- Proven skills generating and using innovative program approaches to enhance impact.
Operations/HR Management and Staff Development
- Steward physical plant, ensuring the facilities and grounds are well maintained and safe.
- Experience recruiting/hiring, supervising, mentoring, providing professional development opportunities, and directing and evaluating senior staff in the performance of their duties.
- Demonstrated commitment to diverse staff, board and volunteers.
Financial Management and Planning
- Prepare and administer annual operating and capital budgets; ensure appropriate systems, procedures and financial controls are in place; and understand and manage multiple projects.
- Oversee all financial reporting, contractual obligations and donor/funder restrictions, and maintain appropriate internal policies and procedures ensuring such compliance.
- Manage communication with the board to provide regular comprehensive reports on revenue, expenditures and other key financial and non-financial metrics.
Governance, Board Relations and Management
- Experienced with board governance and working with the board on strategic planning, policy development, financial management, and fundraising.
- Manage and foster relationships and communications with the board of directors; participate actively in board meetings and present its members with the information necessary to support successful and informed planning and action.
Other Minimum Qualifications
- A Bachelor’s degree is required, Master’s degree preferred, with a specialization in social work, business administration, public administration, nonprofit management, urban planning, human resources management, education, political science, or an appropriate related discipline. Prior Urban League experience is a plus.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to maintain/encourage open communications with staff, the board, volunteers and the community. Tech savvy and strong proponent of social media.
- Note: the successful candidate will also be requested to review the standard Affiliate Chief Executive Officer position description provided by NUL, and the finalists will be expected to meet in New York City with members of a CEO sub-committee as part of the national office’s recruitment process.
Personal Characteristics and Leadership Attributes
- Effective listener; open-minded; flexible; emotional intelligence.
- Relationship/coalition builder; approachable; fair; passionate.
- Strongly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and social justice.
- Self-confident, diplomatic; integrity; sense of humor; believes in continuous learning/improvement.
- Well-organized, results-driven and inspiring; maturity, judgment.
- Enthusiastic, focused, driven; visionary; managerial and politically savvy
This national search is being conducted by TSNE MissionWorks with Transition Consultant Michael Negrón. All submissions are confidential. To express an interest, candidates can apply online.
Electronic submissions sent via this link are preferred.
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter, the latter expressing your interest and passion for the mission, fit for the role at ULGH, and describing your strengths relative to the position profile. Along with salary expectations, please include how you learned of the opportunity and attach any other relevant information (e.g., published articles, presentations, etc.). All applications will be acknowledged. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Applicants are requested to submit their candidacy within 30 days of the position posting date.
The Urban League of Greater Hartford is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
We will seek, and welcome, a diverse pool of candidates.