Youth & Opportunity United is a premier youth development organization located in Evanston, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago. Established in 1971, Y.O.U. works to ensure every young person has the opportunity to succeed by working with families, schools, and community partners to provide academic, social, and emotional support where it is most needed, closing the gap between youth and opportunity.
The CEO is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization, ensuring delivery of the highest quality services while safeguarding its financial stability. As the leader of the organization, the CEO reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for: implementing a sound strategic plan to address the growing needs of Y.O.U. and its community; representing the organization as its key spokesperson and chief fundraiser; developing and managing the organization’s overall finances; collaborating with other leaders and decision makers in the broader civic, education, business, youth development and human services community of Evanston, Skokie, Chicago and the region; providing the vision to address future challenges and opportunities; managing and leading the staff and fostering an organizational climate to develop and build staff competencies and equitable policies and practices; and supporting innovation and strengthening community.
We seek a proven leader whose passion for service is demonstrated by a genuine dedication to improving the lives of children and youth. The ideal candidate will have significant experience in leading strategic and high-level decision making, particularly in times of organizational change and transformation, and will bring novel approaches and ideas to the organization. The candidate will be adept at using keen interpersonal skills to coalesce multiple internal and external stakeholders around common goals.
He or she must embody the highest ethical standards and demonstrate a balance of business savvy with a commitment to responsible program delivery and mission. A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain highly professional relationships with business, government, civic, and nonprofit leaders is required. The person we seek is a big-picture thinker who can articulate a compelling vision for the organization in an ever-changing external environment. S/He will be able to act and react with flexibility and to use intuitive reasoning in decision making.
Experience in fundraising and securing long-term support through active relationship management is required. This person should demonstrate a high proficiency to organize, analyze and prioritize as well as the proven ability to delegate to and work with a highly professional senior leadership team. The ability to lead staff of a wide spectrum of ages, in an inspirational manner where employee development and recognition operate at a high level, is expected.
The qualified candidate must demonstrate success in reaching out to and proactively engaging with a variety of stakeholders and constituents. Communicating effectively with people of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds is a must. An ability to build rapport with and enfranchise those who have varying viewpoints and different perceptions is a highly valued skill set. As the key spokesperson for the organization, this person must be able to speak extemporaneously and passionately about the mission of Y.O.U.
A proven ability to direct and manage the finances, budget preparation and oversight, and grants administration within a complex organization is highly valued. First-hand experience in after-school programming and planning and/or public administration is a plus. Career experience in a top management position in an organization with a similar mission is ideal.
Impeccable integrity and sound judgment are essential to success in this role. We seek a person whose strength of character is well demonstrated, whose demeanor is composed and unflappable, and who is open and accessible as well. Energy, natural optimism and the ability to be a good listener and quick learner are important personal attributes.
A master’s degree from an accredited academic institution in a related field is strongly preferred. Evidence of continuing education, certification and executive level training is desirable.