Citizen Advocates and the North Star Family of Services (Citizen Advocates) is a multi-service 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides caring, professional, and certified care to over 7,000 individuals each year through its programs in mental health, substance use disorder treatment and prevention, and residential, habilitation and vocational services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Founded in 1975 as a small sheltered work program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, today Citizen Advocates is the largest private employer in Franklin County, NY, with a staff of over 700 employees.
The organization partners with numerous state agencies, including the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and the NYS Department of Health (DOH).
Headquartered in Malone, NY with an operating budget of $40M, Citizen Advocates operates extensively throughout Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton and St. Lawrence Counties in northern New York State, often referred to as the North Country. The large catchment area means the agency’s transportation systems log over 800,000 miles each year transporting clients.
Citizen Advocates is committed and passionate that their evidence-based, culturally sensitive, trauma informed and family/patient-centered care programs help their regional population address behavioral health needs that achieves best outcomes and improves quality of life for all.
Select Programs and Services offered by Citizen Advocates Include:
Residential Services support individuals who are developmentally disabled and/or struggling with persistent or severe mental illness. Citizen Advocates operates four 12-bed Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) serving 48 adults with developmental disabilities, all certified by OPWDD; seven supervised Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) ranging in capacity from three to six individuals, one supportive IRA for two adults, one Community Residence for 12 adults and 1 Community Residence for 8 children with Serious Emotional Disorders.
Day Services provide persons with developmental disabilities habilitation training to obtain life skills to live more independent lives. The agency offers day habilitation services at 2 certified sites located in Malone and Saranac Lake for over 330 individuals. A “day-hab without walls” program also provides opportunities for individuals to participate in activities out in the community, such as delivering meals to the elderly, helping at the local animal shelter, visiting the library or other community sites. The agency also offers community habilitation services for over 60 individuals as well as respite services.
Vocational Services offer a variety of employment opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities that range from center-based employment services (work centers), agency-operated community businesses, to placement in competitive community based employment, depending upon level of skill and capacity for work.
Outpatient Mental Health Services supports individuals and families, children and adults to work through challenging times. Citizen Advocates operates two primary integrated Article 31/32 mental health and substance use disorder treatment clinics that incorporate medication supported treatment, Opioid Prevention Programs, physical health screening and/or basic primary care, and 12 related satellite sites in schools, health centers, or other locations in the community.
Community Support Services supports children and youth with emotional disturbances and adults struggling with serious mental illness. Services include: care management services, peer centers, housing services, respite, and other supports.
Prevention Services offer an array of school-based and community prevention programs to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors associated with youth substance abuse and other undesirable behaviors. Citizen Advocates operates several nationally recognized model Prevention Service programs.
Chemical Dependency Services designed for people struggling with use of alcohol and other drugs, and problem gambling. Treatment professionals work together to support each individuals needs through assessments, treatment plans and referrals. The team collaborates with other local and regional providers.
Citizen Advocate also offers: Family-Supports Respite Services; Medicaid Service Coordination; Self-Direction Services; Housing Services; Department of Social Services Contract Services.
Location: The North Country
The North Country encompasses New York's northern frontier, bordering Lake Ontario on the west, the Saint Lawrence River and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec on the north and northwest, and Lake Champlain and Vermont on the east. It is located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains with the natural beauty of mountains, lakes, ski slopes, verdant valleys and steep cliffs. The Adirondack Region is home to the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states. The Adirondack Park covers six million acres, and is almost the land size of the state of Massachusetts.
Malone is about 50 miles from Lake Placid, 80 miles from Burlington Vermont and 70 miles from Montreal, Canada. The community has long been attractive to those seeking rural living, coupled with a love of the outdoors while still being an easy drive from cultural and other large city attractions in Montreal.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer is a senior member of the management team and will engage in the overall fiscal and strategic planning of the organization. As an organization in the public trust, Citizen Advocates looks to the CFO to provide fiscal oversight of a $40 million revenue stream and $44M in assets.
The CFO is responsible for, and oversees budget development and all financial management and compliance of over 100 agency programs.
Working closely with the CEO and board, the CFO must be strategic in uncovering business opportunities as well as assessing business risks. The CFO will be pro-active in leveraging the organization’s resources to take advantage of opportunities to grow revenue, expand programs, and reduce expenses. Above all else, the CFO must enjoy and possess demonstrated success in the creative, strategic finance aspect of this role.
In addition to strategic finance, the CFO must also have the aptitude to build financial scenarios, coordinate compliance audits and enhance and implement financial reporting, processes, tools and control systems.
The CFO will combine strategic finance and an entrepreneurial spirit to present to the CEO and Board, new directions and financial options that will allow Citizen Advocates to grow and maximize the impact of its resources.
S/he will supervise the work of the Controller in overseeing all financial reporting including monthly Balance Sheets, P & L Statements, and Cash Flow Scenarios. The CFO will also work with the Controller to ensure sound AP/AR and payroll functions. Provides direction to team of accounting and administrative support professionals.
Provide updated and frequent financial and budgeting insights and analysis to CEO and Finance Committee. Create dashboards and other tools to clearly articulate Citizen Advocates’ financial position and goals to Senior Staff and Leadership.
Effectively maintains internal controls to safeguard the agency’s assets. Manage the acquisition of capital assets and ensure that assets are properly recorded, amortized, and disposed of as necessary.
Regularly reviews internal control and recommends modifications to strengthen.
Coaches staff of accounting professionals, providing leadership and guidance to achieve a high level of operational excellence and results. Engages in progressive discipline and prepares annual performance evaluations that are balanced, complete, and insightful.
Develop and maintain timely and accurate financial statements and reports that are appropriate for the users and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Develop, implement, and ensure compliance with internal financial and accounting policies and
Ensure that all statutory requirements of the organization are met.
Prepare all supporting information for the annual audit and liaise with the Board's Finance Committee and the external auditors as necessary.
Review monthly results and implement monthly variance reporting.
Develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that financial information is secure and stored in compliance with current legislation.
Assist the CEO with financial reporting as required at Board meetings.
Ensure proper filing of all tax returns.
Assist Program Directors and Project Managers with the preparation of budgets for funding applications.
Significant experience as a CFO in a similarly sized and complex organization.
Experience in a behavioral health or healthcare organization helpful.
A demonstrated ability to think strategically in seizing opportunities, accessing risks, streamlining systems, and reducing expenses.
High level of competence and professional stature to advise CEO and Board committees on effective financial management.
All aspects of Federal/State Grants
Coordinating internal and government audits
Polished skills in leading, building and fostering a collaborative team spirit and setting.
Established track record of good business judgment and financial acumen.
Demonstrated ability to model teamwork behaviors and team building skills.
Bachelor’s degree required with a background in accounting or finance.
CPA Certification preferred.
About Citizen Advocates
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