The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in downtown San Francisco seeks a vibrant Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The LightHouse is an exceptional and innovative nonprofit organization providing education, training, advocacy, and community for people who are blind, low vision or Deafblind in California and around the world. This is a rare opportunity for a dynamic, inclusive leader to advance and continue to make a difference by augmenting current and future programs and services.
Founded in 1902, the LightHouse promotes the independence, equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or have low vision. Our agency offers dozens of programs in blindness skills training and relevant services such as access to employment, education, government, information, recreation, transportation and the environment. The LightHouse, located close to the heart of Silicon Valley, aspires to work even closer with Bay Area tech firms to enhance new technology, encourage innovation, and amplify the voices of blind people around the world.
The ideal candidate will be a consensus maker, open communicator and transparent leader. The CEO will lead and encourage the development of bold and inclusive programs and services and encourage a culture of collaboration. This position will have overall responsibility for guiding Lighthouse’s fundraising, financial accounting, and the economic success of the entire enterprise. The CEO is responsible for the public relations and image of the organization and for providing day-to-day leadership and management of the staff. The successful candidate will thrive in an environment that emphasizes relationship-building and cooperation, listening, diversity and integrity.
The LightHouse’s longtime CEO, Bryan Bashin, has recently given ample notice of his intention to transition, ensuring the most open, transparent and positive executive succession. After May, he will focus primarily on the successful build-out of the $50 million design and construction project at Enchanted Hills Camp, scheduled for completion in August 2023.
The CEO’s key responsibilities will include:
- Strategy and Planning:
- Collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop, plan, and direct the next LightHouse strategic plan. The CEO will ensure that the plan’s execution will be measured by quantifiable and calendared milestones.
- Develop a regular process to review the strategic plan, reporting progress on key performance indicators to ensure priorities and resources align. With the Board’s agreement, course correct as needed in response to external circumstances and opportunities.
- Enhance the LightHouse’s already strong reputation, and national and global positioning as the go-to-source for innovative programs and services.
- Directly supervise the seven-person Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and direct all LightHouse divisions in accordance with the Lighthouse mission, objectives, established procedures, and applicable laws.
- Establish innovative and productive working relationships with the organization’s stakeholders (donors, agency leaders, legislators, families, students and staff).
- Ensure that all policies and procedures of the organization are implemented and equitably applied.
- Work with staff, the Board of Directors, and Board committees such as Executive, Finance, Audit, Investments Governance and Corpus Committee in preparing the budget, investment plan, and board governance. Ensures that the organization responsibly operates according to established Board policies.
- Assures that the LightHouse and its mission, programs, products, and services are consistently presented in a strong, positive way to stakeholders, government and media.
- Communicates blindness-positive LightHouse values at internal meetings of all staff, ELT, department meetings, and externally among CEO peers within CAABVI, VisionServe and blind consumer groups.
- Appears frequently on broadcast and social media, communicating the energy, ambition and audaciousness of LightHouse staff and Board.
- Makes compelling public presentations to donors, stakeholders, disability groups, and government bodies to advance the needs of the LightHouse and the community it serves.
- The CEO is actively engaged in fundraising and partners with the VP of Philanthropy to develop and adhere to an annual written Development Plan. The plan metrics and outcomes will be presented quarterly to the Board of Directors.
- The CEO is the strategic lead and active participant in all major gifts.
- This role ensures that all LightHouse fundraising remains blind-positive and is characterized by progressive communications about the abilities of people who are blind, low vision or Deafblind.
- This position regularly collaborates with the Board of Directors on its annual fundraising goals.
- Board Administration and support:
- Supports the operations and administration of the Board by advising and informing Board members, interfacing between Board and staff, and supporting the Board’s annual evaluation of the Chief Executive.
- Partner with the Board Chair, officers, and committee chairs to develop and implement the policies of the organization and to execute on the guidance of the Board in a proactive manner.
- Present recommendations to the Board of Directors on policy and business changes desirable to improve the organization’s day-to day operations, and well-being.
- Public Affairs:
- Provide strategic direction, leadership and oversight of the LightHouse’s government relations, policy development and advocacy activities. Ensures that LightHouse expends its resources on mission-central issues.
- In consultation with LightHouse departments and stakeholders, develop, promote and advance LightHouse public affairs positions. Represent the policy of LightHouse on key issues in blindness, low vision or Deafblindness.
- Human Resource Management:
- Effectively manage the human resources of the organization according to approved personnel policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws and regulations.
- Discern, design and act upon the findings of each years’ Employee Engagement Survey in collaboration with the ELT.
- Final authority in hiring all new employees, implementing the organization’s affirmative action and equal employment policies, especially geared to the agency goal an approximate parity of the numbers of blind and sighted employees throughout every department in the organization.
- Ensure that on-boarding of new employees include significant training in the history, politics, culture and demographics of people who are blind and disability communities.
- Review and evaluate executive leadership team staff and their KPI’s. Review evaluations and KPI performance conducted by supervisors. Oversee corrective actions taken when agreed-upon goals and employment standards are not met.
- Facilities Design and Construction:
- Guide any future large capital projects to reflect the needs of the blind constituency while identifying achievable economies.
- Provide pre-design, accessibility, user experience, and operational input to architects, project managers and general contractors in the design and construction of major new LightHouse projects.
- Financial, Risk, and Facilities Management:
- Develop and propose a comprehensive annual budget for Board approval.
- Prudently manages organization’s resources within Board budget guidelines and communicates with Board about any significant projected annual budget variances.
- Program Product, and Service Delivery:
- Provide strategic leadership to all programs, products and services.
- Oversee the expansion of blind employment at the Sirkin Center and an increased return on investment of all LightHouse Social Enterprises.
SPECIFIC SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES
This position supervises the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Communications, and Vice President of Philanthropy. The CEO also supervises the Senior Executive Assistant.
EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS, PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL QUALITIES
- Deep understanding of philosophies, cultures, demographics and intersectionality of people who are blind, have low vision, or are Deafblind.
- A practical centrist and consensus maker in blindness and disability matters. A record of program execution to achieve the greatest impact for the greatest number of the community.
- Knowledge of disability history, blindness civil rights, current issues in blindness and rehabilitation, and demographics.
- Strong experience in initiating and devising programming and services for blind youth, adults, and seniors.
- Minimum of five years’ experience in executive and supervisory management.
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience. An advanced degree in Social Services, business or public administration, disability studies, Special Education, Rehabilitation, Organizational Development or a related field is a plus.
- Proven management skills. Ability to coach, mentor and lead executives with diverse backgrounds and work styles.
- Experience with community leadership and crisp decision-making. Exceptional ability as a public speaker and writer to communicate clearly and concisely.
- Flexibility and ability to work collaboratively.
- Strong facility in key parts of the Microsoft Office suite required. Braille fluency a plus.
The position is based in San Francisco, California. The incumbent must reside or relocate to the Bay Area. Expectations are up to 25% travel.
MEASURES FOR SUCCESS
The specifics regarding measures of success, including metrics, will be agreed upon by the new CEO and the LightHouse Board. At the end of the executive’s first year, the Board would expect the following:
- New strategic plan is completed.
- Developed organizational alignment around the Strategic Plan’s clear strategy and vision, accountability to existing policies and new strategies.
- Positive performance measured against calendared strategy objectives.
- Surveyed existing program and service offerings, trimmed those with insufficient evidence of success and expanded those which have the greatest chance of swiftly increasing participation.
- A smooth transition of leadership occurred, the CEO established strong relationships with the Board of Directors, community members, and staff, and communicates regularly and effectively.
- New private sector relationships developed, which will lead to new business opportunities and actively implemented a plan to grow the LightHouse’s private sector revenue sources.
- Met annual growth and financial goals.
- The LightHouse continued its leadership role in a quantifiable way around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.
This position will entail extensive travel to national, state and regional conferences and meetings. Occasional travel to consult and build productive relationships with top donors and corporate partners. The role will also necessitate the incumbent to speak with stakeholder groups, organizations, and others often after-hours and occasionally on weekends. Travel and occasional overnight stays at Enchanted Hills Camp is also required for effective supervision of that operation. This position also is required to be remotely available nights and weekends to address infrequent physical or personnel emergencies.
THE LIGHTHOUSE HEADQUARTERS
1155 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.
Vetted Solutions is a Washington, D.C. based executive search firm specializing in association and nonprofit recruiting and consulting. We focus on CEO and senior staff positions. For confidential consideration, please email your resume and cover letter to: SFLightHouseCEOSearch@vettedsolutions.com or call +1 202 544 4749.