Executive Director

Reference: JOB1223
Employer: The Woodlands

The Organization

The Woodlands seeks to enrich the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness.

Established in 1937 as a camp for “underprivileged and orphaned youth”, the Spina Bifida Association of Western PA formally established The Woodlands Foundation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1998 to assume full responsibility for managing the campus and expanding the reach beyond those with spina bifida. The Woodlands now serves children, young adults, and adults with a wide range of disabilities and chronic illness.

Nestled in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, The Woodlands’ 52-acre site features a variety of amenities including: an indoor heated pool, 48-bed lodge, dining hall, creative arts and computer lab, activity center, camping area, sports court, nature trail, zip line, amphitheater, kitchen, archery range, and a par-3 golf course – all specifically adapted for anyone to utilize regardless of ability. Using its fully accessible and barrier-free facilities, The Woodlands’ programs enable participants to experience social, cultural, environmental, recreational, and spiritual growth with opportunities to increase socialization, independence, recreation, self-perception, and health/wellness.

With an operating budget of just over $2.5 million, The Woodlands serves thousands of people annually and partners with agencies and organizations to host camps, retreats, and other programming. Dedicated to the children and adults uplifted by its mission, The Woodlands fosters relationships with organizations that serve individuals with special needs, and continuously develops its facilities and programming to further enrich lives and foster independence.

The following values define The Woodlands:

  • All people with disability and chronic illness deserve the very best opportunities to fulfill their lives and dreams.
  • The Woodlands is a uniquely designed and developed, fully accessible, and safe facility for those with disability and chronic illness.
  • The Woodlands experience should be affordable for all – cost should not prohibit participation.

To learn more, please visit http://mywoodlands.org/

Position overview

The Woodlands seeks a leader with a deep understanding of the operational needs of a nonprofit, empathy for the challenges faced by participants in the organization’s programs, and vision for creating opportunities.  Balancing the demands of managing internal systems, facilities, and staff with the expectations of external partnership and fund development, the Executive Director needs to be a strategic thinker with a focus on outstanding outcomes. We seek an experienced leader who can lead relationships with all constituents of The Woodlands: families, staff, board, funders, partners, vendors, and the community at large.

The Executive Director is primarily responsible for the following:

Leadership and General Management

  • Assures The Woodlands effectively achieves its mission through innovation, sustainability, and growth. This includes day-to-day operations, fundraising, fiscal management, and program development.
  • Seeks opportunities for programmatic expansion through organic and new growth while ensuring that programming remains relevant, diverse, and consistent.
  • Creates and manages internal processes, including human resources, financial management, and staff development.
  • Manages the staff through delegation, trust, and respect, creating a workplace that is professional and positive.
  • Supports and embraces the important work on behalf of individuals and families affected by disability and chronic illness.

Development and Financial Management

  • Manages budgeting processes, including creation of the annual budget and the consistent delivery of financial information to the Board through accurate reporting.
  • Builds partnerships with philanthropic foundations, community organizations, individual donors and political, corporate, and community leaders.
  • Identifies and cultivates relationships that will advance development and resource acquisition efforts.
  • Embraces opportunities to promote the mission and programs of the organization.
  • Ensures execution of the budget plan with a focus on managing costs and building long term financial stability.
  • Prioritizes future capital items and projects consistent with 5-year capital expenditure plan and yearly operating budget.

Safety and Quality Management

  • Oversees and evaluates all facilities to ensure maximum utilization, quality, and safety.
  • Ensures the programs meet external and internal safety and quality standards.
  • Identifies and evaluates risks to all constituents as well as the organization’s programs, property, finances, and image. Implements measures to control identified risks.
  • Establishes and maintains and healthy and safe environment for all staff, volunteers, participants, and visitors.

Board Relations

  • Develops, maintains, and supports a high-performing and engaged Board of Directors. Understands how to maximize the resources of the Board.
  • Works in tandem with respective Board Committees to develop and track metrics which monitor the performance of the organization with respect to the mission and key objectives.
  • Provides leadership in developing organizational, program, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and carries out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  • Partners with Board leadership to develop, maintain, and execute the strategic plan for the future of the organization.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Executive Director will lead with an appreciation for the tremendous impact The Woodlands’ programs have for the individuals it serves. All candidates should have proven nonprofit management experience.

Demonstrated leadership, relationship management, and resource development is essential. A combination of the following attributes will be evaluated:

  • Educational background that is relevant to the position.
  • A demonstrated commitment to opening up the lives of children and adults experiencing disability and chronic illness through enriching opportunities.
  • Familiarity with and fluency in community resources for children and adults with disabilities and chronic medical conditions.
  • A successful track record with creating and maintaining relationships with donors, funders, and community partners.
  • A sense of entrepreneurial opportunism with the ability to be nimble in an ever-changing work environment.
  • A strategic thinker; someone who can align options and opportunity with the vision and values of the organization.
  • Adept at building effective teams and motivating others to achieve more, particularly in an emotionally intensive organization. Working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with strong public speaking ability.
  • Ethics beyond reproach. Holds self and others to peak ethical business standards.
  • Commitment to creative and quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Experience leading an organization and its board through a capital campaign.

Performance objectives

In the near term, the Executive Director will be expected to continue and improve upon outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing and meeting the following:

  • Month 1-3: Immerse in the programs and people of The Woodlands. Understand the priorities of the families, volunteers, staff, and Board as well as each of the myriad programs and services.
  • Month 3-6: Assess the staffing structure and professional development of staff to operate a high-functioning nonprofit.
  • Month 6-12: Develop a comprehensive business plan that includes financial goals, fundraising strategies, partnership opportunities, and a staff/board structure to support the plan.


This position offers a competitive salary in the $125,000 - $135,000 range and a traditional benefits package found with other nonprofit organizations of similar size, scope, and scale.  

How to apply

The Woodlands has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Michelle@NonprofitTalent.com. Applications are not accepted at this email address. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact The Woodlands.

Resume, position specific cover letter, and salary expectations may be uploaded here:


All materials due by 5PM on February 5, 2020

The Woodlands is an equal opportunity employer.


posted Janaury 6, 2020