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Job Opportunity: Lighthouse Seeks Blind Executive Director

September 28, 2009 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Kirk Adams, President, The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc has asked us to carry the following job announcement to fill an executive director position.

“I am committed to having a blind person in the top leadership position at our Inland Northwest Lighthouse facility,” said Adams. “This is an exceptional opportunity for the right person, and I am willing to take all the time necessary to find the right fit. Either a person with the skills and experience to step right in, or someone who can develop with training and mentoring.”

Underscoring his desire to see a blind person holding a leadership role in the community served by the Lighthouse, Adams added: “We opened about fifteen months ago, making office products for the federal government. We currently have 35 blind employees, with a goal of 45 by year’s end. I believe this operation will support employment of 100 blind people five years from now.”

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc

Inland Northwest Lighthouse

Job Announcement

Title: Executive Director

Department: Administration

Reports To: President, CEO

Location: Spokane, Washington

Hours: Full Time M-F, includes some Saturday work

Summary: The Executive Director is responsible for accomplishing the mission of The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. at Inland Northwest Lighthouse (INL). Provide leadership, with passion, to address issues facing persons who are blind, Deaf-Blind and blind with other disabilities. Educate and create awareness about the blindness field within the greater Spokane community. Provide successful leadership and management of the INL facility. Align INL initiatives with the strategic plan of the Lighthouse. Accountable to accomplish specific goals that support the INL business plan.

Responsibilities:

  • Leadership
    • Represent the Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. and the INL within the Inland Northwest community.
    • Participate with the INL Advisory Committee and CEO to develop a vision, mission, values, and INL strategic and business plans.
    • Identify, assess, and inform the Advisory Committee and CEO of internal and external issues that affect the organization.
    • Foster effective team work among the Advisory Committee, staff, and CEO.
  • Operational planning and management
    • Ensure the INL meets the expectations of its customers, employees, Advisory Committee, funders, CEO and all other stakeholders, including blindness consumer groups, NIB and its associated agencies.
    • Oversee the performance management system including creation and implementation of individual development plans for each INL employee.
    • Oversee accommodations, accessibility and use of assistive technology at organizational and individual employee levels.
    • Give input to Lighthouse HR staff in terms of developing and implementing policies and procedures that affect the INL.
    • Ensure that personnel, client, donor and volunteer files are securely stored and privacy/confidentiality is maintained.
    • Work with Board Support Team to prepare meeting agenda and supporting materials for the INL Advisory Committee.
  • Program planning and management
    • Ensure that the programs and services offered by the organization contribute to the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities of the Advisory Committee, CEO and blindness communities.
    • Work closely with Lighthouse government relations to partner with agencies and public officials to identify issues and improve mission-related legislation, services and supports.
    • Monitor the day-to-day delivery of the programs and services of the organization to maintain or improve quality.
  • Human resources planning and management
    • Work with HR Department, GMO, and GMA to determine staffing requirements for overall organizational management, program & service delivery. Work with GMO as requested to support workforce needs in manufacturing.
    • Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices.
    • Establish a positive, healthy, safe and accessible work environment that promotes positive open communication in accordance with the Lighthouse human resources, safety & wellness program and applicable laws and regulations.
    • Recruit, interview and select staff that have the knowledge, skills and abilities to help further the organization’s mission.
    • Ensure that all staff receives orientation and training appropriate for their positions.
  • Financial planning and management
    • Work with CFO, GMO, and INL Production Manager to prepare a comprehensive budget. Monitor actual performance against the budget and recommend corrective actions to achieve budget as needed.
    • Work with the Advisory Committee and development staff to secure adequate funding to meet INL goals.
    • In conjunction with the Communications Department, coordinate and lead INL fundraising activities.
    • Work with Lighthouse CFO to ensure that accounting and recordkeeping policies and procedures are implemented.
  • Community relations/advocacy
    • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, public officials and other organizations to help achieve goals including funding, donations, customer support, community responsibility and involvement in the blindness field.
    • Attend NFB, WCB and AFB meetings and events as appropriate. Participate and serve as a speaker as appropriate.
  • Risk management
    • Identify and evaluate organizational risks to: stakeholders including employees and persons receiving services; property, finances, goodwill, and image. Implement measures to control risks.

Requirements: (equivalent education/and or experience may substitute)

  • Education
    • Bachelor degree in business/management and non-profit leadership.
  • Knowledge
    • Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization.
    • Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit/ voluntary organizations.
    • Knowledge of sound business practices and principles.
    • Knowledge of government, political process, fundraising, community service and service provider organizations.
    • Knowledge of federal legislation applicable to voluntary sector organizations.
    • Knowledge of human resources management.
    • Knowledge of financial management.
    • Knowledge of project management.
    • Knowledge of disability issues, workplace accommodations and assistive technology strongly preferred.

Skills

  • Demonstrated blindness skills that support independent living such as orientation and mobility, cane travel, use of assistive technology such as JAWS or ZoomText. Braille, or guide dog/cane use are strongly preferred.
  • Leadership, collaboration and teambuilding skills necessary to work seamlessly with all stakeholders and employees.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills are necessary.
  • Proficiency in the use of computers for Word processing, financial management, and e-mail.

Abilities and Attributes

  • Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Demonstrate Ethics: Understand ethical behavior and business practices, and ensure that own behavior and the behavior of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization.
  • Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Creativity/Innovation: Develop new and unique ways to improve operations of the organization and to create new opportunities.
  • Focus on needs of those being served: Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of disabled employees and community members to meet or exceed their expectations within the organizational parameters.
  • Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Leadership: Positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of the organization.
  • Make Decisions: Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.
  • Organize: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities.
  • Plan: Determine strategies to move the organization forward, set goals, create and implement action plans, and evaluate the process and results.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
  • Think Strategically: Assesses options and actions based on trends and conditions in the environment, and the vision and values of the organization.

Experience

  • Five or more years of progressive management experience in a nonprofit sector preferred.
  • Experience in government and political processes; blindness consumer groups and issues.

Working Conditions

  • Work in an office environment within a manufacturing facility.
  • Work a standard work week, but additionally will often work evening, weekends, and overtime hours to accommodate activities such as attending advisory council meetings and public events.

Persons who are legally blind and meet the qualifications are urged to apply for this position.

Seattle Lighthouse will conduct a nation wide search to fill this position. We expect this extensive search to take six to twelve months.

Equal Opportunity Employer M/F

Please email cover letter and resume to jobs (at) seattlelh.org or mail them to:

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

Attn.: Don Helsel

2501 S. Plum Street

Seattle, Washington 98144

Telephone: (206) 436-2760

Fax: 206.436.2244

TTY: (206) 324-1388

Visit our Web site for more information about employment at the Lighthouse, and to download an application form.

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