President & CEO for IndependenceFirst

  • Job posted by IndepenceFirst

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline



540 S 1st St
United States


Organizational Overview

IndependenceFirst is Metro Milwaukee's FIRST resource when people have questions regarding access and disability. With an annual operating budget of over $30 million, we offer over 20 programs and services to people with disabilities of all kinds, in all age groups and provide programs on disability awareness and access to the general community.  Over 50% of our staff, managers and Board have disabilities themselves and this peer approach leads to excellent outcomes.


IndependenceFirst has a vision for full inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of our community and commits itself toward this end. IndependenceFirst is a non-profit 501c3 Independent Living Center (ILC) directed and controlled by persons with disabilities, primarily serving the four - county metropolitan Milwaukee area. Our mission is to effectively facilitate empowerment of individuals with disabilities through: education, advocacy, independent living services, coalition building. IndependenceFirst promotes diversity and multicultural participation in its operations and services.


The organization is dedicated to the empowerment of people with disabilities and making our community more accessible. We do this by continually emphasizing systems and individual advocacy and listening to our program participants to design resources and services to meet their needs. 

To learn more, please visit:


Position Purpose

First and foremost, IndependenceFirst’s President and CEO must be an advocate for persons with disabilities in the community and at the policy level. She or he is responsible for the strategic vision, successful leadership and management of the organization. As an agent of change, the new leader needs to be focused on the future landscape of needs and services. The President and CEO is the face of the organization and works in partnership with the staff and Board of Directors on the ultimate vision of IndependenceFirst, governance, program planning, resources development and implementation of outstanding programs and services. As a leader of successful managers, the President and CEO will maximize others’ potential while demonstrating and a level of total integrity and ethics.


The President and CEO provides oversight of the organization to achieve Board approved goals and objectives; to provide organizational structure that achieves business growth and motivates staff to accomplish the stated mission of IndependenceFirst, represents IndependenceFirst to local community associations and at community events putting forth positive aspects of the organization through a strong articulation of the strategic vision. The President and CEO will recognize the ultimate governance responsibility and fiduciary obligation of the Board of Directors as outlined in the IndependenceFirst bylaws.  The ideal candidate will have a familiarity with the current climate, challenges and opportunities relating to IndependenceFirst’s mission and possess a keen understanding of the value of independent living.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

A.    Leadership and Oversight

  • Work with the Board of Directors on a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization
  • Ensure that the Board Chair, and where appropriate, the full Board of Directors, are kept informed of the organization’s status and are alerted to potential problems, challenges and opportunities as they arise
  • Act as a professional advisor to the Board of on all aspects of the organization's activities
  • Determine and provide staffing requirements for organizational management and impact
  • Maintain a culture that attracts, retains, and motivates a highly diverse professional staff
  • Establish individual senior staff member’s goals and objectives for the coming year
  • Stay abreast of the current legislative, cultural, regulatory, educational and other changes that may impact IndependenceFirst and its constituents


B.     Fund Development and Community Relations

  • Communicate with community stakeholders to keep them informed of IndependenceFirst’s work
  • Establish effective working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, politicians, and other organizations to help achieve goals
  • Create and maintain a resource development plan to increase the funds of the organization from private and government sources and individual donors
  • Act as a spokesperson and representative for the organization
  • Represent the organization in business and program development and opportunities

C. Operational Planning and Management

  • Ensure that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of its program participants, Board of Directors, governmental funding sources, major donors and collaborators
  • Supervise the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the organization
  • Draft policies for Board approval and prepare procedures to implement organizational policies
  • Provide support and insight to the Board by preparing timely monthly operational reports
  • Ensure programs and services offered by IndependenceFirst contribute to the organization's mission, reflect the priorities of the strategic plan and meet or exceed grant scopes and outcomes
  • Oversee the delivery of programs and services in a professional manner consistent with IndependenceFirst policies and values 
  • Ensure that programs and services offered by IndependenceFirst contribute to the organization's mission, reflect the priorities of the strategic plan and meet or exceed grant scopes and outcomes

D. Financial Planning and Compliance Management

  • Provide for the most effective use of resources resulting in a positive financial position and enhanced impact
  • Evaluate the organization’s financial status ensuring resources are devoted to top priorities
  • Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget
  • Ensure compliance with all state and federal requirements
  • Ensure that sound financial record and accounting procedures are followed
  • Work with staff and the Board (Finance Committee) to prepare a comprehensive budget
  • Ensure that the Board is provided with monthly financial reports
  • Ensure that an annual audit is completed by working with staff and outside auditing firm

Minimum Qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree required
  • Minimum of 10 years professional working experience
  • Minimum of 5 years leading a senior level staff team
  • Demonstrated experiences with planning, managing and/or implementing public policy, advocacy or community organizing campaigns
  • Understanding of financial statements; experience with budgeting and financial forecasting
  • Previous reporting to, or working with, a Board of Directors experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of not-for-profit organizational administration
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse groups of people including people with disabilities, potential donors, government entities, community leaders, volunteers, staff members)
  • Ability to externally be the key public face of IndependenceFirst


The IndependenceFirst Board of Directors plans to have this position filled by November 2018.

IndependenceFirst is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. IndependenceFirst does not discriminate in employment on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or any other non-merit factor.


Leading Transitions LLC is committed to the future vitality of nonprofit organizations, philanthropic institutions and leaders. The practice has been refined to provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to the intricacies and dynamics of any transition. To learn more, please visit:


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


For full consideration, please email all items below, combined into one document, to no later than 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 31, 2018:

1. A letter describing your qualifications for the President and CEO position, including your specific interest in leading an organization whose mission is “To effectively facilitate empowerment of individuals with disabilities through: education, advocacy, independent living services and coalition building” and a description of your salary parameters; addressed to:

Mindy Lubar Price, President & CEO, Leading Transitions LLC, 1345 North Jefferson St., Suite 350, Milwaukee, WI 53202

2. A detailed and updated resume; and

3. The names of, your relationship to, and contact information for, three professional references.


Please note:

References will not be contacted until a candidate has been notified; Background and verification checks will subsequently be performed, with candidate permission, and are required to be hired for this position; All inquiries and interactions with potential candidates are kept in confidence.