Chief Operating Officer

Posted by
The Fortune Society | Queens, NY

The Fortune Society

Published 13 days ago

The Fortune Society Background: The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus

strengthening the fabric of our communities.We do this by believing in the power of individuals to change, building lives through service programs shaped by the needs and experiences of our participants, and changing minds through education and advocacy to promote the creation of a fair, humane, and truly rehabilitative correctional system. Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society’s vision is to foster a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated will thrive as positive, contributing members of society.


The Chief Operating Officer (COO) position provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the organization has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, human capital, and infrastructural systems in place to effectively strengthen and grow the organization. This is done with the specific and measurable goal of continuous organizational fiscal strength and operating efficiency. The position accomplishes this through a respectful, constructive, emotionally-intelligent and energetic style of both leadership and management, and is always guided and informed by organization mission.

The COO Role within the Context of Overall Organizational Leadership Reporting Structure

The COO reports to the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). S/he will have task and project oversight and management of the Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents and routinely engages with and supports both the Executive and Senior/Director-level staff across all of the organization’s programs and divisions.

Areas of Responsibility:

The COO oversees the Agency's day-to-day operations and regularly communicates with the CEO and EVP. In consultation with the EVP and CEO, s/he creates operations strategies and policies. The COO builds and ensures continuous employee alignment with mission and strategic priorities, ensures necessary organizational resources to meet goals, and institutes a clear and uniformly-implemented performance management structure. The COO monitors the execution of agency plans and ensures that organizational performance data serves to continuously improve operational and programmatic performance. The COO manages

finances and human resources, as well as liaises with the Administration Department specifically supporting the work of CEO.

Essential Functions

1. Provides day-to-day leadership and management to the organization that mirrors the adopted mission and core organizational values. S/he builds and sustains a high integrity, high-impact and high-value organization where all staff thrive in their roles in fulfillment of mission.

2. Is responsible for driving the organization to consistently define, set, achieve, and (wherever possible) surpass performance goals. S/he transparently baselines,

benchmarks and measures progress against organizational and department goals over time.

3. Is responsible for the measurement and effectiveness of all internal processes. Provides timely, accurate and complete reports on the operating condition of the

organization for executive leadership and for the Board of Directors as relevant and necessary.

4. S/he spearheads the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes for operations and systems, and ensures

communication and alignment across systems.

5. S/he collaborates with the management team to develop and implement plans for the operational infrastructure of systems, processes, and personnel in order to promote organizational sustainability and growth.

6. S/he motivates and leads a high-performing leadership team; attracts, recruits and retains required members of the executive team not currently in place; provides mentoring and advisement as a cornerstone to the both the leadership and management career development and professional development efforts necessary for optimal organizational performance.

7. S/he assists, as required, the development department in order to ensure ongoing, adequate revenue in order to sufficiently sustain organizational operations over time; s/he provides direct leadership and advisement for capital or operational resource development.

8. Fosters and continuously models a success-oriented, accountable environment within the organization, and builds and reinforces an organizational culture of learning and inquiry as part of ongoing continuous improvement efforts.

The Successful COO:

  • Has a servant leadership orientation. The COO shares and promotes power in service of mission, putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform to their optimal potential.
  • Is an active listener that consistently strives to understand and respond to the needs of others in pursuit of the organization’s mission.
  • Evinces humility. The COO models humility by instinctively sharing and giving credit, and supporting others to shine in their roles.
  • Is committed to modeling leadership. The COO leads by striving to develop leadership in others, and understands that to fully inhabit their role, they must always lead by example.
  • Is a strategic and critical thinker. The COO has the ability to consultatively tackle complex organizational problems and navigate circumstances where decisions made may have no perfect or ideal outcome.
  • Embraces self-accountability and transparency. The COO holds himself/herself as accountable as the people s/he leads, and they demonstrate that accountability through a transparent documentation of progress towards key organizational goals.
  • Is an effective communicator. The COO will be both a strong written and spoken communicator, and have the ability to communicate (and translate) across major parts of the organization as a means to strengthen internal capacity and mitigate organizational silos.
  • Leverages mistakes as learning opportunities. The COO has the ability to accept, learn, and grow from failure.
  • Is results and outcomes-driven. The COO builds a results orientation by transparently sharing organizational performance data and by striving to create an organizational culture of inquiry and aspiration.
  • Has demonstrated business acumen and can seamlessly navigate among Administration, Operations, Finances, and Program functions.
  • Uses inclusive, consultative decision-making as a primary tool for organizational risk assessment.
  • Is a strategic financial manager and employs financial strategy to inform overall organizational operations.

Supervisory Responsibility

This position has overall task and project related supervisory responsibility for organizational executive leadership with the exception of the Administration Department supporting the Office of the CEO, and the Executive Vice President. The ideal supervisor will serve as an adviser, mentor and example for the leadership team while also learning from their expertise and sharing that expertise as a means to advance the leadership’s overall capabilities and to celebrate ongoing successes. 


As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of The Fortune Society and be driven by its mission. The candidate should demonstrate a passion for breaking new ground to lead social change. Beyond that, we are seeking a candidate that has proven experience in scaling a multi-site organization and a demonstrated ability to both lead and build the capabilities of a driven, bright, diverse team.

As noted, this is an organization driven by the values of its people, so experience in managing a “values-driven” organization will be highly prized. Additional requirements are:

  • BA degree or equivalent skill level; MBA level of skill preferred; Minimum 10 years’ experience in senior management with significant nonprofit experience.
  • Results-proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation; evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; high level of business acumen including successful P&L management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; and problem solving, project management, and creative resourcefulness
  • Strategic Vision and Agility—ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan
  • Capacity Building—ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity, developing a top-notch workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly.
  • Leadership and Organization—exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; a team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations; ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in large groups; capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, lead from the top down, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to put people in a position to succeed.
  • Action Oriented—enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance to leadership and take unpopular stands when necessary.
  • General Management—thorough understanding of finance, systems, and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, human resources, and marketing.
  • Relevant life experience is a plus.

Travel and Scheduling Requirements – Requires some travel for events and meetings, along with travel to our Harlem location, and ability to attend key events and meetings periodically held on evenings or weekends.

Physical Demands:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The responsibilities and requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, minimum education, training, licensing, experience and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

The Fortune Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of conviction history, race, religion/creed, citizenship status, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status.

The Fortune Society Background: The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus

strengthening the fabric of our communities.We do this by believing in…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule


29-76 Northern Boulevard, Queens, NY 11101