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Executive Director


Hinsdale, IL, USA

Competitive benefit package and salary commensurate with experience.

 Executive Director – Job Announcement 

Wellness House, Chicagoland’s leader in psychosocial support for people living with cancer and their families, is seeking to hire an Executive Director who will join our staff July 1, 2019 and can work alongside our current Chief Executive Officer, who has served the organization since 1990 and will be retiring in December 2019. This 6-month transition period will provide a tremendous opportunity to build relationships with key external stakeholders and assume responsibility for day-to-day operations. The Executive Director will be joining Wellness House as we complete a 2-year plan that has positioned the organization for significant, sustainable growth. 

What Wellness House Offers You 

In 1990, we started Wellness House with a single mission: Wellness House envisions a community where all people affected by cancer thrive. Offered at no cost, and as a complement to medical treatment, our programs educate, support and empower participants so they will improve their physical and emotional well-being. Today, we offer a variety of programs and services — exercise classes, nutrition seminars, support groups, and more — that complement medical care with a whole-person approach to healing. Everything we do is to prepare and empower people to fully live life with cancer and beyond. Our experts, specialists and programs focus on the individual needs of people through every step of cancer – before, during and after treatment. We use a psychosocial approach based on research, addressing the whole person – socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically. Our staff team of 27 fulfills the mission, created by our Board of Directors, including 27 members, and together, we live our Principles for Action: Community, Accountability, Quality and Innovation. 

What You Offer Us at This Unique Time in Our History

We are seeking an Executive Director to step in at this pivotal time to provide additional capacity and vision as we finalize our next strategic plan that will guide the depth and breadth of our programs, build upon our strong governance, and grow our fundraising and marketing. We are searching for an experienced, self-motivated and inspiring leader who can work well with a variety of constituencies, including volunteers, donors/grantors, healthcare professionals, business and community leaders, to engage them in the mission of Wellness House and inspire them to participate in our sustainable growth to meet the growing needs of people affected by cancer. This leader will be able to motivate and energize our staff while effectively managing resources in order to positively impact the lives of our participants in the most cost-effective way possible. In particular, we are looking for a leader who is capable of implementing the organization’s strategic plan, which prioritizes community and medical partnerships in order to reach more people affected by cancer in underserved communities. This leader will serve as a knowledgeable, passionate and articulate spokesperson for Wellness House. 

Key Performance Criteria and Competencies 

The Executive Director is responsible for the implementation of the strategic plan, set by the Board of Directors, and the execution of all day-to-day operations to achieve successful programs to meet the mission and vision of the organization. Relationship building with key external stakeholders at the local and national level is central to sustainability of our activities, including fundraising and oversight of financial management. Strong leadership for the staff includes actively engaging and contributing to a healthy, stimulating, productive work environment where all constituents - participants, staff, volunteers and donors - can “feel better inside.” 

This is a full-time position. Evening and weekend work may be required. Wellness House offices are located in Hinsdale, Illinois. 


Executive Director Job Description 

Reports to:      The Board of Directors 

FLSA:              Salaried Exempt, Full time 

Position Summary: 

The Executive Director is responsible for the executive, administrative, programmatic, and strategic leadership of Wellness House. The Executive Director serves as the executive officer of the board of directors and will enable the board to meet its financial, governance, and legal responsibilities. 

Supervised by: Board of Directors 

Supervises: Senior Director of Programs, Director of Finance & Operations, Director of Development and Marketing 

Primary Responsibilities: 

Governance and Strategic Planning (25%) 

  • Work with the board to develop and maintain a strategic planning process with long-range and short-range objectives, and ensure that strategic planning aligns with the overall mission. 
  • Oversee the implementation of adopted plans, policies, and programs. With other Directors and Managers, utilize evaluation feedback to inform future planning. 
  • Ensure appropriate communication between staff and board so board members can meet their expectations as effectively as possible. 
  • With the Chair of the Board, ensure that the board is effectively organized and that a system of board recruitment, development and assessment is maintained. 
  • With the Chair of the Board, ensure talent commensurate with organizational need is identified, groomed and made ready for leadership and succession opportunities. 
  • Ensure stewardship of official documents and records. 

External Affairs and Fund Development/Fundraising (25%) 

  • Elevate the visibility of the organization by exerting leadership in local and national efforts in the psycho-oncology field. 
  • Supervise the Director of Development and Marketing in the development of a diverse annual fundraising plan in alignment with the strategic plan. 
  • Work with the Board and staff to cultivate, solicit and steward individual donors and funders. 
  • Oversee a grant strategy and ensure compliance of all budgetary expectations and timely reporting 
  • Work with the Director of Development and Marketing to establish a framework for the development of a communications and public relations strategy to help WH achieve its goals. 
  • Serve as spokesperson for WH and represent WH in the media and to external constituencies. 

Program Oversight (25%) 

  • Ensure the fulfillment of the mission, goals and objectives of WH. 
  • Oversee the delivery of high quality, evidenced-based programs that meet the current needs of people affected by cancer. 
  • Ensure the regular evaluation of programs and the effective incorporation of results to inform future program delivery. 
  • Stay abreast of the current trends in the field of psycho-oncology and work to anticipate future trends. 
  • Lead WH in the development or expansion of services, meeting current needs and anticipated future needs of people affected by cancer. 

Financial Management, HR and Operations (20%) 

Financial Management 

  • Assume overall responsibility for all aspects of fiscal management, including assuring adequate funding for current operating needs and long-term goals. 
  • Work with the Director of Finance and Operations, Board Treasurer, and Finance Committee of the Board to provide leadership and transparency with respect to the budget process, reporting of financial position and maintenance of financial controls and ensure timely and accurate reporting of key financial indicators and trends. 
  • With the Director of Finance and Operations, monitor cash flow and maintain an adequate operating reserve. 


  • Ensure communication and management practices which encourage employee engagement, collaboration, teamwork and alignment with Wellness House’s mission, vision and values. 
  • Model for staff, and actively engage and contribute to, a healthy, stimulating, productive work environment where all constituents - participants, staff, volunteers and donors - can “feel better inside.” 
  • Work with the Director of Finance and Operations to foster an effective, productive and supportive work environment for staff, ensuring best practices for recruitment and retention, workplace policies and procedures, and sufficient resources for professional development as well as staff salary + compensation. 


  • Ensure accountability by fostering an organization that: 
    • Supports customer service and responsive communication 
    • Provides effective programs that meet current need and demonstrate impact 
    • Stewards resources wisely and efficiently 
  • Ensure the proper use, management, security and upkeep of the facility and all of its property, including technological resources to maintain a high-quality, effectively run organization. 

Other (5%) 

  • Protect organization's value by keeping information confidential. 
  • Update job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Board leadership. 
  • Attendance at Meetings Required 
    • Directors Check-In meetings (weekly) 
    • All-Staff meetings (monthly) 
    • Leadership Team meeting (monthly) 
    • Board Meetings (5 times a year) 
    • Executive Committee meetings (5 times a year) 

Performance Measures 

  • Annual program, development and budget goals are achieved. 
  • Board of Directors are engaged, financially supportive and setting the strategic direction of the organization. 
  • Program effectiveness is measured for the purpose of program enhancement and development. 

Position Qualifications 

Education: University Bachelor degree in a related field; Advanced Degree with a specialty in psychosocial oncology, Health Care Administration, Business Administration, or Non-profit Management preferred. 

Job Experience: Minimum of ten years of not-for-profit experience in a management or supervisory role overseeing multiple projects. 

Special Knowledge & Skills: 

  • Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit/ voluntary organizations 
  • Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization, in the six-county Chicago region. 
  • Knowledge of human resources management 
  • Knowledge of financial management 
  • Knowledge of fund development and project management 
  • Preferred: 
    • Strong appreciation and understanding of psychosocial intervention, health education, and complementary approaches to health and wellness 
    • Psychosocial professional from the oncology arena 

Demonstrated Competencies: Leadership, strategic thinker, creative visionary, goal-driven, results focused, adaptable, relationship builder, effective communicator (oral and written), focus on participant needs, foster teamwork, decision maker, problem solver, excellent planning and organizational skills, highly ethical and committed to the mission of Wellness House. Fundraising experience required and previous experience with major donor constituencies strongly preferred. 

Competitive benefit package and salary commensurate with experience. 

Start Date: July 1, 2019 

Note: The Executive Director will be transitioning with the CEO during an approximately six-month time period not to exceed December 31, 2019. 


How to Apply 

Wellness House has engaged McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC to assist in this hire. Applicants should email a cover letter (including salary requirements) and resume to Laura McAlpine at with the subject line “Wellness House Executive Director.” Documents should be emailed in .doc or .pdf format and must include your last name in the title of each document (e.g., SmithResume, SmithCoverLetter). Cover letters are required; resumes without a cover letter will not be considered. Interested candidates should apply no later than Friday, February 15, 2019 by 5pm CST. Questions can be directed to Laura McAlpine at 

Wellness House is an equal opportunity employer and employs personnel without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental handicap, veteran status, and marital status. People from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

About Wellness House 

Wellness House’s home base, The Kay and Mike Birck Home of Hope, is located in Hinsdale and we have 17 partner sites across the metropolitan Chicago area as well. Approximately 3,500 individuals make 37,500 visits to Wellness House programs on an annual basis. 

For more information about Wellness House, please visit 

About McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC 

McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC supports social change and healthy communities by identifying needs, exploring growth opportunities, and creating steps for action with non-profit organizations. Our staff amplify the effectiveness of non-profit organizations by providing many services, including strategic planning, meeting facilitation, and executive searches. 

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