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Vice President, Finance and Administration


Chicago, IL, USA


The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) is an independent foundation serving the orthopaedic community. Founded in 1955, OREF is a 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rosemont, Illinois (northwest suburban Chicago) and is located in the headquarters of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons building.  The foundation has a staff of 15 and a budget of $5.5 million (including grants). It raises money from corporations, individuals and other nonprofit organizations to support research in the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of bones, joints, nerves and muscles across all orthopaedic subspecialties.


One of OREF’s key strengths is its grant-making efficiency as its grants administration costs average 9% of grants.  OREF awarded $2.35 million in research grants to 63 recipients in 2017 and $2.73 million in grants to 77 recipients in 2018.


Since 2015, OREF has refocused itself on what it does best – providing research grants.  Its grants process is rigorous and modeled on NIH protocols.   OREF will be the convener and collaborator of multi-specialty research and will continue to support and nurture new investigators.   OREF has transitioned out of graduate medical education funding; practice building seminars and a portfolio of management services offered to other organizations.  As such, it transitioned $17.8 million in deferred insurance policies and trusts to its orthopaedic partners over the past few years. It does, however, receive approximately $516,000 in designated gifts for nearly 48 of is orthopeadic partners in addition to OREF contributions ranging from $4 to $6 million over the past 3 years. In addition, OREF manages deferred gifts (insurance and trusts) with face value totaling $11.3 million.


Position Summary

Reporting to the CEO and serving as an integral member of the senior executive team, the Vice President of Finance and Operations (VP) will be responsible for the development and implementation of OREF’s financial management strategy and contribute to the development of the organization’s strategic goals. In addition to the strategic components, the VP will be charged with creating, updating and managing policies and procedures both in the finance and general operational/administrative arenas. This is an outstanding opportunity for a finance executive with administrative, operational and human resource management experience and a proven track record of creative problem-solving and change management to join in a high-growth, mission-driven organization.

While the emphasis of this role is finance and administration, it includes responsibilities for managing a breadth of staff functions and requires an individual who is both strategic and tactical.




Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Advise the CEO and other key members of senior management and treasurer/finance committee and drive guidelines, process and implementation of financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters.
  • Serve as the management liaison to the finance and audit committees and to external vendors including audit, investment management, payroll services, and other operational partners; effectively communicate and present critical financial matters at select board of trustees and committee meetings.
  • Work with Finance and Audit Committees to formulate and maintain financial policies and procedures.
  • Contribute to the development of OREF strategic goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization.
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the CEO informed of all critical issues.
  • Represent the organization externally, as necessary, particularly in banking, investment, HR, external vendor, and lease negotiations.


Team Development/Leadership

  • Oversee, direct, and organize the work of the finance and operations teams including a senior staff accountant and other staff who fulfill operational functions.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.
  • Work with CEO and senior staff to establish and monitor staff performance and development goals and objectives, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, conduct annual performance appraisals, and administer salary adjustments.



  • Upgrade and implement an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures and train and enforce across staff teams.
  • Prepare accurate and timely current and forecasting financial reports and summaries as needed for staff and volunteer analytics and management and general organizational outlook.  These include but are not limited to management of preparation of income statements, balance sheets, programmatic reports, development reports, tax returns and state registrations, and other reports for governmental agencies.
  • Develop and utilize forward-looking, predictive models and activity-based financial analyses to provide insight into organizational operations and business plans including innovative dashboards.
  • Plan, coordinate, and execute the annual budget process.
  • Oversee audit preparation and resulting actions.
  • Supervise relationship and reporting with investment managers and distribution of information to volunteer and staff leaders.
  • Monitor cash and investment account balances; handle correspondence and monitor external vendor for registration with governmental agencies; coordinate banking, tax form preparation, 1099 preparation and distribution and external audit firm management.
  • Review reports to analyze activity and projections for revenues and expense and relationship to programmatic activity against budget and confer with staff and volunteer leaders to suggest methods of improving the planning and operations processes.
  • Facilitate and manage tracking and projections for contributions/funds available and projected grants.
  • Provide analytical support to OREF internal management team including development of internal management reporting capabilities.
  • Improve administrative and operational accounting services such as budget reconciliation and reporting, investment management, 401K plan, contributions receipts, grants payment processing, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and purchasing.
  • Work with CEO and senior accountant to oversee employee benefits administration, ensuring personnel records are accurate, updated, and benefits are in place for each employee.
  • Work with CEO to ensure effective and adequate organizational insurance coverage: general liability; directors and officers; workmen’s compensation; unemployment; cyber and property to effectively minimize risk for OREF.


Position Requirements

  • Business or Accounting degree mandatory, a master’s in business administration is preferred.
  • CPA preferred.
  • Working knowledge of integrated systems including finance, development, and grants management.
  • Working knowledge and experience managing gift and grant accounting including deferred gifts, endowments, and multi-year pledges and grants and “due to” relationships with 40+ organizational partners.
  • Minimum 8-10 years’ experience in a senior management role gained in a high-growth multi-faceted nonprofit organization.
  • Experience either as an employee or board member of a nonprofit organization; must be familiar with nonprofit finance and accounting regulations.
  • Proven track record of success facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing organization.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills including negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Strong mentoring, coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise.
  • Entrepreneurial team player who can multitask.
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers.
  • Self-reliant, good problem solver, results oriented.
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, OREF Board of Trustees and other volunteers, grantees and donors, partners, external vendors and staff.
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical leader as well as strategic thinker.
  • Passion for OREF mission.


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