Executive Director, Chicago-Based Human Services Organization

Polish American Association
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 26, 2020
Nov 24, 2020
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time

About the Organization:


Mission: Rooted in Polish heritage for nearly a century, PAA advances today’s diverse immigrant communities.

 Founded in 1922, the Polish American Association (PAA) is the nation's only human services organization providing a comprehensive range of bilingual and bicultural services to the Polish community and others in need. PAA is the largest and oldest social services organization in Chicago that serves the Polish community.   While most of PAA's clients are Polish immigrants, the organization is committed to serving anyone who is in need provides a variety of services to nearly 5,000 unique clients each year.  With three locations throughout Chicago, PAA employs 69 full-time and 75 part-time staff members and 40 volunteers. With the exception of administrative staff, all program and support staff members are bilingual. The organization is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors (volunteer).  Additionally, the PAA has eight Honorary Directors. With a budget of approximately $4M+, the organization is funded through multiple sources including government, corporations and foundations, individual contributions and through special events, and program fees.


Programs & Services: Through its 15 and services, PAA is providing clients with the resources for changing their lives and enhancing their ability to become contributing members of our community. Programs include: Education and Employment Services, Social Services, Immigration Services and Information and Advocacy.

For additional information about the organization, please visit: (www.polish.org).  Current Board of Directors:  (www.polish.org/press-room/board-of-directors)


Key Relationships:

Reports to: Board of Directors (BOD)

Subordinates: Directly manages Human Resources Manager, Development Team, Finance Director, Network Administrators, and support functions.

Position Description:  Working in conjunction with the Board of Directors and agency leadership team, the Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization.  Participating with the Board of Directors in executing the multi-year strategic plan to guide the organization, the ED is responsible for ongoing assessment of Polish American Association's (PAA) and the community’s needs; developing long and short term goals to address constituencies and successfully drive program implementation, and fundraising and development initiatives with BOD and staff.

Key Accountabilities:

Organizational and Administrative Management:

  • Create, lead, coach, and develop high-performance senior management team. Evaluate organizational structure and roles for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Working closely with the leadership team and Board of Directors, support and drive the implementation of the recently passed multi-year strategic plan.
  • Create an effective and supportive environment where staff can explore and develop an understanding for all cultures. Develop support for change throughout the organization . Assess the current level of cultural competence and develop goals and implementation plans, training and skill development programs and ongoing evaluation of progress to drive a culturally competent organization.
  • Engage in needs assessments of communities served by the organization. Create formal partnerships with community organizations and encourage staff to actively engage communities and families in the development of policy, program design, and service delivery models.
  • Provide ongoing workforce development and cultural competence staff trainings. Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components, to measure successes and proactively communicate to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals and hold the organization accountable to reaching and maintaining ongoing goals.
  • Actively engage and energize staff, volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders.
  • Manage challenges (foreseen and unforeseen) as the needs arise.

Fiscal Management:

  • Creates, recommends and presents annual budget to the BOD for approval
  • Reviews and approves program budgets for grants
  • Reviews and approves monthly financial reports
  • Reviews and approves all budget, vouchers and fiscal reports to funders

Advancement (Fundraising and Development):

  • Sets the strategy, establishes priorities and coordinates activities of development staff
  • Reviews and approves proposals and solicitation requests
  • Maintains relationships w/major donors, foundations and corporations
  • Accompanies Board members to meeting with major donors
  • Leads the Development Team weekly meeting

Community and Public Relations:

  • Approves all public materials
  • Meets and maintains relationships with community, religious, and political leaders
  • Advocates PAA in community, religious and political forums
  • Advocates Polish community needs
  • Participates in media and community events
  • Serves on professional and community committees
  • Attends key PAA events, such as Annual Gala, Chairman’s Brunch, and others

Board Relations:

  • Maintains regular communications with board as needed
  • Prepares program reports for BOD and other documents as needed
  • Assists in orientation of new BOD members


Background, Skills and Experience:

  • Successful, proven executive level leadership experience with a not-for profit organization, preferably with an organization that has multiple social services programs, with an annual budget greater than $1 million, and at least 30 employees.
  • Proven personal track record of success and expertise in fundraising and development within a multi-million non-profit organization.
  • Proven track record in non-profit organizational design, development and management with the ability to coach staff, manage diverse styles, and develop high-performing teams. Experience in setting strategic objectives and achieving operational excellence and working with the Board to develop and manage within a budget.
  • Transformational experience restructuring and building high performing teams, developing, and implementing best practices to drive efficiency and effectiveness and holding teams accountable to meet milestones, organization and individual goals.
  • Proven ability to lead successfully in remote-working environments.
  • Working knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit/ voluntary organizations. Experience in multi-level human resources management including organizational design and development, talent evaluation, talent development and performance management across multiple functions.
  • Knowledge of all federal and provincial legislation applicable to voluntary sector organizations including: employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, charities, taxation, etc.
  • Ability to quickly gain knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization.
  • Working knowledge of non-profit financial management and holding the organization accountable to the requirements of donors.
  • Strong ties to the Chicago, Illinois community strongly preferred.
  • Undergraduate degree (social services or non-profit management preferred). Advanced degree or non-profit certifications preferred.
  • Technology savvy; experience working with fundraising and financial systems; internet and social media, and team management/remote working tools and systems.
  • Bi-lingual: English and Polish a strong plus; Spanish is also preferred

Compensation:  A base salary based on background and experience will be offered.  Benefits package and potential relocation expense assistance. Local candidates preferred.