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Executive Director, Paul's Place

Paul's Place
Maryland, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Oct 26, 2021

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Position Type
Social Services
Employment Type
Full Time
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Paul’s Place, a steadfast source of support for residents of the Southwest Baltimore communities, seeks a strategic leader to serve as its next Executive Director and advance the organization’s mission to improve the quality of life in Southwest Baltimore. This opportunity marks a pivotal moment in the organization’s history, as the Executive Director further develops the organization’s community-centric vision including the recent launch of its $10M Culinary Arts Training Program, Groundwork Kitchen.


Organization History and Mission

For nearly 40 years, Paul’s Place has served people in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood and surrounding Southwest Baltimore communities. The organization began when two volunteers approached Reverend Philip Roulette of St. Paul the Apostle Church with the idea to start serving soup and sandwiches. As the soup kitchen gained traction in the community, it grew from two days a week to seven, and added a Saturday program and summer camp for children in the area. By the end of its fifth year, Paul’s Place began a Nurses’ Clinic that provided health screenings and distributed necessities like clothing and food. In 1996, after raising funds for a permanent location, the Outreach Center opened on Ward Street, where it remains today.

Paul’s Place continues to expand its efforts to improve the quality of life in Southwest Baltimore through programs and services that support and strengthen individuals and families while fostering hope, personal dignity and growth. Building on the organization’s culinary roots and expertise, Paul’s Place is in the process of opening a social enterprise that includes a Culinary Arts Training Program called Groundwork Kitchen, a 110-seat state of the art restaurant, carryout, and catering facility to further the mission of employment for self-sustainability. This low-barrier program is expected to graduate 60 community members each year.

The organization’s programs and services include:

  • Case Management Services – In efforts to increase overall self-sufficiency, Paul’s Place offers one-on-one case management services to guests that include walk-in and intensive services. Case Managers support the needs of community members by focusing on housing, employment, and other services through street outreach and onsite services.
  • Support Services – Paul’s Place has a robust offering of support services available to guests, such as daily hot lunches, emergency food boxes, shower facilities, laundry services, and a no-cost clothing marketplace for adults and children. Additionally, guests experiencing homelessness can receive assistance with birth certificates, identification and social security cards, as well as sign up to receive their mail at Paul’s Place.
  • Volunteer Opportunities – Volunteers are able to have a hands-on role in the work of Paul’s Place by serving hot lunches, assisting guests in the marketplace or by dropping off clothing and other essential items for donation.


Groundwork Kitchen

Groundwork Kitchen is an innovative culinary arts training program, restaurant, and catering facility located just around the corner from the main center and offices of Paul’s Place. This innovative step provides new opportunities and hope for financial stability for the citizens of Southwest Baltimore. In November 2019, the organization officially broke ground on the $10 million project, which consists of a 15,000-square-foot building that contains a 100-seat restaurant and training facility, where students will learn front-of-house and back-of-house skills in classes of up to 15 people. Groundwork Kitchen opened this summer, and the first culinary class begins October 2021.


Recent Accomplishments and Developments

Between July 2019 and June 2020, the numbers of those served were impacted by the pandemic. During that time, Paul’s Place:

  • Served a total of 30,961 guests.
  • Had 1,825 guests engaged in case management services.
  • Engaged 1,014 volunteers in 6,427 hours of service.
  • Saw 218 guests at the Nurses Clinic.
  • Successfully changed plans from an in-person fundraising affair to an online event.

As Paul’s Place and Groundwork Kitchen prepare to expand services and impact, the organization aspires to accomplish the following between July 2021 and June 2022:

  • Serve over 35,000 lunch guests.
  • Engage 2,000 guests in case management services.
  • Engage over 1,000 volunteers and generate more than 7,500 hours of service.
  • See 250 guests at Nurses Clinic.
  • Open carryout at Groundwork Kitchen in July 2021, indoor dining phased through Fall of 2021 and hoping to be fully operational by January, 2022.
  • Move three classes through the culinary arts training program.


Team and Staffing

Paul’s Place is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors and has a combined operating budget of approximately $3M. With a dedicated team of 13 staff members, the number of which has grown to 20 since Groundwork Kitchen opened, the organization is able to ensure both the physical and mental well-being of the adults and children it serves throughout Southwest Baltimore. After nearly 20 years of leadership and service to Paul’s Place and the community, Bill McLennan will be retiring in early 2022.  For more information, please visit


The Position

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide visionary leadership to the organization, stewarding it to expand on its significant accomplishments to date and toward realizing a socially-conscious, responsive, and forward-thinking organization serving the Baltimore community. The Executive Director will encourage innovative strategic direction, engage stakeholders in active dialogue, cultivate new partnerships and support, and work hand in hand with the Board and Staff to ensure Paul’s Place adequately reflects and addresses the needs of its local community.  The Executive Director will lead Paul’s Place to sustain existing operations and programming in addition to expanding its reach and continuing to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the community.


Key Responsibilities

The Executive Director will provide vision and strategic leadership in support of the organization’s programs and its newly developed social enterprise initiative, Groundwork Kitchen. The executive will engage staff and build the culture of the organization, internally and externally, with the aim of maintaining responsiveness to the needs of guests and community partners. With three direct reports that include the recently hired Deputy Director, the Development Director, and the Executive Chef of Groundwork Kitchen, the primary responsibilities for the Executive Director include:

Strategy and Planning

  • Secure the long-term sustainability of Paul’s Place’s mission by leading and advancing an internal and external strategic vision with near- and long-term goals that meet the needs of guests and the community.
  • Ensure relevancy and impact by cultivating an understanding of local, regional, and national trends that affect the population served.
  • Introduce and monitor new strategies to expand organizational reach, promote accessibility, and address community developments, serving as many residents as possible.
  • Research and identify the best interventions to help guests overcome the diverse array of barriers that they experience.
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director and staff, oversee the development, implementation, and growth of all programs and ensure their success.
  • Further solidify the management and oversight necessary to make Groundwork Kitchen operational and sustainable.

Relationship Building

  • Actively cultivate and maintain critical relationships with major individual donors, foundations, corporations, local officials, and civic partners to favorably impact the financial well-being of Paul’s Place.
  • Creatively advance fundraising in a post-pandemic environment by broadening and expanding the donor base and playing an active role to support the success of all development efforts.
  • Engage, educate, and inspire the Board of Directors to effectively advocate for, represent, and raise the visibility of the mission of Paul’s Place.
  • Work with the Board of Directors to develop a more diverse membership and encourage relationship-building through meaningful interactions with key stakeholders and staff members in the spirit of promoting inclusive and equitable practices.


  • Provide direction, guidance, and support to staff, fostering a healthy organizational culture.
  • Attract and retain a productive workforce with attention paid to professional development and growth.
  • Set the internal tone for the organization through an inclusive, respectful, and compassionate management style that aligns with Paul’s Place’s mission and values.
  • Ensure the financial sustainability, programmatic health, and operational efficiency of Paul’s Place in order to continue to adapt to changing needs in Southwest Baltimore.
  • Advance Paul’s Place’s firm commitment to racial, social, and economic equity by incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices throughout the organization and its work.


Skills and Attributes

Successful candidates will share a commitment to Paul’s Place’s mission and embody Paul’s Place’s values of dignity and respect for others. They will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to Paul’s Place, including:

  • Familiarity with the barriers and challenges experienced by members of the Southwest Baltimore Community.
  • Experience engaging with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds; demonstrated commitment to the success of all community members, including those from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities.
  • Visionary leadership to inspire and drive the organization’s culture as it continues to evolve.
  • Innovative mindset to achieve clarity and consensus around a strategic plan and the nimbleness to adapt to changes in the environment while staying organized, pragmatic, data-driven, and levelheaded when balancing multiple projects.
  • Understanding of workforce development and experience with social enterprises.
  • Authentic communication style and exceptional presentation skills to maintain and build relationships with donors and community stakeholders.
  • Financial acumen and entrepreneurship to operate multiple complex lines of services.
  • Active listening style, inclusive of all team members’ opinions, insights, and experiences, synthesizing feedback to make strong ethical decisions.
  • Flexible management and delegation style with an open-door policy that is responsive to each individual staff member and that inspires the staff.
  • Ability to prioritize and maintain accountability and transparency throughout the organization.
  • High emotional intelligence, humility, integrity, and passion for the mission.


Application Process

To apply, upload resume, cover letter, and salary requirements by clicking here.  For other inquiries, contact Adrienne O’Rourke at Resume reviews begin immediately.

Paul’s Place is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment. Accordingly, all terms and conditions of employment will be carried out without regard to race, creed, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, genetic information, gender identity and expression, veteran’s status or physical or mental disability as well any other factor protected by federal, state and local laws.


About Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group

On behalf of Paul’s Place, Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group is working with the Board of Directors to advance the search. Founded in 1984 and recently merged with Marcum, Raffa is, and always has been, a mission-driven professional services firm seeking to do more for nonprofits and socially conscious companies like Paul’s Place. Learn more about our work at

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