The Green Chair Project
Position Profile: Chief Executive Officer
Hiring range is $150,000-$175,000 plus benefits
Applications will be accepted until position is filled
As the only organization of its kind in Wake County, NC, The Green Chair Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit that reuses and repurposes donated furnishings to create sustainable homes for people coming out of homelessness, crisis, or disaster. Since its inception in 2010, The Green Chair Project has experienced remarkable growth, become a nationally recognized model for other furniture banks, and is poised to expand the depth and breadth of its services to families in need in the coming years.
The Green Chair Project seeks a new CEO who brings passion, vision, and strategic leadership to guide the next phase of this thriving non-profit’s growth – following the departure of a dynamic founder. The next leader will need to be a visible and trusted community leader, nurturing and developing The Green Chair Project’s role within the human services delivery system in Wake County and beyond.
Engaging the Board of Directors and staff in strategic conversations to determine the best opportunities for expansion will be a key focus for the new CEO. In 2020, The Green Chair Project’s service model was adapted from an on-site shopping experience to a remote selection process in response to significant demand, accessibility constraints, and COVID-19. Ensuring that these changes are sustainable and in keeping with the culture and values of The Green Chair Project will be a key factor when considering expansion opportunities.
As a proven communicator, fundraiser, adept business manager, and consensus builder, the new CEO will serve as the face of The Green Chair Project and champion the vision, creativity, and nimbleness that are the hallmarks of the organization. Building upon relationships with over 100 agency partners in government, non-profit, and private sector arenas, the successful candidate will need to be a skilled collaborator, a thoughtful and insightful team builder, and one that is skilled in scaling organizations to meet growth demands. The new leader will need to foster an expanded leadership structure that empowers others to assume appropriate responsibility for decision making, supports staff and volunteer teams that are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and embraces a high degree of passion and sensitivity to those who are served.
In January 2023, The Green Chair Project began a transformation to the Lean Management System to respond to continued demand. Lean is a management system initially started in the car manufacturing industry designed to help organizations achieve sustainable growth. Rather than a top-down approach, its aim is to reduce costs, streamline operations for efficiency, and develop autonomy and engagement of team members at every level. Collaborating with the staff and volunteers, the new CEO will be responsible for determining how best to proceed to manage the organization’s extensive logistical operations, enhance organization-wide communication, and optimize service delivery.
The Board of Directors is looking for a leader who will be a strong advocate for The Green Chair Project’s mission – furnishing homes, changing lives – and believes that lives are truly changed when families and individuals are nurtured and sustained in well-equipped homes. The chosen CEO will be enthusiastic about creating sustainable homes for those in need through efforts to collect donated furnishings but will need to understand that The Green Chair Project is much more than a typical second-hand furniture bank. By embracing its culture and values, the selected candidate will enable families and individuals to feel they finally have a place that feels like home.
“Thank-you so much for the gifts that arrived for my apartment. I was stunned when I got home, literally could not believe it was mine. Thank-you for helping me start my new journey.” A May 2023 The Green Chair Project recipient
The core values of choice and dignity shine through artfully arranged vignettes of furniture along with art and accessories for clients to choose from to find the one that feels like home to them. Hundreds of volunteers help clean, sort, assemble and organize donations and support the work of the 24 member staff who coordinate each referral and personalize items to meet each family’s unique needs. Dishes, cookware, bath baskets, beds, and bedding packs for each family member are included in each home furnishings package and delivered to their home.
By partnering with case managers from government agencies, shelters, schools, and nonprofits in Wake County and recently, other portions of North Carolina impacted by natural disasters, the shopping experience empowers families to prioritize and choose furnishings that reflect who they are and that help rebuild their lives. In 2022 alone, 1,296 households were furnished, and 97 percent of recipients reported feeling less stressed and more hopeful after receiving furnishings from The Green Chair Project. The average family of four pays $200 for furnishings that include a couch and armchair, dining table and four chairs, dishes, pots and pans, lamps, towels, bedding, and accessories. Hundreds of individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout Wake County help keep the showroom floor and shelves stocked through their donations of goods and money.
Through its Sweeter Dreams Bed Program, the Green Chair provides new beds to students identified by Wake County Public School System social workers as not having beds of their own. Each $250 donation helps provide a complete bed for a child that includes a new mattress, bed frame, bedding set, and pillow delivered to the child’s home. New cribs are provided for infants that include safe sleep messaging imprinted on the crib and crib sheet. The ultimate goal of the Sweeter Dreams Bed Program is to provide a bed for every child who needs one. Last year, 1,687 beds and cribs were provided to children who previously slept on the floor, sofa, or with others.
The Green Chair Project prides itself on demonstrating fiscal responsibility, valuing donor support, and holding administrative costs to a minimum (20 percent or less of total spending) so programmatic needs can be met. It has a fiscal year 2022-2023 operating budget of $2.6 million and total assets of $7 million, including revenues generated through private donations, government grants, program fees, and retail sales – a significant sustainable source of income for the program budget. There is an annual signature event, Chairity, which showcases designer vignettes available for public sale, and in 2022, the proceeds were $320,000. The agency’s assets include home furnishings, trucks for furniture pick-up and delivery, and a 30,000 square-foot office, showroom and warehouse building that was recently purchased and beautifully renovated as the result of a successful $3.2 million capital campaign in 2018.
The Position Summary
Strategic Vision and Leadership
- Work with the Board of Directors and senior staff to create and implement a new strategic plan that focuses on: (1) sustaining and/or expanding services; (2) strengthening relationships with The Green Chair Project’s multiple programming partners; and (3) building and maintaining a functionally efficient organization.
- Provide consistent leadership that fosters team building, staff development, and a professional and collaborative corporate culture.
- Exemplify The Green Chair Project’s core values through leadership, consistent management practices, and data-driven decision-making.
- Enhance The Green Chair Project’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all aspects of the organization’s internal and external operations.
- Provide leadership that reflects the highest standards of fiduciary responsibility and ethical conduct.
- Build and foster positive relationships with donors, 9local business, government, philanthropic, and foundation leaders to support The Green Chair Project’s programs.
- Seek out innovative partnerships with human service nonprofit and government agencies to meet the ever-increasing needs of its target clientele.
- Ensure that all contractual deliverables are achieved, and that transparency and accountability are central to partner relationships.
- Serve as the chief liaison with partner agencies.
- Represent The Green Chair Project in the community, serving as the primary spokesperson with an ability to motivate diverse audiences such as corporate executives, government officials, civic groups, faith-based organizations, and community groups.
Financial Resource Development
- Oversee revenue development initiatives designed to diversify and grow revenue streams that support, sustain, and grow programs and operational capacity.
- Leverage and cultivate relationships that create opportunities to strengthen the organization’s long-term sustainability.
- Identify new revenue sources through creative partnerships and business development opportunities.
- Make key donor calls.
Budgetary and Operational Oversight
- In consultation with the COO and Board finance and executive committees, develop a realistic annual operating budget and monitor performance to ensure long-term financial viability of the organization.
- Make sound financial decisions and program recommendations based on an in-depth understanding of the organization’s overall financial position.
- Ensure the best use of operating capital to achieve the overall mission.
Board of Directors
- Maintain a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.
- Support the Board in its recruitment of diverse, highly qualified members, in its financial development initiatives, and in its ongoing committee work.
- Facilitate and serve as a resource for any Board-driven short or long-range planning initiatives.
- Encourage quality engagement through committee work designed to leverage the skills and experiences of all Board members.
- Provide regular and concise reports to the Board to ensure a transparent flow of operating and financial information.
Talent and Leadership Development
- Maintain an organizational culture that rewards initiative, creativity, and a willingness to lead and take responsibility for actions.
- Oversee and promote growth in senior leadership positions, establish individual goals, and review performance on a regular basis.
- Recruit and retain top talent and the next generation of leaders.
- Create an environment encouraging healthy communication within and across departments and make team-building a priority.
- Set clear expectations, build trust, and empower staff to make and be accountable for decision-making as a part of their responsibilities.
- Identify tools and resources to best develop staff and lead by example through teaching, mentoring, and knowledge sharing.
- Maintain an organizational structure that cost-effectively serves families in need and that fulfills the expectations of The Green Chair Project’s partner agencies.
- Ensure that the volunteer pool is diverse and inclusive and that the volunteer experience is rewarding.
- Ten years of progressive executive leadership experience within a client-focused, service delivery nonprofit organization or in the corporate community.
- Proven track record in financial resource development, successfully cultivating and soliciting major contributions/grants, growing earned revenue, and leading organizations to financial success.
- Working knowledge of available community resources, with the ability to make connections and partner with other nonprofit organizations and civic leaders and identify resources to fulfill the organization’s strategic objectives.
- Experience in negotiation and collaboration, skill in developing and maintaining effective partnerships and an understanding of and commitment to community-based collaboration.
- Demonstrated ability to lead and develop a motivated and talented team.
- Significant fiscal management acumen.
- Broad understanding of the region’s human service delivery systems, both public and voluntary.
- An appreciation of the importance of interior design in achieving desired programmatic impacts.
- A commitment to social justice and passion for transforming people’s lives.
- Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent combination of skills and experience.
- Talented communicator and collaborator
- Strategic thinker with vision and goal orientation
- Entrepreneurial skills
- Proven decision-making abilities
- Interpersonal skills
- Employee development/coaching
- Negotiation/conflict resolution
- Change management
- Time, team, and priority management
- Understanding and appreciating others
The Board of The Green Chair Project is committed to attracting and retaining an outstanding CEO through a comprehensive package that includes a salary range of $150,000-$175,000 and an employee benefits package that includes health, long-term and short-term disability, a flexible spending account for dependent care and medical expenses, parental and caregiver leave, holidays, and paid time off. A 401K retirement plan is available from the first day of employment, and The Green Chair Project matches up to 3% after 90 days of full-time employment.
Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Policy
The Green Chair Project is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible workplace for all – where people’s race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, and varying abilities are valued and respected.
The Green Chair Project is committed to a nondiscriminatory approach in all we do and will provide equal opportunity employment, advancement, and participation across all departments and programs. We value diverse life experiences and support an inclusive environment where all are treated with dignity and respect.
How to Apply
In one document, please submit a cover letter, resume, and how you found out about the position. Candidates are encouraged to submit an application before June 30, 2023. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning June 1 and accepted until the position is filled. Anticipated start date is fall 2023.
Send applications via email to:
Search Co-Chairs Charles Royal and Vicky Serany