Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport, Inc. (MLC) is a highly regarded nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide literacy skills, educational support, and life skills training to low-income women at no cost to them using a holistic, intergenerational approach within a compassionate, supportive environment. Two Bridgeport educators founded MLC in 1987, creating a tutoring program with the belief that children’s success depends upon the accessibility of resources to mothers.
Since its beginning, MLC has educated and empowered almost 17,000 women.
MLC provides a variety of programming for women, including part-time and full-time classroom instruction, technology education, employment and life skills training, family literacy programs, and enrichment. Support includes social services, licensed preschool and childcare, legal counsel, nursing, transportation, citizenship preparation, and a food and diaper pantry.
Mercy Learning Center seeks a dynamic, compassionate, and entrepreneurial leader to be their next President and CEO. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President and CEO will work to establish annual and long-range goals, secure funding, cultivate donor relationships, and implement strategies and policies to foster the growth and quality of the organization. The President and CEO will be responsible for the management and direction of all aspects of day-to-day operations, including the supervision of staff, development of management systems and procedures, fiscal responsibility, and the evaluation and improvement of all programs.
The ideal candidate will be a seasoned manager who believes in empowerment through education and building positive communities for women and children. They must be an expert (or willing to become an expert) in adult educational curriculum, GED preparation, ESL practices, childcare and early childhood education, social support services, and trauma-informed care. The President and CEO will ensure that Mercy Learning Center continues to have ample resources to fulfill its crucial educational mission, inclusive of funds garnered through focused outreach and ambassadorship.
Excellent interpersonal skills are critical to this role. The President and CEO needs to be tactful in communicating with the individuals who benefit from MLC’s work, as well as with local leaders, elected officials, public agency administrators, members of the media, and staff. They must be highly visible in the community, serve as the face and voice of the organization, and successfully engage and motivate stakeholders.
The President and CEO will work closely with the Board and staff in a transparent, honest fashion that promotes inclusiveness, cooperation, and teamwork. They must be committed to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. In addition, they will be bright, diplomatic, analytical, creative, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment as well as a sense of humor, humility, and compassion.
- Develop and implement a strategic plan that will advance the organization’s mission; sustain and increase revenue, efficiency, and growth; ensure that the goals established in the annual and long-range strategic plans are accomplished.
- Promote the organization by serving as the chief spokesperson for Mercy Learning Center; build and maintain essential community partnerships and governmental relationships.
- Prioritize the regular evaluation of educational service offerings and program efforts; use metrics to make decisions regarding the development of new programs, partnerships, and initiatives.
- Provide oversight of operational functions to ensure that efficiency and efficacy are achieved throughout the organization; ensure that HR, IT, and financial systems support programmatic needs and align with organizational priorities.
- Update, enhance, and implement MLC’s policies and procedures to improve the overall operations and effectiveness of the organization.
- Ensure that all official organization records, client records, and documents comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
- Delegate responsibilities and assure accountability; actively seek feedback from staff, Board members, and key stakeholders to promote development as a leader.
- In collaboration with the development staff, lead the organization in all fundraising activities; cultivate and maintain relationships with major individual donors; build and maintain foundation and corporate support; oversee grant schedule and ensure deadlines are met and new funding opportunities are identified; assess and communicate outcomes to donors and foundations.
- Work to ensure timely and accurate creation and analyses of budgets, expenditure reports, the annual audit, and operational data to assist the Board in carrying out their responsibilities for financial and programmatic oversight; engage the Board in its governance and fundraising goals by communicating opportunities, strategic choices, and the status of internal and external issues affecting the organization.
- Work with the Board to cultivate a strong pipeline of new and diverse members; provide resources that will enable all members to serve as brand ambassadors for the organization.
- Develop staff members to promote autonomy in a positive and supportive work environment; meet regularly with staff to champion a culture of collaboration and open communication.
- Establish and maintain a work environment that attracts, motivates, and retains highly qualified individuals.
- Minimum of ten years senior level experience in the nonprofit sector and/or equivalent business experience, with at least 10 years in a senior management position and preferably with at least several years of nonprofit experience.
- Passion, optimism, integrity, mission-driven commitment, and self-direction, as well as a strong commitment to equity and justice.
- Multi-cultural management experience, including the ability to recruit and develop diverse teams with a high-level of emotional intelligence, creativity, and the ability to stay positive and supportive in the face of adversity.
- Strong financial and business acumen, including an understanding of operations, technology, and strategic marketing; experience in formulating policy and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures.
- Ability to develop financial plans, analyze and interpret financial data, and manage resources.
- History of success in identifying, securing, and increasing funding/revenue sources; demonstrated ability to attract and sustain philanthropic funding.
- Professional oral and written communication skills, including experience speaking publicly in diverse forums.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire trust, communicate objectives, and motivate staff and partners.
- Must be able to interact with officials and work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders in culturally and ethnically diverse communities.
- Demonstrated commitment to Mercy Learning Center’s mission and values.
- Entrepreneurial spirit, including the ability to seek out creative approaches to community issues.
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field required; advanced degree preferred.
- Bilingual or fluency in Spanish preferred.
Mercy Learning Center is based in Bridgeport, CT and offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Salary is expected to be in the $140K to $160K range.
All positions at MLC are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.
For more information about MLC, please visit their website at https://www.mercylearningcenter.org
Mercy Learning Center has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Anne McCarthy, COO
Harris Rand Lusk
260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Please put “MLC President and CEO” in the subject line of your emailed application.