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Chief Executive Officer
Southwestern Community Services in Keene, New Hampshire
Date Posted 02/17/2021
Executive-President and Chancellor
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Position Announcement
Chief Executive Officer

As we prepare for the retirement of our current CEO, Southwestern Community Services, Inc. seeks a Chief Executive Officer to lead its dedicated board and staff in achieving our vision for the community. As a member of the national Community Action network, SCS serves Cheshire and Sullivan counties in southwestern New Hampshire.

Our Vision Southwestern Community Services seeks to create and support a climate within the communities of southwestern New Hampshire wherein poverty is never accepted as a chronic or permanent condition of any person’s life.

Our Mission SCS strives to empower low-income people and families. With dignity and respect, SCS will provide direct assistance, reduce stressors, and advocate for such persons and families as they lift themselves toward self-sufficiency. In partnership and in close collaboration with local communities, SCS will provide leadership and support to develop resources, programs, and services to further aid this population.


Southwestern Community Services (SCS), one of New Hampshire’s five community action agencies, has served the needs of Cheshire and Sullivan County citizens since 1965. SCS is a tax- exempt non-profit organization whose vision is to create and support a climate where poverty is never accepted as a chronic or permanent condition of any person’s life. SCS works to maintain awareness of the needs of the people in our communities. We provide a comprehensive range of services and advocacy programs—from housing to nutrition to education and more. Our programs are designed to have a measurable impact on poverty by covering the needs of children, families, and the elderly.

To see a list of specific programs offered, refer to the end of this posting. To learn more about Southwestern Community Services, visit us at www.scshelps.org.


The Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Community Services works with the Board of Directors and its committees to develop the strategies that guide the organization to achieve its vision. The CEO works collaboratively with leadership staff to develop the internal goals and

policies that support achieving those strategies. This person is the link between the Board of Directors and agency staff, as well as serving as a key connector between SCS and its many community partners.


Southwestern Community Services has benefited from decades of strong, stable, committed leadership. The retiring CEO has been with SCS for more than 3 decades and leaves behind a dedicated board committed to the mission. The staff leadership team is comprised of five senior executives with a combined 102 years of experience, each adept at managing their various programs and departments.


In addition to offering an outstanding professional opportunity, the service areas of Cheshire and Sullivan County are home to the Monadnock and Sugar River Regions. These regions are rich in historical, architectural, cultural, and recreational attractions that create an unparalleled quality of life for the successful candidate and, if applicable, the candidate’s family.

The Monadnock and Sugar River Regions boast year-round outdoor activities ranging from hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, kayaking, fishing, boating, biking as well as numerous community events that feature the quintessential “small town New England” feel. And yet, we are geographically situated with easy access to several popular metropolitan areas including
Boston, Hartford, Portland, New York, and Montreal, the mountains, and seacoast. To learn more, go to: https://discovermonadnock.com

SCS’s headquarters, situated in downtown Keene, provides for a walkable work environment with many nearby amenities, a wide range of housing opportunities, and many different options for entertainment and dining. A number of institutions of higher learning serve the region, including Keene State College, River Valley Community College and Antioch University.
Although Dartmouth College is located in nearby Grafton County, its presence is also felt throughout the SCS service area.


The next CEO for SCS will build on these strengths to further deepen the organization’s connection with community partners, including private donors, assuring that SCS continues to play a central role in creating and implementing community-wide solutions to issues of poverty.

Our ideal candidate will be a strong, collaborative leader, skilled at creating and motivating solid teams of staff and volunteers.

The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, able to see the big picture, while simultaneously assuring operational effectiveness to create success.

The next CEO will be firmly committed to the mission of SCS and will have the skills and experience needed to be a leading advocate in the community for people struggling with issues of poverty.

Our next CEO will be a strong financial manager, adept at navigating and explaining complex budgets and diverse funding sources, including multiple government grants.


The CEO will lead the strategic planning, financial management, and fundraising of Southwestern Community Services. Working with the organization’s professional staff, the CEO will oversee the development and implementation of the strategic plan, assure that the organization’s various programs are effectively managed, that administrative functions are efficient and effective, and assure the fiscal health of the organization by overseeing all financial management.

Develops plans and strategies that further our mission:

  • Establishes current and long-range goals, objectives, plans, and policies which are subject to approval by the Board.
  • Implements the policies developed and adopted by the Board. Evaluates existing policies and services in relation to specified SCS goals and standards, as well as recommends modifications where appropriate.
  • Oversees all agency programs, ensuring that they are meeting the needs of the constituents, as well as meeting the obligations of the funders.
  • Works with leadership staff to ensures compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Oversees the administration of all SCS programs, assuring adequate staffing and the financial well-being of the organization:

  • Oversees the day-to-day operations of SCS, including the recruiting, hiring, and evaluations of senior staff and program directors.
  • Oversees the finances of the organization, including required grant and program reporting.
  • Maintains fiscal integrity of SCS, to include submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Ensures adequate staff development and training programs are in place to attract and retain strong, engaged employees.

Develops Community Support for SCS’s Mission:

  • Oversees a public relations program that communicates the mission and services of SCS to the community.
  • Is recognized as SCS’s spokesperson and advocate for poverty issues throughout the community.
  • Monitors and interprets trends in the fields of service and in the industry in which SCS is engaged.
  • Serves as a key liaison with local, state, and federal government agencies to advocate for resources and policies to support our clients.
  • Serves as a key partner to regional organizations working collaboratively to address issues of poverty.


  • Demonstrated experience with and understanding of issues impacting people experiencing poverty, such as housing, Head Start, and workforce development.
  • At least five years working with government grant funding, or equivalent.
  • At least three years working with a board of directors in a non-profit environment, or equivalent.
  • At least five years senior management experience at a Community Action Agency strongly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience.


  • Strong verbal and written communications with excellent public speaking and engagement skills.
  • Ability to relate to a population of varying socio-economic, cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Ability to seek and engage in mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships that will further the mission of SCS.
  • Ability to delegate tasks and responsibility to proper levels and to adequately review and assess performance.
  • Ability to understand budgets and financial reporting and knowledge of fundraising strategies and possess a proven record of accomplishment for fundraising.
  • Ability to create a positive, motivational work environment, while continually engaging employees in the mission.

Salary range starting at $115,000 annually, commensurate with experience and other qualifications. Quality benefits package includes health insurance, paid time off and 403B.

To Apply:

The search for this position is being conducted on our behalf by Catherine Crooker at Crooker Consulting LLC. To apply, please submit cover letter, resume, three professional references, and answers to the three supplementary questions below to Catherine at the email attached.

For questions, please contact Catherine via email.

Review of applications will begin March 1 and will continue through March 22. With the upcoming retirement of our current CEO in the summer of 2021, our goal is to welcome our new CEO no later than June. Position will remain open until filled.

Supplementary Questions:

1. What led you to apply for this position?

2. What do you believe are some of the key factors that help lift a person toward economic self-sufficiency?

3. What do you think is the most impactful role a Community Action organization can play in its community?

Southwestern Community Services Programs:

Housing units for both families and seniors

Head Start Centers

Fuel Assistance
Utility Sponsored Core Residential Conservation
Electric Assistance
Neighbor Helping Neighbor
Weatherization Assistance

Programs that provide direct and immediate care for people experiencing homelessness
Emergency Hotline 211
Emergency Homeless Shelters in both Cheshire and Sullivan Counties
Financial Literacy, Life Skills, and Tenancy 101 Workshops
Homeless Outreach/Intervention
Homeless Permanent Housing
Homeless Prevention/Intervention
Housing Security Guarantee Program

NEW HOPE NEW HORIZONS (A program for adults with developmental disabilities)
Community Participation Services
Employment Services
Community Outreach/ Residential Services

Supplemental foods and nutrition education WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
Commodity Supplemental Foods (for seniors 60+)
Emergency Food Assistance for Cheshire and Sullivan Counties
Childcare Food Program
Community Food Program

SULLIVAN COUNTY TRANSPORTATION (Bus routes and Volunteer Driver Program)

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $115,000.00 - $135,000.00 per year


  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan

Work Location:

  • One location

This Job Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • People-oriented -- enjoys interacting with people and working on group projects
  • Adaptable/flexible -- enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction
  • Achievement-oriented -- enjoys taking on challenges, even if they might fail
  • Autonomous/Independent -- enjoys working with little direction
  • Innovative -- prefers working in unconventional ways or on tasks that require creativity
  • High stress tolerance -- thrives in a high-pressure environment

Company's website:

  • scshelps.org

Work Remotely:

  • No

COVID-19 Precaution(s):

  • Remote interview process
  • Social distancing guidelines in place
  • Virtual meetings
  • Sanitizing, disinfecting, or cleaning procedures in place
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