The Rensselaerville Institute
President, Virtual Position, NY
MISSION & VISION
To Increase Life Chances for Young People through Education and Community.
Are you driven to make children's lives better?
Are you driven to help local people in schools, communities, and supporting organizations make this happen?
Do you eat, sleep, and breathe results?
For more than 50 years, TRI has helped people improve their lives by focusing relentlessly on the results that matter to them. By equipping its partner schools, citizen volunteers, and local organizations with the tools and resources to set and achieve targets, TRI helps them realize significant gains and create life chances.
TRI seeks an energetic, tenacious, and entrepreneurial leader. The President will promote the power of community self-determination for optimal community results. The President will operate with a sense of urgency to eradicate inequity in the lives of children and their families. The President will see and seize opportunities rather than fixate on problems. The President will cultivate the necessary partnerships that allow school leaders and community members to contribute their energy, intelligence, and influence to spark meaningful and enduring change for young people. All of the efforts of the next leader will be driven by a sense of passion, community, respect, humility, equity, and action.
TRI seeks a leader who embodies the six attributes of the people it supports in the world to spark change: energy; personal responsibility; a bias to action; results-focused; inclined to teams; and a deep belief in the common good.
TRI currently operates two signature programs on the ground both interconnected with overlapping themes of 1) outcome investment, 2) the importance and value of community sparkplugs, and 3) the shared vision that everyone succeeds. In addition, TRI consults with organizations who are intent on supporting work in communities and schools in order to increase the connection between their investments of resources with results.
Currently the largest of the signature programs, School Turnaround began in 2000 with one mission: Everyone Achieves. No Exceptions. No Excuses. School Turnaround is an intensive intervention and leadership development initiative that helps principals turn around failing or underperforming schools. It is designed specifically for schools and districts where someone in power perceives a current failure that requires urgent intervention. While most educational initiatives geared toward demonstrating student achievement take place over a long time period, School Turnaround is proven to bring about urgency and time-compressed change. With its cadre of 12 specialists, TRI has upheld that high standard in approximately 250 schools and 50 districts across the country. School Turnaround helps leaders lead and teachers teach so that students learn and achieve.
Community Sparkplugs is an outcomes-driven community investment initiative at the roots of TRI. The school and community partnerships start with the idea that citizens in the community can create an environment that gives children the opportunities they deserve. The results-focused projects undertaken by volunteer citizens the Sparkplugs bring immediate results to the community and build increased community capacity. TRI's methodology is founded on the principle that local people's ideas matter and that their energy turns those ideas into opportunity. TRI provides the tools and know-how to help Sparkplugs bring those opportunities to life. For over 50 years, these projects have addressed infrastructure, health, economic development, out-of-school time, and the environment.
In its consulting work around results, TRI has consistently partnered with a wide range of governmental, philanthropic, educational, and nonprofit organizations and agencies. TRI brings a focus on producing durable and quantifiable effects that can effectively be measured. Partners adopt a results framework that makes change happen.
TRI is based in Delmar, New York just outside of Albany, with a virtual staff of 20 and an annual budget of approximately $3 million. It is not necessary for the President to reside in the area or work primarily out of the main office. Travel is expected as part of this role given the widespread geographic locations of our clients, partners, and virtual team members.
PRESIDENT'S RESPONSIBILITIES AND PRIORITIES
- Leadership Lead with a mission-driven sense of urgency for community outcomes. Care about people; inspire, support, and develop an engaged staff with a shared vision. Facilitate collaborative work of the senior leadership team to maximize human gain results. Develop and refine TRI's organizational strategy initiatives and growth in ways that build capacity to deliver strong outcomes. Serve as a respected thought leader for education and community development.
- Partnership and Program Development Serve as a driver of innovation by continuously scanning for new opportunities and partnerships. Codify and grow programs and methodologies to ensure that all services and programs are strategically coordinated and aligned with the mission. Promote a customer service culture that holds the organization accountable for achieving intended outcomes. Ensure that TRI continues to produce practical tools and resources that its partners need to foster impactful change in their communities.
- External Representation/Communication Serve as a visible and persuasive spokesperson for TRI's vision for empowered communities. Expand TRI's reputation as a recognized leader and partner in its fields. Skillfully address the media and other important constituencies about the organization's mission, services, programs, and partners. Represent TRI as a subject matter expert at the national level. Write effectively about TRI's work and findings.
- Revenue Generation and Fundraising Lead fundraising and revenue generation with the engagement of senior staff and Board members to sustain, diversify, and increase support. Shape a revenue strategy and funding model that expands TRI's revenue generation and fee for service business. Build a strong culture of philanthropy within the organization in which Board and staff engage in relationship building.
- Learning for Improvement Assess the organizational structure, staff, and functions. Implement strategies for continuous improvement, ongoing learning, and accountability. Assist in the development and dissemination of new tools that reflect learnings from TRI's work. Capture and share the core methodologies and thinking that distinguish TRI's work.
- General Management, Administration, Finance, and Planning With the CFO and other staff, ensure fiscal sustainability and health, attending to both longer-term financial forecasting and the efficient administration of day-to-day operations. Hold the organization to the highest levels of accountability and consistency with respect to all management systems, accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, funding, cashflow, and cost reporting.
- Board Relations Establish a strong working partnership with the Board of Directors built on trust that enriches their experience and leverages their best ideas and efforts in the governance and support of TRI. Help strengthen the Board through the recruitment of new members as needed.
IDEAL CHARACTERISTICS AND EXPERTISE
The President will share the following Sparkplugs characteristics and behaviors:
- Energy Bring drive, effort, an ability to stay the course including the physical stamina to see projects through to results, and the optimism and enthusiasm needed to stay motivated and motivate others; bring out the best in others;
- Bias to Action Interested in solving problems, including an ability to see opportunities and move quickly into action with a strong interest in learning by doing;
- Results Focus Define and believe in achievement, with an understanding that while methodology can help you get there, it's the outcome that matters;
- Personal Responsibility Believe and follow the concept that people own the consequences of their behaviors; adhere to being an excellent learner who can make course corrections;
- Inclination to Teams Possess a willingness to share information and influence, to give credit to others, and to accept more than one's share of blame; value interdependence in relationships; treat others with respect;
- Belief in the Common Good Believe in a shared good that surpasses the coexistence of private individual ones, allowing for and prompting the ability to see and set visions.
- Expertise Have credibility as a leader with a deep understanding of education and community development with respect to capacity building, systems thinking, evaluation, change management, and organizational learning; have a command of relevant policies, trends, and funding matters;
- Funding Cultivate, and seize new opportunities for revenue generation; close rewarding deals for new business ventures and opportunities.
For more information about TRI and its programs, please visit https://www.rinstitute.org/.
TRI seeks a diverse pool of candidates. Salary will be negotiable, commensurate with experience.
Applications, including cover letters and resumes, and nominations should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at TRI@PhillipsOppenheim.com.