Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - ACHIEVA, Pittsburgh, PA

Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017


ACHIEVA seeks an exceptional Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with a personal passion and professional commitment to serving children and adults with disabilities. The CEO will be a passionate advocate on behalf of people with disabilities and their families. S/he will be innovative, compassionate, a stellar communicator, and operate with high moral integrity. ACHIEVA's current CEO, Marsha Blanco, will be retiring in December 2017 after 38 years in the role.

The Organization

ACHIEVA supports and empowers individuals with disabilities and their families. It was founded in 1951 by a group of family members who wanted to end the isolation and segregation for both children and adults with disabilities, and ensure that they had the chance to live, work, attend school, worship and contribute in their communities. 65 years later, ACHIEVA continues to be nationally recognized for providing innovative and industry-changing programs and services. ACHIEVA is southwestern Pennsylvania's largest provider of lifelong services and supports for people with disabilities and their families.

ACHIEVA envisions a community where disability is a distinction that makes no difference. The agency provides high quality, innovative home and community based services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism, and their families. ACHIEVA provides early intervention services, vocational and employment services, residential and recreational services, advocacy, and family support. ACHIEVA also focuses on helping individuals and families with disabilities plan for their future with special needs trusts.

ACHIEVA advances its mission through five subsidiaries. Each subsidiary has a Board that reports to the ACHIEVA Board of Trustees. The subsidiaries are the ACHIEVA Family Trust, ACHIEVA Support, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh (serving Allegheny and Beaver Counties), The Arc of Westmoreland (serving Westmoreland County), and ACHIEVA Resource.

ACHIEVA's mission is advanced through the following services:

  • Advocacy and Family Supports: Highly trained advocates provide individual/family advocacy and systemic advocacy. They also support families so that they can effectively advocate for their loved ones. ACHIEVA's advocates understand the need for information and support that all families have at some point in their lives.
  • Early Intervention: ACHIEVA has an experienced team of developmental, language, nutritional, speech, vision, hearing, physical and occupational therapists committed to a child's development. Therapy is tailored to a child's needs to help each child develop to their full potential.
  • Home Care: Home and community support for people of all ages with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Support is designed to build independence and ensure health and safety.
  • Recreation: Recreational activities, day camp and overnight weekend camp for children and adults with disabilities.
  • Residential: Residential living options for adults designed to provide safe, person-centered and inclusive community housing options. ACHIEVA has also developed a unique public/private partnership model, "A Home of My Own," which assists people with disabilities to move out of their family's homes and into homes of their own.
  • Special Needs Trusts: Trustee services for various types of special needs trusts. These trusts help families plan for a secure financial future.
  • Vocational: Services are designed to fit the individuals' needs and specific employment goals.

Many of these are Medicaid-funded services. Some services are funded through contributions, investments, special events, and grants.

ACHIEVA's headquarters is located in Pittsburgh, PA, with 3 satellite offices in Monaca, PA, Greensburg, PA, and Erie, PA. ACHIEVA is governed by a 22-person Board of Trustees. The CEO reports to the ACHIEVA Board of Trustees which oversees ACHIEVA's strategic priorities, evaluates subsidiaries' effectiveness, and provides financial oversight of all subsidiaries. The CEO has four direct reports: Senior Vice President for ACHIEVA Support, Executive Vice President, President of the ARC of Greater Pittsburgh at ACHIEVA, and President of ACHIEVA Family Trust.

The annual budget of all 6 subsidiaries is approximately $45 million.

Recent Accomplishments ACHIEVA's groundbreaking work has resulted in the agency winning a number of notable awards. As an organization that prides itself on vision and foresight, ACHIEVA has accomplished many milestones over the years.

  • Established in 1998, The ACHIEVA Family Trust was one of the first of its kind in the nation. It is the largest and one of the most respected corporate fiduciaries for special needs trusts in Pennsylvania. The Family Trust has more than 2000 beneficiaries, with more than $100 million in assets under management.
  • ACHIEVA's policy and advocacy efforts are known and recognized across the state and nationally. ACHIEVA is a leader in getting groundbreaking legislation passed, aimed at advancing and protecting the rights of people with disabilities and their families. ACHIEVA's advocacy services are also provided free of charge to families.
  • ACHIEVA is one of the few providers to support individuals from birth to well into their senior years.
  • ACHIEVA's most recent successful $8M capital campaign exceeded its goal by almost $1M. The campaign had 4 innovative components: greening all ACHIEVA facilities, expanding the Family Trust, increasing the productivity in pallet manufacturing, and initiating the Home on My Own program.
  • ACHIEVA's vocational transformation initiative has resulted in closing one of ACHIEVA's five sheltered workshops, which led to more than 50 individuals being transitioned to community employment. 75 people are working with employment specialists and planning to be soon employed. People still in the workshops are participating in community activities and volunteering between 20% and 60% of the time with 65 community partner organizations. ACHIEVA has led the way in southwestern Pennsylvania in successfully merging with other social service agencies to synergistically provide more individuals and families with high quality support.

Strategic Priorities In late 2016, ACHIEVA completed a strategic plan that identified organizational priorities. The new CEO will work collaboratively with the Board of Trustees and the senior leadership team to advance the priorities laid out in the strategic plan, including, but not limited to:

  • Ensuring that ACHIEVA is making a meaningful difference in the lives of those served.
  • Continuing the transition to fully inclusive, person-centered vocational and day supports through ACHIEVA's Vocational Transformation efforts.
  • Leading the disabilities community by being a strong voice in the development of policies that affect people with disabilities at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Influencing the outcomes of statewide managed care decisions as they impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Continuing growth and expansion efforts, including developing new lines of business and collaborative partnerships to ensure that ACHIEVA continues to provide high quality and innovative programs for people with disabilities and their families.
  • Leveraging technology in ways that advance administrative and programmatic functions.
  • Continuing to implement cutting edge approaches related to staff retention and recruitment and seeking ways to invest in professional development for staff at all levels.

For more information, visit www.achieva.info.

The Position

The CEO must embrace and be passionate about ACHIEVA's mission. S/he must be a vocal advocate for the rights of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism and their families. The CEO will demonstrate moral integrity and personal and strategic leadership.

Key Responsibilities ACHIEVA's next CEO will:

  • Be the public voice of ACHIEVA and build upon the organization's reputation as a respected and trusted leader in the disabilities field; lead and participate actively in efforts to elevate external stakeholders' understanding of ACHIEVA's impact on the lives of people with disabilities.
  • Advocate passionately with a dominant voice for the rights and support needs of people with disabilities and their families; keep abreast of policy decisions that impact people with disabilities, and ensure that ACHIEVA remains a leader in advocating for people with disabilities.
  • Foster an organizational culture that is innovative and forward thinking while still being compassionate and communicative.
  • Work closely with the senior leadership team to advance ACHIEVA's strategic priorities in a manner that reflects organizational values and the needs of the communities ACHIEVA serves; ensure that the agency adapts swiftly, efficiently and effectively to changes in the external landscape.
  • Seek opportunities for growth and strengthen ACHIEVA's business model by leveraging ACHIEVA's programs, accomplishments, and stature in the field.
  • Provide strategic management and fiscal leadership that support current programs and services, increases revenue, and ensures continued financial health.
  • Foster and maintain excellent working relationships with staff, the Board of Trustees, partners, and stakeholders, including governmental entities.
  • Assess existing partnerships and relationships, and cultivate and grow relationships with key external stakeholders.

Experience and AttributesIdeal candidates for this position will demonstrate an ability to quickly integrate into the community and serve as an engaged, inspiring, innovative, and visionary leader. Candidates will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to ACHIEVA, including:

  • Demonstrated commitment to and compassion for individuals with disabilities and their families; must be empathetic and demonstrate stellar emotional intelligence; must lead with humility.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing large, innovative and cutting edge programs and practices; demonstrated "outside-the-box" thinking.
  • Must be knowledgeable about state and federal policies that impact ACHIEVA's work; must have the ability to distill the interests and needs of persons with disabilities, and to interpret state policies to understand how they will affect programs on the ground.
  • Strong business acumen including strong financial management and contract negotiation skills. Must have experience managing budgets of at least $15-20M. Experience managing umbrella entities/organizations with subsidiaries a plus.
  • Strong fundraising record with an emphasis on experience with government grants and contracts, and foundation and corporate support. Demonstrated experience initiating and implementing private fundraising campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience developing long-term partnerships with the corporate sector and government agencies/officials.
  • Must be a masterful communicator and excellent listener with strong ability to build trust among a wide range of constituents.
  • Solid management skills. Must demonstrate an inclusive leadership and management style that encourages staff in ways that motivate them to perform at their best, and provides opportunities for professional advancement.
  • At least 15 years of senior leadership/management experience, with some experience in the IDD field. Must demonstrate experience managing a highly experienced senior leadership team with decades of experience.


Application Process

To apply, e-mail your resume, a cover letter that explains how your skills align with the requirements above, and salary requirements to: ACHIEVA@raffa.com (e-mail applications are required). For other inquiries, contact Ginna Goodenow at ggoogenow@raffa.com. Resume reviews begin immediately.

ACHIEVA is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate in hiring on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Women and persons of color are encouraged to apply.