Chief Executive Officer

D.A. Blodgett - St. John's  |  

Grand Rapids, MI

On behalf of our client, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, we are looking for a President & Chief Executive Officer. The President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), under the guidance and direction of the Board of Directors, is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of D.A. Blodgett – St. Johns (“DABSJ”), the oversight and positive outcomes of all programs, services, and activities, as well as the fiscal health, structural soundness, and philanthropic growth of the organization as its leader. 

D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s is a nonprofit that provides a full continuum of care for children and families, including foster care, adoption, family preservation, behavioral health, child psychiatry, and residential treatment programs. Founded in 1887, DABSJ impacts more than 14,000 lives annually with safety, advocacy, and support. At D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, we are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families in West Michigan. We are inclusive and welcoming to all. Through comprehensive services, DABSJ provides compassionate support to create brighter futures for those in need.

The CEO plays a key role in setting the tone and culture of the organization. They will be committed to developing and implementing a comprehensive anti-racism and inclusion strategy to ensure that those within the organization, and those the organization serves, are treated equitably and inclusively in the work of our mission. The CEO has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the organization and will foster an environment of trust, accountability, and excellence. As DABSJ’s chief mobilizer, the CEO will leverage the power of relationships and networks and work across private, public, and corporate sectors to advocate on behalf of children and families. The CEO is expected to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the role in a manner that is consistent with the Organization’s mission, vision, values, and commitments and in accordance with organization policies approved by the Board of Directors; to whom the CEO is directly accountable.

Essential Duties + Responsibilities

Leadership: Responsible for the leadership of the organization to carry out the vision, mission and strategic plan for the organization. Reports to the Board of Directors. 

  • In conjunction with the Board of Directors, the CEO creates, communicates, and implements the organizations’ vision, mission, commitments, and overall direction.  
  • Ensure the development, coordination and operation of quality programs that reflect best practices in alignment with licensing requirements in the field and produce results consistent with the strategy and mission of DABSJ.
  • Promotes the organization’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, including developing and advancing a comprehensive EDI Plan.
  • Promotes the values and commitments in the Sanctuary Model of Care. 
  • Coordinates the preparation, implementation, and periodic review of the Organization’s long-range, strategic plan, ensuring alignment with short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Establishes and builds relationships with top leaders in the Grand Rapids community, including those in high levels of business, government, and non-profit sectors; develops and maintains positive relationships with county, state, and federal stakeholders; leverages relationships to positively impact children and families served by DABSJ.
  • Coordinates the recruitment, selection, orientation, and development of the Executive Leadership Team; coaches and annually evaluates direct reports to maximize performance.
  • Keeps informed of developments in child welfare, human services, not-for-profit management and governance, philanthropy, and fund development.


Board Relations: The CEO of DABSJ reports directly to the Board of Directors.

  • Develops and maintains effective communication with the Board of Directors about evolving organizational issues, opportunities, and progress towards DABSJ’s short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Maintains positive relationships with Board members and uses Board members’ respective professional expertise to the advantage of DABSJ. 
  • Works with the Board and Staff to formalize and implement a strategic plan.
  • Proposes the agenda for each Board meeting and finalizes it in collaboration with the Chairperson or designee.
  • As time permits, serves as an ex-officio member of all Board Committees.


Fund Development & Community Relations: Ensures effective implementation of Fundraising strategy and activities, recognizing the CEO is a primary face of the organization in the community. 

  • Serves as the chief spokesperson for DABSJ, ensuring proper representation of DABSJ to the community. 
  • Works with the Chief Development officer to ensure an effective fund development program.
  • Partners with the advancement team in the ongoing efforts dedicated to the Capital Campaign, Annual Giving, Endowment Fund, Special Events, Major Gifts Advisory, and Planned Giving, as well as targeted advancement efforts.
  • Assists with cultivating and soliciting major gifts and pledges from corporations, existing donors, and prospective donors.
  • Develops and maintains effective relationships with legislators, regulatory agencies, and representatives of human service agencies and not-for-profits to promote legislative and regulatory policies that encourage a healthy community and address the concerns of DABSJ.


Financial and Operational Management: Leads organization in all financial and operational activities.

  • Works with Board and Chief Financial Officer to oversee all financial activities of the organization including budgeting, and reporting; works with the Board to ensure funding structures and sources that meet short- and long-term goals.
  • Works with Board and Staff Leadership to remain financially sound while maintaining excellence of service to the mission, recommending strategies that support financial sustainability. 
  • Ensures program quality and organizational stability through development and implementation of standards and controls, systems and procedures, and regular evaluation.
  • Oversees the compliance activities of the organization and ensures adherence to legal and regulatory guidelines as well as in-house policies to maintain the Organization’s licensing. 
  • Ensures a work environment that recruits, retains, and supports quality staff. 
  • Directly supervises and specifies accountabilities of the Executive Leadership Team


Qualifications + Competencies

Education, Skills and Experience

  • Minimum of degreed education in human services, non-profit management or equivalent by assessment (Master’s degree preferred).
  • Minimum of ten years of leadership experience in an executive or supervisory capacity.
  • Minimum of five years of leadership in a child welfare or human service organization.
  • Excellent Communication in all forms with a wide variety of constituents and stakeholders. 
  • Visionary leadership style with a value focused on the mission, the people served by that mission, and the people and teams doing that work alongside them. 
  • Strong ability to work with complex budgets $12m+ and demonstrating innovative strategies to build sustainable funding strategies. 


Desired Characteristics:

  • Approachable, confident and personable.
  • Assures quality by producing and expecting accurate and thorough work.
  • Consistently works to improve self and staff.
  • Demonstrates integrity by being accountable for actions, keeping commitments and speaking honestly with others.
  • Firm yet fair as evidenced by setting boundaries then listening and changing position when appropriate.
  • Values the diversity of others’ opinions and experiences.
  • Ability to work with a variety of people both within and outside the Organization and must promote a positive image for the Organization in the community and in relationship with other agencies and their personnel.
  • Possess an understanding and sensitivity to the client’s cultural and socioeconomic characteristics.
  • Personal qualities of warmth, sensitivity, and the ability to establish meaningful rapport and maintain mutual respect with people from various cultures.
  • Become familiar with and follow the code of ethics for your profession and agree to abide by the related Organization standards, including maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
  • A personal commitment to the Organization’s mission, philosophy, and values.


About D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s

Mission:  To help children and empower families by providing safety, advocacy, and support.

Vision:  A safe, nurturing home for every child, and a supportive community for every family.


  • Exceptional Service: Client-focused and teaming at the center of our work.
  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: All are welcomed, valued, and belong.
  • Excellence: Ongoing commitment to learning and improvement.
  • Integrity: Responsibility and ownership of our actions and results.
  • Creativity: Imagination, innovation, and intelligent risk-taking.
  • Passion: Relentless positive energy toward our mission and vision.


Please click below to apply for the position.

Apply Now

Submit your resume. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Before you go...

The team at Palladian West wants to invite you to complete a complementary Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment. This way you will see one of the several tools we use to help businesses like yours. It’s free, will take about seven minutes, and will give you a highly reliable view of your best professional traits, workplace perspectives, and leadership qualities.

“Let’s explore what drives you!”