Housing Kent  |  

Grand Rapids, MI

On behalf of our client, Housing Kent, we are conducting a search for its first President, who will be responsible for leading and guiding this new backbone organization aimed at addressing the root causes of Kent County’s housing crisis.

Specifically, Housing Kent is a new collective impact organization whose mission is to increase access to affordable housing and decrease homelessness, with an intentional focus on eliminating racial disparities in Kent County. Through shared measurement, high-leverage activities, and a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Housing Kent is poised to grow cross-sector collaboration to ensure that all Kent County residents are stably housed—or better—in the near future.

The Housing Kent Hiring Committee seeks a visionary, entrepreneurial President to lead this work. The President will oversee the execution of the organization’s Community Plan, formed over the past two years. 

Essential Duties + Responsibilities


  • Provide visionary, adaptive leadership, helping to create and model Housing Kent’s values, and fostering a culture that reflects them.
  • Hire, develop, and coach a diverse team of Housing Kent staff members.
  • Establish and facilitate effective and open communication with staff, particularly related to internal decisions and strategy.
  • Develop systems to share organizational decisions with Housing Kent’s Board of Trustees and staff.
  • Identify capacity gaps and create hiring plans that acknowledge and plan for possible organizational growth.


Strategic Coherence

  • Maintain understanding of current implementation challenges and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.
  • Develop annual legislative agenda, policy, and funding recommendations with guidance from the Board of Trustees.
  • Provide direction and support to partner organizations in aligning their work to the Housing Kent Community Plan.
  • Act as a neutral arbiter and help resolve disputes or disagreements in direction among workgroups and other components of the Housing Kent operational structure.
  • Develop advocacy priorities and coordinate supporting activities of partners.


Support to Committees, Annual Housing Convenings, and Board

  • Provide support to the Board, the Housing Kent Network, and other network leaders to facilitate meetings.
  • Provide regular reports on progress against goals and indicators at annual Housing Kent Network convenings.
  • Build relationships with the Board and Housing Kent Network members.


Fund Development

  • Identify potential funding sources to support Housing Kent’s goals and priorities:
    • Write grants, as needed, or oversee the work of a grant writer.
    • Work with strategy partners to provide information to support their grant applications.
    • Write and/or oversee Housing Kent grant reporting to funders as required.
  • Provide support and guidance to partner organizations in aligning activities and resources to Housing Kent’s agenda
  • Track all funding and revenues.
  • Develop relationships with potential funders and participate in relevant networks.


Work with Community Partners

  • Coordinate research and other activities with initiative partners to minimize redundancies and to align strategies and actions, including conducting individual outreach and education as needed.
  • Update outreach strategy as new needs emerge.
  • Coordinate with other projects and coalitions in the same field to maintain a full understanding of the current landscape of local and regional activities, and integrate their work into steering committee and workgroup processes.
  • Build and maintain relationships with community partners.



  • Communicate the objectives of Housing Kent to the community and potential partners, including sharing the Community Plan, data dashboard, and other collateral.
  • Facilitate communication between Housing Kent partners.
  • Create or manage creation of annual reports of the Housing Kent’s progress for convenings and external audiences.
  • Future duties and activities could include:
    • Develop communications materials such as brochures and FAQs.
    • Develop web and social media strategies.
    • Create press and media relations materials and strategies.
    • Identify strategies to activate non-English speaking audiences.


Facilitation + Stakeholder Management

  • Build Housing Kent’s identity as a respected, neutral convener, with a focus on equity and data, among a broad spectrum of local stakeholders within the housing ecosystem.
  • Cultivate, excellent working relationships across the No Housing to Housed by Choice Spectrum, engaged in the initiative in a way that can inspire collective action without formal authority.
  • Ensure effective facilitation of all workgroup meetings.
  • Identify and recruit additional cross-sector stakeholders to participate in the work.


Data Collection and Analysis + Shared Measurement

  • Oversee the development of systems-level strategies that will drive transformative change across Kent County.
  • Oversee the continuing development of a shared measurement system that will track common outcomes across the collective and use results to inform learning and continuous improvement.
  • Coordinate indicator refinement with workgroups and the broader Housing Kent Network.
  • Ensure all partners are aware of targets and indicators.
  • Direct work of data manager/consultant.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion + Community Engagement

  • Plan and guide Housing Kent’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and processes.
  • Collaborate with the Board and Housing Kent Network to create, implement, and monitor practices that advance equity and inclusion in the Kent County housing system.
  • Operationalize the Community Engagement plan outlined in the Housing Kent Community Plan.

Qualifications + Requirements

  • 5-10 years of relevant work experience, including at least 3 years of managing teams in a fast-paced and high-growth nonprofit, social enterprise or business start-up environment.
  • 5+ years of fundraising experience and demonstrated success in cultivating funder relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire confidence and passion in both internal and external audiences.
  • Advanced strategy and planning skills, including an ability to think strategically on both organizational and systemic levels over a multi-year horizon.
  • Strong ability to oversee complex data-measurement systems and, likewise, the ability to interpret complex data sets.
  • Excellent facilitation and presentation skills with a wide variety of audiences.
  • Experience with complex project management and stakeholder management.
  • Existing relationships with—or the ability to build relationships with—a cross-sectoral range of stakeholders in the local and regional area.
  • A track record of leading and inspiring high-performing teams.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders ranging from senior-level executives in the private and public sectors to neighborhood residents.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and the ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Willingness to “roll up one’s sleeves” and extend beyond the formal requirements of the job.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field.
  • Familiarity with Kent County and the issues it faces in access to affordable housing, homelessness, and the racial disparities that exist in current systems.


If this sounds like an excellent fit for you, please send a cover letter and resume to executive search consultant Alisa Otto at

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