Visually Impaired Advancement (VIA) has assisted people who are blind and visually impaired to achieve their highest level of independence since 1908. Founded as the Buffalo Association for the Blind, VIA is a progressive non-profit organization providing low-vision evaluation, vision rehabilitation, independent living skills training, technology, work readiness, and job placement services for people of all ages in its eight-county service region of Western New York. With a team of over 125 employees and annual revenues exceeding $14 million, VIA operates a Social Enterprise, providing market-competitive employment, serving over two hundred customers in a variety of product and service lines. VIA is the operator 211-WNY, the region’s 24-hour health & human service information & referral helpline, helping over 120,000 callers annually.
VIA is dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion for individuals who are blind. VIA believes in providing equal opportunities, celebrating differences, and creating a sense of belonging for all members of our community.
VIA seeks a strategic, collaborative, and visionary leader who is passionate about improving the quality of life for individuals with vision impairments. This entrepreneurial individual will have significant experience and bring leadership characterized by a visionary outlook and the ability to create collective impact; the propensity to increase the visibility and financial resources for the organization; the ability to garner broad internal and external support; demonstrate success creating strong, effective, collaborative teams; and the fortitude to carry forward new projects and initiatives in the interest of furthering the mission.
Key accountabilities for the CEO include but are not limited to:
Visioning & Strategic Planning
- Collaborate with the Board of Directors on a five-year strategic plan with written annual operating objectives.
- Lead the development and advancement of new service offerings and product lines that meet the needs and expand the opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired.
- Develop new sources of revenue to support the mission-critical vision rehabilitation and employment services.
- Assess the internal organizational structure, workforce, and facility needs to ensure the organization is positioned to efficiently accomplish its’ goals.
Staff Development and Cultural Enrichment
- Inspire and motivate a diverse staff to achieve an openly communicated strategic plan and shared vision.
- Nurture a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, collaboration, innovation, excellence and transparency among staff at all levels.
- Lead strategies to identify, recruit, develop, and retain talent with a focus on opportunities and upward mobility for people who are visually impaired.
Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration
- Drive impact through convening and collaborating with diverse stakeholders including consumers, eye care professionals, regulatory agencies, businesses, government, and nonprofit partners sharing common missions, interests, and values.
- Establish and foster close and effective relationships with New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB), New York State Preferred Source for People who are Blind (NYSPSP), National Industries for the Blind (NIB), VisionServe Alliance (VSA), peer non-profit agencies, private businesses, other civic and professional organizations, and governmental entities.
- Partner with United Way of Buffalo & Erie County and leverage VIA’s capabilities to operate and sustain 211-WNY.
Advocacy and Communication
- Serve as the principal spokesperson and advocate for VIA in dealing with the business community, partner organizations, the public, the press, and the visually impaired community.
- Enhance VIA’s public image and brand awareness, ensuring individuals who are visually impaired are aware of and have access to services.
- Establish and maintain strong relationships with funders, potential donors and other sources of financial support, demonstrate the ability to measure the impact of funding.
- Maintain, elevate, and expand broad advocacy and public policy in partnership with peer nonprofit associated organizations on matters of importance to people who are blind.
- Serve as chief liaison to the board of directors, delivering timely, accurate and comprehensive information.
- Serve an important and continuing role in assisting to attract a diverse group of outstanding and well-qualified Directors to the VIA Board.
- Facilitate board development, engagement efforts, and leverage the impact of the board members.
- Maintain acute awareness of potential financial, regulatory, insurance, cyber-security, confidentiality and safety risks which have the potential to cause harm to the agency and/or its’ consumers and employees.
- Institute pro-active measures to minimize risk and communicate evidence of elevated risk to the board of directors.
Personal and Professional Qualifications:
- Visionary Leadership: able to create a clear and compelling vision for the organization’s mission and impact; able to inspire and mobilize stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, donors, and the visually impaired community, to rally behind this vision.
- Strategic Thinker: able to set clear organizational goals, develop actionable strategies, and adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining a long-term perspective.
- Resource Management: proficient in financial and resource management, including fundraising, budgeting, and grant oversite; able to steward resources effectively to maximize impact.
- Servant Leadership: leads by example, emphasizing service to others above personal gain; able to foster a culture of compassion, inclusivity, and collaboration within the organization.
- Collaborative Approach: able to build and maintain partnerships with other non-profit organizations, government organizations, to expand the organization’s reach and influence.
- Empathy: able to lead with a deep understanding of the challenges and needs of individuals with visual impairments is crucial.
- Advocacy Skills: able to effectively advocate on behalf of the visually impaired community, both at the individual and systemic levels; influencing policy, promoting accessibility, and raising awareness of issues faced by the community.
- Bachelor’s degree in business, rehabilitation, public health, or related field required;
- Graduate degree in business, health care, public administration, or another related field preferred.
- Minimum of eight (8) years of senior management experience
- Minimum of three (3) years of non-profit and/or non-profit board experience
- Proven leadership experience, with strong evidence of driving organizational growth and impact
- Exceptional written and oral communication and interpersonal abilities, with the capacity to engage and inspire diverse stakeholders
- Knowledge or experience in serving individuals with visual impairments or disabilities is a significant advantage
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
Salary range: $175,000 and $225,000
Benefits: Excellent benefits including generous time-off, disability, health insurance, dental and other voluntary benefit plans.
Reports to: Board of Directors
Apply utilizing the following link: President & CEO