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Executive Director, The Farmer's House

The Opportunity 
The Farmer’s House, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing innovative programming that maximizes independence and self-determination for individuals with developmental disabilities from a seven-county region in and around Kansas City, seeks an Executive Director to lead the agency’s growth and strategic direction.
Founded out of the common hopes and dreams of parents Peaches and David Cunningham and Suzanne and Alan Zimmerman and launching its first program in 2010, The Farmer’s House today operates with a budget of $1.6 million and a staff of 35 full- and part-time employees.  Each year, The Farmer’s House serves more than 350 individuals with a mission to empower youth and adults with developmental disabilities to pursue their best lives by focusing on skills, employment, inclusion and self-reliance.  A key to the agency’s success has been the commitment of longtime, loyal board members and volunteers who have essentially served as adjunct staff.   Board Treasurer Suzanne Zimmerman has served as volunteer Executive Director since the agency’s founding.  Now, with CARF-accredited programs, a sufficient base of support and goals for long-term strategic growth, the Board seeks to hire a full-time Executive Director to lead the agency. 
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will work closely with an established leadership team comprised of a Director of Community Integration and Social Engagement and a Director of Development and Community Outreach to achieve program, service, and development goals, and to maintain the agency’s standard of excellence.   The new leader will exhibit evidence of strong community connections, a history of fostering partnerships, team leadership and resource development skills, as well as a passion for The Farmer’s House Mission.    
With a vision to create a place where disABILITIES disAPPEAR, the goal of The Farmer’s House programs is to empower participants to live a purposeful, engaging life and encourage positive interactions throughout surrounding communities.

Reporting to the Board and Executive Committee, the Executive Director  assures the accomplishment of the agency’s mission, vision, values and strategic goals, relevance to the community and accountability to those we serve. The Board delegates responsibility to the Executive Director for management and day-to-day operations and s/he has the authority to carry out these responsibilities in accordance with the established direction and policies. The Executive Director provides direction and guidance to the Board as it carries out its governance function.
As a focus among chief responsibilities, the Executive Director will:   

  • Provide executive-level oversight to all operations, including general oversight of day-to-day operations, human resources, fund development, grant management, financial integrity and compliance and facilities management. 
  • Oversee all aspects of the agency’s fiscal operations, including budgeting, expense management, reporting, compliance and audit, ensuring stability and financial integrity.
  • Maintain client-service excellence and continuous program evaluation, including effective systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components for ongoing improvement as well as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other stakeholders.
  • Ensure continued growth and vitality by leading and actively participating in an effective fund development program, including grant development, donor stewardship, and public relations and marketing. 
  • Provide input into developing, maintaining, and supporting a strong Board of Directors and committees engaged in providing strategic direction for the agency.  Ensure the Board is aware of current and anticipated trends, regulations, and opportunities to ensure continuity, sustainability and community relevance.
  • Lead, coach and develop a high-performing director/management team.
  • Serve as chief spokesperson for the agency.  Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with key stakeholders and throughout the community.

Required Qualifications and Experience
  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience in nonprofit senior management, or an equivalent combination of nonprofit and for-profit leadership.  Previous executive director experience preferred.  Previous experience in development disabilities field preferred. 
  • Master’s degree in Social Work, Business, Organizational Development, or related field preferred.
In addition, the Executive Director will demonstrate:
  • Ability to handle detailed, complex concepts and problems, balance multiple tasks/high-stress simultaneously, and make sound decisions regarding administrative issues.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including the Board, committees, volunteers, donors, clients and community members.
  • Demonstrated commitment to continued professional growth and development.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Experience with the Missouri Department of Mental Health and third-party funding streams supporting individuals with developmental disabilities is beneficial.
Preferred Qualities
  • Mission-First Orientation:  Authentic and genuine embrace of The Farmer’s House mission as well as a commitment to promoting dignity, ability and independence among the population The Farmer’s House serves.
  • Commitment to Results: A systems thinker who is customer focused, goal driven, action-oriented and innovative, the Executive Director will translate vision into high-level strategic thinking. This requires a strong work ethic and a high degree of energy.
  • Business Savvy: This position requires demonstrated knowledge and experience in financial management, human resources and employee relations and non-profit operations.
  • Leading Change: This individual shares in The Farmer’s House’s values, mission, vision, philosophies, and culture, demonstrates transparent-high integrity leadership, models positive behavior and deals effectively with demanding situations.
  • Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion: The Executive Director is committed to diversity and inclusion through the intentional and continuous development of awareness and skills to provide a safe, respectful and welcoming environment.  This individual embraces this process by engaging with and responding with staff and community through reflection, advocacy and support.
  • Inspiration and Motivation: The Executive Director can envision and effectively communicate The Farmer’s House mission to donors, the Board, volunteers, and the broader community. S/he knows how to influence, inspire, encourage and motivate others.
AAP/EEO Statement
The Farmer’s House is an equal opportunity employer. The Farmer’s House prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type and affords equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. The Farmer’s House conforms to the spirit as well as to the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.

Application Deadline and Procedures
Position is open until filled.   Priority consideration will be given to applications received by July 15, 2021.
Apply by email to:
Attach to the e-mail in Word and PDF format:
Letter of application that addresses your interest in and qualifications for the position and your connection to The Farmer’s House mission and population served
Five references we may contact
Screening Requirements:  Candidates at the finalist stage must consent to background screenings and other required pre-employment verifications.
Questions may be directed to:   
Jennifer Furla
               Partner/Search Consultant