Executive Director

Compensation: $75,000 – $90,000 DOE/neg.
Locations: San Diego, CA
Reports To: Board of Directors
Direct Reports: 5 (Development Director, Housing Services Coordinator, Marketing Assistant, Student Ambassador, and the Property Management Company).

Our Story

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a brighter future through education. And to pursue that dream, no student should have to choose between paying for classes or rent, or for purchasing textbooks or their next meal.  Yet thousands of students across our region face these inequitable situations every day:

  • 70% of California community college students experience food and/or housing insecurity.
  • The national college graduation rate for transitional age former foster youth is 8%.
  • At SDSU alone, there are 3,000 unsheltered students.

Wesley House is a public, non-profit organization with a history of service and outreach stretching back over 80 years. We empower students to achieve their goals through affordable housing and support services. Wesley House also operates a two-story student residence building adjacent to the SDSU campus, serving students attending either SDSU or local surrounding community colleges. Our organization is uniquely positioned to aid systemically marginalized student populations, including foster youth, low-income, and/or first-generation college students. 80% of Wesley House students are the first in their families to attend college.

Wesley House provides comprehensive, customized programs to our residents, including:

  • Seminars with partner organizations, designed to increase academic success and social and emotional well-being. Sessions include financial literacy, financial aid, career exploration and preparation, mental health awareness, fitness, and social activities.
  • A full-scale food pantry, ensuring our residents have consistent access to nutritious food.
  • The Second Start Program, which provides 1 year of free housing for college students who are former foster youth experiencing homelessness, along with individualized resources and services.
  • The Transitional Bridge Program, which provides 1 year of housing for current residents who have graduated but utilize additional support services to ensure a successful transition to independent housing.

For additional information regarding Wesley House, please visit: https://wesleysdsu.org/

Position Summary

Affordable housing is perhaps the most salient issue facing our region today. Wesley House is the only nonprofit organization in San Diego addressing affordable housing and related issues for college students from a holistic and inclusive perspective.  As such, we see both tremendous need for our services, and incredible growth opportunities for our organization.

After five years of dedicated service, our current Executive Director is stepping down in the spring of 2021. As such, we are excited to welcome our next leader who will continue his work and take Wesley House to new heights. Reporting to an 11-person Board of Directors, the Executive Director will assume overall responsibility for the organization’s success, with oversight of a $400,000 budget and a team of 2 full-time and 2 part-time staff, plus a property management company. In partnership with the Board, they will define and execute an updated strategic plan for Wesley House, shaping how we serve more students and form strategic partnerships in the affordable housing space. The Executive Director will dedicate a significant portion of their attention to developing new revenue sources and stabilizing these funding streams, which are critical to the long-term sustainability of the organization. This role requires a charismatic, passionate, and sincere individual, as they will be the key representative and advocate for our organization across the community.

Anticipated allocation of responsibilities:

  1. Fundraising – 35%
  2. Partnership Development – 35%
  3. Staff Management and Board Relations – 20%
  4. Business Operations (Property Management, Financial Oversight / AP / Payroll) – 10%

Priorities within the first year include:

  • Form a thorough understanding of the organization’s operations and workflow, and define staff roles and expectations accordingly.
  • Work in close partnership with the Board to establish a new strategic plan.
  • Create a new development plan, clearly defining our fundraising strategy and milestones.
  • Identify potential partnerships and track the outcomes from pursuing these opportunities.

Priorities for years 2-5:

  • Ensure the organization is poised for sustainable growth with a balanced budget.
  • Diversify our funding streams while growing existing sources of revenue.
  • Incorporate additional professional development and training opportunities for team members.
  • Productize and scale Wesley House’s service model.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Partner with the Board in the strategic planning process; foster open and effective communication with the Board and fully leverage each member’s strengths and connections.
  • Ensure strategic goals and milestones are met or exceeded.
  • Promote a collaborative work environment where all staff are engaged, informed, and empowered to participate.
  • Enhance and administer an effective performance management system for all employees that includes annual goal setting and periodic evaluations.
  • Raise the organization’s public profile by 1) serving as its spokesperson and advocate and 2) serving as a high-profile visionary and influential leader in the community.
  • Establish and maintain exceptional rapport with key stakeholders, including our residents, partner organizations, foundations, affordable housing developers, and our property management company.
  • Create and execute a comprehensive development plan to include individual and major gifts, grants, corporate sponsors, events, and other partnerships.
  • Set appropriate short and long-term revenue targets and take ownership for reaching them.
  • Integrate development and marketing/communications strategies to maximize Wesley House’s brand exposure and fundraising opportunities.
  • Ensure existing and potential new programs and events advance Wesley House’s mission, are financially sustainable, and adequately staffed.
  • Expand our relationships with variousoffices and programs at SDSU, such as ECRT, Project Rebound, Financial Aid, Social Work, Public Health and City Planning.
  • Pursue additional partnerships with community college districts.
  • Conduct research and attend events and trainings to stay apprised of developments in the field of affordable housing.
  • Oversee the organization’s finances, including its budget and payroll.
  • Maintain official records and documents in accordance with federal, state, local and grant regulations and requirements.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Connects authentically to our mission of providing affordable housing and support services to low-income and systemically marginalized students.
  • Acts with humility, self-awareness, and an unyielding ethical standard.
  • Demonstrates persistence, a strong personal initiative, and a drive to complete projects.
  • Promotes a workplace culture of accountability, inclusiveness, and collaboration.
  • An open and inclusive decision-making style; fosters strong relations with the Board.
  • Recognizes untapped potential and leverages these opportunities.
  • Focuses on the future and devises a path to get there with innovative, yet practical methods.
  • Unabashed optimist who can see through or around obstacles.
  • A natural connector who can bring the right people and resources together to effect change.

Experience & Skill Set

  • 7+ years’ experience as a leader, manager or key team member of a small-to-medium-sized nonprofit organization.
  • Complete end-to-end understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Skilled at connecting with individuals across all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds in the community.
  • Experienced partnering with boards on strategic planning and working to ensure goals and milestones are met or exceeded.
  • Strong written, oral, and listening skills, and able to connect with and inspire a wide range of partners and stakeholders.
  • Business acumen – formidable skills with budgeting, reporting, operations, and marketing.
  • Gives attention to both short-term and long-term objectives.

Wesley House Student Residence, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating a positive and inclusive work environment for all employees.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Liliane Lendvai, Director, Blair Search Partners
Liliane@blairsearchpartners.com