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High Hopes Development Center

Executive Director

High Hopes Development Center


Job Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the incumbent Executive Director, Gail Powell, joined High hopes in 2007. She plans to retire upon suitable identification and onboarding of a new Executive Director.

The Executive Director will help refine and execute High Hopes strategy and provide leadership excellence in the operational management of the center. He or she will be valued for fresh perspective, caring and compassion, educational, or experience with therapy for children with special needs, general business and financial acumen, with future vision concerning development, capital management and expansion opportunities. The Executive Director will interact regularly with the Board, Donors, Directors, Staff, Parents, the children we serve and on occasion, regulatory entities and government representatives. She/he will need to also be highly visible in the community and be an energetic, engaging, proactive and influential advocate for the mission. She/he must have a heart for children.

The Executive Director will be responsible for growing and leading operational functions that can scale with intended growth and satisfy the additional challenge and scrutiny that comes with scale. As High Hopes continues to grow, it is imperative that the qualities that differentiate the Center, most notably its high touch, compassionate model and its focus on children to remain fundamental.

The Executive Director will lead a team of roughly 80+ professionals and staff members through four direct reports, responsible for Therapy, Early Childhood Education, Development and Administration. While High Hopes understands that the next Executive Director will want to assess the team and organizational structure, High Hopes is confident in its strong talent currently within the organization. Attracting and retaining top talent will continue to be a key priority.

Job Responsibilities

  1. Leadership, Management and Operations – The Executive Director shall:
  1. Be responsible for High Hopes’ consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives.
  2. Actively participate with the Board of Directors to assure development of a long-range strategy to achieve High Hopes’ mission and be responsible for implementing the strategic plan.
  3.   Provide leadership in developing program, organizational and financial plans with the Board and staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  4. Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of High Hopes’ work.
  5. Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  6. Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.
  7. Ensure the delivery of high-quality services by High Hopes while managing for current and future growth.
  8. Increase efficiencies and consistency throughout High Hopes.
  1. Fundraising and Communications – The Executive Director shall:
  1. See that the Board is kept fully informed on a timely basis on the overall well-being and financial condition of High Hopes and all-important factors influencing it.
  2. Publicize the activities of High Hopes, its programs and goals.
  3. Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and High Hopes.
  4. Represent the programs and point of view of High Hopes to agencies, High Hopes, and the general public.
  5. Oversee operational fundraising planning and implementation, including funding sources and establishing strategies to approach funders.
  6. Work in coordination with the Board and their fiduciary responsibility for Capital campaigns.
  7. Formulate and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and development strategies for High Hopes.
  1. Staff Relations – The Executive Director shall:
    1. Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
    2. Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
    3. See that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place.
    4. Encourage staff and volunteer development and education and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of High Hopes.
    5. Maintain a climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality people.
  2. Budget and Finances – The Executive Director shall:
    1. Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices of High Hopes.
    2. Work with the staff, Finance Committee, and Board in preparing an annual budget and see that High Hopes operates within budget guidelines.
    3. Ensure that adequate funds are available to permit High Hopes to carry out its work.
    4. Jointly, with the President, Treasurer and Secretary of High Hopes, conduct official correspondence of High Hopes, and jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.
    5. Coordinate and review the annual IRS Form 990 filing and other reporting requirements.

All statements are intended to describe the general nature of work assigned to the job and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required.



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Management, Business, or related field required
  • Master’s Degree desired
  • 5-7 years of non-profit experience in an operational environment strongly desired
  • 5-7 years management or supervisory experience
  • Satisfactory results of a background check and any other requirements as may be dictated by the State of Tennessee.

Additional Information


Medical Insurance Choices
•     Blue Cross Blue Shield-Network S (Select)
•     Blue Cross Blue Shield-Network P (Preferred)
•     Blue Cross Blue Shield-Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) with HSA
High Hopes contributes $315 per month toward the employee’s premiums for plans S and P.
High Hopes contributes $130 per month toward the employee’s premiums for CDHP AND $25 in the
employee’s HSA account. Go to for more information and to see if your provider
Vision and Dental Insurance are offered with High Hopes contributing $15 a month toward employee’s
dental premiums.
Supplemental Insurance is available for all employees through AFLAC and Colonial Life.
401K – High Hopes offers a 401k plan for all employee’s at least 21 years of age.  High Hopes does
not contribute to or match employee’s contributions. A booklet of options is available at time of
hire. Employee’s may contribute:
•      Before-Tax
•      After-Tax Roth
•      Catch-up contributions (for over age 50)
Holidays – The Executive Director is paid for all days the center is closed (typically 15-16 days
per year)
Vacation – The Executive Director is eligible for up to 20 paid vacation days for a calendar year

How to Apply

Prospective candidates are encouraged to apply by sending a letter of interest and resume to Alex Geraughty, for consideration by the Search Committee.


  • Date Posted: December 9, 2021
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Accounting / Financial Management
  • Service Area: Children / Youth
  • Start Date: 05/02/2022