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Chief Executive Officer (Mainstay Life Services)

Company: Mainstay Life Services
Location: Pittsburgh, PA


Mission and Organization

The mission of Mainstay Life Services is to provide high-quality support services, ensuring that people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives and realize their vision of a desirable future. We work to ensure that people with developmental disabilities will live within a community that sustains them and benefits from their participation. Our vision is that Mainstay Life Services will be regarded as the region’s provider of choice for individuals and families seeking services, and as the region’s employer of choice for qualified and committed professionals.

Established in 1999 under the strategic guidance of current CEO Jim Kirk and a dedicated Board of Directors, Mainstay Life Services is a partnership between the former Horizon Homes, Inc. and Idlewood Center. Both organizations, as pioneers in providing home support and pathways to self-sufficiency for people with developmental disabilities, recognized their shared approach and common goals, merging to create Mainstay Life Services nearly 20 years ago.

With almost 400 employees and a budget of $20 million, Mainstay Life Services (Mainstay) supports nearly 400 people through its core programs and services, both community-based and residential.

Community Services are an all-inclusive model of care for adults living in their own home, in need of varying levels of support. Mainstay offers a summer respite and recreation program which provides the unique opportunity for participants to stay on a Pittsburgh university campus and engage in recreation and socialization activities.  

Residential Services has more than 50 Mainstay homes throughout Allegheny County. A variety of living arrangements and service levels are offered, ranging from comprehensive, 24-hour care in a family home setting, to supported living for more independent recipients who select services to meet their personal needs such as transportation and nutritional guidance. The program also includes community homes for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

A well recruited/retained and talented staff ensures the operational stability of Mainstay and, along with the Board, looks forward to a future of growth and innovation in programs and services under the leadership of a new CEO. 

Position Overview

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to a Board of Directors (15 members) and will develop trust-based relationships with senior teams. We seek a leader who is strategic in evaluating programmatic and financial systems with a proven track record of partnership development, using collaboration to drive the organization’s mission and deepen the impact of Mainstay’s programs.

We seek a leader with empathy and compassion for the individuals and families served by our mission. In an ever-evolving healthcare landscape, we seek an experienced leader who can navigate organic growth, particularly of community services, as well as intentional partnerships with the community.

The CEO is primarily responsible for the following:

Leadership and Management

  • Assures Mainstay effectively achieves its mission by providing leadership and programmatic innovation. This includes day-to-day operations, fundraising, fiscal management, and program development.
  • Manages the Staff with kindness and integrity. This includes creating a workplace that is positive and respectful, and one where personal and professional development are paramount.
  • Evaluates programming to maintain relevance while also inspiring innovative approaches to improve the impact of Mainstay.
  • Explores and executes opportunities for collaboration with similarly aligned organizations as well as cross-sector partnerships that could present creative ways of enhancing program delivery.

Revenue Generation and Community Relations

  • Stewards relationships with current philanthropic partners (foundations, community organizations, corporations, etc.).
  • Identifies and cultivates potential opportunities for advancement in resource development.
  • Actively engages with local, state, and federal officials in order to strengthen broad support for Mainstay’s mission.

Board Relations

  • Develops, maintains, and supports a high-performing and passionate Board of Directors.
  • Generates and tracks metrics which monitor the performance of the organization with respect to the mission and key objectives of the organization.
  • Provides leadership in developing organizational, program, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and carries out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  • Prepares and presents mission and programmatic information at each meeting to ensure Board understanding of the work and people associated with the organization.  

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The CEO will lead with an appreciation of the remarkable impact Mainstay makes in the community. All candidates should have exceptional and proven nonprofit management, leadership, relationship management, and resources development experience, as well as possess a combination of the following attributes:

  • Educational background that includes a Bachelor’s degree. An advanced degree is preferred.
  • A demonstrated passion for ensuring that people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives and realize their vision of a positive future.
  • A successful track record with creating and maintaining relationships with donors, funders, and community partners.
  • A sense of entrepreneurial opportunism with the ability to adapt with changing conditions.
  • Adept at building effective teams and motivating others to achieve more, particularly in complex and dynamic organizations. Working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors.
  • Commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Clear understanding of the reimbursement models of state and federal funding. 
  • Interpersonal skills including the ability to motivate, negotiate, and persuade stakeholders into a course of action in a community context.

Performance Objectives

  • Within year one, the CEO will be expected to continue to deliver outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing and meeting the following:
  • Maintaining the positive momentum of a newly implemented client service and financial delivery model and ensuring high quality adherence to Mainstay’s mission.
  • Building strong and trusting relationships with Staff and Board through intentional communication in a variety of formats, ensuring that all those who must be heard are engaged.
  • Managing current and potential strategic partnerships in order to ensure the highest quality of services are offered and maintained.
  • Initiate a strategic planning process that is creative and inclusive of the various stakeholders of Mainstay.


This position offers a competitive salary, starting at $180K, commensurate with previous experience and demonstrated skills.   

How to Apply

Mainstay Life Services has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Michelle@NonprofitTalent.com. Applications are not accepted at this email address. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact Mainstay Life Services.

Resume, position specific cover letter, and salary expectations may be uploaded HERE


Mainstay Life Services is an equal opportunity employer.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY 5PM on JULY 20, 2018 Mainstay Life Services is an equal opportunity employer.