Chief Operating Officer

Client Overview

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance (The Alliance), based in Washington, DC, is conducting a search for a Chief Operating Officer (COO). The Alliance has grown rapidly in recent years and anticipates a revenue budget in the $13 million range for 2019. The COO will be responsible for overseeing The Alliance’s operations, finance, information technology and marketing communications functions. CCA is seeking a COO who can provide a vision for the infrastructure required to accommodate CCA’s goal of becoming a $20-25 million organization and beyond. Sterling Martin Associates has been retained to assist with this search.

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance was founded in 1999 as the Colon Cancer Alliance, by a group of 40+ survivors, caregivers and friends who saw the need to educate the public about colorectal cancer and provide support to those affected by the disease. In 1999, the first annual meeting of the Colon Cancer Alliance was held in Washington, DC. Shortly after, a board of directors was appointed, and a committee structure put in place. To date, more than 800,000 people have turned to the Alliance.

In November 2017, after merging with the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation the Colon Cancer Alliance became the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, focused on empowering a nation of allies who work with Alliance to provide support for patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; to raise awareness of preventive measures; and inspire efforts to fund critical research. United in their fierce determination to dramatically impact the way society sees this devastating disease, they exist to end colorectal cancer in our lifetime. For more information, please visit www.ccalliance.org.

Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) will be responsible for overseeing and leading the growth strategy for the operational structure of The Alliance. This includes all internal functions including but not limited too, operations, human resources, risk management, finance, facilities, marketing/communications and information technology. S/he will assess, make recommendations for and oversee implementation of project management systems, additional IT infrastructure, financial reporting systems and customer service. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance seeks to continuously enhance service delivery, quality, outcomes, and financial performance. The COO is a key member of the executive leadership team and will partner with the rest of senior leadership to ensure that they establish and meet appropriate operating budgets and grow services to meet the organization’s needs.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

The COO will be a proven leader who shares The Alliance’s organizational core values and has a demonstrated ability to:

  • build relationships both inside and outside the organization
  • develop the members of his or her team and enhance organizational culture
  • develop and implement strategic plans and budgets
  • enhance quality, customer service, and outcome measurement
  • communicate effectively
  • manage multiple priorities

The COO will report to the Chief Executive Officer and will provide executive leadership and vision that furthers the mission through the effective management of the organization’s financial, human assets and business activities. Direct reports to the COO include the Vice President of Marketing/Communications, Vice President of Technology, Controller, Assistant Director of HR and Senior Manager of Operations. Specific responsibilities include, but are not be limited to:

  • Collaborate with the leadership team to develop and implement plans for the operational infrastructure of systems, processes, and staff to enhance quality and performance, lower costs, and grow the organization.
  • Be a visible and visionary organizational leader who builds relationships to both understand risks and develop opportunities.
  • Create an environment that incorporates Alliance core values and supports learning and growth to maintain high professional standards and effectively manage work allocation, training, continuous process improvement, problem resolution, performance evaluation, and the building of effective team dynamics.
  • Oversee all financial systems and processes:
    • Ensure flawless oversight of financial operations;
    • Deliver sound internal reporting that supports effective decision-making;
    • Enhance relationships with financial partners such as lenders and investment managers;
    • Train management throughout the organization on financial management and analysis skills to enhance their performance;
    • Enhance analysis of potential investments so they are effectively prioritized, and, if implemented, their performance is evaluated;
    • Stay abreast of emerging areas of / changes to financial management and systems so the Alliance remains efficient and compliant with all rules and regulations.
  • Oversee human resources function and systems:
    • Develop and implement HR policies and procedures to develop a high-performing staff for the benefit of the Alliance staff and to protect the organization;
    • Oversee analysis and continuous improvement of all aspects of HR (including, but not limited to, recruiting, onboarding, training, retention and satisfaction analysis)
    • Design and implementation of effective compensation and benefits programs;
    • Stay abreast of emerging areas of / changes to HR so the Alliance remains compliant with all rules and regulations and continuously enhances its best-place-to-work initiatives.
  • Oversee information technology to ensure that the Alliance’s systems operate with an appropriate balance of speed, simplicity, security, uptime, and cost:
    • Ensure systems operate flawlessly and are properly backed-up
    • Evaluate potential investments in new systems to increase effectiveness/decrease costs
  • Oversee facilities management, ensuring facilities are properly maintained, safe, and clean

Critical Competencies for Success

Team Builder: Demonstrated ability to leverage the strengths of a diverse team to achieve results.

Visionary Operational Leader: An executive who can lead and control a complex, multi-site organization. Ability to set goals for transition and capability improvement, then leading in a hands-on manner to drive the change. Someone who sets high standards for success and is willing to take calculated risks to achieve impressive goals. S/he will be able to translate strategic goals into actionable plans, then establish timelines and accountability to achieve those plans.

Exceptional Communicator: Able to establish relationships with customers, members of the community, the Board, and team members at all levels of the organization.

Ability to Succeed in a Nonprofit Environment: Demonstrated experience working successfully within a highly collaborative and collegial organization. Comfort rolling up one’s sleeves up and engaging in day-to-day operations. Passion for and commitment to the Alliance’s mission. Demonstrated ability to be flexible and adaptable when facing tough situations or new opportunities and to combine seeming opposites such as compassionately tough, standing up for self without trampling others.

Ideal Background & Experience | Qualities & Characteristics

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Ten or more years of senior leadership experience within the social sector or philanthropic organization. Demonstrated results in driving the execution of ambitious strategies.
  • Track record of building, supporting and facilitating teams, including demonstrated success as an effective coach and mentor to staff.
  • Deep analytic and problem-solving aptitude balanced with humanity and the humility to know that s/he does not have all the answers.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple sites/lines of business.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to digest and distill complex subjects into clear messages.

Compensation & Benefits | Availability

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

To apply, please send a cover letter and current resume (Microsoft Word® format preferred) to [email protected]. A well-written cover letter, outlining how your experience fits the requirements of the position, will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.

The Alliance is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer committed to inclusion and cultural diversity in the workplace. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual preference, genetic information or any other protected class.

For more information, contact:

Sterling Martin Associates
1025 Connecticut Avenue | Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

David S. Martin | Managing Partner
[email protected]

Tricia Bork Canavan | Senior Consultant
[email protected]