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Chief Executive Officer- CEO- Aspire of WNY

The Opportunity

Aspire of Western New York supports children and adults with developmental and similar disabilities, helping them to live their lives to the fullest by providing individualized assistance based on personal choices.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the leader and champion of the Agency, leveraging their personal passion for its mission and the power of relationships to advance and strengthen its values of People, Performance and Partnership.The CEO will work closely with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team to chart the strategic direction of the organization and build the necessary talent, systems, and culture to optimize industry and organizational opportunities.The CEO is a steward of the brand as well as the face of Aspire and is, therefore, expected to be visible in the community and represent the agency in public with state legislators, partner agencies and beyond.The CEO will lead by example in promoting the key ideals of Aspire’s vision statement including; person centeredness, personal choice, independence and accessibility.

The CEO must have unquestioned integrity, a long-term perspective, and a strong sense of accountability.This must be combined with the agility, flexibility and courage to shift direction, take initiative and persevere through set-backs and challenges.Key competencies include being:

  • A creative and innovative strategic thinker and change leader
  • A relationship builder and collaborative decision maker
  • An effective communicator and inspiring motivator
  • Politically savvy

The CEO reports to a 14-member agency Board of Directors and is Board member of a 12 member Aspire Foundation Board.

Direct reports include the following positions:

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Human Resource Officer
  • Director of Quality and Corporate Compliance
  • Director of Facilities
  • Executive Assistant

Organization Overview:

  • Total Revenue – $72 Million
  • Total employees- approx. 1,550
  • Number of clients/individuals served- approx. 3,500

About Aspire of WNY


Aspire is driven by the core belief that children and adults with developmental disabilities have the right to realize their full potential and live as independently as possible. Aspire compassionately and relentlessly works toward facilitating this end.  Their total commitment to the development of innovative, individualized programs, continual integration of the developmentally disabled within the community and to providing full-service solutions to the populations it serves, makes Aspire the leading agency of its kind and a true asset to the Western New York community.


Aspire is built upon a foundation that supports individuals in making their personal choices which determine their life path, actualize their dreams and help them achieve their own highest levels of independence. The Agency passionately strives to have a positive, meaningful and lasting impact on its partners – the people they support and their personal support systems, their employees, other care agencies and the community. Aspire of WNY is committed to listen with a positive attitude, relentlessly pursue opportunities, work together as one and be accessible to all.


People – Aspire puts the personal needs and goals of those they support first. They recognize the value and the potential of every employee. They listen and learn from those around them, especially those for whom they provide services. They know that everyone can make a difference and act accordingly and recognize the dignity and unique rights of all those whom they encounter. 

Performance – They give their best at all times, demonstrating compassion and passion. They strive for excellence in all that they do. They are honest, ethical, and accountable. They meet every challenge with professionalism and with heart. They meet change with innovation. They live up to their responsibilities and their commitment to those they support.

Partnership– They work together as a team, to make a positive impact in the lives of the people they support as well as in their own. They are responsive and responsible to their partners – employees, the families and personal support systems of those who receive their services, other care agencies and the community.

Mission Driven Leader

Aspire is embedded with individuals and leaders who are truly passionate about the organization, it’s vision and mission.In order to be effective both today and in the future, the CEO must:

  • Lead with the Agency Mission and Vision consistently prioritized and in focus.
  • Establish and build relationships with top leaders in the community, including those representing the highest levels in business, government and non-profit sectors.
  • Utilize their expertise in the human services field and their political savvy to influence decision-makers, leaders, and donors to support Aspire in accomplishing their strategic goals.
  • Consistently communicate the purpose of the organization to prospective donors, team members, partners, and families.
  • Transparent and regular communication with constituents at all levels.
    • Be an active, empathetic and fully participating listener and advocate for the staff, families and individuals Aspire serves.

Financial & Operational Leader

The CEO will be responsible for ensuring the organization’s operational and financial success. It is expected that the CEO will:

  • Demonstrate a melding of private sector business acumen and traditional non-profit attributes
  • Be knowledgeable about the market and business trends that would impact Aspire, the industry, and funding
  • Work closely with the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to ensure day to day operations, quality of care, regulatory compliance, program metrics, process improvement and organizational structures are optimal.
  • Partner with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to ensure annual budgets, fiscal analysis, investment management and financial stability are maintained as well as cultivate fiscal awareness among Managers.
  • Collaborate with the Chief Human Resource Officer to ensure Aspire’s workforce is engaged, prepared, right-sized and that new employee recruiting is aggressive and creative in a time of significant workforce challenges.
  • Have a spirit of entrepreneurship, and deep knowledge of the sector to be able to draw on a wider pool of resources and create new offerings and partnerships with limited funds.
  • Demonstrate financial prudence, while coaching their organization to manage more with less.
  • Work to build a culture that takes ownership for evaluating and reviewing results.
  • Otherwise work to see that growth in services and fiscal stability is maintained.

Strategic & Organization Leader

The CEO and Senior Leadership Team are responsible for identifying organizational goals and developing strategies to ensure they are achieved.The CEO serves as the principal resource to the Board of Directors and its key committees and gives strong direction in policy formulation and interpretation.In order to do so the CEO will:

  • Lead and manage the strategic planning process and updates for the Agency and Board.
  • Maintain regular and open communications with the Board of Directors and Officers and be a source of key industry information.
  • Participate in government advocacy activities in both Western New York and Albany, including being up to date on issues/legislation impacting the Agency and engaging in in-person advocacy.
  • Serve as the Executive Vice President of the Aspire Foundation and assist the Foundation Board and Special Events Coordinator in fundraising and development efforts.
  • Oversee public relations and outreach strategies and speak on behalf of the agency to employees, the public, partners and the media.
  • Be a liaison to key external partners, trade associations, Person Centered Services, CP State and DDAWNY.

Minimum Qualifications: Education & Experience

  • Master’s degree with a minimum of seven (7) years senior leadership experience in I/DD, healthcare, managed care or related human services field preferably in New York State; or Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of seven (7) years senior leadership experience in I/DD, healthcare, managed care or related human services field preferably in New York State and a commitment from the candidate to obtain a Master’s degree within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Personal values consistent with Aspire values.
  • Extensive experience working in the nonprofit sector integrating with volunteers and diverse boards.Alternatively, extensive senior strategic leadership experience in administration of organizations of comparable size and mission.
  • Strong Financial acumen and significant experience in strategic planning and vision casting.
  • Proven experience in agency transformation and change management.
  • Knowledge of managed care and related readiness elements for downstream providers and direct experience in government affairs and legislative advocacy.
  • Proven successful track record in fundraising and development, experience in public relations strategy setting and proven Board management experience.
  • Experience with collaborations, mergers, and acquisitions among nonprofit organizations preferred.
  • Experience with collective bargaining and union contract negotiations preferred.


Catapult has been retained to conduct the search for Aspire of WNY.  Click the link below to submit your resume directly to Catapult.