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Englewood, CO 80112

Job Type

Full Time

About the Role


About the Company


Our client, Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD) transforms lives by partnering
people with custom-trained assistance dogs. FSD’s clients include veterans with PTSD,
children and teens with autism and other neurocognitive disabilities, and individuals with
physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, spinal
cord injuries, and traumatic brain injury. FSD also provides therapy dogs to serve as
partners for clinicians, therapists, law enforcement and more. Since its founding in 1987,
FSD has graduated hundreds of client-dog teams and provided lifetime support to nearly
200 active teams at no cost to its clients.

FSD is proud to be an accredited member of the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and
has passed regular on-site inspections to ensure compliance with strictly defined ADI
standards for assistance dog training. ADI is the nonprofit organization that sets and
promotes standards and ethics for assistance dog training organizations around the
world.* FSD* is a voting member of ADI.

FSD embraces the following Mission, Vision, DEI stance and Values:

We transform lives by partnering people with custom-trained assistance dogs.

We envision a world where individuals have the freedom to live their lives to the
fullest with a custom-trained assistance dog by their side.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We believe in harnessing the power of diversity to create a culture of belonging
where individuals are celebrated and valued for their unique ideas, perspectives,
and strengths as a means to achieving personal excellence and organizational

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Lead the Pack – Commit to excellence in all we do.

Be the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are – Demonstrate integrity to build trust.

Work Together, Wag Together – Achieve shared goals while having fun.

Keep Our Dogs in a Row – Steward all resources efficiently and effectively.

Unleash the Power of Diversity – Foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive
organizational culture.

In year’s past, FSD has sourced dogs to be trained from shelters. In 2019, in order to
increase graduation rates and more effectively meet the needs of the 80+ clients on the
waiting list, FSD made significant changes to its operating model. The Board and FSD
staff leadership made the decision to shift organizational focus, expertise and resources

o Sourcing FSD service dog candidates from a select group of carefully vetted
partners, including reputable breeders with suitable puppies and adult dogs, guide
dog organizations with career-change dogs, and organizations that donate
purpose-bred puppies to nonprofits such as FSD.
o Placing more emphasis on puppies in its program because of the ability to shape
their behaviors very early in the training process, thereby improving chances for
o Initiating a small-scale breeding program that will give FSD control over the
genetics, health, and temperament of the dogs in its program, allowing FSD to
produce more reliable dogs and graduate more client-dog teams in a timelier
o Supporting the critical early development and training of puppies in its program
with the help of neonatal volunteers and volunteer puppy raisers who provide
basic obedience training and socialization to its pups in their homes – a program
that has proven successful and has been expanded to meet graduation goals.
o Implementing a new behavior evaluation program for puppies and dogs that will
help FSD more effectively evaluate and select potential service dog candidates in
its training program.

As part of this strategic and operational shift, as mentioned above, FSD relies on a cadre
of volunteers that: raise puppies in their homes from ages 2-4 months until the puppies
are 13-14 months old; foster dogs for weekend stays; and, finally, work alongside FSD’s
kennel technicians to care for its hardworking adult dogs in training and to keep their
kennels in tip-top shape.

FSD is governed by a 14-member committed and dog-loving Board of Directors. FSD
operates both its offices and kennel operations from the suburb of Englewood in the
southeast Denver metro area.

For more information about FSD, please see

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The President & CEO serves as the chief executive of the organization. Reporting to the
Board of Directors, the President & CEO is responsible for providing direction and
leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s vision, mission, strategic plan
and its annual goals and objectives. This position is also responsible for overall day to
day management, in collaboration with the director positions, including but not limited to
administration, fund development, human resources, programs, communications and
marketing, and board and community relations. The President & CEO will lead a staff
complement of approximately 54 through 6 direct reports to include the Director of
Philanthropy, the Director of Finance and Administration, the Director of
Communications, the Associate Director of Dog Training, the Associate Director of Health
and Reproduction, and the Associate Director of Client Services. This role will oversee
an annual operating budget in excess of $5.3 million.

This role operates in a professional office environment while working in close proximity
with all types and breeds of dogs to help socialize dogs in training. Occasionally, this role
will involve operating in dog kennels and surrounding areas.

Essential Functions
The essential functions listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types
of work that may be performed; the omission of specific statements of duties does not
exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to be
completed by the position:

 *

Responsible for overall staff leadership in the development and
implementation of strategic plan and annual goals and objectives. Assures
plans align with the organization’s mission and driving progress towards
attainment of this mission.

Provide overall leadership to 50+ staff members.
*Fiscal Management

 *
Responsible for the financial management of the organization, including the
development and implementation of the annual budget. Oversees all financial
practices and functions including those necessary for auditing, budgeting,
financial analysis and reporting, capital asset and property management, and
payroll in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and other
rules and regulations. Ensures that adequate funding is available for the
organization out carry out its work.
*Strategic Planning
 *

Works with the Board Chair and Board of Directors in setting strategic goals
for the organization. Provides leadership in the development, implementation
and accomplishment of the annual plan as approved by the Board.

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*Fund Development

 *

Oversees all fundraising planning and implementation to include major donor
identification and cultivation by taking an active role in personally developing
relations with major donors. Identifies resource requirements, develops
strategies to approach funders including proposals and grant applications,
fundraising events, direct mail, planned giving and other fundraising revenue
streams. Ensures accuracy and propriety of fundraising records and

*Board Relations

 *

Provides information, advice and counsel to the Board Chair, Board
committees, and Board as a whole in the creation of policies, programs, and
strategic direction for the organization. Ensures the Board is kept fully
informed on the condition of the organization and all-important factors
influencing it. Recruits new members to the Board with the skills needed to
further the goals of the organization. Facilitates the work of the Board and its
committees by developing resource materials, providing appropriate
information and reports, and assisting committee chairs as necessary.
Recommends new policies, programs and action plans consistent with the
mission of the organization and ensures compliance with all approved Board
policies. Schedules Board and Board committee meetings and develops
appropriate agenda items.

*Human Resources

 *

Oversees all aspects of human resource management for employees,
including but not limited to, hiring and termination, developing position
descriptions, setting compensation, applying Board-approved employee
policies and benefits, and supervising management staff. Leads the
management team with appropriate provisions for succession. Encourages
staff development and education in recognizing how their individual roles
contribute to the mission of the organization. Maintains a workplace
atmosphere which attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality


 *

Promotes active and broad participation by volunteers in appropriate areas of
the organization’s work.

Program Expertise

Work with Associate Directors to ensure Assistance Dogs International (ADI)
standards, Animal Assisted Intervention International (AAII) standards and
Colorado PACFA regulations are adhered to, and all program and administrative
staff have knowledge and understanding of standards and regulations.
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Work with Associate Directors to develop, implement, and monitor strategies in
genetics and reproduction, puppy development, animal care, and dog training
designed to improve dog graduation success.

Work with Associate Director of Health and Reproduction to grow and maintain
FSD breeding colony; maximizing genetics and lineage to meet the needs of

Work with Associate Director of Dog Training to ensure robust puppy raising and
adult dog training programs designed to improve dog graduation success rates.

Work with Associate Director of Client Services to ensure creation and
continuation of successful client dog partnerships.

Leads ADI and AAII accreditation process.
Maintains a solid working knowledge of significant developments and trends in
the assistance dog and animal assisted intervention fields.

Actively participates in Assistance Dogs International work and AAII work as

*Public Relations
 *

Serves as the public face of the organization and ensures that FSD and its
mission, programs, products and services are consistently presented in a
strong, positive image to relevant stakeholders and the public.

*Community Partnerships
 *

Responsible for establishing and maintaining sound working relationships with
community and nationwide partners and encouraging collaboration.

*Legal & Regulatory Compliance
 *

Maintains all official records and documents and ensures compliance with
federal, state and local regulations.


FSD seeks a solid strategist that can formulate and articulate a vision for the organization
and lead/motivate/mentor a team of dedicated staff members consistent with the
organization’s strategic goals. The successful candidate must be a results-oriented,
experienced and highly mission-driven leader. Other qualities sought include:

An undergraduate degree in Business, Nonprofit Management, or closely related field
of study; an advanced degree will distinguish the most attractive candidates.

Significant (ideally 10 or more years) of progressive experience in the nonprofit sector
with at least five (5) years of demonstrated success in staff leadership, fundraising,
partnership development and financial management.

Prior experience in dog breeding and training operations is a plus, but not required.
A demonstrated track record of success in acquiring organizational financial support
including major donors.

Previous experience with a significant capital campaign is a plus.
Experience with facilities design and expansion planning and execution is a plus.
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Demonstrated skills in leveraging prominent office technology applications to include
the Microsoft Office Suite. Familiarity with Salesforce is a plus, but not required.

Experience with stakeholder marketing, communications, and public relations to
successfully engage stakeholders that include foundations, donors, corporations,
policy makers, the media and general public.

Working knowledge of public policy and health issues faced by veterans and
individuals with disabilities.

Demonstrated acumen in driving and successfully shepherding organizational
change and strategic evolution, creating a welcoming and inclusive culture focused
on excellence. Examples will be sought.

Demonstrated experience in financial reporting, budget management, and
organizational processes.

Prior experience working for and/or closely with board members or trustees.
Demonstrated staff management and development experience.
Proficiency in public speaking.
A passionate personal alignment with the vison and mission of FSD.

An energetic, hands-on, strategic and confident yet down-to-earth leader who
embodies FSD’s core values.

Able to collect and research data and analyze diverse information to make
recommendations to improve programs

An inspirational leader: proven ability to support the leadership team and diverse
groups of staff members to reach agency goals.

Results-oriented and driven to move things forward; strives toward continuous
improvement and measurement against goals.

A “people person” who is compassionate, operates with humility and effectively
integrates into the FSD culture and environment, rapidly gaining the trust and respect
of colleagues and team members throughout, even as he/she simultaneously drives
change and operational process improvements.

A relationship builder who is able to develop strong relationships with donors, external
partners and stakeholders.

Oral and written communication abilities – strong presentation skills; persuasive and
articulate; diplomatic and open style; a good listener; credible.

Impeccable ethics and highest integrity.
A proactive leader; intellectually curious; regularly investigates and brings new ideas
to the organization, especially with regard to operational best practices and staff
leadership; skilled in critical and creative thinking to identify the strengths and
weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to issues.


FSD will offer the successful candidate compensation of $145,000 to $185,000,
dependent on experience and qualifications. FSD also offers a comprehensive benefits
program that includes Medical, Dental, Vision, and Life insurance coverage, 401k
retirement savings plan with organizational match and immediate vesting, a generous
PTO policy, and the ability to work remotely 1-2 days per week.
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EFL Associates, an executive search firm, is assisting FSD with this important search.
All calls and inquiries should be made through the search firm representatives listed
below. Referrals and applications will be held in confidence. Review of applications will
begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Our client and EFL Associates firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal
opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, creed,
national origin, disability, veteran status or any other protected category pursuant to
applicable federal, state or local law.

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