CEO – Northwood Children’s Services


Duluth, MN

Located in Duluth, Minnesota, Northwood Children’s Services provides holistic and professional care, education, and treatment for children with severe emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities. Established in 1883, we are the oldest and largest organization of our kind in Minnesota. Northwood is a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt agency committed to building positive change in children’s lives.

Our tradition of compassionate service has made Northwood the program of choice for the care and treatment of children with significant mental health challenges.


Northwood Children’s Services’ mission is to provide brighter futures for the children and families we serve. We operate a full continuum of quality mental health treatment programs developed by passionate, professional, and highly trained staff.


Our vision is to provide the right service at the right time, with a focus on integrated and continuous care.


The children, first and foremost;

Excellence in all that we do so we become the program of choice in each of the service areas we choose to operate;

To provide every opportunity for children and families to enrich their lives;

To continue our rich history and legacy of professionalism and community service;

To serve children and families with significant challenges and barriers:

If not us, who? If not here, where?

Northwood Children’s Services is now accepting applications for the position of

PRESIDENT/ CEO of our organization. For more information about our organization please go to our website

Job Summary

The President/CEO is hired by the Board of Directors and is responsible for implementing the policies and resolutions of the Board.  The President/CEO administers the entire agency program and serves as a catalyst who carries authority and accountability for the agency.  The President/CEO serves a leadership function which includes the creation of optimum climate for group participation and productivity.  Primary duties include the planning, organizing, selection, training and supervision of staff, development and implementation of management systems, preparation of reports and budgets, identifying needs for the Board and staffing Board Committees, promoting sound decision-making within the agency, coordinating and promoting activities that will achieve organizational objectives, ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal licensing, accreditation, and financial operating regulations.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s degree in an appropriate field
  • (10) years relevant management experience


  1. Envisioning and Strategic Planning

Goal:  Envision, plan and build an effective organization.

  • Develop and uphold the Mission, Vision, and Values of the organization.
  • Develop and prepare organizational goals and objectives in coordination with key staff and the Board of Directors.
  • Prepare long term and short term goals of the organization.
  • Analyze and assess the existing organizational structure and make changes as needed.
  • Be an effective change agent. Determine the most effective and efficient method of change to new or revised structure. Prepare “phase” or “step” plans to follow in implementing changes or updates.
  • Identify and implement action plans to achieve organizational excellence.
  • Forecast personnel and program requirements, plan and take appropriate action to assure adequate personnel and program needs are met.
  • Plan, coordinate, implement and facilitate organizational development activities, such as organizational assessments, team building, strategic planning, etc.
  1. Agency Administration and Management

Goal: Overall responsibility for administration and management of day-to-day agency operations.

  • Administer all programs and serve as a catalyst with authority and accountability for the agency.
  • Develop, coach, supervise and provide general direction to Executive Team members.
  • Model excellence in leadership for agency staff.
  • In conjunction with the Board, develop and continually monitor agency budget to ensure fiscal viability.
  • Oversight and responsibility for the management and development of agency resources, including: fiscal, employee, physical grounds and buildings and programs.
  • Ensure ongoing compliance with agency licensure and certification standards.
  • Ensure the maintenance and insurance of all physical properties of the agency.
  • Oversight and responsibility for the hiring, coaching, formal evaluation and discharge of employees.
  • Oversight and responsibility for the development of passionate, professional and highly trained staff.
  • Supervision of the business affairs of the agency to assure that funds are expended to the best possible advantage.
  1. Liaison with Board of Directors

Goal: Facilitate and coordinate the work of Board and staff.

  • Implement the policies and practices as set by the Board.
  • Provide ongoing leadership to the Board.
  • Coach and assist Board members in the performance of their roles as Board members.
  • Act as a “linking pin” between the Board and the agency.
  • Provide information to the Board in regard to program operations (clientele, goals and objectives, licensing, funding, projects, personnel and facilities, etc.). Provide information to staff in regard to Board operations (committees, plans, decisions, etc.).
  • Provide data and reports to effectively communicate with Board and staff. Provide statistics, plans, recommendations and other information as needed or requested (i.e., annual report, etc.)
  • Participate directly (or by delegate) in Board and committee meetings.
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of the Board or delegate appropriate staff person to serve this function.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of President/CEO position, agency and programs through ongoing feedback from the Board, staff and stakeholders.
  1. Communication and Coordination

Goal: Ensure high levels of communication and coordination inside the organization and with community stakeholders.

  • Model effective communication methods. Strengthen channels of communications and coordination within the organization and with community stakeholders.
  • Encourage the 360 degree transmission of needed information.
  • Conduct and participate effectively in meetings to facilitate communication and coordination.
  • Strive for consistency across all program processes and procedures. Ensure alignment with agency mission, vision and values.
  1. Teamwork and Morale

Goal: Assure the creation of a positive agency environment that fosters high performance.

  • Act as a catalyst in creating a healthy and positive agency and team culture that increases morale, nurtures individual and team growth and fosters high performance.
  • Assist in establishing team goals, prioritizing goals, and establishing target dates for completion. Work effectively with Executive Team members to achieve goals within established timelines.
  • Analyze own strengths and areas of improvement and seek out opportunities for development.
  • Establish, in conjunction with the Board, personal goals, prioritizing goals and establishing target dates for completion. Work effectively to achieve goals within established timelines.
  • Strive for excellence and lifelong learning. Attend all required trainings on an annual basis and proactively identify additional training opportunities.

Typical Physical/Mental Demands

Regular and timely attendance required. Ability to work days, evenings, weekends and holidays (as appropriate for agency needs/functions).

Frequent and effective interpersonal communication, involving frequent interruptions. Ability to handle multiple tasks and prioritize work flow. Ability to communicate effectively with a broad range of individuals and groups and effectively manage conflict. Ability to effectively manage confidential and sensitive information.

High level of energy and endurance to direct and oversee a multi-million dollar agency. Ability to speak effectively to large and small groups. Ability to exercise mature judgment to evaluate and negotiate multifaceted situations and interactions with others. Capability for high level decision making and complex problem solving.

Application Instructions

Please submit your resume with cover letter no later than April 1, 2022.

Applications can be sent via mail or email to:

Joaquim Harris; Director of Human Resources

Northwood Children Services

714 W College St

Duluth MN 55811

Or via email at:

Select candidates will be invited to participate in a video conference call. All finalists will be invited to the Northwood facilities for a tour, in person interview, and discussion with the Northwood Board of Directors.