Organization: One Hope United

Location: Chicago, IL

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About One Hope United:

One Hope United (OHU) is a private human service organization that has been investing in children and families for over 120 years, offering a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The team of more than 800 talented professionals serves nearly 10,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida.

From humble origins as a children’s orphanage to the diverse range of programs and services offered, OHU has never wavered from a core belief: investing in the lives of our children and families not only gives them hope but helps enable them to attain their greatest potential in life.

OHU’s strong legacy is built upon a disciplined balance of client impact and sustainability. As the organization looks towards the future and the next 120 years, OHU seeks to better balance high-quality service delivery against long-term financial imperatives. In 2015, the organization re-aligned their regional business model to their current line-of-business model. One Hope United lines of service include:

  • Early Learning and Child Development: OHU’s Early Learning and Child Development centers are dedicated to educating, nourishing, and empowering young children and families. Twelve Development centers throughout the Chicago land area serve more than 2,100 children and meet all goals for social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical development;
  • Placement and Residential Care: OHU works with children of all ages who are wards of the state due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. These children need a stable, dependable, forever home and family they can call their own. The organization provides adoption, foster care and residential services and support; and
  • Community Based Family Services: Offering a comprehensive spectrum of services for individuals and families in need of intensive treatment and counseling, OHU provides a variety of community based family service programs including Behavioral Health, Intact Family Support and Youth Services. OHU’s programs are evidence-based and use data to inform their practices and models, with the goal of reducing the risks to a family’s safety and well-being.

Under the leadership of President & CEO (CEO), Scott Humphrey, OHU is on an ambitious path of growth and operational excellence. Since Humphrey became CEO in 2015, OHU has adjusted their course and their strategy to provide more meaningful and efficient services to the communities they serve. Leading the transformation, Humphrey is instilling a culture of action and accountability.

The mission of the organization is to increase opportunities for children and families by providing quality solutions that enhance lives, communities and futures. The vision is for every child and family, life without limits.

For more information on One Hope United, please visit

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Officer (COO), will provide leadership for the implementation, process improvement and efficiency for all lines of services within the organization.

The COO will be a strategic and results-oriented leader. S/he will serve as a key partner to the CEO and member of the Executive Leadership team providing needed input to ongoing development of services and support of the organizational goals and objectives.

A metrics-oriented management professional, the COO will have tremendous impact by focusing on the refinement and optimization of day-to-day operations through the organization. S/he will be charged with establishing and implementing internal systems and processes to drive efficiency, effectiveness, collaboration and continuous improvement. The COO will oversee all lines of business which includes more than 650 OHU staff members. Direct reports will include the leadership from Community Based Family Services, Early Learning, Placement and Residential Care and Quality Control.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and detailed-minded leader who is able to effectively manage and empower people to achieve results. S/he must be a continuous learner who has a demonstrated commitment and investment in teaching others. The COO will have a strong work ethic, a commitment to clear goals and measurable outcomes, an ability to learn quickly and work well in teams, and have a passion for the vision, mission, and strategies of OHU.

Key criteria for success of the COO include:

  • Championing a spirit of collaboration and open communications across all organizational departments and operations to advance organizational goals and engender trust among the staff;
  • Serving as a thought partner to the CEO and Executive Leadership Team, working closely with them to solidify vision and positioning and maintaining effective lines of communication;
  • Developing strategic goals and objectives to ensure solid program execution and systemic alignment of the lines of service within the organization;
  • Promoting a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality; and
  • Monitoring internal operational processes and procedures and leading change management efforts where necessary to achieve operational excellence.

Candidate Profile:

The COO will be passionate about fulfilling One Hope United’s mission. S/he will benefit from an intimate understanding of the social services community and will work tirelessly to implement and establish strategic objectives for the development of One Hope United’s programs and services.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Action-Oriented Leader with Strong Execution Skills

The COO will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will be a detail-oriented individual who functions well in a complex environment. The COO will have experience affecting change in a large organization, strong organizational and process management skills and a strong ability to coordinate across departments and understand the implications of decisions on areas throughout the organization. S/he will be an assertive and results-oriented leader with the ability to translate OHU’s development goals into clear objectives for the Executive Leadership team and all OHU lines of service staff. The COO will be a builder with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results.

Business Acumen

The COO will be an intelligent self-starter and finisher who is resourceful and entrepreneurial, yet team oriented. A tactical executor, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieves strategic objectives. With the ability to engender trust, honesty and integrity, the COO’s management style will be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus and recognition of teamwork. S/he will partner closely with the CEO and the Executive Leadership Team and will be a calm and proactive communicator at all times.

Building Relationships and Using Influence

The COO must be able to build and sustain excellent relationships at multiple levels internally and with the various external constituencies including the Board of Directors, DCFS, and the range of partner agencies and institutions. It is imperative that s/he is an excellent and persuasive communicator with exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and partnership across the organization. The COO will be a catalyst for change and growth inspiring others to think entrepreneurially and inject new ideas. S/he will help to build and retain a talented team.

Passion for the Mission

The COO will embody the values and mission of OHU and as a result, will inspire and motivate others. S/he will embrace the organization’s culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. S/he will lead by example, understanding that at times, a sense of humor is an essential quality. S/he will have a vision for the social services landscape and will have an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt OHU to its changing environment. The COO will be an empathic, confident leader who treats others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

The COO must have a Master’s degree from an accredited school of business, social work, or another human services field. An advanced degree in social work or human services is preferred.


One Hope United has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Marissa Martin and Turner Delano. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or email Marissa and Turner directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

One Hope United is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit