President & CEO

President & CEO

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Bloomfield and Wilton, CT   |   June 24, 2019

About Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation:

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation (“Fidelco”) is dedicated to limitless potential – to ensuring that people who are blind enjoy increased independence and achieve their dreams. This is possible by creating partnerships between clients and specially bred and trained German Shepherd guide dogs.

For more than 50 years, Fidelco has brought renewed independence to people who are blind from of all walks of life by pairing them with its world-class guide dogs.
Every guide dog requires an investment of two years, 15,000 hours and $45,000 to breed, raise, train and place. Clients receive Fidelco guide dogs at no cost and are provided 24/7 support for the working life of each partnership – typically 10 years. Each life-changing guide dog is completely funded by the Foundation.

Guide dog recipients include a wide variety of blind and visually impaired individuals – business leaders, wounded war heroes, teachers, athletes, parents, and retirees.

From families and individuals to students and retirees, Fidelco depends upon extraordinary volunteers. Fidelco volunteers and staff are dedicated partners who help ensure guide dog teams (both the client and guide dog) succeed. Through its Puppy Raiser Program, volunteers open their hearts and homes to Fidelco guide dog puppies, creating the foundation for what will become clients’ exceptional guide dog partners.

Globally recognized for their unwavering loyalty and resolve, Fidelco’s guide dogs are a hallmark of the organization. Fidelco has been selectively breeding from strong German Shepherd bloodlines for over five decades, ensuring exceptional intelligence, stamina and temperament.

Fidelco pioneered In-Community Placement in the United States, which allows Fidelco’s professional trainer-instructors to carefully evaluate a new team’s progress in the client’s day-to-day environment. The groundbreaking In-Community Placement model is one of the most effective way to create high-functioning teams. Fidelco’s training specialists provide individualized training in the communities where its clients live and work, so that partnerships are successful and enduring. Through this one-on-one process, clients are trained to use their guide dogs in their homes, neighborhoods and places of work. Throughout the two- to three-week training process, clients have the support of family, friends and co-workers.

With vision impairments on the rise, Fidelco will continue working alongside guide dog teams and exceptional partners to clear obstacles – creating opportunities for clients as they navigate the world around them.

To learn more or to support Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation’s charitable, life-improving mission please visit

The Opportunity:

As Fidelco enters this exciting chapter in its history, the President & CEO (“CEO”) will provide leadership and direction to fulfill the organization’s mission.
Inspired by a genuine passion that no one should face obstacles alone, the CEO will have a clear vision for the organization. Developed collaboratively with the senior leadership team and Board, strategic planning and implementation will be one of the major priorities for this CEO. The CEO will focus on fundraising, operational efficiency and raising Fidelco’s profile nationally.

Reporting to and partnering with the Board of Directors, the CEO will be expected to provide strategic leadership to the organization. The CEO will work proactively with the Board and development team to fundraise for Fidelco and strategically lead the organization into its next chapter, inspiring engagement and service among donors, partners and potential volunteers. Internally, the CEO will ensure the staff is working effectively, empowering them and leading by example. Currently consisting of four highly dedicated professionals, the CEO will provide leadership development for the executive management team. The CEO will work tirelessly to promote and expand the efforts of the organization both internally and externally.

The CEO will be able to credibly represent the organization in the service dog community and beyond, grasping core concepts, trends and social impact, increasing the organization and staff’s positioning as subject matter experts.

This is a remarkable opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader to join an enthusiastic and spirited organization and lead a group of passionate and talented stakeholders in important efforts to transform the landscape of resources and support networks serving people who are blind across the country.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Embodying a clear, inspiring, entrepreneurial vision and guiding the team to translate those strategies into effectively executed plans;
  • Achieving revenue goals and strong fundraising success for Fidelco by increasing major donors, partners, key stakeholders and volunteers with a specific goal of growing revenue;
  • Developing and executing a multi-year strategic plan to accomplish the growth goals for the organization;
  • Championing a spirit of innovation, collaboration and open communications internally to advance organizational goals and engender trust among the staff;
  • Instilling a culture of high performance and leadership at all levels by serving as a coach and mentor;
  • Partnering and providing professional leadership to the Board of Directors to assure continued support of an effective and motivated Board, including identification, recruitment and stewardship; and
  • Representing Fidelco to the philanthropic and civic communities and acting as an ‘Ambassador’ in various public and private settings.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

A Strategic and Visionary Leader

The successful candidate will have the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. An intelligent self-starter and finisher, the CEO will be resourceful and entrepreneurial yet team oriented. The CEO will be a proven and respected nonprofit executive whose skills will inspire continued success. This leader will embody Fidelco’s strong commitment to its clients and will promote the organization, accelerating its impact, fund development and brand recognition.

Business & Financial Acumen

A tactical executor, the CEO will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive decisions and achieves strategic objectives. The CEO will have an abiding commitment to a team environment centered on accountability. This leader will understand and implement best nonprofit management practices and planning, ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals. The CEO will have a demonstrated understanding of how to run a financially sound organization. understands the importance of a robust partnership with the Board and will ensure fiduciary responsibility, sound financial management practices and accountability while remaining innovative.

A Proven Ambassador & Fundraiser

This leader will have the character and confidence to work comfortably in a highly visible role and to interact effectively with a broad range of constituents. The CEO will be an inspirational and charismatic leader who will serve as the chief ambassador and fundraiser for Fidelco. The CEO will be able to effectively articulate and convey Fidelco’s mission and priorities to a range of constituents, including donors, clients, staff and the Board of Directors. With an appetite for establishing connections with the funding community, the CEO will demonstrate leadership in the field of development. Adopting an entrepreneurial approach to expanding and deepening new and existing donor support, the CEO will embrace Fidelco’s desire to expand the organization’s fund development initiatives.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The CEO must be able to build and sustain excellent relationships at multiple levels internally and with various external constituencies, including staff, a range of partner organizations, and the Board of Directors. The CEO will have the ability to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and partnership across the organization. The CEO will be a proactive, transparent and persuasive communicator who can deal effectively with people of different philosophies, backgrounds and cultures. An engaging and supportive executive, this leader will have a track record of motivating and inspiring others to achieve impact through creativity, teamwork and by leveraging individual strengths to meet organizational goals.

A Passion for the Mission

As a leader, the CEO will bring a passion for serving people who are blind, coupled with a love for dogs. This leader will actively promote ways to maintain and enhance Fidelco’s reputation for providing exceptional, expertly trained guide dogs. The successful candidate will be a dynamic, inspirational, energetic and credible leader, with the presence and gravitas to capture the attention and interest of the donor community and other key stakeholders in order to advance the organization’s mission. The CEO will be an individual of impeccable integrity, ethics and values who can be trusted implicitly.


Marissa Martin, Mo Lashendock and Chartise Clark of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Marissa, Mo and Chartise directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference –we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve. Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

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