Organization: ChildServ

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest!

About ChildServ:

The Mission of Childserv: To help at-risk children and their families to build, achieve and sustain better lives.

ChildServ is a highly experienced, multidisciplinary child and family services network that reaches children and families facing adversity in the Illinois counties of Cook, Lake, Kane and DuPage. ChildServ focuses on providing in-depth, community-based programs to underserved children and their families, foster parents and other caregivers.

A proud direct descendent of the Deaconess Orphanage and Ms. Lucy Rider Meyer, the legacy that is ChildServ has represented the marginalized and the voiceless…. especially those whose individual and family struggles have been complicated by chronic poverty and systemic prejudice. The legacy that is ChildServ has meant humanitarian assistance, community engagement and empowerment, and human rights for over 120 years.

Founded as the Methodist Deaconess Orphanage in 1894, ChildServ was created to help the children and families of European immigrants struggling to survive in the fastest growing city in the world, Chicago, well before the arrival of modern health and human services and well before the onset of modern entitlements and legal protections.

The vision, genius and legacy of Lucy Rider Meyer lives on today in ChildServ. As European immigration, African-American migration from the south to the north, and Asian and interAmerican immigration have changed the face of Chicago, ChildServ has been there to help children and families in need. In fulfillment of their mission, ChildServ’s methods are constantly evolving to accommodate changing demographics, cultures and public policies.

Today, ChildServ is a child and family services organization, providing community-based programs to underserved children and families in the Chicagoland area. Services range from family support groups to group homes for youth in Lisle, Naperville and Downers Grove. ChildServ serves children and families in the community through a comprehensive, tailored service program that truly helps children build, achieve and sustain better lives.

The strength of the ChildServ organization lies in their commitment to community and the preservation of family. The homes and services represent more than just a warm bed. In addition to shelter in a therapeutic group home setting, ChildServ provides children and families with counseling, group therapy, life skills education and social activities and recreation. In partnership with other local organizations, Childserv has also piloted the Illinois Military Families Initiative, helping military members, veterans and their families access the support and resources they need to enhance their well-being and regain full participation in civilian life.

The vision is for ChildServ to be an innovative and nimble leader in providing high-quality, effective services to support children, youth, families and communities in meeting the ever-changing challenges of society.

For more information on ChildServ, please visit:

The Opportunity:

The next President & CEO will be an inspiring, energetic, ‘people-oriented’ leader. As the current landscape of child welfare care services shifts, ChildServ is entering into an exciting new chapter in its history. The new President & CEO will provide fearless leadership and innovative direction to adapt the organization’s model and work to fulfill the mission. A clear vision and thoughtful strategic direction setting, developed collaboratively with the Board, will be one of the major priorities for this new leader. S/he will have the opportunity to evaluate the organization’s role in the child welfare landscape and establish ways to solidify ChildServ in the field.

The President & CEO will provide leadership and direction to fulfill the organization’s mission. S/he will work with the Board of Trustees to establish the organization’s next strategic plan and execute that plan with the staff. The President & CEO will be expected to manage ChildServ’s resources with a strict eye towards operational efficiency as well as an entrepreneurial approach to diversifying revenue streams.

The President & CEO will work proactively with the Board and development team to fundraise for ChildServ and strategically lead the organization into its next chapter. Internally, s/he will ensure the staff is working effectively to support the organization and advance the mission of ChildServ. The President will benefit from an intimate understanding of the child welfare community and will work tirelessly to promote the organization and fundraise on its behalf.

Candidate Profile:

The President & CEO will be passionate about fulfilling ChildServ’s mission. S/he 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 ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Visioning and Strategic Leadership: The President & CEO will have an collaborative spirit and be able to guide and substantially contribute to the continued articulation of the identity, values, mission and strategy of ChildServ. S/he will be a strategic leader who, along with the Board, sets and articulates a vision for the organization’s next chapter, develops a strategic plan, executes upon it and evaluates outcomes. S/he will take a consultative approach to evolve the vision of the organization for the current times while preserving the rich history. The ability to think entrepreneurially and inject new ideas into the strategy will be critical as the organization makes itself relevant for the future. This leader will instinctively ‘get ahead of the curve’ in terms of anticipating needs and threats, and craft a strategy to address those while achieving the mission of ChildServ. Fundamentally, the President & CEO will be a ‘change agent’ with the ability to successfully lead the Board and staff through a period of transformation.

Business Acumen with Management: The President & CEO will be results-oriented and able to translate the organization’s goals into clear objectives for the Board and staff. The President & CEO will have the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. With the ability to engender trust, honesty and integrity, the President & CEO’s management style will be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus, recognition of teamwork and the ability to resolve conflict. The candidate must be able to conceptualize and analyze problems and solutions, identifying key metrics that will help ChildServ achieve its mission and improve performance. track record of converting strategy into effective execution.

Partnership Development and Fundraising: The President & CEO must work in a collaborative manner, building relationships and promoting ChildServ. S/he will be a proven or emergent fundraiser coupled with a deep understanding that successful fundraising and the development of partnerships with allied organizations are fundamental responsibilities. The next President & CEO will play a lead role in fundraising and in diversifying ChildServ’s revenue streams. S/he will work in close collaboration with the Board and staff to identify, approach and cultivate partners and donors to help advance ChildServ’s objectives, effectively reducing reliance on government funding. The President & CEO will be a dynamic, energetic and credible leader, which will be conveyed both internally to the organization and externally to the broader community and can deal effectively with people of different philosophies, backgrounds and cultures. S/he is politically adept and can articulate ChildServ’s vision and direction to a wide range of audiences and constituencies.

Passion for the Mission: The President & CEO will have a true passion for the mission of ChildServ and a commitment to effectively leading his or her teams to support the goals of the organization. The President & CEO will have a high reserve of resiliency and a commitment to excellence when faced with challenges as well as a high tolerance for adversity, continual change and uncertainty. S/he will not let difficult situations get in the way of achieving the mission of the organization and will do so with humility and empathy. S/he will be an example for staff on how to handle challenging situations, understanding that at times, a sense of humor will carry the day. On the most fundamental level, s/he will care deeply about helping at-risk children and families and will promote that passion throughout the organization. S/he will have a vision for the social services landscape and will embrace the history and culture of ChildServ, while having an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt ChildServ to its changing environment.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. This search is being led by Marissa Martin and Trisha Sutrisno. To express your interest in this role, please submit your resume using Koya’s online link: or email Marissa and Trisha directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits 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