President and CEO

President and CEO

Woodlawn Trustees

Wilmington, DE   |   July 21, 2020

About Woodlawn Trustees

At Woodlawn Trustees, we are stewards of the land. It is our mission to:

  • Ensure that persons of modest means have an affordable place to call home
  • Find the balance between development and preservation of our land’s natural beauty

Quaker industrialist William Poole Bancroft was a visionary city planner who was deeply passionate about helping his community.  Using wealth derived from the Bancroft Cotton Mills he founded Woodlawn Company – now Woodlawn Trustees – in 1901.  His legacy continues today with the continued operation of Woodlawn Trustees, the Todmorden Foundation and the Rockford Woodlawn Fund, three separate entities working to execute on William Bancroft’s vision in the following ways:


In 1902, recognizing the need for workers’ housing, Woodlawn began developing The Flats, a community of rental units in Wilmington. At a time when most construction was oriented to owner-occupied houses, this neighborhood-based rental community was an innovation in housing. Today, there is an even greater need for affordable housing. The Flats are currently being redeveloped while capturing the historic spirit of the original community.  In addition to the Flats, Woodlawn owns 120 houses in the East Side of Wilmington and plans to be one of the leaders in revitalizing this neighborhood.


Known as the Father of the City Park System, William Bancroft had a genuine concern for open space and park land. Through funding from carefully planned development of portions of its lands, Woodlawn has ensured that a large portion of land has been preserved for hiking, walking, and horseback riding – free for public use. Much of Brandywine State Park and the First State National Historical Park are the former lands of Woodlawn. Throughout the early 1900s, Mr. Bancroft also purchased and donated lands to the Wilmington Park System.


Long before there were planning and zoning codes, Woodlawn established development and building standards to serve our community. Today, Woodlawn’s activities include the sale and long-term leasing of lands. Woodlawn’s design standards for leased lands include attractive landscaping and high-quality material selection. These standards are a signature of Woodlawn development.

For more information on Woodlawn Trustees, please visit

The Opportunity

Woodlawn Trustees, and affiliated entities (Woodlawn), are looking for an exceptional President & CEO to lead the organizations to achieve even greater levels of service to the community of Wilmington. This is an opportunity for a visionary leader to build upon the founding values and long-standing track record of excellence and lead the organizations into the future. The next Woodlawn President & CEO will work closely with the Boards of each of the entities and lead a small but mighty team who manage the day-to-day operations of the organizations.

Woodlawn is seeking a strong leader who is mission-driven, committed to William Bancroft’s vision and brings the business acumen required to lead a complex, multi-dimensional real estate organization. The President & CEO will be a relationship builder who can cultivate strong partnerships with the highly engaged Boards of Directors (that includes Bancroft family members), navigate the philanthropic and funding landscape to secure new sources of support for Woodlawn initiatives, and continue driving excellence in Woodlawn’s existing portfolio of housing and open space. Previous experience in a senior leadership role, knowledge of the real estate sector and alignment with the culture and values of Woodlawn will be critical success factors for the incoming President & CEO.

The President & CEO’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Provide operational leadership for all aspects of the organization, including financial oversight, staff oversight, portfolio management, resource development and external relations.
  • Provide forward-looking strategic leadership to Woodlawn, ensuring the organization continues to adapt and innovate to best meet the current and future needs of the community
  • Serve as a thought partner to the Boards of Directors, collaborating to fulfill the mission and vision of each of the entities and maintaining effective lines of communication
  • Develop a strong external presence and relationships to cultivate and steward new opportunities for community partnerships, serving as a public voice of Woodlawn and positioning the organizations as integral engaged community partners
  • Lead and inspire the staff and foster a culture of transparency, commitment and excellence both internally and externally
  • Ensure that sound financial management practices and accountability are maintained across the organization, including ensuring that all of the complex local, state, and national funding and regulatory guidelines are effectively implemented and monitored
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate for this unique opportunity will be a strong leader with exceptional execution skills and operational sensibilities who can ensure the continued success of current initiatives and seek additional opportunities for community impact in the future.  In addition, they will drive change while delivering on current initiatives. The person will be passionate about Woodlawn’s mission and share a commitment to its Quaker roots and serving as a good community partner. The ideal candidate will have proven strategic leadership and management skills and experience working with a Board of Directors.

In addition to the above, the President & CEO will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Formulating a Strategic Vision

The President & CEO will be a strategic, visionary, and results-oriented leader who is experienced at articulating and implementing a plan and delivering results. They will provide focus, long-term direction, and offer creative ideas to amplify and deepen the impact of Woodlawn’s initiatives.

Business Acumen and Strategic Financial Management

The President & CEO will bring experience with strategic financial oversight and a comprehensive record of overseeing various functions of an organization. They will have proven experience in process management, budgeting, strategic forecasting and planning, and in overseeing financial, accounting, compliance and risk management of a complex organization. Experience in real estate and/or lending will be a strong plus.  The CEO will also be skilled at presenting financial and operational information in a clear, concise fashion to a range of constituents.

Commitment to Community/Passion for the Mission

As the champion for Woodlawn’s mission, the President & CEO will bring a passion for improving local communities demonstrated by a commitment in their professional and/or personal life and an appreciation for the organization’s Quaker roots and values. The President & CEO will understand the value of relationships and be equally comfortable interacting with a diverse range of stakeholders including the Board, staff, tenants, funders, community partners and others. In representing Woodlawn, the President & CEO will confidently present the organization as an engaged community partner.

Strong Organizational Leadership

The President & CEO will have a track record of success in organizational management. As a thoughtful leader, they will bring a balanced hand in cultivating organizational culture and crafting strong administrative systems. They will be an experienced manager who engenders trust in the staff through a collaborative management style, helps them achieve their potential, and holds them accountable. They will be a leader of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Erin Reedy and Alicia Salerno are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link here or email [email protected] or [email protected].  All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Woodlawn Trustees is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit