President and Chief Executive Officer
Jun 23, 2021
Nationally, LGBTQ+ businesses add $1.7 trillion to the economy each year, making LGBTQ+ business owners central to the success of the U.S. economy. With the rise of COVID-19, racial protests, and a challenged economy, the LGBTQ+ business community is best served by a strong promoter of entrepreneurship and a relentless advocate to ensure a strong, equitable economy, dismantle structural racism, and help eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ+ people once and for all.
Originally established in 1981 as the Greater Seattle Business Association, GSBA, as it is now known, is the largest LGBTQ+ and allied chamber of commerce in North America, representing over 1,400 members mostly in the State of Washington across the small business, corporate, and nonprofit communities. GSBA also serves as the premier business voice both statewide and nationally for the LGBTQ+ community. GSBA encourages economic and business development by promoting equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion in business, with a specific focus on the success of small business.
Additionally, GSBA actively engages in advocacy for LGBTQ+ civil rights at the city, state, and federal levels; promotes LGBTQ+ tourism; and invests in the next generation of leaders through its Scholarship & Education Fund. GSBA’s Scholarship & Education Fund is the philanthropic arm of GSBA; since 1991, with support from its membership and the community, the GSBA Scholarship & Education Fund has given out over $4 million in scholarships to LGBTQ+ and allied students, providing hope and post-secondary education to future leaders who often receive no traditional means of support.
GSBA is guided by a vision of a vibrant global economy strengthened through the full participation of diverse local communities. Its work is supported by a set of core values to exchange ideas, increase visibility, work collaboratively, celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and invest in future leaders. Major corporations such as Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, Alaska Airlines, Salesforce, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Comcast NBC Universal look to GSBA as a strategic partner, thought leader, convener, and ally to further their own strong commitment to equality in business. As a powerful force in a rapidly changing, global economy, GSBA seeks an innovative and dynamic President and Chief Executive Officer to lead its next stage of transformative growth and continue to build effective strategic partnerships that will transform the LGBTQ+ and allied business landscape.
The new President and Chief Executive Officer will join an organization that has an excellent reputation, strong base of support, and is poised for continued growth as an association and nonprofit organization. GSBA’s next President and CEO will be a highly successful innovator, business, social and racial justice advocate, and visible champion for Washington state’s LGBTQ+ and allied community and national cohorts. This passionate, equity-driven leader will provide visionary leadership, focus, direction, transparency, and energy for GSBA. The President and CEO reports to a committed 30-member Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization's strategic leadership and consistent achievement of its mission and strategic objectives. This leader manages a $3 million budget and a talented and dedicated staff of 16 in the areas of Policy and Government Relations, Development and Scholarship & Education, Operations and Finance, and Membership and Programs.
The President and CEO will be a confident, forward-thinking, and energetic leader. The President and CEO will serve as the primary external representative for GSBA and will guide the strategic vision for the ongoing growth and evolution of the organization. This leader will need to be a talented connector and collaborator with a passion for the issues facing small businesses, and advancing racial equity and social justice for the LGBTQ+ community. A strong listener and relationship builder, the President and CEO will be responsible for maintaining relationships with community partners and strategic corporate sponsors, and must be adept at navigating the complex interactions between small businesses, large corporations, and the civic community.
The President and CEO must bring an understanding of what it means to evaluate and lead an organization through an equity lens. It is also essential that this leader have a deep understanding of the implications and impact that public policy, civic affairs, and legislation have on a chamber of commerce and a marginalized community that advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Within the first 12 to 24 months, the President and CEO will achieve the following major objectives:
• Establish trust and credibility with the full spectrum of stakeholders of GSBA, including the Board of Directors, staff, and community members; continue the role of GSBA as an influencer in addressing social justice and economic empowerment issues.
• Continue to integrate the strategic plan and diversity, equity, and inclusion processes into the day-to-day operations of the organization; foster a positive workplace culture that inspires, develops, coaches, and retains staff.
• Help maintain and eventually increase the level of non-dues revenue and philanthropic support; establish sustainable relationships with strategic partners, sponsors, and donors that have emerged through the recent crisis.
• Provide strategic vision for the future of GSBA that addresses the changing needs of members, the evolution of the chamber model further into economic development, and integrates social and racial justice advocacy into serving the community.
The President and CEO will have the following primary responsibilities:
• Guide GSBA in creating a vibrant, compelling, and inclusive vision for its future.
• Ensure that programmatic and advocacy efforts align with GSBA’s mission and strategy.
• Articulate and promote the work of GSBA to the wider community.
BUDGET, FINANCE, AND ADMINISTRATION
• Ensure the ongoing financial stability of GSBA; develop and maintain sound financial practices.
• Work with the staff, Finance Committee, and Board in preparing a budget; make sure the organization operates within budget guidelines and best practices for association management.
• Along with the staff and Board, secure adequate funding through membership dues, strategic corporate sponsorships, program fees, and other revenue streams that will permit GSBA to advance its mission.
• Actively engage in fundraising with the Board and development staff to ensure the organization achieves its philanthropic goals.
• Support the implementation of new technology internally that addresses GSBA’s organizational needs and allows staff to engage well with members and stakeholders.
• Develop and retain a diverse team of skilled staff who are supported to thrive and grow in their positions with GSBA.
• Empower senior staff members to advance and grow their departments in alignment with GSBA’s strategic plan.
• Ensure opportunity for ongoing career development and succession planning across the organization.
• Model a culture of respect, transparency, innovation, hard work, and support for work-life balance.
• Nurture a diverse team of staff and Board members in which positive collaboration, sustainability, and commitment to economic equality and social justice are the essential drivers of all organizational decisions.
• Establish a vision for the organization with a focus on equity, and work with the Board to articulate a forward-thinking, innovative, and sustainable future for the organization.
• Partner with the Board Chair to ensure that Board members and Committee Chairs receive the support, information, and leadership development needed to effectively govern the organization.
EXTERNAL RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS
• Serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization to the community, business, and civic leaders, representing GSBA at community events and with elected officials.
• Promote the activities of the organization, its programs, and goals.
• Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.
• Engage and influence the full spectrum of external stakeholders, including elected officials, business and community leaders, to advance economic equality for GSBA’s membership and the greater community.
PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND EXECUTION
• Develop a long-range strategy for GSBA to achieve its mission and encourage consistent and timely progress toward those strategic goals.
• Provide leadership in developing programmatic, organizational, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff and carry out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
• Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization's work.
• Keep current with significant developments and trends in the field.
The ideal President and CEO will bring most of the following qualifications and skill sets: • A strong passion for and commitment to promoting economic equity, business development, leadership, and social action on behalf of the LGBTQ+ and small business communities.
• At least seven to ten years of successful leadership in not-for-profit, business, and/or association management; prior experience advocating for LGBTQ+ and/or economic development and business and social empowerment issues would be a distinct advantage.
• Commitment to cultural humility and a proven ability to engage historically marginalized communities in an inclusive vision for the organization.
• Experience in empowering, building, and maintaining open, transparent, productive relationships with an engaged Board of Directors.
• Demonstrated experience with developing, inspiring, mentoring, and leading highly committed teams.
• Proven success in building productive, long-term relationships with a wide range of constituencies including political, legislative, corporate, and community leaders, with an ability to secure funding support and revenue.
• Proactive, persistent, empowering, collaborative, and confident with an ability to navigate ambiguity and assess threats and opportunities for an organization.
• Strong financial management skills with experience in budget analysis, forecasting, and planning. Superb listening, interpersonal, motivational, and communication skills, including strong written, verbal, and presentation skills that distills complex issues for varied audiences.
• A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
GSBA has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. The team for this project includes Colleen Rogers and Emily Thompson. To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to:
EMILY THOMPSON Associate Consultant, Executive Search Emily.Thompson@campbellcompany.com
(312) 896-8891 direct