Executive Director, The Ability Center (Toledo, OH)

  • Closing / Removal Date: May 21, 2021
  • Posted: April 26, 2021


The Ability Center of Greater Toledo is seeking a new executive director to lead The Ability Center.  The Ability Center is a nationally known independent living center looking for a leader with lived experience who will continue and advance the great work of the Center. The Center provides independent living services to the disability community and works to remove all barriers for people with disabilities throughout Toledo, Ohio. The Center’s vision is to make Greater Toledo the most disability friendly community in the nation.

Working closely with the board of directors, the Executive Director will position the Center for future growth and development in the region by strengthening and expanding the organization’s visibility, fundraising, programming, and adoption of best practice management approaches. This is an ideal opportunity for a strategic and results-oriented leader with a disability to drive significant impact in a dynamic and growing non-profit setting.

As a non-profit with $5.0 million in annual revenue, The Ability Center has a strong financial foundation. Other programs and development opportunities are funded by a variety of income sources. This balance creates long-term stability that allows the organization to continue existing programming while executing a strategic vision for a better future.

The executive director will lead a staff of fifty dedicated employees who are passionate about their work. The organization provides five core independent living services plus additional services tied to home modifications, assistive technology, and Assistance Dogs. The Ability Center celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2020 and is excited about the possibilities that exist over the next hundred years. Our vision is to create the most disability-friendly community in the country by building partnerships which expand our community’s capacity for inclusion.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Execute the Center’s growth strategy as outlined in the current strategic plan within the realities of COVID-19 in collaboration with the team and Board.
  • Partner with organizational leadership, Board, and staff to pilot new initiatives, adapt strategy as needed to meet regional needs, and help develop systems and processes that will support continued growth.
  • Manage, support, and develop a team of 50 staff.
  • Ensure a collaborative, inclusive, and effective culture by leading staff through coaching and targeted development to ensure individuals are highly engaged and continuously supported in their roles and The Ability Center’s consumers and their families are respected and supported.
  • Assume responsibility for the financial health and stability of the Center; manage a regional budget of approximately $5 Million.
  • Lead annual planning process and budget development in conjunction with other organizational leaders, staff, and the Board.
  • Ensure programs operate at maximum capacity with high quality and fidelity to the independent living philosophy and model.
  • Ensure management systems and standards spanning performance management, budgeting, and financial management, tracking, and managing reporting data, and donor/volunteer relationship management are consistent and operate with excellence.


Required Education and Experience

  • A Bachelor’s degree is required, an advanced degree and/or law degree is preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive, innovative management and leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing strategic planning.
  • Demonstrated experience in financial management, budgeting, resource development, program development, administration, and personnel management.
  • The ideal candidate MUST have strong management and disability rights leadership experience.
  • Nonprofit management experience, preferably in a disability rights or independent living setting.
  • Knowledge of the civil rights movement for people with disabilities, including current trends and issues, and federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability.
  • Systemic advocacy experience is preferred.
  • Experience working with non-profit volunteer board.
  • Documented experience in employee supervision including a successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team.
  • Lived experience with a disability.
  • Excellent coalition-building skills.
  • Excellent organizational development skills.
  • Superior oral and written communication abilities.
  • Exceptional presentation skills.
  • Strong analytic skills.
  • Ability to influence others and educate policy makers.
  • Ability to travel within the state and nationally.

Personal Characteristics

  • The ideal candidate is an experienced and passionate disability rights leader with an uncompromising commitment to advancing the rights of all people with disabilities.
  • The successful candidate has lived experience as a person with a disability and deep roots in the disability community.
  • The ideal candidate can demonstrate proven success in creating and maintaining cultures defined by accountability, trust, and respect. The successful individual is a compassionate listener who can make thoughtful, hard decisions when necessary.

Compensation & Benefits

Commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate, the salary range for the position is $120,000 to $150,000 annually.

The Ability Center offers a comprehensive benefit package including a 401k plan with company match, health benefits including medical, dental, vision, life, LTD, AD&D, and paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays.

Expected Start Date is August 30, 2021.

A relocation stipend will be considered for the exceptional candidate.

Application Process:

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; however, serious candidates should submit applications, on or before, May 21, 2021. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Applications should contain a resume and thoughtful cover letter that must describe how your skills and experience meet the qualifications and personal characteristics stated above.  Email application and any request for accommodations to Christine Griffin, cgriffin@benderconsult.com with The Ability Center Executive Director in the subject line. Please include how you heard about the search.

The Ability Center has retained the executive search firm and certified woman with a disability-owned business enterprise, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. to conduct this search, www.benderconsult.com.

The Ability Center is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. The Ability Center encourages applications from all qualified individuals and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, or any other characteristic protected by law.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

The Ability Center is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

For more information on The Ability Center, please visit www.abilitycenter.org.