Chief Impact Officer

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Smart Start of Mecklenburg County (Smart Start or SSMC) is a Charlotte-based non-profit that funds local programs for children ages birth to five and their families. The organization is a catalyst for improving the lives of the 85,000+ young children in our community, with a focus on health, family, early education, and literacy. We mobilize resources and forge partnerships to support evidence-based policies, practices, and programs to ensure all children enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed.

Smart Start has a budget of over $30 million comprised of funding from the state of North Carolina, Mecklenburg County, and private donations and grants. SSMC funds approximately 25 programs annually serving over 25,000 young children and their families and administers Mecklenburg County’s MECK Pre-K program, which provides free Pre-K to children in the community. SSMC also operates programs and campaigns internally, including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Guiding Parents to Services, Ready4K, and The Basics Mecklenburg. The organization is also the leader in research, data, convening and collaborating on issues related to children 0-5 in the Greater Charlotte area.

Job summary:
The Chief Impact Officer (CIO) is responsible for the strategic oversight of all program areas within SSMC. The growth of SSMC in terms of number of staff, funding, and community reach necessitates a strong leader capable of managing a large organization internally, while advancing the work of SSMC’s partners and direct service providers. A member of the SSMC Leadership Team, the CIO works closely with the CEO to advance community impact, strategic plan, and annual goals. Similarly, the CIO coordinates across departments to ensure continuity of strategy, from our prenatal work up to and including SSMC’s work under the leadership of our Chief Early Education Officer advancing the vision for Universal Pre-K in the County. The CIO will take an active role in collaborating with the early childhood team and activities at the County level, specifically advancing key initiatives, such as implementing the prenatal-to-three strategy and its components. This will include meeting and collaborating with key Mecklenburg County leaders as well as partnering on programmatic and advocacy work at the local and state level.

Essential duties and responsibilities:
People Leadership, Internal Coordination & Alignment
• Organize program team and its many components into a cohesive structure that works well internally and externally alike
• Manage and oversee two senior staff – Strategic Initiatives Director and Program Director; approximately 10 additional staff members serve on the Program Team, and reporting can be adjusted based on the vision of the CIO
• Work closely with appropriate board members/committees in areas such as Community Investment, strategic planning, and annual goals
• Ensure that all programs within Smart Start work collaboratively and cohesively; ensuring opportunity to access all progress are available to all youth as needed
• Participate in Leadership Team with other senior staff members, providing cohesive leadership and management to all SSMC staff; actively participate in strategic items and annual goals that advance SSMC as a whole unit.
• Work with CEO and CAO to identify funding needs and opportunities. Participate in fundraising asks when needed and where appropriate
• Assist in developing staff capacity through mentoring, training, and professional development opportunities
Convene/Collaborate, Lead, and Participate in Early Childhood Initiatives
• Lead major innovations and attention to early childhood needs in the community. Drive conversation, action, and solutions in the prenatal- to-five space
• Collaborate and advance County relationships and work, especially as it relates to the prenatal-to-three strategic plan
• Work to raise the profile of SSMC as the early childhood thought leaders in Mecklenburg County
• Serve as key contact with peers at North Carolina Partnership for Children for programmatic issues and priority focus areas
Strategic Implementation & Growth Mindset
• Oversee all efforts related to the administration of NCPC funding and other funding sources to Direct Service Providers (DSP) in the community; these items will be directly managed by other Program Team Staff
• Using information collected by various methods, determine priority areas of focus for Smart Start funded programs and activities
• Work with CEO and other senior leaders to advance the strategic plan, annual goals, and other priority initiatives
• Collaborate with CEO and CAO on key grants and strategic opportunities to grow SSMC in reach and funding
• Ensure systems change and innovation is at the forefront of everything SSMC does
Collaboration and Community Involvement
• Promote SSMC as the key convener and leader across the 0-5 spectrum
• Represent Smart Start in the community in a program-related capacity at appropriate events and on various committees as needed
• Ensure SSMC is involved in key conversations related to early childhood issues throughout the community; assign staff to committees or program areas as needed
• Speak and present to groups related to SSMC and early childhood issues, including the media, as needed and as requested by CEO

Education and experience required:
• A Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health, Sociology, Community Psychology, Organizational Development, Social Work, Human Service Administration or related field is required; a Master’s Degree and/or additional professional certification preferred
• A minimum of ten years of leadership experience to include setting a strategic vision and oversight of staff and finances; nonprofit preferred
• Five years of experience working with a nonprofit board preferred
• A record of successful people, project, and budget management; will have the ability to deliver results by working with and through others both on the internal team and in the community;
• Compelling leadership and presence; a dynamic relationship builder who can represent SSMC to abroad range of internal and external stakeholders and audiences; a team builder with a contagious enthusiasm for the mission, goals, and programs
• Previous early childhood knowledge and experience preferred
• Previous public speaking and advocacy work preferred

$100,000 – $130,000

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