Feb 01, 2023

Executive Director

$120,000 - $160,000 yearly
  • www.cooksilverman.com
  • Petaluma, CA
Full-Time Executive Management (CEO/ED)

Job Description


The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization's consistent achievement of its mission, growth, and financial objectives. The E.D. ensures ongoing programmatic excellence, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems. The E.D. oversees all the daily operations of the organization and provides direction to ensure the growth and well-being of the organization within the fiscal constraints of the budget. In this next phase of organizational development, a key area of focus for the E.D. will be program expansion

For more information, please visit https://www.giantstepsriding.org.


The Executive Director works closely with the Board of Directors and has a team of 15 staff members, three of whom report directly to them.


  • Compassionate, diplomatic leader who is committed to providing an outstanding experience with individuals with a broad range of developmental, behavioral and cognitive disabilities as well as individuals facing emotional challenges

  • Flexible, agile, and accommodating, with a gift for building authentic relationships with program participants, their families, donors, board members, and other community members

  • Able to prioritize fiercely among many competing needs, to delegate thoughtfully to team members, and possess a growth mindset approach to problem solving


Leadership & Management:

  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors: serve as ex officio member of each committee; seek and build board involvement for both ongoing and new areas of programming. See that the board is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all-important factors influencing it.

  • Implement and execute all Board decisions and policies, ensuring effective Board and staff communications, and ongoing Board education.

  • Collaborate with the board to manage execution of strategic plan, including the program expansion activities.

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Aggressively grow and expand the scope of our financial resources. Deepen relationships with existing donors and identify and develop relationships with new donors.

  • Ensure that the expanded fundraising needs of the organization are met through the successful implementation of all fundraising activities for both on-going program operations and specific projects through institutional, individual, and event fundraising programs.

  • Oversee appropriate ongoing donor development and recognition activities; seek ways to improve the Giant Steps revenue stream by creatively identifying new opportunities to gain additional income.

  • Publicize the activities of the organization, its programs and goals.

  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.

Program Development:

  • Provide leadership in developing programming, including the creation of associated organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff.

  • Ensure that the quality of the programs is maintained, improved, and expanded pursuant to the long-term goals of the organization.

  • Drive program expansion to make it available to more clients, both those on the waitlist for adaptive riding and those who could be served through additional programming.

  • Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.

  • Maintain relationship with PATH, the national accreditation body for Giant Steps. Support accreditation process, as needed.

Human Relations:

  • Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, management, and, if needed, release of all personnel.

  • Ensure that job descriptions are developed and updated, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.

  • Assist staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.

  • Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates staff.

Budget & Finance:

  • Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices.

  • Work with staff and board to prepare annual budget; see that the organization operates within budget guidelines.

  • Ensure that cash flow is properly managed so that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work.


  • Oversee the management of all fund accounts (operating, capital, quasi-endowment), and accounts receivable and payable.

  • Ensure the timely publication of the yearly audited financial statements, and the filing of the 990 tax returns.

  • Oversee all day-to-day operations of the business office and programs, ensuring adequate insurance coverage relating to Giant Steps’ operations.

  • Ensure the maintenance, security, insurance, and appropriate use at the Giant Steps facility.

  • Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

Hiring Organization

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center



  • Ten years or more equivalent executive experience running a nonprofit, equivalent service on a nonprofit board or equivalent and transferable corporate experience.

  • Proven success in securing significant restricted and unrestricted funding from individual and institutional funders, particularly in the San Francisco North Bay region.

  • Specific experience working in an organization serving individuals with disabilities

  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams; set and achieves strategic objectives; budget management

  • Proven success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate board member relationships

  • Strong marketing and public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills: a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills

  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning

    Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.

  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-direction

  • BA preferred, or equivalent experience

  • Equine experience a strong plus

Industry/Service Area

Animal Related




  • Salary range is $120,000 to $160,000

  • Benefits include:

o   Medical/Dental: Kaiser medical plan (100% of cost of coverage paid for employee)

o   Vacation: 16 days annually for years 1-3 of employment (21 days of vacation after completing three years of employment)

o   Sick Time: 3 days of sick time annually

o   Holidays: 10 paid holidays + 1 floating holiday

o   Retirement: 401(k) plan

  • The opportunity to serve individuals and families representing a wide range of disabilities and developmental challenges through the therapeutic power of horses

Application Instructions

To apply for this position, or for additional information on the opportunity, please send a copy of your resume with a cover letter to Victoria Silverman at apply@cooksilverman.com.

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