Jun 19, 2024

Stanislaus Equity Partners (CEO)

$140,000 - $185,000 yearly
  • Walker and Associates Consulting
  • Modesto, CA, USA
Full-Time Advocacy/Lobbying Executive Management (CEO/ED) Programs

Job Description


Stanislaus Equity Partners (STEP), a Community Development Corporation (CDC), was founded in 2021 to connect neighbors, resources, and opportunities, empowering Stanislaus County residents with access to asset-building opportunities through housing, small business services, and connecting low-to-moderate income communities with access to capital and affordable lending. A true community partner with a collaborative approach, STEP was formed with the support of several stakeholders including community-based organizations like South Modesto Partnerships and City Ministry Network as well as Stanislaus County and Stanislaus Community Foundation. STEP has since formed strategic partnerships with over 51 entities, including financial institutions and CDFI’s (Community Development Financial Institutions), as a critical element of its investment and community revitalization strategies.

STEP has a bold vision of breaking intergenerational poverty and has quickly developed deeper access to capital and resources to low-income communities through affordable housing and small business development. Under its affordable housing initiative, STEP has completed or constructed over 91 housing units since 2022, including an HCD-invested transitional housing project at James Street, which provides 7 units of supportive housing to 15 to 20 formerly homeless individuals. STEP is also partnering with Self-Help Enterprises, one of the largest rural affordable housing developers in California, to build out a 45-unit mixed-use housing development. This project combines multiple layers of capital stacking, such as tax credits, state and local funding, to develop a multi-use complex, one of the first-of-its-kind in Stanislaus County.  In addition, STEP is building a series of Tiny Homes and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on excess properties locally, partnering with mission-aligned organizations, like churches.

In small business development, STEP has become a source of support for emerging and micro-businesses in the City of Modesto and Stanislaus County, especially for targeted Latino businesses, providing over 50 small businesses with funding grants; over 600 small and micro-businesses access to financing and resources; and over 2,615 technical assistance hours. Additionally, STEP leads two entrepreneurial cohorts, in both English and Spanish three times per year, through a fast-tracked business-building curriculum that provides basic education for business planning and scaling. 

STEP has an experienced, cross-sector 9-member Board and a committed staff team of 8, as well as a growing pipeline of innovative projects. STEP maintains annual financial audits by an independent audit firm for accurate, current financials and best reporting practices.


STEP seeks a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to build upon the visionary legacy of its founder and early successes of the team instituting the right processes and systems to manage growth as opportunities to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty in Stanislaus County emerge or are advanced. The CEO will help realize STEP’s Vision 2028 - scaling the organization; developing people and teams; and launching new programs. Additionally, they will identify and drive new, innovative approaches to community development that create opportunities for STEP to fulfill its mission while attracting new partners and resources.

Hiring Organization

Stanislaus Equity Partners (STEP)



STEP’s CEO must be an emotionally intelligent bridge-builder with the conviction and calling to work in partnership with the community to champion projects and services for the underserved and underrepresented. The CEO will envision, lead, and assess plans for the vitality of organizational initiatives, programs, partnerships, fundraising, and operations – working to take STEP to the next level of growth and development. Leveraging leadership experience in affordable housing and/or community economic development, STEP’s CEO is known for being collaborative, strategic, and having the ability to form new and nurture existing partnerships with diverse community stakeholders. As a successful team and culture builder, the CEO creates a work environment centering trust and respect and is passionate about mentoring and training staff and supporting effective board governance. Others would describe STEP’s CEO as a high integrity critical thinker with both the vision and detail-orientation to imagine and implement ways for CDC and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partnerships to align.

The CEO should also bring:

  • Ability to form new and to nurture existing partnerships with diverse external stakeholders bridging the gap between community and centers of power; Experience with/connections to stakeholders in Modesto or broader Stanislaus County (or similar communities) strongly preferred
  •  Experience and familiarity with affordable housing and/or community economic development/asset-building opportunities more broadly ideally inclusive of small business services, affordable lending, and/or faith-informed organizations such as experience with affordable housing developers, CDCs, CDFIs, or other related institutions
  • A minimum of 10 years of leadership and administrative experience with a track record of effectively leading and scaling team or organizational performance including managing growth, budgets of $1.5 million+, and reporting to and/or working with or on Boards of Directors
  • Experience managing and developing people; successfully leading teams and developing Boards; and building and maintaining positive organizational culture based on trust and respect
  • Clear written and verbal communication skills; open, persuasive, and passionate communication capabilities with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  •  A degree in a related field to community development including business, policy, real estate, public administration, etc. or experience beyond the minimum requirements; master’s degree or higher a plus


With an estimated 558,000 people calling this area home and a $3.7 billion dollar agriculture industry, Stanislaus County is a global center for agribusiness, has affordable housing options, and is a great place to raise a family. It is an exciting time to join or deepen roots in Stanislaus County given its diversity; skilled workforce; increasingly dominant role as a west coast logistics center; agricultural innovations across wine, almonds, poultry, milk, cattle, and walnuts; and the sense of community.

Modesto and Stanislaus County are strategically located in Central California between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges with two of California's major north-south transportation routes - Interstate 5 and Highway 99 - intersecting in the area. Modesto is only an hour from San Francisco Bay; 90 minutes from Silicon Valley; two hours from Yosemite National Park and many other Sierra Nevada locations; is close to the Gold Country; and is just over an hour from Sacramento, the state capital.

The County boasts a vibrant arts and education community as home to the world-class Gallo Center for the Arts, a symphony orchestra, and abundant visual and performing arts as well as to California State University Stanislaus, Modesto Junior College, and satellite locations of other quality educational institutions. It is also the home of George Lucas. One of his first films, American Graffiti, was set in Modesto and there is a pathway downtown exploring many of the buildings and locations from the film. There is much to learn and explore in the place STEP calls home!

In 2021, Stanislaus County launched an ambitious plan known as Stanislaus 2030.  The initiative was born out of the desire to intentionally build resilient future industries aligned around our strong agricultural base, and at the same time, ensure greater financial prosperity for local families. The initiative received support from numerous public, private, and civic partners including Stanislaus County. The culmination of the first phase of Stanislaus 2030 was the creation, publishing, and distribution of an Investment Blueprint. STEP will be playing a role in implementing the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Dynamism investment strategy through Access Plus Capital and leading the technical assistance and lending for microenterprise development opportunities in Stanislaus.

STEP will also support the solutions proposed in the County’s 2023 Housing Stanislaus report to increase housing development and improve housing affordability in Stanislaus County by creating access with a focus on capital for affordable and workforce housing.

Industry/Service Area

Community/Capacity Building, Housing/Shelter, Impact Investing





The annual salary range for STEP’s CEO will be $140,000 to $185,000, commensurate with experience. The anticipated starting salary will be at or near the midpoint of the salary range. STEP offers three weeks of vacation for executives and comprehensive benefits including medical, dental, and vision coverage; 401K contributions; life and long term disability insurance; Health FSA; professional development; and employee assistance programs, amongst other offerings.

Application Instructions


STEP is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a values-aligned, Bay Area-based BIPOC and woman owned and led strategic management consulting and executive search firm. To apply, email a cover letter describing why you are interested in becoming CEO of STEP, resume, and list of three references (references will not be contacted without advance notice) by 5:00 pm PT on Friday, July 19, 2024, to stanep@walkeraac.com. Use the subject line “CEO Application.” Microsoft Word files or one combined PDF file is preferred. Candidate review begins immediately.

Questions or Nominations? Email President and CEO Jeannine N. Walker and jwalker@walkeraac.com.

Stanislaus Equity Partners is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds, especially those representative of Stanislaus County’s most vulnerable populations, to apply and applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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