Colorado Education Association

Colorado Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Denver, CO

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 15, 2019 5:00 PM MST

The Colorado Education Association (CEA) seeks a strategic, motivational, articulate leader for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director works in partnership with the Association's governance and staff to provide operational leadership for CEA to fulfill CEA’s mission “to work collectively to provide the best public education for every student.” Our Executive Director must have the vision, integrity, adaptability, skills, and experience to assist in the pursuit of this mission. The ideal candidate will have a deep commitment to building power for working people. The Colorado Education Association is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. CEA will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, or age.

CEA is the state’s largest public education employees union, representing over 36,000 public school employees across the State of Colorado, and is affiliated with the 3 million-member strong National Education Association. Recognized across the state as the authoritative voice on public education, CEA provides a comprehensive program of services to its membership. CEA works collectively with our members and staff to advocate for a high quality public education for all students, regardless of their zip code.

The Association’s membership is comprised of K-12 teachers, other K-12 certificated staff, education support professionals, higher education faculty members, students enrolled in teacher education programs, and retired educators, making CEA the most inclusive and powerful voice of educators in the state.

Governance, Organizational Structure, and Leadership
CEA has 17 offices across the state (of which 5 are state-option offices and 12 are local-option offices) and nearly 200 local affiliates representing employees in school districts across the state. CEA is organized into six (6) regions which are divided into eighteen (18) units which elect Directors to sit on the 34 member CEA Board of Directors who set policy. The CEA Board also includes Directors elected statewide to represent Education Support Professionals, People of Color, Aspiring Educators, Higher Education, and Retired members. The CEA Board of Directors meets six (6) times a year and oversees the direction of CEA between meetings of the annual Delegate Assembly. The CEA Board of Directors is the corporate entity that hires the Executive Director.

The Association is member-led and member-driven and is governed by its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Standing Rules, and Board of Director policies. The CEA President serves as the Association’s spokesperson and Chairperson of the Board of Directors. The full-time-released CEA President and Vice President work in partnership with the CEA Executive Director to provide essential leadership for the CEA in implementing its policies and programs from the CEA's headquarters in Denver.

The Association’s staff is comprised of 29 bargaining unit staff members, 5 managers (which includes the Executive Director), and 5 confidential employees at the Denver headquarters and an additional 13 bargaining unit staff members located in CEA’s state option unit offices throughout the state. The Executive Director also works collaboratively and in partnership with local option staff located throughout the state.

Key Organizational Opportunities

  • Work in partnership with the CEA’s elected officers and Board to provide visionary leadership to engage its members as empowered activists and Association leaders and build its internal capacity to operate efficiently and effectively.
  • Work with CEA’s staff to build upon previous programmatic successes and grow the capacity of the organization. The CEA Executive Director works collaboratively with staff members and works closely with the management team to provide executive oversight to all aspects of the organization.
  • Work to maintain a strong relationship with the Colorado Education Association Staff Organization (CEASO), the staff union and bargaining unit.
  • Maintain organizing as a priority to grow CEA membership and build power. There is widespread support for organizing. The challenge is to harness and build on the energy of grassroots initiatives; energize the locals; give voice, autonomy and support to leaders; and allocate the resources to accomplish the goals outlined in the strategic plan.
  • Continue work on CEA’s three-year strategic plan (adopted by the CEA Board of Directors in June 2018) and develop subsequent plans - align programs, action plans and resources with members’ professional needs. The Executive Director will be expected to exercise global perspective and sound judgment in leading strategic planning and execution across the organization to accomplish this goal.
  • Create strategies that help build the momentum of the labor movement, with particular focus on public education; by anticipating membership trends that increase revenues in order to adequately fund member programs and services. Colorado educators are facing high turnover due to an aging workforce and a climate of policies and practices that have had the net impact of discouraging people from staying in and entering into the education profession and a resultant educator shortage. The union must continue to be a relevant and powerful force making a difference in the lives of the members of the CEA.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities
The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:

  • Institutional Leadership: exercising inclusive and decisive leadership to advance the mission and vision of the CEA.
  • Long Range Planning: maintaining focus on the strategic goals and priorities established by systematic and strategic planning processes.
  • Stewardship of Financial Resources: providing oversight and necessary due diligence to ensure the financial health of the Association, including managing Association’s annual budget of nearly $12 million.
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Accountability: maintaining focus on continuous improvements and measurement to insure effectiveness and efficiency of CEA programs and services.
  • Public Education Advocacy: serving as a key player in championing public education in Colorado, and in promoting the central role of CEA in collaboration with external stakeholders in state and federal education policy decisions.
  • Staff Relations: supporting high standards for work on behalf of CEA members and building effective relationships between management and the staff union, CEASO.
  • Community Relations: working to maintain and build strong relationships and coalitions with community partners across Colorado.

Candidate Education and Experience

  • Senior management experience in positions of increasing responsibility, in the labor movement or non-profit sector, public policy, education or related field.
  • Three years of senior-level management experience preferred.
  • A belief in the central roles of unions coupled with an unwavering support for public education and organized labor is required.
  • Experience working in a member-based organization, and reporting to and advising an elected board of directors.
  • Experience in public policy, labor advocacy, collective bargaining and social justice activism, especially as related to public education is desired.
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university required. Master’s degree preferred.

Required Competencies

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: An effective communicator who leads courageously and collaboratively to achieve results. An individual who is committed to building strong internal and external relationships and values individual and cultural diversity. An individual who listens and manages conflict effectively, is not afraid to initiate difficult conversations, and who provokes creative problem solving and risk taking.
  • Strategic Planning and Execution: A champion of innovation and deliberate follow through. This includes leading organizational wide efforts in planning, implementation, process improvements, accountability systems, innovation, and financial management. Demonstrated success in building high performance work teams that are responsive to the geographical and other differences that are present across the state.
  • Inspiring Leadership: An authentic and energetic leader whose leadership is marked by a passion for education and the labor movement, commitment to collaboration, success in leading significant campaigns and projects. An individual with a record of attracting and motivating highly talented staff. Possesses the ability to coach and mentor. A leader, who is approachable, has presence and projects a positive image.
  • Judgment: Brings an analytical approach and maintains focus and fidelity to agreed-upon plans. Has offered good counsel to elected leaders helping them assess the pros and cons of complex issues. Is a nimble thinker open to modifying plans based on new information and changing circumstances.

Additionally, the successful candidate will ideally possess many or all of the following qualities:

  • A senior manager who has demonstrated their ability to lead and manage a large, complex, membership-based organization. CEA seeks an Executive Director with demonstrated success in overseeing financial, operational and organizational development functions in a diverse and unionized environment.
  • A visionary and strategic thinker. The Executive Director must be a proven, persuasive, inspirational, ethical leader and communicator, open and inclusive in management style, courageous in exercising leadership, respectful of alternative points of view, and capable of decisive action.
  • An established record of advancing diversity. CEA is an inclusive workplace where individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the mission of the organization.
  • Knowledge of the issues affecting public education. It is important that the Executive Director have a keen awareness of the changes in public education, technology, socio-economics and the increasingly global landscape that are reflected in today’s society.
  • Experience collaborating with a union workforce. The Executive Director must have knowledge of applicable federal and state laws and of the administrative rules that regulate labor organization operations. Their experience must include both collective bargaining negotiations and implementing vendor contracts on behalf of large unionized workplaces.
  • Knowledge of technology’s role in maintaining and updating infrastructure. Data and knowledge management within the organization is an increasingly important factor. The Executive Director will ensure that accounting and financial operations continue to keep pace with best practices/internal controls, and the CEA remains fiscally sound.
  • Capacity to manage organizational change. The ability to adapt to and manage internal/external change will be integral to leading CEA into the future. The Executive Director, in concert with Officers and the Management Team, must develop policies, procedures and systems to ensure smooth operations and administrative efficiency as CEA changes and grows.
  • A champion for public education. The Executive Director must demonstrate a commitment to unionism and improving the lives of working people through collective action. They believe in and will be a strong advocate for educators owning and directing their profession, and are committed to promoting diversity, equal opportunity and social justice.

Compensation Package
The CEA is prepared to offer a generous and competitive salary and benefits package under those offered through the NEA’s Unified State Executive Director Program of Management, consistent with experience, skills and demonstrated abilities.

To Apply
To be considered for this position, please provide the following:

  • A current résumé reflecting qualifications for this position; and
  • A Letter of Application which specifically addresses how accomplishments in your career have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position.

All materials must be sent electronically to:
Margolies and Potterton, The CEA Search Consultants, jpotterton@sbcglobal.net

For all questions regarding this search, including confidential inquiries, please contact:
Jim Potterton, 831-332-9324 (Pacific time zone)

Friday, February 15, 2019, 5:00 PM Mountain Time

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.