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President & CEO, spca cincinnati

POSITION:                            PRESIDENT AND CEO

ORGANIZATION:                  spca cincinnati (

LOCATION:                           3949 Colerain Avenue Cincinnati, OH  45223

REPORTS TO:                      Board of Directors


spca cincinnati is an animal shelter and humane society that continually strives to strengthen the human-animal bond and improve the welfare of animals by fostering the humane care and treatment of all animals. Through humane education and animal protection, it improves the quality of life in its community.


Founded in 1873, spca cincinnati has a long history of service to the Greater Cincinnati community. Originally founded as the Ohio Humane Society, it was the first organization of its kind in Ohio. Today, spca cincinnati remains the very epitome of true service to the people and animals in its community. spca cincinnati takes in more than 7,305 dogs and 6,000 cats annually. In addition to providing shelter and rehabilitation to these animals in need, spca cincinnati collaborates with government, law enforcement, and social service organizations in its ongoing effort to encourage humane principles and foster the human-animal bond. In 2016, spca cincinnati found homes for more than 3,900 dogs and 3,300 cats.

As an open admissions shelter, spca cincinnati takes in every companion animal in need. Further, spca cincinnati holds the contract for animal control for Hamilton County. spca cincinnati operates from three locations – the original location on Colerain Avenue, the new facility in Sharonville and the Simmonds Farm that was donated to the organization in 2009. There are exciting plans for this location that will include providing the community with an extensive educational experience.

Under the strong and solid leadership of Harold “Harry” Dates for the past 42 years, spca cincinnati has been the animal shelter for the people of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Dates has promoted the importance of the animal-human bond by providing services and programs that help save animals’ lives through spaying and neutering, adoption and humane education.  In addition to these services, spca cincinnati offers the following to the pet owners in the community:


  • Microchip identification program
  • Reduced fees for animal adoption
  • Partner with local media to focus on adoptable pets
  • Provide dog training and animal behavior hotline
  • Involvement with humane issues on local, state and national level
  • Mobile adoption vehicle to communities to increase adoptions
  • Investigate calls on animal cruelty


The spca cincinnati is at a very important juncture in its long and remarkable history. With the retirement of Harry Dates, the new President & CEO (CEO) will have the opportunity to thoroughly review all policies and procedures of the agency to ensure that they are up to date and are being followed by all staff and volunteers. Further, the new CEO will evaluate the organization chart to determine if the structure is the most efficient and effective for the spca moving forward. With three locations, it is important that all staff and volunteers follow the same processes and so it will be essential for this new person to guarantee that everyone is working within these guidelines. Further, with these three locations, the new CEO needs to be a strong presence so that staff can see and interact with their new leader. Bringing camaraderie and interaction among all staff will be important goals for the new CEO.

The Simmonds Farm is a truly exciting addition to the spca cincinnati organization. However, since its acquisition in 2009, little has been done to further the plans the Board and staff have outlined. The vision for the farm is to have it become a centerpiece for the spca cincinnati that would provide an additional shelter, hospital and kennel. Other thoughts are to build a Cat Sanctuary so cats can live out their lives in peace and serenity. Further plans include a horse facility, a museum, educational opportunities, a columbarium and lovely pastures.  The development of the farm could replace the downtown shelter which needs renovation. As in all new, extensive ventures, funds need to be raised to complete these projects. The new CEO will have the opportunity to engage the community and new donors to raise the necessary funding to bring these plans to fruition.

As stated above, spca cincinnati contracts with Hamilton County for animal control. While the Board has been committed to retaining this relationship, it does create branding challenges for the spca. With more than 30 breed rescue groups in Cincinnati, the spca at times is seen as an animal control agency rather than as a humane society.  The new CEO will have the responsibility to take another look at the contract and determine the proper direction to take. Regardless of the decision the spca will benefit from clearly differentiating the humane society programs from the animal control services through effective branding and marketing efforts. Further, the new CEO will have the chance to change, at times, negative opinions toward the spca due to the practice of euthanasia at the shelters.  By highlighting the beneficial work the spca does for the community, by explaining in detail the reason some animals must be euthanized and by promoting spaying and neutering and behavior training, the CEO can work to change judgments toward the spca with residents in Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

It is believed that there is considerable wealth in Cincinnati that has yet to be tapped by the spca cincinnati. The new CEO, working alongside the Board and staff will have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with current donors as well as seek out new support.  Further, more structured fundraising programs can be instituted to insure the future financial stability for the organization.  In addition, the new CEO will have the opportunity to research new, possible earned income opportunities for the spca cincinnati.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO is responsible for the oversight of the spca cincinnati, which includes administration of all programs and services.  The CEO will develop and oversee a budget of $4.6M, and an investment portfolio of $5.4M. Additionally, the CEO is responsible for the strategic processes of the organization, managing and developing a talented paid staff of 78 and more than 400 volunteers. The direct reports for the CEO are currently the COO and Executive Assistant.

The CEO will assist the Board in the execution of the current strategic plan and the development of strategic directions and policy in the fulfillment of the agency’s mission. This individual is responsible for the overall management and operation of the spca cincinnati in compliance with Board-adopted policies and with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations and laws. The CEO provides a leadership role in initiating and maintaining community relationships and securing the operating and investment funds necessary to sustain current and future operations.



In conjunction with the Board, provide vision and direction for the future growth of programs, policies and procedures for the spca cincinnati.  In collaboration with the Board of Directors provide support in all its activities; suggest direction toward the achievement of the spca cincinnati mission, philosophy, and strategy; provide guidance, stability, support and collaboration to a staff of talented professionals; and implement Board driven long-range and strategic plans to ensure that the goals and objectives of the spca cincinnati are successfully achieved.  

Oversee the spca cincinnati budget and business plans and ensure sound fiscal management and capital allocation.  Maintain and implement fiscal policies and procedures in accordance with Board directives. Oversee and guide the policies for the investment of fiscal resources for the organization to achieve reasonable returns.

Demonstrate development skills to reach a new population of major donors. Continue to develop and nurture past relationships with major donors including individuals, foundations and corporations. Develop new, creative fundraising opportunities and earned revenue sources with staff in order to secure the spca cincinnati’s financial position. Strengthen planned giving programs thereby adding financial security to the spca cincinnati.


Serve as a spokesperson for the spca cincinnati and effectively represent its goals and mission to individuals, private foundations, government leaders, the media, sponsors and donors in order to attract the widest interest and support.  Ensure that the spca cincinnati is represented locally, regionally and nationally at coalitions, membership organizations and other humane field associations.  Help develop the spca cincinnati’s legislative agenda and collaborate as necessary in order to promote animal welfare initiatives.


Guarantee that staff is well informed of decisions that affect them and the agency and ensure that those policies are explained and communicated clearly and concisely. Develop and implement procedures to ensure good management, administrative and fiscal practices; ensure that staff understands the vision and direction of the spca cincinnati and that in return they will be able to develop and mature in their roles and responsibilities; lead by example and maintain the highest professional standards and practices for the spca cincinnati.


Establish short range objectives and work plans, research and evaluate potential programs for the spca cincinnati in consultation with other staff, based on Board-approved strategic plans and goals; develop and implement new programmatic activities and capitalize on new opportunities for new service areas.


We seek a highly experienced leader and manager with demonstrated vision and passion for the humane and ethical treatment of animals. A successful track record of strong innovative and inclusive leadership, which will facilitate open communication to harmonize staff, the Board and the other constituents with whom he/she will interface, is sought.

Experience in a senior leadership role where he/she has either reported directly to or worked closely with a Board of Directors is expected. The ideal candidate will bring strong and successful leadership of an animal welfare/control agency or other nonprofit organization if there is a demonstrated level of both passion for, and involvement with, an animal welfare organization. The person we seek should demonstrate a balance between creative thinking and management acumen as well as the ability to assess and maintain policies and procedures for moving an organization to a new level of excellence. Qualified candidates will have exceptional interpersonal skills and will be able to relate to all constituencies.  This individual has demonstrated success in building and sustaining coalitions toward the achievement of goals.

The successful candidate will have financial management experience as well as demonstrated accomplishments in fundraising, including securing major and planned gifts from individual donors, foundations and corporations.

We seek an exceptional communicator who can demonstrate a successful background in external relations, including experience speaking with the media in a variety of situations. This person will be articulate and passionate about the humane treatment of animals and will welcome and respect the multiple perspectives and groups that demonstrate an active interest in animal welfare.

An understanding of business principles applied to a nonprofit enterprise, including a background of good budget management, is necessary. 

Personnel management skills that include an ability to work collaboratively, listen, provide feedback, build morale, delegate, “roll up one’s sleeves” and make decisions are essential.

The candidate should be motivated by the best interests of the organization and will bring high emotional intelligence to effectively transition the organization from a long-term leader.  Demonstrated success managing change, planning, forecasting and determining courses of action is needed.

An undergraduate degree from a four-year college or university is desired however demonstrated experience leading an organization will be considered. Evidence of a passionate commitment to the proper care of all animals is strongly recommended. CAWA credential is helpful.


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