Posted On: 2020-01-20
Closing On: 2020-02-28
Location: Toronto, ON
Effective: April 2020
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description

Is this you?

You would be excited and honoured to lead an organization that is one of the best kept secrets in our city, providing much needed services to a growing segment of our community. You’d be fully committed to taking on the challenges they face in improving the lives of those living with eating disorders as well as those who are close to those affected. You want to be at the forefront of inspiring hope, reducing stigma and raising awareness. Ideally you have knowledge of the mental health sector, including understanding of health policy and legislation.

You’re a natural fundraiser. You may not be an expert in the mechanics, but it hasn’t hindered your ability to fundraise because you are great with people and at building relationships. You’re a genuine communicator and feel at ease talking about difficult subject matter and have a way about you that makes people feel comfortable and at ease.

You possess a high degree of professional polish and maturity. Senior volunteers gravitate towards you because you manage them efficiently, effectively with respect and care. You are a well known and respected professional and aren’t bashful when it comes to working your network to positively affect the growth of the organization which you represent. You understand Board Governance because you’ve (ideally) reported to a Board of Directors or have sat on a board yourself.

You’ve led diverse teams and are comfortable ‘staying out of their lane’ when it comes to the technical because you may not be a program facilitator yourself. However, you are involved in their professional development and are a source of support, dedicated to their growth. They trust you because you deliver, you are present, and you are committed to excellence.

You would be thrilled to join an organization that is a beacon of hope for thousands living with an eating disorder, providing the only free service for group therapy in Toronto. Funded 100% by Foundations, Corporate and Individual donations, Sheena’s Place is committed to inspiring hope, reducing stigma, raising awareness and offering meaningful help and information at all stages of recovery. You could be the one to lead them into their next phase of growth.

Does this sound like you? If so, please read on…

The Organization

Sheena’s Place is Toronto’s first community-based agency and charitable organization that supports individuals, families and friends affected by eating disorders to overcome barriers with valuable services at all stages of recovery. It is well known for serving people via a highly qualified professional delivery of its therapeutic framework, including life skills and support programs with trauma-informed and harm reduction approaches. It also connects clients to eating disorder treatment and support centres, while concurrently offering those individuals group therapy programs before, during and after treatment.

The organization’s goal is to transform lives, build community and eliminate stigma through the demonstration of compassion and by creating caring relationships built on acceptance, trust and honesty. All those involved at Sheena’s Place believe in the inherent dignity of all people and recognize that eating disorders do not discriminate based on income, age, gender, sexual orientation, race ethnicity or ability. It is committed to ensuring that everyone has equitable access to support with the belief that it can accomplish more when everyone works together to achieve shared goals.

Sheena’s Place plays an important role in the broader mental health community. Eating disorders have the highest death rate of all mental illnesses and are the third most common type of chronic illness among Canadian youth.

The doors to Sheena’s Place were officially opened in 1996 after its founding members rose from personal tragedy and identified a need for resources to support those with eating disorders.

Over the last 5 years alone, Sheena’s Place has:

  • Welcomed 6,290 clients
  • Offered 7,950 hours of therapeutic services
  • Provided 9,050 of volunteer hours
  • Raised over $3M with no additional government funding

Sheena’s Place offers free services with no waitlists and where no diagnosis is required. Groups and programs are led by mental health professionals in fields such as psychology, social work and art therapy. Five types of groups are offered throughout the year: support groups, expressive art groups, body image groups, nutritional, and skill building groups. Most programs run 10 to 12 weeks with up to 15-20 participants in each session.

Over the next three years, as driven by its Strategic Plan the focus of Sheena’s Place will be on building its current strengths while being responsive to changing community needs and opportunities. Their Strategic Plan is framed as follows:

Vision: Transform lives, build community, eliminate stigma

Mission: We support individuals, families and friends affected by eating disorders to overcome barriers and provide effective, community-based services at all stages of recovery

Values: Compassion; we demonstrate compassion by caring relationships that are built on acceptance, trust, and honesty

Dignity: We believe in the inherent dignity of all people and respect their right to be valued and accepted without judgement

Inclusion: We recognize that eating disorders do not discriminate based on income, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or ability, and are committed to ensuring that everyone has equitable access

Collaboration: We believe that we can accomplish more when we work together to achieve shared goals

Excellence: We provide evidence-informed and effective practices and services, delivered by highly qualified professionals

The Plan itself has the following inter-related and inter-dependent directions:

Optimizing the Model of Care:

  • Developing programs and services that respond to unmet/emerging needs and system gaps
  • Building systems that evaluate programs and services based on impact

Building Awareness of Eating Disorders and Sheena’s Place:

  • Developing clear, consistent messaging and amplifying their story
  • Collaborating with strategic mental health partners

Generating Sustainable Revenue:

  • Creating and implementing a long-term plan for financial stability and growth

Strengthening Organizational Capacity and Competencies:

  • Developing high performing and engaged teams
  • Creating system efficiencies (IT, HR)

The Position

The Executive Director serves as the chief executive of Sheena’s Place and, in partnership with the Board, is responsible for the success of the organization. Together, the Executive Director and the Board assure Sheena’s Place’s relevance to the community, the accomplishment of its mission and vision, and the accountability of the organization to its diverse stakeholders.

The successful candidate will inherit a highly functioning team who span fundraising, program delivery, community outreach/engagement and finance. There are plans for future growth and the Executive Director will be integral when attracting top talent to the organization.

The next Executive Director of Sheena’s Place will be a passionate leader, advocating on behalf of the people that the organization services at local and systemic levels. Our ideal candidate will continue to build on the vision of Sheena’s Place while being an inspirational communicator and ambassador for the cause. We’re looking for a thought leader in the mental health sector – someone who ideally has experience with health policy and legislation which will help legitimize Sheena’s Place’s ‘voice at the table’. They’ll be well networked in this area and will possess the ability to inspire others and able to address gaps in the health system specific to eating disorders. Our leader will be operationally focused and will be known for creating and encouraging a positive work culture for their employees and volunteers.

Within the first 12 months, success will be defined by our incumbent’s ability to gain familiarity with the work and key issues facing Sheena’s Place. They will have continued to execute the 3-year Strategic Plan and will be measuring and reporting back on the milestones and successes. They’ll maintain and build upon the engagement of staff, facilitator and volunteer teams, ensuring they are continually focused on the organization’s goals. Revenue development will have been a focus and growth realized. They will have worked to implement systems and technologies that contribute to optimizing operational efficiencies.

Primary Accountabilities


  • Provide leadership toward implementing the strategic and operational plans of the organization with alignment to Sheena’s Place’s vision, mission and value statements
  • Contribute to strategy formulation and translate that direction into effective operational plans
  • Lead organizational change initiatives based upon the dynamic nature of the mental health services, non-profit environment
  • Foster a positive and engaging work environment, encouraging innovation, teamwork and effective performance
  • Work collaboratively with the Board (e.g., identification, assessment and communication of internal and external issues that affect the organization) to support their overall governance effectiveness
  • As the chief spokesperson for the organization, enhance and protect the integrity and reputation of the organization by being active and visible in the sector and community

Financial, Risk Management and Governance

  • Develop and manage the organization’s budget in collaboration with the Treasurer, Board Finance Committee and Bookkeeper. Provide quarterly financial reports to the Board, including communication of significant variances to budget and any other financial concerns
  • Supervise the adherence to sound financial, accounting and risk management practices, control and accounting of funds, ensuring maximum resource utilization
  • Identify and evaluate risks to the organization’s stakeholders, property, finances, human resources and image, and implement measures to capitalize on, control or mitigate these risks
  • Ensure effective communications with the board and its committees, develop meeting agendas, and provide timely and accurate reports, presentations and supporting materials necessary for them to function effectively and make informed decisions

Fund Development

  • Ensure the organization has an achievable fundraising plan to secure funding for the operation and future growth of the organization
  • Lead and/or participate in the identification and cultivation of meaningful funding/donor relationships

Program and Operational Planning and Management

  • Ensure programs and services are aligned with the mission, vision and values, internal policy guidelines, donor reporting obligations and governmental/legal requirements
  • Lead and support the staff with the input of the Clinical Advisory Committee in the development and management programs and services that are responsive to the needs of the community and the emerging trends within the sector, promoting high standards and innovative models, and ensuring the model of care is optimized

Human Resources Management

  • Lead, guide, support, mentor, motivate, develop and coach the team in their operational objectives, thereby promoting staff retention and talent management
  • Ensure the organizational structure and related resources, including both staff and volunteers, support the agency and program delivery operational requirements of the organization
  • Implement a complete performance management process for all staff positions, including effective compensation, performance reviews, recognition, development opportunities and discipline processes
  • Set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited goals as part of a personnel annual review process
  • Ensure that there is a sound succession plan in place to deliver continuity for all roles within the organization and actively participate in the recruitment of roles that will contribute in the delivery of the organization’s mandate
  • Develop and maintain relevant HR policies and ensure compliance with legislation
  • Build, model and maintain a culture of collaboration, professionalism and adherence to organizational values

Community Relations

  • Establish and maintain community connections to support organizational goals
  • Represent the organization and articulate the organization’s mission, vision, values and position to funders, politicians, donors, other organizations, and the general public, and engage in relevant committees, task forces, or working groups
  • Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed and engaged and to identify emerging community needs and potential collaboration opportunities

The Ideal Candidate

Experience, Skills and Attributes:

  • Relevant experience in a senior management or executive leadership role in the non-profit and/or for-profit sectors
  • Knowledge of the eating disorder community locally, provincially and nationally, hospital-based treatment centres in Toronto and GTA, eating disorder treatment and recovery frameworks, trauma-informed approaches and harm reduction principles
  • Experience with strategy creation and its subsequent execution
  • Ideally possess experience in fundraising and fund development, particularly with major gifts, corporations and foundations
  • Skilful in managing change in a small workplace environment
  • Demonstrated ability to build strategic relationships with key stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to build meaningful staff relationships and cultivate a positive work culture
  • Strong communications and advocacy skills with diverse audiences
  • Demonstrated success in planning, coordinating and evaluating programs
  • Knowledge in financial management and budgeting
  • Ability to influence others including the team, community, donors, sponsors and other stakeholders
  • Excellent management and self-management skills – fully able to lead a focused team (including volunteers) and to nurture a culture of diversity and inclusivity
  • Experience reporting to a Board of Directors, OR have sat on a Board
  • Passion for the mission of Sheena’s Place
  • University degree in social work, business or other relevant area that would bring expertise to bear in the role as Executive Director

If you are looking for an outstanding challenge and the opportunity to work with a great team for a very important, uniquely focused organization then what are you waiting for?  Apply now!

Of note, we are committed to reflecting our country’s diversity and strive for inclusion. We are pleased to accept applications from underrepresented groups and encourage applications from Indigenous persons, members of the LGBTQ+ community, new immigrants, and persons with disabilities. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

Please send Cover Letter and CV to Lindsay Preston at by February 28, 2020. Please note only qualified respondents will be contacted.