Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast seeks an Executive Director to provide strategic direction, skillful management, and mission advocacy.
About Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast
Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE) is a community nonprofit and one of 31 nonprofit milk banks accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to provide pasteurized donor human milk to babies in fragile health throughout the Northeastern United States.
Core to MMBNE’s mission is advocacy and education in the larger landscape of breastfeeding support, in which donor milk plays a critical role, including equitable distribution of donor milk to all babies in need. Whether participating in cutting-edge research at teaching hospitals, working with state and local breastfeeding coalitions, advocating for Medicaid and insurance coverage for donor milk, or presenting educational sessions at local and national conferences, MMBNE staff and board members are committed to ensuring that milk donation becomes as widely known to the public as blood donation.
With a professional staff of 24, four of whom are part-time, MMBNE provides donor milk to over 90 hospitals in 11 states who use the milk in their neonatal intensive care units, special care nurseries, and well-baby units. Families with preterm and full-term babies throughout the country order milk as well, and to date more than 9,000 mothers have been screened to donate milk, which can be shipped free of charge or dropped off at one of 28 depots in 10 states.
Donated milk is processed daily by MMBNE in its laboratory according to HMBANA and FDA standards, with the strictest adherence to medical guidelines and food safety regulations. Unlike traditional nonprofits, MMBNE’s revenues (over $3 million in 2019) are derived from raw milk donations and hospital and outpatient purchases of processed human milk. Grants and financial donations comprise only a small percentage of revenue.
MMBNE has three boards: a Board of Directors, a Medical Advisory Board, and a Research Advisory Board; the new Executive Director will work closely with each volunteer group to ensure that MMBNE is meeting medical and operational best practice standards.
The office and laboratory are currently located in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts.
About the Position
The incoming Executive Director (ED) will join a thriving organization that is financially sound and that has an ambitious vision to expand its capacity and service. The new Executive Director will understand, value, and articulate support for the need for MMBNE and balance mission, ethics, and the business aspects of the work through their leadership.
The Executive Director will partner with the Board of Directors to develop and implement a new 5-year strategic plan and will benefit from consultancy support from the founding Director Emerita, a national milk banking expert and resource who continues to work for MMBNE on a part-time basis. A key role for the new ED will be to engage with constituents, including teaching hospitals and state and local breastfeeding coalitions, and represent MMBNE at educational sessions at local and national conferences to help increase awareness of and knowledge around milk donation.
In the first three months, the new Executive Director will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current program and operations and present recommendations for new goal setting and achievements to the Board of Directors.
Key Responsibilities of Executive Director
- Develop and sustain a highly collaborative relationship with the Board of Directors
- Represent MMBNE in HMBANA activities
- Partner with the Board of Directors to create a new 5-year strategic plan
- Ensure a productive and supportive environment for all staff members
- Expand and enrich MMBNE’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Help recruit and steward new board members with skills and experience that will further the mission of MMBNE
- Establish a working relationship with the founding Director Emerita and help to define a new role for her in consultation with the Board of Directors
- Collaborate with the Medical Advisory Board and Research Advisory Board
Management of Human Resources, Facility, and Production
- Supervise six direct reports plus the founding Director Emerita
- Invest in staff development to enable continuous learning and professional development and to increase staff retention
- Collaborate with the Board to address urgent facility issues and plan for relocation to better accommodate the unique space requirements needed for the intake, processing, and shipping of the donated milk
- Review organizational structure, roles, and policies to promote accountability, efficiency, and high performance
- Create and sustain a productive, equitable, and inclusive team environment, and promote a culture around customer service, high performance, and support for the mission
- Oversee workflow and integration across departments (donor intake, milk processing, client relations, community relations, and administration), revising the organizational structure and staff responsibilities as needed while fostering a “can do,” team-oriented culture
- Ensure that donor screening and milk processing continue to comply with all relevant standards and regulations
- Optimize milk donations and milk processing to reduce surpluses and shortfalls
- Review IT needs and requirements, continuing the implementation of projects that are organizational priorities
- Continue to manage and revise COVID-19 plans and contingencies as needed for the staff
- Represent MMBNE, its mission, and its values credibly and professionally to external audiences, serving as an ambassador/spokesperson for milk banking and MMBNE
- Participate in legislative advocacy activity that supports milk banking
- Identify and propose strategies for enhancing revenue through a combination of new pricing strategies, long-term contracts with hospitals, enhancement of underdeveloped revenue opportunities, fundraising, and grant writing
- Serve as a local, regional, and national spokesperson for milk banks
- Collaborate with other milk banks to share strategies, best practices, and operational innovations
- Work with the Board and senior staff to establish an annual budget and organizational goals that represent growth in the delivery of services, ensure work site efficiency and staff safety, and increase MMBNE’s capacity to better meet the demand for donor milk
- Fast-track and manage mission-critical projects that address the time-sensitive needs of hospital clients, including:
- the implementation of a new barcoding system
- installation of a new process to analyze nutrients in donated milk
- expanding the “Donor Milk to Go” Program at partner hospitals
- Monitor annual budget and ensure operating expenses are within budget
- Ensure accuracy, integrity, and timeliness of all financial accounting and reporting
Communications and Philanthropy
- Ensure brand messaging is integrated into organizational strategic planning
- Work with staff to deepen and refine all aspects of communications, from web presence to external relations, with the goal of increasing awareness and impact of MMBNE
- In partnership with the Board and Director of Community Relations, ensure that there is a clear and articulated plan and strategic goal for philanthropy that will inspire and motivate donors, volunteers, and staff
- Explore ways to expand fundraising with a focus on cultivating and stewarding current donors, identifying new prospects, and building a grants program
Key Qualifications of Executive Director
- Authentic passion for the mission of helping babies and families
- Hospital/health care/pharmaceutical experience preferred
- Background improving operations and finances in a nonprofit
- Background working closely with a committed Board of Directors and Advisory Boards
- Experience identifying organizational priorities and acting decisively and effectively to address them
- Project management track record, including timely matching of staff skills to tasks
- Track record of raising funds from individual donors and foundations
- Background maximizing the role of IT
- Ability to effectively manage a diverse work force, being authentically sensitive to the needs of staff and attuned to organizational culture while improving organizational effectiveness and staff retention
- Experience as a public advocate who can clearly articulate a mission and vision to diverse stakeholder groups
Additional Credentials of Value
- Comfort and/or background operating in an environment that uses medical and scientific language
- Experience with regulated food bank, blood bank, or comparable operations
- Relevant advanced degree and/or certifications
All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
If you are interested in being considered for this upcoming search, please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
Senior Vice President
Development Guild DDI