Search Completed! Minnesota Public Radio – Director of Major and Planned Giving

Update: This search was completed and the candidate, Mark Abner, placed in May 2016. Learn more about supporting MPR!

On behalf of our client, Minnesota Public Radio, and parent company American Public Media Group, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search for their DIRECTOR of MAJOR and PLANNED GIVING

Click here for a full position profile: Position Profile – MPR – Director Major & Planned Giving

MPR Mission: To enrich the mind and nourish the spirit, thereby enhancing the lives and expanding the perspectives of our audiences, and assisting them in strengthening their communities.

The Organization: American Public Media Group (APMG) is the not-for-profit, parent organization of Minnesota Public Radio®, Marketplace®, American Public Media® and Southern California Public Radio™. APMG is the largest station-based public radio organization in America, combining multi-regional station operations, national programming creation and distribution as well as innovative digital, social and mobile services in one organization. 19 million listeners tune in weekly to APMG’s national programming and regional stations on nearly 1,000 radio stations nationwide. American Public Media (APM), the national production and distribution arm of the organization, is one of the largest in the world with a portfolio that includes A Prairie Home Companion®, BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programming in the nation. Supported financially by contributions from individual donors, sponsors, philanthropic foundations and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), APMG’s regional operations include Minnesota Public Radio, a 45-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states and Southern California Public Radio, a four-station network serving Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County and the Inland Empire. Launched in 2014, the Infinite Guest podcast network includes diverse offerings from best-selling authors to the best food, culture and comedy shows featured on public radio. APM’s lifestyle classical music stream,, packages classical music in an unconventional and innovative way with streams suited for life’s biggest moments and everyday situations.

Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR) has state-of-the-art headquarters in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota and is the largest owner and operator of public radio stations nationwide. Since its origins as a single classical music station in 1967 at KSJR in Collegeville, Minnesota, MPR has earned nearly 1,000 broadcasting and journalism awards, including seven George Foster Peabody Awards (dubbed the “Oscar of broadcasting”), six Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, a prestigious Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Gold Baton Award and a Grammy Award. Since 1967, MPR has informed, inspired and engaged citizens as a trusted convener, storyteller and sense-maker. Minnesotans look to MPR for fact-based, balanced journalism that provides vital context for infirmed decision-making, innovative arts and cultural programming, national and international content, and music that can’t be found anyplace else. Over nearly five decades, loyal supporters and listeners have helped build MPR into a state-wide treasure and national leader, now providing three award-winning regional services – MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current®. MPR meets all 27 of the Charities Review Council (CRC) Accountability Standards. More information about APMG and MPR can be found on their websites at and Connect and engage with MPR’s primary accounts on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and follow the Twitter hashtag #mprlife for insight into the work culture.

The Opportunity: Minnesota Public Radio’s workplace is as dynamic as its programming!  Diverse, creative and compelling, MPR taps into the life experiences of its employees for perspective and balance. In addition to using one’s talents in a creative, energetic workplace, the organization offers competitive pay and benefits, a culture that encourages learning and development, and opportunities for advancement. A career at Minnesota Public Radio is an opportunity to inspire – and to be inspired!

Minnesota Public Radio has a comprehensive membership and development program which generates $30+ million in total support and revenue annually from more than 132,000 donors/members. The greatest opportunity for revenue growth is in major, individual giving. While the membership program is well-established, major and planned giving are relatively new programs and the opportunity to enhance these programs is significant given the financial capacity and longevity of giving in the donor base. Today there is a unique opportunity to expedite the growth of these programs with the introduction of a $75 million campaign to fund the reinvention of public media for the 21st Century. For the appropriate candidate, this opportunity includes working with a team of experienced development and media professionals, building the major and planned giving programs, completing a successful major campaign and working in an exciting, fast- paced, rapidly changing public media environment.

The Role: Minnesota Public Radio seeks a Director of Major and Planned Giving. The Director of Major and Planned Giving is responsible for leading the major and planned gifts team of seven professionals, securing at least $3.7 million in gifts (annually) and co-managing the implementation of a $75 million capital and endowment campaign; of which $54 million is targeted to  come from individual donors. As a member of the Directors team and larger Development staff, this position reports to and works closely with the Senior Vice President for Development and with senior leadership of MPR and APMG to secure gifts from donors living inside and outside of Minnesota. The Director will work closely with the President/CEO and Senior Vice President for Development to build both visibility and a stronger relationship with the organization’s stakeholders.

The Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate will have eight or more years of demonstrated successful experience in all aspects of individual giving and capital campaign planning and execution. The candidate should be able to demonstrate prior success in securing six and seven-figure individual gifts. Additionally, five or more years of supervisory/management experience is required with the ability to inspire, coach and lead a diverse team. The candidate must have experience in planning, execution and control of significant sized campaigns—including both annual and capital fund efforts. S/he must have experience and ability to build relationships and work collaboratively across an organization, including engaging multiple types of stakeholders in donor cultivation and solicitation.

To apply, please send your resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Chief Development Officer – Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Update: This search was completed and the new CDO, Rebecca Kolis, was placed in April 2016. Click here to learn more about supporting BSM!

On behalf of our client, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for Chief Development Officer.

Click here for a full position profile: Position Profile – BSM – Chief Development Officer

The Organization
Benilde St. Margaret’s is a premier, recognized leader in Catholic college preparatory education. Through a challenging curriculum and a uniquely caring experience that includes faith formation, academic rigor, social responsibility and extensive extracurricular activities, BSM prepares students to make a difference in an ever-increasingly interconnected world. BSM provides an environment that enables students to acquire the skills and habits needed for lives that are balanced ethically, spiritually and physically. More information about BSM can be on their website at

BSM Fast Facts:

  • BSM is a Catholic co-ed college preparatory school for grades 7-12
  • Founded in 1974 with the merger of St. Margaret’s Academy (founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1907) and Benilde High School (founded by the Christian Brothers in 1956)
  • Located in St. Louis Park, MN on a 29 acre campus with a building size of 199,428 square feet
  • Total enrollment of 1172
  • 52% male, 48% female
  • 18% students of color
  • 33 Twin Cities school districts represented
  • 18% of receive financial aid, totaling nearly $1.4 million (avg award $6, 345)
  • Diversity in faith traditions exist; 72% self-identify as Catholic
  • 96% move to post-secondary education
  • 94% participate in clubs and activities
  • BSM offers 29 varsity sports and over 35 extracurricular activities
  • 140 Employees
  • Student-to faculty ratio of 11:1

The Role
Benilde-St, Margaret’s School, located in St. Louis Park, MN, seeks a Chief Development Officer (CDO). The CDO is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive Development plan to support all aspects of philanthropic giving and to create a best in class Development team. Reporting directly to and working closely with the President, they will have full responsibility for donor engagement, fundraising, stewardship and management of the day-to-day functions of the Development team.

Responsibilities to BSM as a Catholic School:
Except in the teaching of religion, it is not an essential prerequisite that all employees be Catholic. However, all employees are expected to respect the teaching of the Church. As a leader, ensure that all areas of responsibility are operated consistent with the Catholic mission of the school.

The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate for this position will be a seasoned professional with extensive experience in academic or nonprofit development/advancement work. Must have a proven track record of success in a professional environment, with 5+ years of experience and success in leading an effective development team. Must have a Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred.

For more information, contact All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Vice President of Development – MacPhail Center for Music

Update: This search was completed and the new VP of Development, Jackie Peterson, was placed in May 2016. Click here to learn more about supporting MacPhail!

On behalf of our client, MacPhail Center for Music, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for Vice President of Development.

Click here for the full position profile: Position Profile – MacPhail – VP of Development

The Organization
MacPhail Center for Music is one of the largest community music schools in the country, and is widely regarded as a leader in music education. Exceptional teachers, the majority with master’s degrees or higher in music, provide world-class instruction to 14,000+ students each year. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, MacPhail holds hundreds of events and workshops, offering music education to the Twin Cities community and serving as a resource for music learning for all.

The Role
MacPhail Center for Music, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, seeks a Vice President of Development. This Vice President is directly responsible for the organization’s contributed revenue goals and serves as the organization’s primary fundraiser. Reporting directly to the CEO, this VP works closely with the CEO and the Board of Directors to set a strategic direction for MacPhail’s fundraising program. This role will focus on collaboration with internal staff, Board, donors and external partners to develop and implement fundraising strategy aligned with the organization’s vision and strategic plan.

The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate for this position will be a seasoned professional with extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising. Must have a proven track record of success in a professional environment with 10+ years of experience and success in growing annual unrestricted contributed revenue. Must have a Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred.  CFRE or ACFRE designation is desired.

To assure consideration, submit resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.


Musings — Leadership Transition

Don W. Taylor, MBA, CohenTaylor Founding Partner
Our daily professional lives have often been interrupted as of late with announcements of leadership changes.  We are living in a world that includes lots of transition.

The past several years’ experience in helping facilitate transitions of leadership have given way to thought about these changes. Often times, it has brought more questions than answers.

All sectors of the work world have experienced the notion of a workforce that is “aging out.”  Traditionalists are long gone and now, with a greater sense of financial security and hope, Boomers are following suit.  Not unlike all sectors, it’s a generation that represents a significant number of executive leaders in the social sector.

We have not dutifully planned for their succession.  Most (but not all) nonprofits with limited resources have focused on service to client stakeholders as a priority.  Identification of a succession plan and the critical professional development of inside leaders around future competencies needed for the organization have gone untended.

The departure of this generation from the workplace—many who are long-time organizational leaders or founders—includes the exit of a critical amount of social and intellectual capital that leaves with them.  That will bring both challenge and opportunity to complex social problems that exist in our communities.

The challenge (and opportunity) might be to understand more fully how to work differently with this generation of leaders as they exit. They have clearly identified that full retirement is not where they want to be.  This generation wants to continue to make contributions—but in ways that don’t represent a typical work day world.  Are we thinking about creative ways to capture or retain that capital for the benefit of the sector?

The opportunity is for growth of a new generation of leaders and, potentially, their new and different approach to strategy.  Their own life experiences and how they have witnessed their parents in the working world have helped defined their own values and behavior. This new generation of leadership is already shaping how we work in the physical space of workplace.

A September 2015 article in Bridge Partners Insights ( introduces the concepts of “cognitive diversity” and “cognitive conflict” in problem solving around complex social issues.  Okay so, maybe just new buzzwords?—but I like them.

Cognitive diversity incorporates what is innate to our being, combined with the behaviors (or how you act) as result of what you have learned in your life experiences. We all bring both to the experience of and the creativity in problem solving and strategy development.  It does not assume that your competence is based on your generation, your ethnicity, or your sector experience (for profit, nonprofit, public). With cognitive diversity, is it likely that each of us brings bias to how we might approach leadership?

Cognitive conflict is a gift—the opportunity to use that diversity to form and create collaborative solutions in leadership.  It gives permission for others to challenge any bias we might bring, to consider a problem from different perspectives and to build strategy from collective input.

In our executive search experience, organizations are not always ready to introduce the kinds of leaders who bring cognitive diversity and conflict to organizational management and an organization’s culture.  Multinational corporations have begun to find their way successfully and many corporate leaders who sit in nonprofit board leadership are open to it and have a desire to bring it into the nonprofit sector.  In the end, boards may not be ready for the inherent risk it brings—especially around disruption of organizational culture.  How might we change that paradigm to be open and prepared?

What I’m most confident about—is that the sector’s approach to leadership will be evolutionary, likely to be disruptive and most certainly, transformational.


Search Completed! Executive Director – Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

Update: This search was completed and the new Executive Director, Teresa Spaeth, was placed in March 2016. Click here to learn more about Teresa and CCMI!

On behalf of our client, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search for their EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

Can you be the architect and leader for the future of nature conservation and youth development? Join one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations and make a difference in the lives of young people. Corps members work hard all year to conserve natural resources and wildlife habitats, improve state parks and trails, and provide relief to communities ravaged by floods and other natural disasters. These projects give youth members leadership skills, greater confidence and job opportunities that can lead to leadership careers in conservation. The Corps offers life-changing experiences to nearly 600 youth and 2,000 volunteers each year.

Click here for the full position profile: Position Profile – Executive Director – Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

Conservation Corps is a nonprofit organization that provides engaging work for young people in managing natural resources, responding to disasters, conserving energy and leading volunteers. Through youth programs (ages 15-18) and young adult AmeriCorps participants (ages 18-25), The Corps helps young people develop personal responsibility, a strong work ethic and greater awareness of environmental stewardship. Corps goals are to help young people from all backgrounds become more connected to the environment, engaged in conservation, involved in the community and prepared for future employment.

To apply, please send your resume to info@cohentaylor.comAll inquiries will remain confidential.


Searches Completed! Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) – Washington, DC

Update: These searches were completed in Spring 2016. Click here to learn more about RISE!

On behalf of our client,Responsible Industry for a Sound EnvironmentCohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained searches for three positions:

State Manager, Public Affairs

Communications Coordinator

Administrative Assistant

THE MISSIONProtect and advance the specialty pest management and plant health industries by:
Representing a strong industry voice
Advocating to shape public policy
Influencing positive public opinion

THE VISIONAn industry free to create inspiring and healthy places where we live, work and play.

As the national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders involved with specialty pesticides, RISE gives the facts about pests and the threats they pose to our health and safety. RISE provides accurate information about pesticides, their use and regulation, sharing news releases, fact sheets, and other valuable resources highlighting the benefits of the products our members provide.  We promote the safe use of pesticides to control pests and invasive species that are detrimental to our health and our environment. As the only national trade association representing this industry, our members supply products essential to public health and safety, and to protecting our environment. RISE staff members communicate with policymakers and regulators to ensure products are used properly and are available when needed. These exciting positions will have an impact on safe chemical use, policy and advocacy on the local, state and national level.


Search Completed! Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation – VP of Research & Dissemination

Update: This search was completed and the new VP of Research & Dissemination, Michael Ujhelyi, placed in February 2016. Learn more about the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation!

On behalf of our client, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for their VICE PRESIDENT of  RESEARCH and DISSEMINATION

Imagine an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of cardiovascular research – research that will drastically impact the state of disease prevention and treatment world-wide.  Join a leading and successful nonprofit organization in Minnesota that has a high business profile, is dedicated to innovation and growth through research and education, deploys strong partnerships to achieve its mission, and is committed to the dissemination of their valuable research on an international scale. Click here to view the full position profile: Position Profile – MHIF – VP of Research

THE ORGANIZATION: Founded in 1982, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) is a Minnesota-based 501(c)3 that aims to create a world without heart and vascular disease. Efforts are focused on improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education, and investigating new protocols and treatments designed to save lives – to radically change the trajectory of the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

THE ROLE: Located within the Abbott Northwestern Hospital campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MHIF seeks a Vice President of Research and Dissemination. In support of the MHIF mission, this position will be the principal representative for MHIF with regard to clinical and population health research, community-based health programs, professional education, research administration and human research protection. This leadership position will focus on collaboration with internal and external partners to develop and implement research and programs aligned with the MHIF vision and strategic plan. This position reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer.

To apply, please send your resume to info@cohentaylor.comAll inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed – Lifeworks – VP of Services

Update: This search was completed and the new VP of Services, Lisa Zaspel, placed in March 2016. Learn more about Lisa and Lifeworks!

On behalf of our client, Lifeworks, CohenTaylor is conducting a retained search for their Vice President of Services

Imagine an opportunity where you can be creative and collaborative, use your voice to influence industry and policy leaders, and employ strong business development skills — all to benefit people with disabilities and their families. Click here to view the full position profile: Position Profile – Lifeworks VP of Services

THE ORGANIZATION: Lifeworks mission is to serve our community and people with disabilities as we live and work together. Founded in 1965 by parents who wanted more options for the children with disabilities, Lifeworks is a Minnesota-based 501(c)3 that provides customized, person-centered services for adults with cognitive disabilities that help them live full and meaningful lives.

THE ROLE: Lifeworks administrative offices, located in Eagan, Minnesota, seeks a Vice President of Services to oversee the Fiscal and In-Home Services sector of the organization, with responsibility for $35-40M in revenue. This sector currently includes the following product and service lines: Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS), Personal Support, Consumer Supports Grants, and PCA Choice. This position will be responsible for maximizing the market share and financial performance for this diverse portfolio of services. This includes managing products and services from development through implementation and exit, defining the product or service vision, and working closely with stakeholders to create successful programs. This individual will serve as an expert for fiscal programs through contact with customers, industry experts, internal personnel, professional associations and government officials. This position reports directly to the CEO.

To apply, please send your resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! College Possible – VP of Site Operations

Update: This search was completed and the new VP of Site Operations, Erin Carlin Campbell, was placed in February 2016. Read the press release about Erin joining the College Possible Executive Team!

On behalf of our client, College Possible, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for their VICE PRESIDENT of SITE OPERATIONS

To view the full position profile, please click here: Position Profile – VP Site Operations

THE SEARCH: As College Possible continues to grow, we are looking for our first Vice President of Site Operations.  This role will be part of the senior leadership team of College Possible and will supervise five Executive Directors across the United States and a Manager of Site Support. This position will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

THE ORGANIZATION: Founded in 1999 as Admission Possible, College Possible is a growing non-profit dedicated to coaching low-income students to and through college, breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering our workforce. Our rigorously tested model earns top-of-field results that have helped 98 percent of students served earn admission to college. A 2011 Harvard University study found that the program more than doubles a student’s chance of enrolling in a four-year college. Overall, our students are 10 times more likely to earn a college degree than their low-income peers. College Possible has a budget of over $12 million, 75 full-time employees, and more than 160 AmeriCorps and VISTA service members. During the 2014-15 school year, we will serve 18,000 students in 53 partner high schools and nearly 300 college campuses. Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible currently serves students in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Milwaukee, Portland, Omaha, Philadelphia, Chicago, and college campuses nationwide.

THE POSITION: reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President, Site Operations will empower, manage, lead and support the current College Possible Executive Directors in Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland, Philadelphia and soon to be Chicago. Site supervision includes the functional areas of: revenue, service impact, development, management, and retention of coaches and staff, and site board development and relations.  In addition, the role manages the team of 3 professionals in the Twin Cities who provide support for the development function in the regional locations.

To apply, please send your resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Chief Development Officer – National Sports Center Foundation

Update: This search has been completed and the new CDO, Jill Griffiths, was placed in December 2015. Click here to learn more about Jill and the National Sports Center!

On behalf of our client, NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER FOUNDATION CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for their CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Interested in the opportunity to join a world-class, cutting edge sports organization?
Click to view the full position profile: Position Profile – NSCF Chief Development Officer

THE ORGANIZATION: The National Sports Center is the world’s largest amateur sports and meeting facility hosting over 4 million visitors annually – the most visited sports facility in Minnesota. The NSC campus operates over 100 unique programs and events in a variety of sports as well as hosting numerous national and international competitions annually.
The NSC has a dual mission:
To generate out of state economic impact through amateur sports events and programs.
To provide amateur sports opportunities to Minnesota residents

THE POSITION: The National Sports Center Foundation (NSCF) located in Blaine, Minnesota, seeks a Chief Development Officer to expand its existing sponsorship, advertising and non-profit foundation’s charitable program. The Chief Development Officer will report to the Executive Director and work with the executive team, staff and board members of the National Sports Center. This person should possess a proven track record of relationship building, leadership, strong administrative capabilities, a passion for amateur sports and youth development and the ability to build a world-class philanthropy program. S/he will be a seasoned philanthropy executive leader with demonstrated success in identification, solicitation and stewardship of donor and partner gifts. The Development Officer will understand sponsorship and advertising best practices and demonstrate the critical qualities of leadership necessary to motivate staff, organizational leadership, volunteers and board members to attain new levels of fundraising.

To apply, please send your resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.