Executive Director

Cathedral Towers, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia
Apr 06, 2018
May 21, 2018
Focus Areas
Human Services
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level

Reporting to the board of directors, the executive director of the Cathedral Towers in Atlanta, Georgia leads the Towers community in serving its residents. S/he ensures financial and other goals are met, that the building and grounds are beautifully maintained, that relevant regulations are followed meticulously, and that talented management and staff are engaged and motivated to provide a high level of service to the Towers community of residents. 

The search committee seeks an executive director who will serve as a successor to its retiring leader, Kathy Gottlieb, who has served as its leader since the establishment of the Cathedral Towers 38 years ago. This is an opportunity to take on strategic leadership for a respected organization with a dedicated community of supporters and stakeholders. 

In partnership with the board chair and the board, the executive director ensures needed resources for the Cathedral Towers are in place and its financial health is sound. The executive director oversees external relations, resident relations, relationships with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and Atlanta Housing Authority. In summary, the purpose of the executive director is to ensure that the Cathedral Towers provides the support and fulfilment its residents deserve.

The ideal candidate will have leadership experience in or related to senior services; the search committee also looks forward to considering backgrounds in other regulated fields that serve vulnerable populations. The selected candidate will have an ability to engage diverse stakeholders and will demonstrate success in strategic and operational management.

Most importantly, the executive director will be a person who approaches the cause and the individuals s/he serves with compassion.

The Cathedral Towers, established in 1980, provides affordable housing in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia to persons over 62 years in age who have low-to-moderate incomes. With 195 units, the Towers is an independent living community that provides a safe and caring environment. Through its programs the Towers enhances the lives of its residents.

The organization is an independent 501c3 organization that operates subject to the regulations and guidelines of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which provides rental subsidies to the Towers residents. 

The Cathedral Towers, an outreach entity of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, is governed by an independent board of directors. The Cathedral and its parishioners work with the Towers staff to provide programs and to help the Towers carry out its mission with excellence.

Residents of the Cathedral Towers represent diverse racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds, as do its staff. The Cathedral Towers hires employees and accepts residents without regard to religious affiliation and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, color or national origin in either hiring or leasing.

The Towers has maintained its facilities in excellent condition, and it is a highly desirable residence. It has its own grounds and is within walking distance of grocery, drug-store, dry-cleaning and other services. It boasts an on-sight hair salon, an art room, a library, gardens, and a play area for its youngest visitors. It offers five lunches per week for residents at a minimal cost. One measure of its appeal as a residence is its waiting list of two years.


  • Units: 195
  • Number of residents: 212
  • Age of property: 38 years
  • Reason for opening: retirement of executive director anticipated 7/31/18
  • Funding: HUD
  • Waiting list: Two years
  • Position reports to: board of directors, Cathedral Towers, Inc. and Dean, Cathedral of St. Philipp
  • Staff: 19 full-time and part-time, including executive director
  • Notes: 
    • Through a memorandum of understanding, the Cathedral of St. Philipp approves nominees to the Cathedral Towers board of directors and the appointment of the executive director.
    • Care coordinator funded but position to be hired by new executive director.
    • Website is currently down due to hi-jacking of domain.


Interpersonal Skills
The successful candidate’s background will demonstrate:

  • A track record of servant leadership.
  • Passionate interest in a cause.
  • Personal engagement with individuals in a vulnerable population.
  • Comfort communicating with people from different backgrounds and cultures, showing respect and eagerness to learn.
  • Comfort with individuals who have physical, mental, or communication disabilities.
  • A history of handling difficult people and situations effectively and with compassion.
  • Outstanding judgment honoring the culture, history, and wishes of beneficiaries, at the same time setting and maintaining standards that ensure the comfort and safety of others.
  • Boundaries that prevent favoritism, exclusion, drama, and distraction from other responsibilities of the executive director role.
  • Self-awareness and openness to input to overcome hidden biases.

Strategic Thinking
Executive director candidates will have a track record of:

  • Working with a board and staff to develop a strategic plan that was successfully implemented, developing and documenting the supporting plans for revenue, systems, human resources, and physical plant required to meet goals of the plan.
  • Translating the strategic plan into annual plans and monitoring organizational performance.
  • Working with the board to assess new initiatives that will meet the goals of the strategic plan across all performance dimensions.
  • Identifying and establishing or maintaining relationships with government agencies, individuals, or other organizations required for success.

Operational Excellence
Demonstrated success of the candidate will include as much as possible of the following:

  • Monitoring progress against the strategic plan and corresponding outcomes and making recommendations to the board to capitalize on successes, make course corrections, and mitigate unforeseen issues.
  • Topline revenue generation: maintaining high occupancy (or other relevant measure) and maximizing funding sources.
  • Leadership in all financial processes and accountability, ensuring appropriate reserves, accounting compliance, and adequate cash flow. 
  • Identifying appropriate balance of activities and programs for impact and alignment with funding sources and earned-revenue potential.
  • Evaluating and adjusting programs and services to ensure they meet beneficiaries’ self-identified needs, desires, and long-term interests.
  • Working in a regulated environment, meeting all conditions, ensuring compliance, and maintaining employee or organizational certifications.
  • Recruiting, training, developing, and motivating a strong team of leaders and employees.
  • Establishing and maintaining high performance standards.
  • Engaging the right team members, board members, or outside resources to solve problems.
  • Implementation of automated systems to provide better, cost-effective services.
  • Oversight of heavily used buildings and grounds.

Board Engagement, Relationship Building, and Communications 
Candidates will demonstrate commitment to and success in:

  • Developing strong working relationships with board members and volunteers.
  • Equipping, briefing, and positioning board members to take timely action.
  • Motivating board members to engage and leverage their networks for the purpose of developing new board members, volunteers, and community partnerships.
  • Speaking, listening, and writing in a clear, thorough and timely manner.
  • Cultivation of new sources of revenue to support additional services. 
  • Communicating internally with employees and externally with stakeholders using electronic, phone, paper, and in-person methods to greatest effect.


Bachelor’s degree required; a relevant business or other graduate degree may be an advantage. 

Relevant industry knowledge 
The successful candidate will demonstrate knowledge of and passion for working with seniors or other vulnerable populations in housing, healthcare or another related, regulated field. Although direct experience in senior-living communities, HUD-funded in particular, is helpful, management skill and the ability to quickly learn, assimilate, and apply concepts of an industry, business or field are more important. The search committee looks forward to considering a variety of backgrounds.


Functional Job Responsibilities
Please see Appendix A for functional job responsibilities.

Equal Employment Opportunities
The Cathedral Towers, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

Identity and Employment Eligibility Verification
In compliance with federal law, the candidate hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form (I-9) upon hire.

Evenings and Weekends
The Cathedral Towers holds special events for residents and others that require the executive director work occasional evening and weekend hours.

The Cathedral Towers and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, which has been engaged to conduct this search, invite your participation in this outstanding opportunity. To express interest or seek further information, please send your resume or questions via email to cti-ed@gcn.org.

GCN’s Process
We are honored by your interest and hope to be in touch with you. We regret that we are unable to speak with each individual. We will acknowledge receipt of your credentials by email and review each submission carefully. If we determine there is a potential match for the position, we will reach out to you by a subsequent email in order to schedule a phone call.
We pledge to keep candidates whom we contact by phone apprised of their status in the search.
By submitting your resume for this opportunity, you give the Georgia Center for Nonprofits permission to share your name and credentials with the members of our client’s search committee.

Functional Job Responsibilities

Operations and Compliance

  • Oversee operation and overall condition of building and grounds
  • Responsible for budget and financial reporting 
  • Report quarterly to the board of directors on financial and operational results
  • Oversee compliance with HUD

Human Relations

  • Personally engage with residents
  • Maintain relations with residents and their sponsors 
  • Assist in or oversee out-placements as necessary
  • Oversee resident activities and services

Staff Management

  • Establish organization structure for effective operations
  • Hire, train, develop and retain staff

Regulatory Issues

  • Oversee annual resident recertification
  • Ensure waiting list is properly administered

Building & Grounds Maintenance

  • Update apartments as necessary
  • Oversee work to building

Safety/Risk Management

  • Ensure emergency services (including appropriate maintenance) are available 24/7
  • Assess and mitigate risk