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Chief Executive Officer

Wasilla Area Seniors Inc.

Executive Director / CEO

Contact: Ryan Smith, The Foraker Group
Address: , Wasilla AK
Phone: (907) 743-1200
WASI is dedicated to enabling seniors living in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. An advocate for healthy aging and independent living, WASI offers senior housing, warm meals, social opportunities, health and wellness programs and in-home services.

Job Summary

Date Posted:   3 weeks ago Closing Date:   July 31, 2021
Location:   Wasilla, AK Salary: $100,000.00 - $120,000.00 Exempt; salary
Status:   Full time
WASI offers retirement and vacation benefits, but does not offer health benefits at this time.
How to Apply:
To apply, email your credentials to Applicants should include a resume and cover letter describing interest and qualifications. For questions, contact Ryan Smith lead recruiter, at Communications will be treated with confidence and resumes will be accepted until position is filled. Resume reviews begin immediately.

Job Description

Position Profile

Chief Executive Officer |Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. |Wasilla, Alaska

The Position: Executive Director

Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. (WASI) seeks an empathic chief executive who has exceptional relationship skills and sound management experience and is able to lead the organization through significant expansion of their housing and senior services. The new CEO will work with a dedicated board of directors to manage senior housing, meals, transportation, and in-home services geared toward keeping seniors as independent as possible for as long as possible. Using both political and business acumen, the CEO will secure public funding while also diversifying revenue and instilling a culture of philanthropy in and around WASI. Building on an excellent community reputation and healthy finances, the new leader will have the opportunity to develop comprehensive programming for a fast-growing senior population in the Mat-Su region. The ideal candidate will be a relationship-builder, advocate, manager, and collaborative leader for a new era of expanded services at WASI.

The Organization

Rooted in dignity and serving seniors with respect, WASI has been dedicated to improving the lives of Mat-Su Valley seniors since 1981. An advocate for healthy aging and independent living, WASI offers senior housing, warm meals, social opportunities, health and wellness programs and in-home services. WASI is passionate about their mission to provide for the lives of seniors living in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and to enable seniors to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. is a 501c3 membership-based organization, with approximately 400 members drawn from the seniors whom it serves. A dedicated crew of 24 full-time and 14 part-time staff support Mat-Su seniors to live healthy, independent lives in a variety of ways, including: in-Center congregate meals, home-delivered meals (Meals On Wheels), facilitated health and wellness activities and access to resources and services. Seniors access these services at WASI senior centers located in Wasilla and Houston, Alaska, or in the comfort of their own home. WASI has an annual budget of $3.3M and assets of $9.3M and funds its important work through a combination of grants, Medicaid revenue, contributions, and program service revenue. The organization is governed by a nine-member board of directors comprised of dedicated professionals from both the community and WASI’s membership base. WASI has grown from its early roots as an activity center to meet the needs of a rapidly growing senior population. In recognition of the increasing need for senior housing and services, WASI’s leadership is strategically planning to expand services while maintaining the high quality service delivery that has earned them “Best in the Valley” awards for the last eight years.

Services and Programs

  • Meals: Through Meals on Wheels and congregate meals at both campuses, WASI served nearly 98,000 meals to 790 seniors in 2020.
  • Low Income Senior Housing: 136 independent living rental units in six buildings are available to income eligible seniors. WASI is currently building forty housing units to meet increasing demand, and has plans for future expansion that will double its current capacity.
  • Health and Wellness Programs: WASI is committed to supporting healthy aging and is proud to offer an on-site gym, exercise classes, fall prevention education, activities to promote mental activeness, and socialization opportunities for isolation prevention.
  • Senior In-Home Services: Supporting seniors to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible, in-home services are offered on a sliding fee scale including: chore services, respite care for caregiver relief and supplemental services to help seniors maintain a safe and healthy environment.
  • Transportation: WASI offers individualized transportation services for seniors 60+ who need a little assistance, as well as on-demand rides for an affordable fee or by donation for rides to essential services such as banking, shopping, or personal care.
  • Equipment and Book Lending Library: Seniors have access to a large book-lending library as well as a computer lab with internet access and technology classes. Equipment is also available to borrow to help seniors meet short-term mobility needs.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: WASI offers many opportunities for meaningful volunteer service. WASI’s Senior Ambassadors are a self-regulating group who advocate for senior concerns and relay information between community groups and WASI management. Many other opportunities for long and short-term service include helping in the library, meals, and exercise activities.
  • Chaplain: WASI’s volunteer Chaplain offers lay counseling, spiritual and social comfort, teaching, and visits with seniors in need, and coordinates activities of religious groups at WASI.

Strategic Priorities

The Mat-Su borough is experiencing unprecedented 8.17% growth in its senior population (age 60+), significantly higher than the statewide rate of 5.5%. The 85+ population is expanding more rapidly than any other age group, and the number of seniors experiencing dementia is increasing rapidly as well. With this reality in mind, the board completed a strategic plan in 2021 that responds to this increasing need for senior supports with a 5-year vision of completing their housing expansion project currently underway (Willow I) and offering comprehensive programming for seniors, and a 10-year vision of adding additional housing structure (Willow II) as well as a WASI Community Center. WASI’s incoming CEO will have the opportunity and obligation to be part of the leadership team executing the strategic plan.

Long-term strategic priorities include:

  • Expand the solid financial foundation, with diverse earned revenue, and growing reserves.
  • Establish a strong culture of philanthropy internally and externally within the community.
  • Create a work environment that establishes WASI as an incredible place to work.
  • Secure land for the WASI Community Center and develop a plan for construction.

The Leadership Opportunity

WASI’s exiting CEO has provided strong leadership for the last eight years and is leaving the organization in a solid financial position with strong community partnerships and a reputation for providing crucial services that allow seniors to remain independent. WASI leadership is known for being responsive to community needs, and for creating welcoming, friendly spaces for seniors to convene and socialize. The organization has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with resilience and flexibility, and has emerged from it on a path of growth, with construction of a new housing development underway, due to be completed in the fall of 2021.

Building on this solid foundation, the new CEO will bring a collaborative, caring, and approachable leadership style to maintaining WASI’s high quality programs, creating a work environment that attracts and retains skilled staff, and continuing to position the organization for the growth required by its five- and ten-year vision. The incoming leader will work closely with the board and leadership team to implement the priorities outlined in the strategic plan, will think and act strategically to meet the increasing need in the community, and will embrace WASI’s values of happy, healthy, engaged seniors, rooted in dignity, serving with respect, and fun.

Short-term Priorities

The incoming CEO will be expected to focus on the following priorities over the first twelve to eighteen months:

  • Steward housing expansion: work closely with the board and the project management company to continue stewarding the development of Willow House.
  • Maintain financial stability and position WASI for growth: secure state and federal grant funding and maintain donor relationships and funding. This includes influencing the upcoming process (fall of 2021) to set the new funding formula of the Older Americans Act to ensure that WASI receives a share proportionate to increasing needs of the growing senior population in the Mat-Su Valley.
  • Maintain the high level and quality of WASI’s services: ensure continuance of Meals On Wheels, transportation, and other services that allow seniors to live independently; maintain WASI’s current high standard of services, including a caring, friendly, compassionate atmosphere in all the spaces WASI creates for seniors – Club 50, dining room, Mary Hall Lending Library, and game events. Expand services as opportunities arise.
  • Support staff: build relationships with staff and provide a supportive, respectful, and encouraging work environment; review the pay structure with an eye to increasing pay to a level that attracts and retains high quality staff.
  • Connect and collaborate with external partners: build solid relationships with community leaders and community partners; maintain high visibility and engagement of WASI in the community.
  • Engage with WASI’s members: listen to needs, create an environment of care and inclusion.

Key Responsibilities

The CEO is the internal driver and external face of WASI, and oversees its day-to-day affairs. Five staff report directly to the CEO. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides for the overall direction of WASI, to achieve strategic objectives as directed by the board.
  • Develops and assigns workload priorities for direct reports; monitors and evaluates the quality and quantity of work and timely completion of tasks.
  • Provides oversight and some direct involvement in hiring, training, discipline, and employee evaluations.
  • Maintains WASI compliance with applicable law and regulations.
  • Attends all meetings of the board and the membership and reports the status of WASI’s assets, programs, activities, and other significant topics.
  • Continually improves organizational effectiveness and efficiency; recommends policy improvements to the Board.
  • Ensures financial compliance, stability, and sustainability.
  • Creates and directs new offerings to meet the changing service environment.
  • Establishes and maintains beneficial relationships with stakeholders; supports, articulates, and models values and behavior that attract support.
  • Performs all other duties as identified and assigned by the Board or which, in the opinion of the CEO, are beneficial and needed to advance the health and interests of WASI.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:


  • Demonstrated passion for helping seniors remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.
  • Empathy for the diverse experiences of senior citizens and their families, and respect for their inherent dignity and worth.
  • A visionary leader who continually seeks opportunities and is open to new ideas.
  • A collaborative nature eager to engage and partner with the board and community.
  • Resilience to respond effectively to changing needs of the mission and expectations of service recipients, internal and external stakeholders, and the board of directors.

Skills and Experience

  • Demonstrated ability to interact positively with seniors, service providers, and sector professionals. Demonstrated ability to maintain effective working relationships with staff, board, and key community partners.
  • Experience administering a complex, multi-source budget, and efficiently and strategically aligning and maximizing resources.
  • Nonprofit management experience, including coaching, managing, and developing high-performing teams, setting and achieving strategic goals, and working in partnership with a board of directors.
  • Knowledge in advanced administrative and grants management.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, concentrating in business, organization management, or related field; or a bachelor’s degree in any field, combined with relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to express ideas clearly and concisely in verbal and written form, and to compile data to create and deliver effective public presentations. An open and transparent communication style.
  • Ability to certify as Medicaid Program Administrator for Home and Community Based Services offered by WASI.


  • Master’s degree in leadership, management, business or similar field.
  • Knowledge of the senior services system in Alaska.

Application Process

The salary range is $100,000 and $120,000 annually, commensurate with qualifications and experience. WASI offers retirement and vacation benefits, but does not offer health benefits at this time. To apply, email your credentials to Applicants should include a resume and cover letter describing interest and qualifications. For questions, contact Ryan Smith lead recruiter, at Communications will be treated with confidence and resumes will be accepted until position is filled. Resume reviews begin immediately.

Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. WASI is especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to grow our commitment to engagement and inclusion with culturally diverse audiences.

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