Job Openings >> Executive Director
Executive Director
Title:Executive Director
Organization:Listen and Talk
Location:Seattle, WA

Listen and Talk
Executive Director

Opportunity Guide


 Mission: Listen and Talk teaches children with hearing loss to communicate and learn through listening and spoken language.

Vision: No child is limited by hearing loss.

Values: We value a family centered approach, a collaborative environment, a knowledgeable team, an equitable and inclusive environment, and a visionary spirit.

Most children who are born deaf or hard of hearing have the potential to develop the ability to communicate and learn through listening and spoken language. In Listen and Talk’s specialized programs, children with all degrees of hearing loss develop the ability to listen and talk, allowing them to be independent, develop literacy, learn, and fully engage with their families, among friends and in their communities.

Listen and Talk has grown from its roots in 1996 as a small center providing 13 children with Auditory-Verbal Therapy to its current position as a recognized leader of a wide range of listening and spoken language services in the Pacific Northwest. In twenty years, over 2000 lives have been impacted by Listen and Talk’s mission. Today, over 200 children with hearing loss and their families are served annually. In addition to directly serving children and families, Listen and Talk also provides consultations, professional development, practica and internships, and research opportunities.


The Opportunity: Executive Director

Listen and Talk seeks new leadership to guide the organization toward the next level of growth, success, and action. This opportunity is perfect for a visionary, mission-driven and charismatic leader to join with this comprehensive and forward-thinking organization. The current Executive Director is retiring after nearly a decade of staff service, and even longer counting her prior board service (18 years total). The new Executive Director will report to the Board Chair and work closely with the Board of Directors to enact vision and strategy for the organization. The new Executive Director will lead strategic efforts to inform and educate volunteers, donors, prospective donors, and the larger community about the mission and unique impact of Listen and Talk; oversee and ensure implementation of all programs and services; direct Listen and Talk’s fund development function; and further expand the public image of the organization.

The Executive Director will create and maintain highly productive relationships with families, students/alumni, board members, donors, volunteers, and community partners, as well as provide visionary leadership and oversight to operations and staff, including six direct reports. S/he will be a passionate and cogent communicator, maintaining a strong community as the face of Listen and Talk, and lead with an emphasis on maintaining and growing impactful equitable programming and employment.


Performance Objectives

Visionary Leadership

  • Provide inspired leadership of intentional and bold formulation and execution of Listen and Talk goals and strategies to advance the organization’s mission, vision and values.
  • Continue Listen and Talk’s pioneering leadership in the use of emerging technologies and focus on equity in service delivery and employment.
  • Provide collaborative leadership in maintaining a positive and productive organizational culture among the staff members, Board, and volunteers.
  • Serve as a community leader by building and maintaining relationships with other organizations and entities whose mission intersects with that of Listen and Talk to achieve collective impact.
  • Lead the charge to grow Listen and Talk outreach deliberately to engage more fully with local, statewide and national institutional and individual provider partners.
  • Work with the Board of Directors to finalize the next strategic plan. Such plan will ensure financial solvency in the future as a major funder phases out over the next decade.
  • Create Listen and Talk’s annual business plan with measurable outcomes, programmatic and fundraising strategies, budgets, and staff planning to ensure future succession of leaders and roles.

Revenue Development

  • Continue to develop and diversify the funding base through business development opportunities and expanded focus on philanthropy.
  • Ensure appropriate market pricing for Programs and Services.
  • Strategically align grant opportunities with programmatic priorities with a focus on long-term stability and security.
  • Lead overall organizational efforts, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, in the creation and implementation of a plan to identify and build strong relationships with key donors, community leaders and volunteers, and engage both present and potential Listen and Talk partners.
  • Nurture partnerships and relationships with current and prospective funders through donor recognition programs and stewardship activities.
  • Cultivate long-term relationships to ensure continued funding and funder involvement.
  • In partnership with the board, build a strategy for a structured philanthropic development program and assign staff and resources to implement and grow private support.

Community Engagement and Marketing

  • Raise the profile of Listen and Talk while supporting the initiatives and needs of the children and families it serves.
  • Ensure equitable access and delivery of services to better serve all children and families.
  • Serve as an articulate, passionate and visible advocate and spokesperson for Listen and Talk, as well as the primary face of the mission and vision.
  • Maintain and cultivate a positive working relationship with individuals who have hearing loss and organizations which serve people with hearing loss, regardless of method of communication, OPTION Schools, local, state, regional and national partners, funders, and peer organizations in a collegial and creative manner.
  • Provide strategic leadership to the organization’s efforts to effectively communicate the mission, goals, activities and accomplishments of Listen and Talk to donors, prospective donors, and the broader community.
  • Maintain active membership and a strong presence in professional organizations, community groups, and other spaces relevant to the work of Listen and Talk and its mission.

Operational Oversight and Staff Management

  • Continue to cultivate and strengthen Listen and Talk’s commitment as an equitable and inclusive workplace.
  • Lead, develop, and build a highly effective, productive and diverse professional staff that provides exceptional support to all the organization’s stakeholders.
  • Provide the Listen and Talk programming/service delivery staff with assistance in strategy development, outcomes-based goal setting, implementation timelines, evaluation guidelines, and budgeting.
  • Promote and encourage professional growth and development of staff through education and training opportunities as appropriate.
  • Maintain a positive organizational culture by ensuring effective communication, internally and externally, with all stakeholder audiences.
  • Maintain overall responsibility for all aspects of fiscal management, including ensuring adequate financial stability for current operating obligations and long-term sustainability.
  • Ensure that the organization remains in compliance with all federal, state and local laws, regulations and reporting requirements.
  • Create a positive work environment; facilitate employee relations and effectively resolve employee conflicts and grievances in a timely manner.

Board Relations

  • Establish and maintain a strong, engaging relationship with a robust and diverse Board of Directors, with a focus on their role as leaders on governance and ambassadorship.
  • Communicate effectively and promptly with the board, and serve as the strongest link of communication between board members, staff, volunteers, Listen and Talk and the community at-large/other stakeholders.
  • Provide staff leadership to the board as it relates to (1) the budgeting process, (2) the timely and accurate reporting of the organization’s financial position, and (3) maintaining effective fiscal controls and policies.

The Qualified Candidate

Listen and Talk seeks a mission-driven executive with strong programmatic, interpersonal, management, and leadership skills. The successful candidate will have at least 7 years of progressive leadership experience with evidence of managing, directly and indirectly, a team of similar size. S/he will be a goal-oriented, accomplished leader who is passionate and committed to Listen and Talk’s mission, who values the diversity of all people within the organization and the communities it serves, and seeks to strive for equity in access to services, outcomes of children served, and in employment practices. S/he is visionary, with the ability to develop strong external partnerships. Familiarity with the types of mission-focused programs and services offered by Listen and Talk is important, and a familiarity with issues of importance to the people who are deaf or hard of hearing is preferred.

Specific Requirements Include:

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in leadership and management, with documented ability to manage staff and lead teams.
  • Proven ability to build strong external relationships with a variety of partner organizations, public leadership and volunteers and other stakeholders.
  • Track record in financial management, stewardship, and developing strategies to successfully increase revenue.
  • Proven success in building strong and productive work teams, with a focus on establishing an equitable and inclusive organization while providing mentoring and nurturing staff development.
  • Strong analytic and strategic-thinking skills, with demonstrated ability to create, implement and monitor complex plans and translate those plans into goals and concrete strategies.
  • Career track record that shows stability with an organization and capacity to develop and nurture relationships culminating in overall success.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree and/or certification is preferred.
  • Candidates with credentials and experience in early childhood education, related health fields such as audiology, or other fields related to the mission are preferred.

This position offers a competitive salary with robust benefits.

Listen and Talk is an equal opportunity employer and believes every employee has the right to work in an environment that is free from all forms of unlawful discrimination. Consistent with applicable laws, Listen and Talk makes all decisions involving any aspect of the employment relationship without regard to race, color, sex, creed, religion, age, marital status, national origin, citizenship, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other status or characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law. Discrimination and/or harassment based on any of those factors are inconsistent with Listen and Talk’s philosophy of doing business and will not be tolerated. This policy of non-discrimination applies to all aspects of recruiting and employment, including compensation, benefits, advancement, transfers, and reductions in force.

To Apply

Candidates may apply by clicking the APPLY NOW button below. To assure confidential tracking, no resumes will be accepted via email.


This search is being managed by Laura Weinman, Senior Consultant and Heather Eddy, President and CEO of Alford Executive Search. Questions may be addressed to Laura Weinman at

Alford Executive Search, a division of Kistner Eddy Executive Services (KEES), is a retained search firm that builds transformative teams and leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. For more information, please visit


More about Listen and Talk

There are a variety of communication and learning options for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some families choose exclusively listening and spoken language, while others choose exclusively sign language, and some choose a combination of spoken and sign language. Listen and Talk is dedicated to helping parents get the information they need to support their child’s development and their family’s goals. Listen and Talk’s programs are all based in listening and spoken language approaches. The Principles of Auditory-Verbal Therapy and Auditory-Verbal Education guide Listen and Talk’s practice.


Listen and Talk offers a range of programs and services based in listening and spoken language approaches:

  • Birth to Three services for families with infants and toddlers
  • Blended Classrooms for children aged 3-5 years old
  • Listening and Spoken Language Therapy sessions for children aged 3 and older
  • Audiology Services
  • Consultations for families and school teams working with students in neighborhood schools (preschool through completion of high school if needed)

Most Listen and Talk “graduates”:

  • Enter their neighborhood school by kindergarten
  • Learn and compete side-by-side with hearing peers in regular classrooms
  • Converse and learn through spoken and written language
  • Reach their full language and learning potential and fully integrate into the wider community

Lifelong goals for each child include:

  • The ability to learn and gain information through listening
  • The ability to effectively communicate without the need for an interpreter
  • The ability to think and reason independently
  • The use of age-appropriate literacy skills for communication, learning and enjoyment
  • Intelligible speech
  • Problem solving skills
  • Social engagement

In addition, Listen and Talk is a national resource for developing professionals providing mentorship, professional development, practica and internship opportunities.  

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