Chief Executive Officer, Helen Keller Services


Helen Keller Services (HKS) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enable individuals who are blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind, and/or have combined hearing-vision loss to live, work, and thrive in their community of choice. With headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, HKS is comprised of Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) and Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC).

HKSB provides a wide range of rehabilitative services for New York Metropolitan-based individuals who are blind and visually impaired through its HKSB facilities located in Brooklyn, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. HKNC provides vocational and independent living skills training to youth and adults who are deaf-blind or have combined hearing-vision loss at its Sands Point facility, as well as through a network of growing deaf-blind specialists and community services programs. HKNC’s regional representatives in its 10 regional offices provide a wide array of services to individuals who are deaf-blind and their families in their home communities, and offer technical assistance, information, referral, and community advocacy.

HKS has an annual operating budget of over $33 million and staff of approximately 300. It relies on funds from public programs (state and federal), grants, legacies, private donations, earnings from an investment portfolio, and fundraising activities.

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This position will report directly to the Board of Trustees and oversee the leadership team across the organization.


The Chief Executive Officer will lead all operational facets and serve as the face of the organization, advocating in the public and private sectors. With a passion for or significant experience working with the disability community, the CEO will understand and represent the needs of this community.

Specific duties will include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Work with the Board of Trustees to develop, communicate, and sustain a clear vision, mission, and strategy for the organization.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to staff and board in developing and evaluating effective programs.
  • Promote a culture of collaboration, transparency, inclusiveness, and openness at HKS and provide leadership and mentorship to HKS’s dedicated and accomplished staff.
  • Recruit, develop, and advance a highly diverse staff, striving to expand opportunities within the organization for visually and hearing-impaired employees to serve as a model for other national organizations; lead strategic succession planning at all levels across the organization.
  • Ensure healthy financial systems and, in partnership with the Chief Financial Officer, oversee implementation of sound fiscal management and accounting procedures, including regular financial reports to the Board of Trustees.
  • Develop and sustain relationships with community-based organizations, policymakers, legislators, and government agencies and provide oversight of interactions for partnering with external organizations.
  • Work with the Board to diversify funding and expand the individual donor base and legacies.
  • Serve as primary spokesperson for HKS to mobilize a variety of audiences and communicate the organization’s vision, mission, and policy and program priorities.
  • Ensure all operations comply with grantor requirements, including Medicare reimbursement protocols.


  • Minimum of five years of senior management experience in a large, complex organization.
  • Collaborator with experience building and mentoring high performance teams; adept at leading strategic succession planning at all levels.
  • Engaging, hands-on, and transparent management style; ability to connect and effectively manage at all levels of an organization in a fast paced, ever evolving environment.
  • Excellent communicator; inspiring ambassador able to raise awareness both locally and nationally.
  • Strong financial acumen; experience maintaining the fiscal viability of an organization.
  • Change agent; experience transforming or growing programs within an organization.
  • Passionate about increasing access to education, employment, independence, and community integration for persons with disabilities.
  • Achievement in donor and funder identification and cultivation; able to generate revenue from federal and state agencies, individual donors, and foundations.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.


Shana Plott, Chief Executive Officer
Greg Gabel, President