CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Transcend - Remote - Full time

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Start Date: Immediate – open to start dates between now and Spring 2023Role Type: Full timeTitle: Chief Operating Officer (COO)Location: Flexible within the Continental United StatesTravel: ~15% time. Willingness to travel approximately 4-6 times/year.

Who We Are:

Transcend’s mission is to support communities to create and spread extraordinary, equitable learning environments. Founded in 2015, Transcend has partnered with over 390 schools/partners which collectively serve thousands of students in over 30 states across the country. As a research and development (R&D) hub for the education field, Transcend provides schools and systems with research-backed, community-driven models and capacity so they can make significant leaps to reimagine the future of education. Transcend is a nonprofit that operates with a fully remote, nationwide team; currently with 105 teammates and growing.

For more information, visit our website; follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter, check out this podcast featuring our two co-founders on Class Disrupted, or read this recent article that illuminates the need for this work.

The Opportunity:

Transcend is a thriving, fast-growing nation-wide nonprofit, looking for an outstanding Chief Operating Officer (COO) to guide the organization through its next phase of growth. Currently, in our 8th year of operations, Transcend has a strong foundation of financial health and stability ($25 -30M annual budget), a dynamite and diverse nation-wide team (105 and growing), and a truly special culture that is values-grounded, caring, and dedicated to the important work of Transcend’s mission.

This new COO will take the baton from Transcend’s founding COO, who has been in the role since its inception (over 7 years), and who will be transitioning to a different role on the Transcend team.

The COO will set the operational vision and serve as a thoughtful and collaborative steward of Transcend’s mission, values, and resources. As the organization transitions out of start-up mode into that of a young institution, we are eager to ensure we build the right systems and structures that reinforce and enable our team to thrive – while still fostering the flexibility and dynamism we know effective innovation requires. We are also growing in sophistication and complexity in our financial forecasting, org-wide planning, and strategic alignment. Just as we seek to build extraordinary and equitable learning experiences for young people as core to our mission – so too do we seek to design our organization to be extraordinary and equitable in all of the ways that we operate and support our tremendous team. The COO role oversees People, Finance, Strategy, and Operations, with 3-5 direct reports, and reports to the Transcend Co-CEOs.

This is a gem of an opportunity for an experienced leader who believes deeply in school transformation and wants to be at the forefront of designing new workplaces – in close collaboration with other brilliant and caring minds – to do great work on behalf of learners everywhere.

Who You Are:

You are an operator at heart, who has a proven track record of leading diverse teams in growing organizations. In equal measure a strategic thinker and a doer – you can vision a way forward amidst ambiguity and roll up your sleeves to work alongside your team and peers to ‘get it done.’ You appreciate the breadth of this leadership role, overseeing many critical functions of a healthy nonprofit, and can connect the dots to accelerate and integrate work effectively across the team. You geek out on solving problems in new ways, while also designing and implementing systems, building teams, and strategically prioritizing long-term impact by consistently peeking around the corner and preparing the org for all that may lie ahead. Your special sauce is that you can see across a range of functions, but also personally dip into a financial model, a candidate interview, a coaching conversation, or a draft travel policy during a pandemic with enthusiasm, ease, and skill.

And importantly, you love to innovate beyond the status quo, and find ways to make work more liberatory, effective, and engaging for top talent. You have experience having led this kind of work – through roles in operations, finance, people, and strategy; and experience working in a for-purpose/ socially-minded organization (preferably within the field of K-12 education, though not required).

Key Responsibilities:

The COO oversees and supports a lean and mighty, truly all-star team, we call “OMG” – Organizational Management and Goodness. The OMG team currently includes the following direct reports: Manuela Monsalve, Director of Talent; Trevor Bynoe, Director of Finance, Josh Lotstein, Partner, Strategy & Planning, and Sara Vaz, Manager of People Operations. The role of the COO is to ensure these functions of talent recruitment, people/human resources, finance, operations, and strategy are well coordinated, aligned, and effective in supporting the organization’s current and future programmatic goals and ambitions. The COO operates flexibly, leaning into each of these functions in customized ways; running the gamut from advising, coaching, directing, and roll-up-sleeves alongside the team. In addition, the COO is responsible for recruiting, developing, supporting, and retaining diverse and outstanding talent for these functions, and supporting this team to achieve their goals and growth aspirations in an environment of love, challenge, and support. As a leader on the team, the COO serves as a trusted partner to organizational leaders and teammates, prioritizing the organization’s mission and living into and stewarding our organizational values and DEI commitments.

The nitty-gritty of each function:

Talent + People:

The people function encompasses talent recruitment, development, and human resources for our 100+ FTEs (and growing) and ~100+ independent contractors so that our people can effectively contribute, grow, and thrive. Currently, we have 2.25 teammates dedicated to Talent, in addition to the COO. The COO would support the team with:

  • Recruiting, onboarding, and supporting exceptional and diverse teammates (~20-40 new hires/year)
  • Creating and overseeing an effective performance management system and process, inclusive of growth pathways, that is currently under redesign, to support our growing org and team
  • Managing all Human Resource needs for the organization, including crafting and overseeing all of our org-wide policies, compensation and benefits, and people systems
  • Leading all teammate investigations and HR requests, with the highest level of integrity, confidentiality, and care – and in ways that exemplify and honor our DEI Commitments and values.
  • Partnering with our Head of Org Learning and Org Health, Jenee Henry Wood, to support Org Health across the organization

Finance:

The Finance function is dedicated to ensuring our team has the financial resources it needs now, and well into the future, to meet its mission and sustain healthy and resilient operations. Currently, we have 2.25 teammates dedicated to Finance + Operations, in addition to the COO. Key activities include:

  • Effective and sustainable annual budgeting, cash management and forecasting, and multi-year financial modeling, aligned with Transcend’s strategic direction
  • Developing and implementing various financial tools, systems, and processes to:
    • capture, analyze, and share key financial information to inform decision-making at all levels of the organization (Budget Managers, Function Leaders, Cofounders, Board, etc.) and
    • continuously improve efficiency, information flows, healthy checks and balances, and coordination
  • Coordinating across key internal teams, including the Revenue team and individual project/budget managers, and providing customized support to Budget Managers as needed
  • Ensuring the organization’s finance practices and systems meet the needs of our growing nonprofit and remain in compliance with all state and federal laws (including overseeing and securing a clean annual financial audit, 990 reporting, state payment protocols, etc.)
  • Managing payroll and benefits administration (currently through PEO partner Justworks), and overseeing an excellent outsourced bookkeeping team that manages A/P and A/R
  • Engaging the Board Finance Committee, and Board at large, on questions of strategic finance and keeping both groups up to date on key financial health metrics
  • Overseeing Transcend’s investment portfolio and practices, aligned with Transcend’s Board-Approved Investment policy

Operations

Operations for our nationwide, fully-remote nonprofit include legal, contracting, team resources/technology, compliance, and insurance. Key workstreams:

  • Ensuring all contracts – with partner organizations, vendors, independent contractors, etc. – are aligned with Transcend’s mission and interests, legally sound, and clear
  • Overseeing Transcend’s stance as it relates to Intellectual Property, and ensuring those policies are clear and internally consistent throughout our work
  • Ensuring an appropriate level of risk management across personnel, contracts, teammate agreements and separations, and org-wide (insurance, etc.)
  • Providing teammates with access to tech resources (both hardware and cloud-based) to do their jobs well, such as laptops, mifis, and subscription services to zoom, g-suite, slack, expensify, etc.

Strategy + Planning

In close collaboration with the Transcend Cofounders and team, support the articulation, evolution, and team/programmatic alignment of Transcend’s strategy and theory of action. This work is spearheaded by 1 teammate with the support of the COO and includes:

  • Leading strategic planning for the organization, including its close integration with annual and multi-year planning, goal setting, and budgeting
  • Supporting strategically aligned goal-setting and progress monitoring across the organization (multiple teams and functions)
  • Setting and iterating on Transcend’s org design – to ensure the team is well coordinated and aligned with Transcend’s strategic aims
  • Thoughtfully shepherding the organization through change management as new initiatives, designs, and approaches take root organization-wide
  • Looking externally: researching and synthesizing market and peer trends to inform Transcend’s unique approach and priorities
  • Leading strategic projects as they arise – which could range from potential acquisition opportunities to setting up Transcend to incubate new ventures, to spearheading nascent programmatic areas to learn and build a foundation for growth, and more!

Key Qualifications

  • Commitment to Transcend’s mission of transforming education, with a passion for creating innovative school models that generate unprecedented results for all students.
  • Proven track record of playing a senior leadership role in Finance, People and Culture, and Operations; ideally in a nonprofit environment
  • Experience managing a $30M+ budget
  • Proven track record of building and leading diverse teams to enduring, remarkable results
  • A leader who orients as a coach, thought-partner, and hands-on doer – someone who is humble, flexible, and eager to play a range of roles that prioritize what the organization most needs, including meaningful work as an individual contributor
  • Strong and demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skillful relationship-building and communication skills, in a remote work environment and across a diverse range of stakeholders; including teammates, Board Members, external partners, independent contractors/vendors, etc.
  • Exceptional judgment and problem-solving skills, and the ability to manage your time and energy across a range of competing priorities
  • A collaborative leader and highly effective and trusted manager, who fosters collaboration at all levels across the organization and outstanding outcomes and experiences among their team.
  • Ability to foster and grow a culture of collaboration in a primarily remote organization.
  • Entrepreneurial hunger to build, learn, and lead in a lean, high-growth context
  • Desire to work in an ambitious, fast-moving, and at times ambiguous environment while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investments in people and systems.
  • GREAT enthusiasm to do this job, with this team, for the foreseeable future!

Perks and Benefits:

Transcend is committed to providing our colleagues with a competitive benefits package. Transcend offers medical, dental and vision coverage options, org-wide holidays, paid time off, paid parental leave, professional development opportunities, and fully remote work. We're also proud of our values-grounded, equity-focused, and fun (!) work environment, incredible colleagues, and dedication to our purposeful work and to one another.

Join Us!

Transcend is an equal-opportunity employer. We are building a diverse team, and we encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply. 

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Role

C Level Executive Leadership

Experience Level

Senior Level

Transcend

Transcend’s mission is to support communities to create and spread extraordinary, equitable learning environments. Founded in 2015, Transcend has partnered with over 390 schools/partners which collectively serve thousands of students in over 30 states across the country.
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