Executive Director
Position Description
Serenity Inns, Inc.


Organizational Overview

To offer an opportunity for holistic recovery from addiction and alcoholism to men who need it most, in a compassionate community of accountability.

A world where addicts and alcoholics who choose recovery may find it.

Serenity Inns is a holistic residential program offering hope to men who choose recovery over addiction and alcoholism. Our highly structured three-phase, seven-month program addresses men’s physical, social, emotional, financial, and spiritual health needs so they can live in recovery and become productive members of society. Our environment is one of support, accountability and dignity that gives the opportunity to rebuild his life to the man who is serious about changing.

The men we serve are homeless, have a history of incarceration, are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, and are 51% African-American, 41% Caucasian, and 8% Hispanic. Our 12-bed home at 2825 W. Brown St. opened in 2004 when five ELCA city congregations joined together to provide a solution to the addiction and homelessness they were experiencing in their pews and communities. In late 2016, we opened Alumni House at 832 N. 25th Street, offering safe, clean, affordable sober apartments for program graduates, who may stay for 12 to 18 months, subject to mandatory random drug tests.

At other AODA facilities in Milwaukee, the cost can easily reach over $1,000 per day. Men treated at Serenity Inns pay $10 per day, once they have obtained employment after the first 30 days. We can provide this level of care, with no government or insurance funding, due to a remarkable level of community support from individuals, foundations and corporations. In addition, 200+ volunteers are active in “Dinner Fellowship,” in which more than 20 congregations, groups and individuals bring dinner, say grace, and “break bread” with the residents, for the evening meal each night of the year.

In 2021, for the second year in a row, Serenity Inns was named “Best in Milwaukee” by the Shepherd Express in the Alcohol and Drug Rehab Facility category.

As noted in founding documents, Serenity Inn was originally created and has been largely sustained by persons living out the Christian faith in their daily lives and service of others. Serenity Inn believes that the healing of persons with the disease of addiction or alcoholism is directly related to their spirituality and includes spiritual development in its program of holistic healing.

With an annual operating budget of approximately $600,000, the organization has a strong financial position, with a strong balance sheet and adequate reserves. The salary and benefits package for this position will be market-competitive.

For more information about Serenity Inns, please visit: http://serenityinns.org/



Due to the earlier-than-planned retirement of the long-standing Executive Director, the Board of Serenity Inns engaged an experienced non-profit leader as Interim Executive Director to lead the organization during this transition year of 2021. By his planned departure in late 2021, he, working with the Board and staff, will complete a 6-phase process to ready the organization for a permanent leader:

Engagement – Engaging key stakeholders in creating the future

Organizational Assessment – Identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement

Planning – Determining priorities and resources to act upon the Assessment

Action – Addressing key priorities

Succession (search and hiring) – Finding the right leader at the right time

Orienting new ED – For long-term success


This process will set up the new executive leader for success as it sets the stage for an immediate and thorough understanding of organizational strengths and opportunities. To secure a leader who will embrace the mission to have a deep and lasting impact on the lives of the men served, the board is now launching the search process.

This is an exciting opportunity for a disciplined and passionate leader to build on the strength of this organization and to make a difference in the lives of others and our community. The target start date of the new hire is approximately December 2021.

The Executive Director is effectively the chief executive officer of Serenity Inns and is responsible for providing organizational management, leadership, administration, resource development, program oversight, strategy and direction to advance and fulfill the mission commitment. Given the organizational life stage and the recent assessment completed, the leader we seek at this time needs to be a Visionary, a Builder, and a Manager, with particular expertise in:

  • Governance, including strengthening the board and clarifying roles;
  • Operational integrity with the ability to link policy and procedures to outcomes;
  • Strong verbal and writing skills with a demonstrated track record of developing and maintaining effective communications with staff, volunteers and Board;
  • Collaborative approach to leading and motivating;
  • Professional expertise in case management and program best practices; and
  • Strategic/operational planning involving all levels of the organization.

Because the men served by Serenity Inns are primarily men of color, a commitment to addressing race, inequity, privilege and systemic barriers is necessary to evolve the organizational culture into one that fully embraces our ability to be change agents – in the lives of the men served as well as in the broader community. The new Executive Director will be partnering with the Board of Directors on this work.

The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.




Organizational Strategy: Partners with the Board of Directors to establish a compelling vision for the future and a clear and articulate mission for the organization

  • Periodically initiate a strategic planning process involving the Board and staff to ensure that Serenity Inns can sustain and fulfill its Mission into the future;
  • Ensure the annual operating plan is linked to the organization’s strategic plan and priority goals;
  • Work with the Board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through effective strategies with measurable outcomes, with a culture of continuous improvement.


Governance: Partner with the Board of Directors to lead the organization in the fulfillment of its mission

  • Lead Serenity Inns’ strategies and staff in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors;
  • Partner with the Board of Directors to assure development of an effective and motivated board, including identification, recruitment, training, and involvement of members in meeting the goals of Serenity Inns, and development of appropriate processes for Board, committee and individual Board member engagement;
  • Communicate timely, accurately and effectively with the board and manage Board relationships in a professional and productive manner to optimize working together for the benefit of Serenity Inns;
  • Ensure the Board and its committees are staffed appropriately by Serenity Inns staff, provided information necessary to function properly and make informed decisions, and addressing any committee or Board interpersonal dynamics that affect the ability to make reasoned decisions and operate effectively.

Resource Development: Monitor and approve the organization’s resource development efforts, programs and services while ensuring those programs and fundraising results meet or exceed strategic goals and objectives.

  • Partner with the Director of Development & Administration, and the Treasurer, to create an annual Development Plan, as well as longer-range plans to address strategic resource needs;
  • Supervise the Director of Development & Administration and provide support to breakdown obstacles, where needed, to achieve the annual fund-raising revenue and other development goals;
  • Partner with the Director of Development & Administration, and the Development Committee, to manage the relationships with foundations, major donors, volunteers and prospects effectively, while continuously searching for new and more diverse funding sources; engage the Board of Directors, particularly the Development Committee, is actively involved in resource development.


Financial Performance and Viability: Manage resources necessary to ensure the healthy financial operation of the organization which includes budget creation, monitoring, analysis, and reporting that is conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Strive to operate the organization within its resource constraints and annual operating budget, ensure optimal resource utilization, and maintain a positive financial position;
  • Work closely with staff to create an annual Operating Plan, linked to the annual Operating Budget which is developed in partnership with staff, volunteer Board Treasurer, the Administration/Finance Committee and the Director of Development & Administration;
  • Ensure appropriate processes and oversight are provided to managing cash flow, overseeing bank deposits and withdrawals, and other finance-related duties to ensure efficient processes, integrity and appropriate segregation of duties;
  • Understand and analyze trends that may be impacting the organization’s financial position, in order to keep the Board, committees and staff informed and advised of necessary actions.



Human Resources Management: Responsible for ensuring effective human resources management processes are in place across the organization, including:

  • Work with the Board to determine an approved and appropriate staffing model to support the mission and operating budget constraints; keeping the Administration/Finance Committee informed of any potential issues or risks on an ongoing basis;
  • Attract and hire high-quality candidates that meet qualifications and fit with the organizational mission and culture of Serenity Inns;
  • Provide leadership to the organization’s staff by developing administrative and operational standards that empower staff to meet their professional, programmatic, and organizational goals;
  • Retain a diverse, qualified staff and volunteers by providing coaching and personal development for team members;
  • Ensure all staff receive performance feedback, and compensation adjustments are completed based on what the organization can afford, fair market value benchmark data and personal performance; personally perform these processes for Directors and above;
  • Supervise the process for termination of any employee who is deemed, over a period of time, to not meet performance standards, ensuring that state and federal employment laws and organizational risk is factored into the decision;
  • Administer the benefits program available to employees, working in partnership with the Finance and Administration Committee to periodically review benefits to ensure employee attraction and retention.


Operations, Programs & Compliance: Responsible for effective administration of the operations of Serenity Inns, ensuring programs are monitored and measured for effectiveness and that resources are in place to ensure smooth operations in compliance with regulatory requirements.

  • Provide leadership, direction and oversight to the implementation of programs to realize the organizational mission
  • Supervise the Director of Programs & Facilities to ensure that organizational standards are in place, are achieved, and that continuous improvement is embedded in the organizational culture and staff;
  • Execute contracts, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into on behalf of the organization;
  • Ensure consistent policies are in place to mitigate risk, meet quality standards and ensure residents perceive treatment is fair and appropriate;
  • Monitor programs and services to ensure consistency with criteria established by funding sources and the mission and goals of the organization;
  • Obtain statistical and qualitative feedback about program and service delivery on a regular basis; continue to improve the tracking and reporting of program outcomes;
  • Facilitate the administration of policy in all areas of the organization; ensure all legal obligations are met including reports to all regulatory bodies and compliance with all legal requirements and rules;
  • Oversee facilities management to assure that all organizational risk and security risks are adequately addressed and that the quality facilities needed to achieve the organizational mission are maintained.


Organizational Reputation, Marketing and Stakeholder Relations: Work with the Board and the Development Committee to grow and enhance awareness and reputation of the organization.

  • Serve as key public persona for Serenity Inns;
  • Grow awareness of and enhance the reputation of Serenity Inns by being active and visible in the community, by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations, and by providing strategic oversight of the Director of Development & Administration in public relations, marketing communications and event management strategies and tactics;
  • Work with the Board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through effective strategies including, but not limited to, community outreach. Undertake activities in the community that enhance the visibility of the organization;
  • Ensure the organization is represented on appropriate community and affiliated organizations’ committees and joint projects, as appropriate;
  • Direct the development of and execution of a marketing plan with a focused approach to fundraising, volunteer development and partner development; and which supports the need for transactional tools such as donation platforms, communications vehicles, and volunteer recruitment platforms.



  • Education – Minimum of Bachelor’s degree, human services, non-profit leadership or an applicable field from an accredited college or university ; a graduate degree is a plus;
  • Leadership Experience – Minimum of ten years in a leadership role with a not-for-profit organization, social enterprise, or comparable role;
  • Recovery Experience — Minimum 8-10 years serving in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) counseling role; and/or first-hand experience with recovery such as a minimum of 8-10 years working a 12 Step program, e.g. Alcoholics and/or Narcotics Anonymous or comparable; and/or 10+ years of comparable or related experience that provides a solid knowledge of the issues that an addict or alcoholic and their family/friends struggle with;
  • Awareness of and expertise in leading organizational change efforts around inclusion, diversity and addressing systemic barriers for people of color.



  • A life journey that authentically embraces and demonstrates the spiritual principles of Serenity Inns (as described in the Organizational Overview;)
  • Leadership style that is transparent and centered in integrity, combined with sound judgment, negotiation skills, problem solving, systemic thinking, decision making, and delegation;
  • Decision making process that is inclusive, while being willing to make difficult decisions in a timely manner when necessary;
  • Professional behavior in all interactions; approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; takes full responsibility as the organization’s leader; follows through on commitments; understands the sensitive nature of recovery and establishes appropriate boundaries;
  • Demonstrated ability to hire, manage and collaborate with high-performing staff;
  • Financial acumen and the ability to interpret and analyze financial statements;
  • Strong communications skills, internally and externally, including public speaking;
  • Familiarity with the operating structure of non-profit / community-based organizations;
  • Awareness and knowledge of the history and current reality of racial inequities and racism; and able to apply this knowledge to the understanding of the institutional and systemic racism that affects the daily lived experience of people of color and other marginalized groups in our society and city; willingness and ability to lead the Board and other stakeholders to greater understanding of the impact of racism on the organization’s work and outcomes;
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, meeting management, continuous improvement and facilitation of groups (large and small) that differ in perspectives and points of view;
  • Ability to convey a vision of Serenity Inns’ strategic future to staff, board, volunteers and donors in a manner that engages and motivates others;
  • Proficiency in fundraising strategies and managing prospect and donor relationships;
  • Skills to collaborate with and motivate board members and other volunteers;
  • Ten or more years in staff management and supervisory experience;
  • Working familiarity with utilizing technology to improve processes; and, personal mastery of Google Suite applications is a plus.



The salary and benefits package for this position will be market competitive.



Instructions for Applicants

Please apply no later than 5:00 p.m. CT on September 30, 2021:


  1. A cover letter of interest describing your fit for this Executive Director position, including your connection to the Serenity Inns mission and a description of your salary parameters, including relocation needs, if applicable; addressed to: Succession Committee
    Serenity Inns
  1. Enclose a detailed current resume.

Please note: All inquiries and interactions with potential candidates are kept in strict confidence.

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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