Posted — 09.22.23

Executive Director

Developmental Disabilities Provider Association
Little Rock, AR
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Position Summary
The Executive Director promotes the mission of DDPA by providing direct leadership to staff, board, and association members to meet the defined strategic, operational, financial, and public policy goals of the organization.


The Executive Director provides leadership to, positively influence, and negotiate with a variety of internal and external stakeholders to positively impact the environment in which the members can meet their financial and service needs, primarily through public policy and professional development efforts.

The Executive Director must demonstrate success in ensuring the Association operates according to all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and directives; Association Articles of Incorporation and by-laws; generally accepted accounting principles; employment processes; and best practices of the industry.

Reporting to the DDPA Board of Directors, the Executive Director fosters open communication and transparency with information, functions within the parameters established by the Board, and manages the Association in a manner that bears focus to the mission and achievement of its strategic goals.

The Executive Director must also create an organizational environment that promotes both member and employee satisfaction with multiple and varying needs, agendas, and desires. The Executive Director must ensure a high level of communication with and responsiveness to the Association’s constituents while balancing multiple perspectives in the best interests of the Association as a whole.

The Executive Director serves as the public face of the organization to all stakeholders and constituents. As such, the Executive Director must always operate with the highest level of integrity, credibility, and professionalism.

Roles & Responsibilities
Strategic Performance

Ensure that the DDPA regularly develops and implements a strategic plan, including metrics to measure performance; annually develops and implements operational plans to support the strategic plan; and ensure that plans are regularly monitored for progress and revisions.

Ensure the Board of Directors is involved in the creation of the strategic plan, the review of annual plans, and is informed on progress on a regular and periodic basis.

Ensure that staff work plans are developed on an annual basis to support the strategic and operational plans.

Ensure the Association is alerted to and responds with necessary speed regarding external initiatives that may adversely impact the Association’s strategic goals.

Operational Performance

Ensure the efficient and effective delivery of all key programs and services of DDPA, including technical training, information resources, professional development, networking, conferences, etc., meeting established quality standards.

Ensure the organization operates in a fiscally responsible manner, within the established budget:
ž Establish and meet annual budgetary goals of the DDPA, working with the Board of Directors.
ž Manage the DDPA finances to meet required percent of revenues to be added to fund balance.
ž Ensure the organization has a clean audit, with no significant deficiencies.

Manage the contracts and relationships with consultants to DDPA, including professional services for legal, accounting, governmental affairs, and other areas.

Ensure a marketing and communication strategy is developed and implemented for branding and messaging on behalf of DDPA:
ž Publish an Annual Report detailing the operations, success, and performance of the Association.

Participate in professional development opportunities to bring new information concerning best practices in Association Management, Board/Executive Director relationships, and other areas as deemed appropriate through the Executive Director’s annual performance reviews and plans.

Advocacy and Public Policy

Ensure the position of DDPA as the key voice for its members by remaining in the forefront of current and potential legislation and policy that will impact the industry and its members. This requires a proactive approach to education, research, and learning.

Develop an annual legislative affairs agenda and strategy for Board approval, working in concert with the Governmental Affairs Committee, lobbyists (if any), and other groups as appropriate.
ž Provide leadership and coordination resulting in the implementation of the plan.
ž Develop and implement a PAC fundraising strategy for the statewide election cycles.
ž Serve as a member of the PAC Board and provide administrative and other services as required.

Advocate on behalf of the membership by developing positive relationships with those who have an impact on policy and legislation impacting the industry and its members, including legislators, federal and state agencies (e.g., DHS, DDS, CMS, ARS), managed care companies (e.g., PASSEs), and related national organizations (e.g., ANCOR). Develop strategic alliances with other human services trade associations.

Actively participate in the public policy arena, influencing decision makers towards decisions and policies that will positively impact members.

Stakeholder Relationships and Satisfaction

Ensure a high degree of member satisfaction, meeting established satisfaction metrics:
ž Ensure a member satisfaction survey is conducted on a regular and periodic basis, achieving the required % of satisfactory responses.

Ensure open and frequent communication, a sense that the DDPA is “hearing” its members, and a message of mission and focus on behalf of the Association using multiple communication media, including in-person meetings, telephone, electronic, etc.
ž Make individual contact with an established % of the member agency executives at least annually.
ž Provide written periodic reports to the membership regarding industry trends, policies, issues, and their impact on Association membership and strategic alliances.
ž Conduct periodic regional executive member events.

Grow the membership to levels established by the Board of Directors.

Develop and maintain a positive relationship with key allied organizations and, where policy, coordinate efforts to impact public policy (as above).

Develop and maintain a positive relationship with the Board of Directors through open, honest, and regular communication. Reach out to Board members for advice, assistance, and counsel when needed.

Managerial Performance

Provide leadership in all areas of the DDPA, including sharing knowledge and expertise in the industry and the dynamics of operating a trade association.

Effectively perform all supervisory functions of hiring, coaching, evaluating, disciplining, and terminating staff, according to established policies. Hold employees accountable for meeting their goals and assignments and take appropriate steps to correct negative trends.

Bachelor level degree required; prefer Master Level degree.

Minimum 5 years in an executive level position in the health/human services industry. Prefer previous Association Management experience.
Prefer previous experience in serving on a Board or reporting to a Board of Directors.

Previous experience in the public policy arena. Must be eligible to become a registered lobbyist.

Demonstrates knowledge of the health/human services industry. Proactively takes steps to increase knowledge and learning – particularly as it relates to funding, policies, and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Demonstrates ability to learn new programs, regulations, etc.

Demonstrates knowledge of operating or participating in a trade association. Proactively takes steps to increase knowledge and learning.

Demonstrates knowledge of the public policy process, how a bill becomes a law, and the difference in roles and responsibilities of federal and state decision makers.

Demonstrates ability to review and understand highly technical information (industry related) and interpret in a meaningful manner to stakeholders. Demonstrates ability to understand and interpret federal and state regulations impacting an industry.

Able to manage an overall process of an organization, including setting meeting schedules, prioritizing, and following up on tasks, and performing responsibilities efficiently and timely (time management). Demonstrates strong planning and organizational skills and an ability to delegate as needed.

Demonstrates ability to set and meet goals, both departmentally and individually.

Proactive in anticipating changes in the operating environment, both industry-wide and organizationally, and taking appropriate steps to address and respond to changes.

Demonstrates effective analytical, problem solving, and decision-making skills; can gather and analyze data and information and draw conclusions; can develop solutions. Able to think logically and analytically.

Demonstrates ability to read and interpret financial statements. Ability to analyze financial information, recognize trends, and make decisions. Can operate within a budget.

Able to juggle multiple requests, priorities, and projects; and meet multiple deadlines. Can adjust to a changing environment.

Demonstrates effective verbal, written, and interpersonal skills, in person, over the phone, and electronically. Can effectively communicate and build relationships with a variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds, education, professional positions, economic levels and roles. Demonstrates strong active listening skills.

Demonstrates strong presentation skills with individuals, small groups, and large groups. Able to speak extemporaneously with factual information.

Able to negotiate with and influence others. Able to resolve conflicts in an objective manner while preserving relationships. Able to manage multiple agendas of those competing for limited resources.

Demonstrates strong customer service orientation.

Works well in a team environment, as part of a team, and with multiple teams.

Demonstrates effective supervisory skills, including recruiting, teaching, coaching, mentoring, and terminating. Able to guide others toward professional development. Can hold others accountable for performance.

Proficient in basic computer skills, i.e., Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet usage, emails, etc.

Additional Information (optional)
The Arkansas Developmental Disabilities Provider Association (DDPA) represents sixty-eight (68) non-profit community programs that provide an array of medical care and related services and supports to children and adults with developmental disabilities across the state. Many of DDPA’s provider members were founded by family members of children and adults with significant disabilities and include family members and individuals with developmental disabilities on their boards of directors. Because of their origins and the visibility of their centers, many DDPA members serve to crystallize support for services to children and adults with developmental disabilities among the local population and are a vibrant part of their local community.


The Developmental Disabilities (DD) service system includes center based services called Early Intervention Developmental Treatment (EIDT), Adult Developmental Day Treatment (ADDT), therapy services, transportation, and home and community-based services and supports under the DHS/DDS Community & Employment Supports (CES) Waiver program. There are over 2,900 individuals with developmental disabilities on a waiting list for services under the CES Waiver.