Social Service Organizations

Social Service Organizations

Social Service Organizations

Your organization’s mission is crucial to the well-being of the communities and the people you serve. Providing meaningful service, however, requires leaders who are dedicated, decisive and adept at managing staff and volunteer talent and precious financial resources.

The search strategies used by Tuft & Associates identify the highest caliber candidates with the passion to serve and the expertise to thrive in today’s challenging marketplace.

Examples of Positions We Fill:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Director of Education
  • Executive Director
  • Executive Vice President
  • President

View Current Searches

Sampling of Senior Staff Placements:

  • Communications
  • Constituent Services
  • Corporate Development
  • Corporate Relations
  • Development
  • Education and Development
  • Individual Giving
  • Member Relations

Request for Proposal

Maria Saldana

Leading Vital Housing Solutions

Maria Saldaña
Executive Director, Oak Park Residence Corporation, since 2014

About Oak Park Residence Corporation: For more than 48 years, this community-based, non-profit organization has led the way in promoting affordable housing opportunities in Oak Park, Illinois. Learn more at

Key Responsibilities: The OPRC currently owns and manages 22 multi-family buildings with 480 units of rental housing, so one of my chief responsibilities is overseeing property management. We are also affiliated with the Oak Park Housing Authority and provide 296 housing units in three buildings for low-income elderly and individuals with disabilities. Among these buildings is an award-winning congregate housing facility for elderly residents and a building specially designed for severely mobility impaired individuals. We do a lot with housing to support diversity and affordability in Oak Park, so I feel I’m overseeing many important programs.

Top Achievements: Early on when I started, I had to deal with a major emergency fire in one of our 15-unit buildings which destroyed the roof. Fortunately, we were able to evacuate the building and no one was hurt. I’m also pleased to have recently secured a $25,000 grant to fund an organizational assessment. It’s an opportunity to take a comprehensive look at the organization to determine our strengths and weaknesses, and outline key steps to keep moving us forward.

My Search: I’m a lawyer by training, and have worked in real estate, government, and investment banking. Before I took this position, I was looking to reposition myself; I have always been interested in public policy and I’ve participated in regional planning agencies. I’m interested in doing things to make a difference, which is why I worked for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and went on to be the Chief Operating Officer at The Resurrection Project in Pilsen. I also knew I wanted to run an organization.

I live in the Austin community, a block away from Oak Park, so I was very interested when [Tuft President] Jill Christie contacted me about this position. I was surprised that it was an open search and that someone hadn’t already been groomed for this role. Jill was very helpful as I interviewed for this position, which has everything I want to be doing. My first-year anniversary was in March, and I couldn’t imagine a better fit.

Working with Tuft: I really enjoyed working with Jill and the Tuft team. The search process was well-managed, and I continued to be updated about next steps and never had to wonder what was happening. The information I received from Tuft was thoughtfully put together. I enjoyed doing the interviews with the Board and felt very well-prepared for the questions on how I would manage the organization.

The benefits of working with a search firm like Tuft are so great. As an employer, you don’t know who’s out there who might be best suited for your open position. Tuft is in the business of knowing who’s out there. I know that the OPRC Board was very pleased and felt that Tuft & Associates helped them work more effectively together to make the hiring decision. The Board was so pleased, in fact, that they passed a resolution acknowledging the excellent work Jill provided.

What’s Next: I am excited about the organizational assessment and the work our consultant will be doing during the site visit for interviews with the Board and staff. I look forward to recommendations for change, and I’m already seeing where we can make improvements. It’s an exciting time.