Venture House Seeks Executive Director

NYAPRS Note: After a long and dedicated career of service to people with psychiatric disabilities, Venture House’s executive director Ray Schwartz will be retiring over the next few months. Ray has not only shown strong and wise leadership for VH and the greater clubhouse community, he has been a tireless advocate for recovery and rights focused advocacy as longtime co-chair of our NYAPRS’ Public Policy Committee. We will all miss him greatly but wish him all the best going forward.

Ray has asked that we advertise for his position, as follows.


Venture House

Position Announcement - Executive Director


Venture House, a health and human service nonprofit located in Jamaica, New York City (Queens), is seeking an exceptional Executive Director. This is an ideal opportunity for an experienced and entrepreneurial leader to play a critical role in the continued growth of a dynamic organization that promotes the health, well-being and recovery of people with mental illness.  Please see


Founded in 1987, Venture House is a charter member of Clubhouse International and has been accredited since 1994.  Membership is open to people 18 and older diagnosed with mental illness.  Members work side-by-side with staff as partners in every function of the Clubhouse. Each person is valued, respected and needed in accordance with VH's values of transparency and openness.  Emphasizing wellness, Venture House has served approx. 1,100 members, with about 300 active members and a staff of 16. Annual revenue is approximately $2.6  million, substantially from state grants. 

The core of Venture House's approach is the Work-Ordered Day.  Members share responsibilities including preparing meals, recording daily attendance, producing the newsletter, hiring of staff, collecting rents, running the member bank, tutoring, tracking wages and more.  Participation is voluntary, and members choose how they want to be involved.  The Clubhouse also provides the following services in order to enhance members' quality of life and to enable them to participate more fully in the life of the community: educational supports, supported housing for up to 90 members, transitional, supported and independent employment, and evening and weekend social programs.


The Position

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have strategic and operational responsibility for Venture House in accordance with New York State standards and other federal and local requirements.  S/he will expand on or develop a deep knowledge of the community behavioral health field and political landscape in which rehabilitative and recovery-oriented behavioral health services are operating at a time of tremendous change including Medicaid reform in New York State and changes in methods/processes for reimbursement for services.  Responsibilities include:


Strategic Planning, Vision and Leadership

  • Provide leadership and vision to the Clubhouse members and staff, upholding the integrity of the Clubhouse model and the coherence of the Venture House community.
  • Design and execute a strategic plan together with Clubhouse members and in consultation with the Board.
  • Design and implement systems for evaluating progress and ensuring strategic goals/objectives are met.
  • Work with partners on shared goals to improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness and impact of VH.
  • Provide strategic financial leadership to a growing organization.
  • Provide innovative leadership in program development to keep VH on the leading edge of the sector.
  • Use data and a continuous assessment of community and consumer needs to drive quality improvement.

Change Management

  • Provide leadership that aligns with the culture of person-centered service, upholding Clubhouse values.
  • Oversee the design and implementation of systems around billing, utilization and revenue management including working with new payers to build effective business relationships.
  • Evaluate potential strategic partnerships alliances and collaborations to more effectively and efficiently achieve Venture House's mission.

Operations Management

  • Oversee the programmatic, financial and administrative management of Venture House.
  • Lead and manage the development of financial forecasting and analyses, providing routine reporting to the Board and committees.
  • Work with relevant managed care organizations (MCOs).
  • Provide oversight and monitoring of information technology (IT) systems.
  • Increase revenue generating activities to support existing program operations and expansion while improving the overall financial health and sustainability of the organizations.
  • Ensure program excellence through evaluation and data-informed decision-making.
  • Ensure the consistent quality and efficiency of finance and administration, communications, and systems.
  • Recommend timelines and resources to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Continuously evaluate and improve Venture House policies and procedures.

Building and Management of a High Performing Team and Quality Programming

  • Identify, recruit, support and retain a team of results-oriented, creative thinkers as staff, and assume responsibility for their professional grown and development.
  • Supervise senior level staff.
  • Encourage member participation in the operation of Venture House.

External Relations

  • Communicate Venture House's goals and priorities in communication with partners and stakeholders.
  • Establish VH as a resource for care management agencies and health care providers throughout NYC regarding the role of behavioral health providers and clubhouses specifically in delivery system reform.
  • Build relationships with appropriate key leadership in partner organizations, State oversight agencies and the community.
  • Participate in Venture House's fundraising efforts.


Qualifications Desired

  • Professional experience in healthcare policy, delivery systems, care management, behavioral health or delivery of clinical services
  • Experience in strategically planning for and evaluating the growth of an outcomes-based organization
  • Proven leadership and organizational management experience managing high-performing staff
  • Experience planning and delivering public presentations and demonstrated interpersonal skills
  • Strong marketing and public relations experience and ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders
  • Track record of overcoming obstacles in fast-paced, challenging environments
  • Financial savvy including understanding of nonprofit financing, budgeting and accounting.  Experience with/understanding of Medicaid billing is a plus.


In addition, the successful candidate will have:

  • Deep commitment to the values of Venture House and ability to manage large scale organizational change
  • Empathy for, understanding of, and respect for members
  • Political savvy and keen interest in healthcare policy, Medicaid reform, and the NYS policy landscape
  • Tenacity, grit and ability to take initiative and thrive in a fast-paced, informally-structured environment
  • Solid written and verbal communications skills and exceptional organization and time management skills
  • Demonstrated record as both a team player and self-starter
  • Demonstrated ability to design a work plan, prioritize and meet goals
  • Grace under pressure and a good sense of humor as well as an innovative spirit
  • Eagerness to meet/exceed goals including frequent weekday evenings and some weekend work
  • Graduate degree in social work, public health, psychology, business management or related field desired;  Professional licensure an asset.


To apply, please send cover letter, resume and salary history to Susan Egmont at Egmont Associates,