Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer 150 150
Elizabeth Richardson Center
November 29, 2022
Fayetteville, AR
Job Type


Elizabeth Richardson Center (ERC) is dedicated to “Enhancing Lives, Removing Barriers, and Creating Opportunities” for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Northwest Arkansas. Services provided in Benton, Washington and Madison Counties make ERC the most comprehensive provider of services to people with disabilities in the region.

Services are supported by a current revenue budget in excess of $11 million and 185 employees. People are supported through four program areas:

  • Services for Children – Three Child Development Centers, located in Fayetteville, Huntsville, and Siloam Springs, provide early intervention and preschool for children six weeks to six years old. The total capacity of the centers is 100.
  • Day Services and Employment for Adults – Both life skills training and employment training is offered, including community employment with job coaching and contract work at Richardson Industries. Currently over 75 people are served.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) – Thirty men and women are supported at three locations with 24-hour care including medical oversight.
  • HCBS Waiver Services – ERC provides a variety of services funded through the HCBS Waiver including supported independent living and case management. Currently over 50 adults are served through the Waiver at ERC.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) works from the office in Fayetteville. Northwest Arkansas was formerly one of the country’s best kept secrets, and in 2021 was recognized as one of the “Best Places to Live” by U.S. News and World Report (ranked #4 in the country). The area is the home of a world-class art museum, the state’s largest live-music amphitheater, professional sports, great restaurants, bike and hiking trails, boating, historic and magical downtowns, and the widely recognized University of Arkansas. Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt trucking (each headquartered in Arkansas) all provide tremendous support to our communities. Excellent medical care includes a campus of the Northwest Children’s Hospital, University of Arkansas Medical Services, and five hospitals. “Quality of life” and “best of” recognition has been published by Time, Forbes, and Money. Also, due to extensive trails the area has been named one of the best places for cycling in the country. In short, Northwest Arkansas is an affordable, beautiful place to live, with excellent schools, and wonderful opportunities to explore the outdoors and the arts.

Position Summary

The Chief Operating Officer has an integral role in shaping and delivering the strategic and tactical imperatives impacting the Elizabeth Richardson Center operations. The COO, reporting to the Executive Director, has primary responsibilities to include staff performance, financial performance, programmatic operations, licensure compliance, and policy & procedure development and implementation. This role works closely with the senior leadership team and the Board of Directors in establishing strategies to best support ERC’s mission.

The ideal candidate for this position possesses:

  • Management experience – over 8 years - in programs and services for individuals with disabilities.
  • The ability to think strategically and concentrate on program development/improvement while managing day-to-day operations through effective support and mentoring of program directors.
  • Experience with staff retention and development strategies to maintain and improve program consistency and quality.
  • The traits of a passionate, caring, and creative leader.

Primary Responsibilities

  • In coordination with the ED and Leadership Team, play a key role in the overall development, strategic planning, service delivery, fiscal responsibility, and management of the organization across multiple sites.
  • Directly supervise Adult Services, Children’s Services including therapists, Compliance and Training, Facilities Management, and the ERC Nurse (7 direct reports).
  • Implement best practices in conjunction with licensure, state, and ERC policy to ensure best practices in management, compliance, and operations for all children and adult programs.
  • Stay abreast of developments in services for individuals with developmental delays and disabilities.
  • Manage operational compliance of all aspects of programs to include: EIDT, OLTC, ADDT, CES, and the Aspire High School Program.
  • Manage program staff; ensuring compliance in the programs they are assigned to/ payroll accuracy/ employee labor laws/ licensure labor guidelines/ performance reviews/ staff training/ etc.
  • Ensure a strong, positive culture for client service.
  • Develop and manage annual program budgets, in partnership with senior leadership team.
  • Oversee health and safety at ERC (include the life safety code).
  • Oversee corporate compliance and training.
  • Serve as staff liaison to Board of Directors Organizational Health Committee.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with oversight agencies.
  • Serve as focal point for licensure compliance/investigations/surveys and reportable incidents.
  • Manage vendor relationships and other external partnerships.

Qualifications / Skills

  • Strategic thinker who understands how operations, finance, and people support the broader mission of the organization.
  • Depth of experience in managing teams, supporting cross functional collaboration, developing staff, and setting clear goals.
  • Proven ability to forecast financial models and control expenses, while supporting organizational growth.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and articulately in writing and orally.
  • Good sense of humor and big heart.
  • Quick thinker and ability to make decisions under pressure.
  • Ability to relate well with people from diverse groups.
  • Recruitment, development, and retention of staff.

Required and Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required /Master’s Degree preferred.
  • At least five years senior leadership experience in a nonprofit organization required; experience in services to people with disabilities preferred.
  • High degree of commitment to serving children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.


The projected compensation range for this position will be competitive and in accordance with the background and experience of the selected candidate. ERC currently provides two levels of Medical plans, life insurance, short-term disability, and a retirement plan with a 6% matching contribution. Vision and Dental insurance are available to purchase.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

It is the policy of the Elizabeth Richardson Center to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

How To Apply

Application Process

To apply for this position, submit resume and cover letter to Bruce Scott, The Moran Company. Within your cover letter or resume, please be sure to provide a description of your qualifications related to the Position Summary and “ideal candidate” traits.

PLEASE note: ERC requires that all staff provide evidence of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Candidates for this position may be requested to provide vaccination evidence prior to in-person interviews. APPLY NOW