UTEC - Chief Executive Officer

Lowell, MA
Full Time
Senior Executive

Context and Job Summary

The CEO is a critical leader of the organization who guides the implementation of the culture and vision throughout UTEC. The CEO will amplify the approach upon which UTEC was founded: centering young adults in all the work that we carry out. She/he/they will be focused on instilling the value of community in and out of the building, while ensuring UTEC has the systems and practices in place to activate principles of equity throughout the organization. Through oversight of all day-to-day operations, the CEO will be dedicated to leading the diverse team at UTEC live out the core values of the organization:

● Assuming goodness behind everyone’s actions.

● Show madd love, unconditionally accepting each person.

● Offer everyone a clean slate, never giving up.

● Carry out respectful curiosity, always seeking out moments to connect.

● Be a sponge, actively seeking feedback.

● Embody contagious passion in all they do.

Upon the hiring of the new CEO, the current longtime CEO, Gregg Croteau, will shift to a newly created position of Executive Chairperson. In that role, he will focus on external responsibilities: building UTEC’s capacity in crucial areas such as fundraising and policy advocacy. The Executive Chairperson will be available to support the new CEO as needed and she/he/they sees fit. Here's a letter from Gregg about the transition. In close partnership with UTEC’s Executive Board of Directors and our staff leadership team, the new CEO will lead UTEC into a new era of growth and impact on the lives of young people.

UTEC’s Story

UTEC is a nationally recognized program for justice-involved young adults. The program starts behind the walls of correctional facilities and intensive street outreach/gang peacemaking and transitions into an intensive program in the community post-release. The nature of our educational services, wraparound supports and counseling, social enterprises/workforce development, organizing/policy work, training institute, and innovative partnerships creates a variety of impacts in the lives of the individuals and communities we serve. 

In 1999, UTEC was founded as the result of an organizing movement driven by young people to develop their own teen center in response to gang violence. In 2010, after ten years in operation as a drop-in center and safe space for young people of all ages, UTEC staff engaged in a Theory of Change process that led to a programmatic restructuring to provide intensive, integrated services for the most disconnected youth ages 17-25. UTEC decided to continue the organization’s gang prevention work and education programming, as well as expand its employment and transitional coaching services.

In 2011, UTEC began construction to expand and renovate its youth center in downtown Lowell to accommodate increased enrollment and grow our social enterprises. By 2016, UTEC had expanded its social enterprises into three industry areas: Mattress Recycling, Woodworking, and Food Services. In 2017, the 2Gen Center @ UTEC opened its doors to provide onsite early education for young children of UTEC’s enrolled young adults.

Since 2019, UTEC has celebrated the grand opening of new program sites in Haverhill and Lawrence. In the same year, UTEC was selected as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ provider for a Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence, which is now the premier training facility in the state for addressing gun violence through both a public health and racial equity lens.

In FY22, UTEC served over 600 young adults including a range of outreach activities, and approximately 150 young adults intensively through our comprehensive program. During this fiscal year, 75% of young adults at UTEC avoided arrest. With over 20 years of experience, UTEC is a catalyst, innovating in the way we serve young adults (ages 17-25) who are criminally and/or gang involved in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley.

Supervisory Responsibilities

The CEO will directly supervise the Chief Program Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief of Staff, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Finance Officer, Senior Director of Social Enterprises, and an Executive Assistant.

Opportunities for Impact


● Hold accountability for overall organization operations, vision, and strategy as well as responsibility over internal organizational priorities.

● Work with other members of the agency’s leadership team to create and represent unified shared leadership.

● Work collaboratively with the Board to ensure that they are fully engaged to provide strategic counsel in the vision and strategy across programs and operations. 

● Ensure that youth voice is being prioritized throughout the organization.

● Strong ability to network and build strategic relationships in service of mission/vision achievement, particularly in the arena of policy and systems change.

Programs & Operations

● In partnership with our Chief Program Officer, support the overall strategic direction of UTEC’s programming and operations, directly building off of a new Theory of Change and Strategic Planning process (soon to begin).

● Provide guidance and support to the Chief Program Officer and Chief Operating Officer to identify priorities and ensure that progress toward all organizational goals are on track.

● Monitor overall quality of performance data to set and achieve continuous improvement goals and support effective contract management.

● Consistently communicate project plans/implementation and ensure constant feedback, keeping all staff accountable for their responsibilities to fully integrate all departments and to resolve cross- functional issues.

Embedding DEI Across the Organization

● Show passion for embedding DEI in org culture, policies, systems, and practices.

● Identify and help create structures and policies that encourage an inclusive work environment.

● Support continued development of UTEC’s racial and cultural equity competencies.

● Commit to authentic, anti-racist, and inclusive leadership that promotes community and belonging.

● Have credibility and be effective in engaging diverse communities. 

Culture & Accountability

● Ensure that addressing the needs and listening to the voices of UTEC young adults remain at the center of the agency’s work.

● Represent and hold others accountable to representing UTEC’s core values and continually monitor the environment to ensure the culture is vibrant, inclusive, and cultivates a sense of belonging.

● Influence the ongoing improvement of the UTEC team’s project management capacity to ensure that programs are executed at the highest quality, including demonstrating the balance of visioning and execution with a high level of attention to detail.

● Partner with UTEC leadership, external partners and staff to develop, drive, and monitor progress on key diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives.

Data-Driven Approach & Youth Outcomes

● Identify and implement cost-effective ways to deliver innovative programming to young adults.

● Ensure everyone in the organization understands the key metrics to help identify trends to help make decisions programmatically and operationally. 

● Champion data-informed decision-making, with a relentless desire to learn while improving real outcomes for youth and measuring progress in meaningful ways.

● Work with the Chief Finance Officer on UTEC's annual budget to ensure the organization is financially viable and sustainable and offers resources to meet current and projected program growth.

● Prioritize effective contract management, including reviewing, problem-solving, and  approving all contracts for services.

Coaching and Mentoring

● Provide leadership and management support to direct reports in a manner that incorporates reflective practice, modeling, goal setting and consistent feedback.

● Identify opportunities for professional development that supports the growth of management and front-line staff.

● Take an active role in building and leading high performing teams and in attracting, retaining, and developing a passionate team at UTEC.

Fundraising, Networking, and Relationship Building

● Strong ability to network and build strategic relationships in service of successful fundraising for and financial sustainability of UTEC.

● Interest, experience, and capacity to contribute to fundraising efforts and success among individual donors, philanthropy, and public agencies.

● Be an effective “dot connector,” embracing a relentless and creative approach to blending strategy with relationship-building to help advance our overall fundraising.

Personal and Professional Attributes

A successful CEO will be a seasoned leader and visionary, driving measurable impact and growth through a dynamic and unprecedented time. They will be a gifted communicator with high emotional intelligence and a healthy sense of humor; the ability to command a room combined with the wisdom to know when to allow others to take the lead. 

The CEO will also:

● Bring an action-oriented, entrepreneurial, flexible, and innovative approach to operational management.

● Excel at high level strategic thinking, planning and implementation. 

● Have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

● Be flexible with their work schedule, including being available some nights and weekends for events.

● Bring a healthy sense of humor, and an ability to have fun while working hard.

● Honors and values rituals as a means of culture-building.

● Exude a "can-do" mindset while valuing accountability and impact.

● Show dedication to social justice and a passion for serving young people.

● Demonstrate exceptional team building and motivational skills.

● Model humility, strength and adaptation.

● Ability to hold individuals and teams accountable, equitably and respectfully.

● Enjoy the ability to lead by example and allow for an equitable environment.


Successful CEO candidates will likely possess the following:

● 10 years successful senior leadership experience at a social impact organization leading a high-functioning, diverse team.

● Background of success in process improvement, change leadership, and change management.

● Experience in maturing organizational policies, systems, and processes.

● Leadership depth, maturity, and collaborative skills to garner trust and confidence of all staff, young adults, external stakeholders, and the Board of Directors.

● Passion for supporting the professional development of direct reports through coaching, mentoring and a strengths-based approach.

● Analytic and decisive decision making skills with the ability to prioritize and communicate to staff key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve organizational goals.

● Credibility and effectiveness in engaging diverse communities.

● A proven commitment/experience in advancing DEI principles and practices.

● A Master's Degree and/or a minimum of 7 years in Business Administration, Finance, Economics, non-profit management, or its equivalent.

Salary/Benefits: $200,000-$225,000 plus benefits, commensurate with experience. UTEC offers a competitive benefits package that starts with 4 weeks of vacation (3 standard for all new employees and a week of agency-wide closure between the Christmas and New Year holidays), 12 holidays, 10 sick days, 2 personal days, health, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, an annual cost of living increase, a 457B retirement plan and up to $4,000 per employee of professional development support.  With time, benefits grow to include up to 6 weeks of vacation, 80% coverage of employee health and dental insurance costs and availability for a 3 week sabbatical. 

UTEC also stresses the importance of work-life balance and offers several wellness opportunities including additional time off (i.e. for the past two years we have closed at 3pm on Fridays during the summer months), an employee assistance program, down payment assistance for first time home buyers, parental leave, bereavement supports and unlimited free coffee!

UTEC is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. You can read more about our commitments here. 


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