CEO Search

We’re on a quest to find a visionary Chief Executive Officer captivated by the idea of making history with us.

We’re searching for the leader who will take charge of our historic commitment to coordinate the solving of all of the social problems in Southwest Florida on an eighteen-year deadline. This person must be possessed of extraordinary passion, be willing to take daunting risks, be excited by the unknown, willing to invent a future that no one heretofore ever has, recruit, inspire and develop a world-class team, inspire the community at-large, gain and nurture the community’s trust, raise the resources to make this all happen, evangelize, encourage, and instill the highest levels of confidence in the team, the community and relationships with partners. We’re looking for someone to take on something that appears impossible, in the tradition of the Apollo missions to the moon and the civil rights movement. Prior experience in the field is not required or expected, as what we are doing has never been done before. Prior experience making the impossible possible is what’s important to us.


We have comprehensive descriptions, visualizations, and materials about who we are and what we’re up to that we will provide to you. But briefly, the most important thing you should know about us is that we have made a daring commitment unlike anything ever attempted by a community or other foundation. That commitment is, to coordinate the solving of all of the social problems in our region on an eighteen-year deadline. Emphasis is on the word, “coordinating.” We are two years in and on our way. When we say, “all of the social problems,” we mean that. Not one of them, but all of them, from hunger to illiteracy, racism to mental illness, isolation to injustice and the others, recognizing that they are all integrated, and that to solve any one of them you must address all of them, together, holistically, with a highly integrated approach. And recognizing, from experience, that any siloed approach on any single issue will likely fail.

We will not do this alone. Everyone will be engaged. By everyone, we don’t mean just every leader, or just every institution, or the usual suspects, but everyone in the region. This will be a massive retail and grassroots effort at community improvement unlike anything ever attempted by a community foundation before.

Every problem. Every one. Every person. Everyone.

Strengths and Prior Experience

To succeed as the leader of this endeavor, a track record of experience and success in the following domains could be important. At the same time, we’re open to finding a person who will build their track record of success in these areas with us:
  • Making Dreams Come True
  • Inspirational Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Market or Segment Disruption
  • Possibility Thinking
  • Future-Visioning
  • Marketing and Marketing Innovations
  • Brand Preservation and Integrity
  • Experiential Design
  • Executive Recruitment
  • Community Organizing
  • Fundraising or Raising Capital
  • Public Speaking and Evangelism
  • Asset Management
  • Financial Management
  • Strategic Thinking and Planning
  • Conflict Resolution

Things to Think About

If we take the next step together, there will be plenty of time for us to give you more specifics about the role. So, rather than beginning with a traditional job description, here are some questions that will help you think about how good a fit we might be together:

  • Leonard Bernstein said that, “Two things are necessary for great achievement: a plan, and not quite enough time.” Are you the kind of person who is excited by committing to something that frightens you, that you’re not at all sure you can accomplish?
  • Are you the kind of person that requires security and predictability, or do you thrive more in the unknown, where there are no gauges to tell you if you’re doing it right because it’s never been done before?
  • President Kennedy said that, “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by the skeptics or the cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need people who dream of things that never were.” Would you characterize yourself as a dreamer?
  • Can you excite us with a tale of something you have achieved in your professional career? Something believed to be impossible before you did it?
  • Can you tell us why you think enterprises like Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, Boston Dynamics, TED, and others in their league have been so successful and have proven virtually every naysayer in their paths wrong? Can you deconstruct their successes?
  • Do you have Achilles’ heels that could undermine you? For example, do you have a hard time letting people who aren’t doing an awesome job go? Are you uncomfortable with conflict or willing to settle in order to avoid conflict?
  • What great failures have you experienced professionally and what have you learned from them?
  • Have you related successfully with, and raised money from, ultra-high net worth individuals and families?
  • Have you managed very large internal teams and external partnerships?
  • Have you overseen a multi-million dollar organizational budget before?
  • Are you a persuasive and accomplished public speaker?
  • Do you yearn for the achievement of true social transformation as a personal legacy?

What’s Next?

If we’ve piqued your interest, let’s talk. Here are the steps ahead:
  1. Please send a cover letter to Suzanne Boy, at Boy, Agnew, Potanovic, Miller. Her email address is
  2. If you’d like, you can include a biography or CV.
  3. If we think that you might be a good fit for us we’ll schedule a time to talk, and we’ll send you our Explanation Box, which contains 1) our brand book, which includes a comprehensive description of our thinking and how this effort came to be, 2) the announcement mailer we sent to the region when we launched, and 3) the first of our quarterly progress reports.
  4. We strongly encourage you to visit our website,, which provides a comprehensive overview of our effort and organization. You’ll see that it’s unlike any community foundation website you’ve ever seen.
  5. We’ll give you an opportunity to attend one of our upcoming online Explanation Sessions, which we hold weekly throughout the region to explain our effort to those interested in getting involved. We believe people should have the most thorough understanding of how this effort is different from things that have been tried in the past before getting involved. It will take you deeper into an appreciation of our plans.
  6. If we’re both still interested, we’ll schedule a question and answer session via Zoom with one or more of our search committee members. It will give you a chance to ask us the questions you have first, and then us a chance to do the same.
  7. If we both continue to be interested, we’ll schedule a longer-form interview and further discussions after that.
  8. Final candidates will be invited to visit Collaboratory in-person for a final meeting before we make a final choice.
  9. Again, for starters, please send a cover letter to Suzanne Boy, at Boy, Agnew, Potanovic, Miller. Her email address is

Final Thought
Steve Jobs

“So to be a creative person, you need to ‘feed’ or ‘invest’ in yourself by exploring uncharted paths that are outside the realm of your past experience. Seek out new dimensions of yourself- especially those that carry a romantic scent.

But one has no way of knowing which of these paths will lead anywhere in advance. That’s the wonderful thing about it, in a way.

The only thing one can do is to believe that some of what you follow with your heart will indeed come back to make your life much richer. And it will. And you will gain an ever firmer trust in your instincts and intuition.

The enemy of most dreams and intuitions, and one of the most dangerous and stifling concepts ever invented by humans, is the ‘career.’ A career is a concept for how one is supposed to progress through stages during the training for and practicing of your working life.

There are some big problems here. First and foremost is the notion that your work is different and separate from the rest of your life. If you are passionate about your life and your work, this can’t be so.

They will become more or less one. This is a much better way to live one’s life.

Risk factor quotient goes down as you encounter the real world.
Many find what they believe to be safe harbors, only to wake up ten or fifteen years later and discover the price they paid.

Make your avocation your vocation. Make what you love your work.”

— Steve Jobs, from The Steve Jobs Archive

A Note on the Archive from Steve’s wife, Laurene Powell Jobs:

“Steve once told a group of students, ‘You appear, have a chance to blaze in the sky, then you disappear.’ He gave an extraordinary amount of thought to how best to use our fleeting time. He was animated by the thought that he—or that any of us—might elevate or expedite human progress.

Steve saw clearly what was not there, what could be there, what had to be there. His mind was never a captive of reality. Quite the contrary: he imagined what reality lacked and set out to remedy it. His ideas were not arguments, but intuitions, born of a true inner freedom and an epic sense of possibility.”

Equal Opportunity

Collaboratory provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, national origin, veteran status, and other classifications protected by applicable state and local non-discrimination laws.

Additional Information

We welcome letters of interest sent to Atty Boy until May 20, as the search committee has begun to interview candidates. Letters received after that date may be considered at the discretion of the committee.

Download a PDF of the Chief Executive Officer Abstract