Chief Operations Officer

Cleveland, OH

Posted: 4/17/20
Deadline: 6/3/20

About This Organization

Cleveland Public Library

Our Client: Cleveland Public Library


We are “The People’s University,” the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community.


Cleveland Public Library will be the driving force behind a powerful culture of learning that will inspire Clevelanders from all walks of life to continually learn, share and seek out new knowledge in ways that are beneficial to themselves, their community and the world.

Job Duties

Position Summary / Essential Job Functions

Title: Chief Operations Officer

Reports to: Executive Director

Direct Reports: Director of Facilities, (2) Capital Projects Managers, Occupational Health & Safety Officer, Operations Project Coordinator, Shipping Manager

Supervisory Responsibilities:
This position is responsible for providing vision, strategic planning, leadership, and management for property management, capital projects, custodial services, and shipping / materials handling.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Evaluation of this position based primarily on performance of the following essential functions, which include, but are not limited to:
• The design, implementation, and evaluation of the strategic and annual work plans for capital projects, building maintenance, and property management.
• The implementation of the facilities master plan including outreach to the community, political, business and nonprofit stakeholders; directing architects and contractors; and collaborating on the design and implementation of service model and technology design in library branches.
• The leadership and oversight of all facilities master plan and ongoing capital projects and building and property maintenance.
• Oversight of, in collaboration with real estate and legal professionals, real estate acquisition, consolidation, and sale.
• The design, implementation, and evaluation of the strategic and annual plans for other functional areas, including shipping and materials handling and custodial services.
• The preparation and management of the annual budget for functional areas. The management of the facilities master plan and capital improvement budgets.
• Collaborating, coordinating, and communicating with external partners and entities, including, but not limited to, real estate brokers, attorneys, developers, consultants, contractors, architects, elected officials, community and neighborhood groups, stakeholders and organizations, etc.
• Serving as a member of the Executive Leadership Team.
• Working collaboratively with other chiefs, directors, Board members, and staff in the execution of plans and programs.
• Directing and coordinating the evaluation of department programs and services. Preparing reports / metrics on program / service performance and activities.
• Directing the day-to-day activities of a specified functional area of the agency in support of the organizational mission and goals. Managing operations in functional area to stated objectives with regard to budgets, quality, service, expertise, efficiency, and delivery.
• Supervising staff in specified area, including hiring, training, professional growth, performance management, productivity, quality, service, discipline, grievances, and terminations.
• Establishing, implementing, and overseeing policies and procedures in specific functional areas.
• Preparing materials for, presenting to, and participating in committees and Board meetings.
• Representing the Library on appropriate committees / collaboratives.
• Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications


• Eight years of executive leadership experience in property and facilities management, capital improvements, and construction management. Experience in safety and security strongly preferred.
• Experience managing staff and budgets preferably in a large, complex nonprofit or public agency setting.

Technical Expertise:
• Leading a mid-sized organization or business unit is required.
• Experience working with all levels within an organization is required.
• Experience modifying and adapting existing programs, services, policies, and processes to meet changing needs and expectations is required.
• Experience working with community leaders, public officials, donors, and other community stakeholders is required.
• Experience managing budgets, resources, and people is required.
o Governmental budgetary principles, practices, and procedures preferred.
• Experience working with boards of directors / trustees is preferred.
• Experience in public library, public-sector, and a union environment is preferred.
• Experience using construction management software systems, such as Procore.

• Bachelor’s degree required with major in architecture, engineering, or construction management preferred.
• Master’s degree preferred.

The Capital Program
• In 2017, the voters of the Cleveland Municipal School District, the Library’s taxing authority, approved the renewal of the expiring 5.8 mills in collection year 2018 along with an increase of 2.0 mills, a total of 7.8 mills, for a continuing period of time with the increase commencing in collection year 2019 for the operation and improvement of the Cleveland Public Library.
• The levy will help secure the Library’s future for years to come, and it also paves the way for a major capital project that will revitalize most of our neighborhood branch libraries.
• In March 2019, the Facilities Master Plan was drafted.
• The Master Plan provides options for the renovation, expansion, consolidation, or relocation of all of the Library’s buildings over the next decade in order to meet the Library’s long-term goals.
o Group 1 – $62,000,000 (13 Branches & Central Distribution Facility)
o Group 2 – $41,000,000 (12 Branches & Maintenance Garage)
o Group 3 – $60,500,000 (Main Renovations)
• In April 2019, the Library Board of Trustees approved the selection of branches in Group 1 at a total cost of $62,000,000 and authorized the Director to begin the implementation process.
• In June 2019, the Library Board of Trustees authorized the issuance of notes for Group 1 of the Master Plan.
• The Library sold $62 million of Public Library Fund Notes on August 15, 2019, and bond proceeds were received September 5, 2019.
• Agreements have been authorized with the most qualified architect/engineering firms for Group 1A of the Master Plan, which includes 5 Branches and the Central Distribution Facility, and on February 20, 2020, the Library Board of Trustees selected a construction manager firm and authorized the Executive Director to execute the master agreement and preconstruction phase work.
• The proceeds of the $62 million dollar bond issue must be spent down within three to five years in order to preserve the tax-exempt status of the bond proceeds.

Physical Demands and Work Environment
• The library environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of offices, which includes the need for general safe workplace practices with office equipment and computers, avoidance of trips and falls, and observance of fire regulations.
• The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet to moderate.
• This position is performed in an office setting although frequent offsite meetings in various settings occur.
• There is no set schedule for this position due to the requirements to attend meetings and events before or after normal working hours and occasionally on weekends and evenings.

Other Info

About the Search
The Cleveland Public Library is conducting a regional search with the assistance of Helbling & Associates (, an executive search firm specializing in areas of facilities management, construction, engineering, and real estate development.

Helpful Links
• Cleveland Public Library:
• CPL150 Strategic Plan:
• Cleveland Public Library Facilities Master Plan: (Password: capital)
• Executive Director, CEO – Felton Thomas:
o Community Leader of the Year Article
o Ensuring the Future of the Cleveland Public Library Article
o State of the Library Speech to The City Club of Cleveland

Please Submit Applications or Nominations to
Helbling & Associates, Inc.
8000 Brooktree Road, Suite 100
Wexford, PA 15090

Mr. Rob Dible, Search Consultant
O: (724) 935-7500 x117
C: (859) 539-5083
Please visit Helbling & Associates’ Candidates Page for more information.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy
Cleveland Public Library embraces and supports the diversity of our workforce as well as our community to include differences in race, ethnicity, language, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, military status, physical or mental ability or disability.

The Library demonstrates its support by:
• Engaging the board, leadership, and staff in ongoing inclusion training, education, and professional development;
• Creating a safe workplace environment in which employees’ voices can be included, heard, valued, and treated with respect;
• Developing and implementing programs and services that incorporate the differences that make us a community, ensuring fair and equitable treatment with access to appropriate resources and opportunities; and
• Developing a supplier diversity program that mirrors the patrons we serve.