Who: Kenneth Crooks, of Aventura
To: The Heart Gallery of Broward as executive director
About: Heart Gallery of Broward County is the fifth largest Heart Gallery in the U.S. out of 100+, in terms of budget and scope of activities, and is a traveling photography exhibit of foster children who are waiting to be permanently adopted. The organization provides innovative programs that help to promote the adoption and enrichment of foster care children.
Start date: April 2013
Experience:. From 2005–09, I was chief executive officer of a technology start-up firm, Outerbridge Networks, LLC in New York. In the past, have been a regional sales vice president, Cable Television Networks for The Walt Disney Company in New York; and I was a director for System Integration Business Unit for Hewlett Packard (HP) in New York.
Education: Master of Business Administration, Finance from Pace University in New York N.Y., and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Hofstra University New York, N.Y.
Why the move: I have a long history of working in a volunteer capacity on non-profit boards. Working on a purpose driven mission was one of the things I felt was missing from my corporate assignment. The more I learned about the mission of the Heart Gallery of Broward County the more I was attracted to the organization.
Top goal: Annually the Heart Gallery features 100-130 children in the photo gallery who are waiting for their forever family. The last few years between finalized adoptions and those children waiting for adoption we see 30-35 children leave the foster care system and find a permanent home. My top goal is to find homes for 100% of the children waiting for adoption.
Industry wisdom: I understand how to manage relationships with senior executives and stakeholders through the use of research, marketing and consistent follow up to meet financial goals. Building a viable and executable strategic and financial plan were important attributes in my for profit life which are valuable for non-profit organizations.
Restructuring operations to reset direction was an annual event in large corporate environments. The questions that were asked during this process are valuable and transferable. For example, why is this done this way and what happens if we change it? Are all of the operations aligned with our overall goal? Can we perform this function better? What are the best practices?
On the side: Mentoring, traveling, golfing, running, wine tasting and cooking.