Executive Director
The Dempsey Center

The board of directors of the Dempsey Center is conducting a search for a passionate and proven leader to serve as the Center’s next Executive Director. The Dempsey Center is committed to making life better for people managing the impact of cancer, including cancer patients, survivors, care partners, and family members of all ages. From oncology education, counseling and support groups to massage, reiki and acupuncture, all services are provided at no cost. The Center has locations in Lewiston and South Portland, Maine, and a new virtual platform, Dempsey Connects.

Organization Overview

Known originally as the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing, the Dempsey Center was founded in 2008, as an affiliate of Central Maine Medical Center and a result of the Dempsey family’s personal experience. When Patrick’s mother Amanda was battling ovarian cancer, they recognized that wellness and complementary medicine are crucial components of quality care.

The Center has occupied its current location in Lewiston, a beautifully renovated mill building, since 2012. In 2018, shortly after achieving independent nonprofit status, the Dempsey Center merged with the Cancer Community Center in South Portland, and thus began operating through that location as well. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the Center’s plans to expand its virtual service offerings, and today, a growing range of services is delivered through Dempsey Connects.

The Dempsey Center has a staff of 24 and annual revenue of approximately $3.5 million. Its signature fundraiser is The Dempsey Challenge, an annual run, walk, and cycle experience. This fall, with a new virtual component, the two-day event attracted 2,800 registered participants from around the globe and raised more than $1.2 million.

The Dempsey Center is organized around the following core values: commitment, teamwork, humility, compassion and resilience. These values are palpable in the organization’s internal workings, in its community-based relationships and in every client contact. With the goal of reaching everyone in Maine who has been touched by a cancer diagnosis and remaining on the vanguard of this work worldwide, the Center is developing ambitious plans for sustainable growth.

Role and Responsibilities

The Dempsey Center’s Executive Director plays a key role in strategic planning, oversees all aspects of the Center’s operations and serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization. The Executive Director is responsible for the management and development of the Center’s staff and programs; the financial health of the organization; and the strength of its relationships with internal and external stakeholders. This individual reports directly to the board of directors and is a liaison with the Center’s founder, Patrick Dempsey.

Specifically, the Executive Director is responsible for:

External Relationships

• Cultivate relationships with mission-aligned philanthropies, major donors, and the business community
• Develop and maintain robust partnerships with healthcare systems and medical professionals to extend the Center’s reach and facilitate access
• Develop and maintain relationships with leading-edge researchers and practitioners to ensure the Center’s services are Best in Class
• Develop and maintain effective relationships with mission-aligned nonprofit and community-based organizations to leverage collective strengths
• Serve as the “public face” of the Dempsey Center through media interactions, speaking engagements and public comments

Fiscal Stewardship

• Oversee the development and implementation of the Center’s budget
• Oversee prudent and proper investments of the endowment
• Track budget variances and communicate as appropriate to the board
• Ensure that appropriate financial controls are in place

Operational Management

• Engage, inspire, motivate, develop and directly supervise the Center’s leadership team
• Maintain a rich culture of collaboration, consideration and mutual respect across the organization
• Maintain the Center’s focus on clients’ needs and the consistent, timely delivery of state-of-the-art services
• Oversee the planning and execution of The Dempsey Challenge and other events
• Ensure fidelity to the Center’s core processes, including safety and security protocols
• Ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and adherence to the highest ethical standards


• Oversee the development and implementation of a multifaceted fund- and friend-raising plan
• Cultivate major donors and key institutional relationships
• Lead the Dempsey Center’s Capital Campaign


• Partner with the board of directors to identify strategic goals for continued, sustainable growth
• Oversee the successful execution of the strategic plan, including intermittent assessment and adjustment
• Communicate strategic plans clearly and consistently to internal and external stakeholders

Position Requirements

The board and the founder’s ambition combined with the complexities of the cancer care landscape magnify the need for strong management and visionary leadership in the years ahead. Leading the Dempsey Center in its next chapter of growth will require a broad set of skills and abilities. The board expects that the successful candidate will bring to the role:

• Compassion, empathy and a deep connection to the Center’s mission
• Demonstrated commitment to the Center’s core values
• Experience leading a nonprofit organization of comparable size and scope
• High degree of self-awareness, utmost discretion and authentic ease in working with diverse people in varying circumstances
• Familiarity with healing, hospitality and wellness services
• A management style that prizes inclusion and collaboration, reliably develops individual and team strengths, and promotes community
• Demonstrated ability in creative problem-solving, strategic planning and efficient execution
• An entrepreneurial spirit and a track record of successfully scaling an organization and/or managing change
• Experience as an exceptional relationship-builder, a highly engaging, skilled and confident communicator
• Experience in financial management and planning
• High energy and optimism

Experience with the Entrepreneurial Operating System® is a plus. Some travel will be required, both in and out of state, including evenings and weekends.


The Dempsey Center’s Executive Director will earn a comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after the initial six months, as well as an annual review thereafter.


The Dempsey Center does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, national origin, ancestry, public assistance, ethnic background, religion, marital status, economic class, age, disability or handicap (mental or physical), sex, creed, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and any other legally protected characteristics in admission or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment. The Center complies with all applicable national, state and local laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

To apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following address: [email protected].

Paper copies may be sent to Taylor Rouillard, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401, but electronic submissions of material are preferred. No phone inquiries, please. The application deadline is December 8, 2020, and review of all submissions will begin on that date.