We recently sat down with Katie Raymond, who we helped place as Deputy Director for the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, to learn about her new role, her experience working with the DRiWaterstone team, advice for other executive candidates in today’s job market, and more.
DRiWaterstone (DRiW): Can you tell me about the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Freeman Arts Pavillion?
Katie Raymond (KR): The Joshua M. Freeman Foundations creates opportunities to elevate the human spirit. Our mission is to advance access to arts for youth and the entire community through access to performances, education, and advocacy. Specifically, we focus on providing access to the arts to underserved families. The Freeman Arts Pavillion is a magical outdoor venue with incredible and diverse shows and performances—many free.
DRiW: Can you tell me a little bit about your role there as Deputy Director?
KR: I will oversee facility operations, staff, volunteer management, and development, programs in schools, and oversight of the construction of the permanent performing arts facility. I will also help with community and donor relationships.
DRiW: Tell me about your experience working with the DRiWaterstone team as a candidate.
A: It was such a great experience working with the team. They were professional and responsive and took the time to help me understand all the steps in the interview process.
DRiW: What surprised you the most about working with the team?
KR: I hadn’t worked with an executive search firm before, and I really appreciated the extra communication along the way. I felt the team took the time to assess the fit on both sides—the candidate and the organization. I felt like they were there to support me through our check-ins. I got to know the organization’s needs and goals before I started the interview portion, so that was helpful.
DRiW: Talk about the level of support and communication provided by DRiWaterstone throughout the placement process. How did they assist you in navigating the various stages, from initial interviews to negotiations?
KR: Overall, everything was excellent. We spoke on the phone many times, and I felt like I gained a lot of knowledge about the company and its mission. They laid out all the steps that were expected in the process, as well as the general purpose of each stage of the interview process, which made it clear for me. They checked in with me after every interview right away to get my impressions of how it went. When we got to the negotiation stage, it was an incredibly open and comfortable conversation.
As I mentioned, it was my first time working with an executive search firm, so it was nice to have someone acting as the intermediary between me and the organization.
DRiW: What advice do you have for a nonprofit executive candidate in today’s job market?
KR: I think one of the biggest reflections I had during this process is to really take the time to understand the organization and their goals. That way you can tailor your answers during the interview process to highlight how you can help them achieve their goals. Another piece of advice I would give is to work with an executive search firm like DRiWaterstone. I did my own independent research about the company, but it was so helpful for me to have members of the team provide insight and information. As a “non-traditional” candidate, [the DRiWaterstone team] was able to look at my resume, pull out relevant skills and qualifications, and interview me to see that I would make a good executive candidate—and that really helped. I’m not sure if it would have been the same if only my resume was looked at.
At DRiWaterstone, we have the pleasure of working with some of the best clients and candidates in the non-profit and social impact space. To learn more about how we can help you build high-performance teams and drive growth, email us – we’d love to talk!