Career Opportunities

Executive Director

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is currently seeking its first Executive Director in Iowa to join their growing organization. The position will be based in the Chapter’s Des Moines office and travel locally, statewide, and regionally to cultivate relationships, engage constituents and attend local events and meetings.

The ideal candidate has leadership experience in the non-profit sector, is familiar with Iowa’s geography, culture, and the philanthropic market; has a proven track record in fundraising, is knowledge of Parkinson’s disease and/or chronic illness, the healthcare and social service systems; possess strong relationship-building skills and communications strengths; and the ability to multi-task, deliver exceptional customer service, and utilize keen problem solving and judgment skills.


Founded in 1961, American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is the largest grassroots network dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease. APDA’s mission is to “provide the support, education, and research that will help everyone impacted by Parkinson’s disease live life to the fullest.” It has raised and invested more than $252 million to provide outstanding patient services and educational programs, elevate public awareness about the disease, and support research designed to unlock the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease and ultimately put an end to this disease.

The organization’s 2022-2024 Strategic Plan outlines ambitious targets, including:

  1. Expand constituent-centric, evidence-based, and impactful programs, services, and research that improves quality of life throughout the disease continuum.
  2. Cultivate partnerships and collaborations to expand and elevate mission delivery to meet Parkinson community needs.
  3. Expand reach to under-served, under-studied and under-represented communities to promote health equality and access to care and provide education and support.  


With an office in Des Moines, the Iowa Chapter provides an array of dynamic community-based programs and services in the State and is well-established. Currently, the Chapter has two staff, 18 Board members and annual revenues of $300,000+, the majority of which is raised through events. The Chapter is well poised for explosive growth and seeks its first Executive Director to lead the Chapter team and champion efforts in the Midwest region. 


The Executive Director provides strategic leadership in the Chapter’s chartered territory and is responsible for engaging mission delivery, generating revenue, and maximizing community presence. The Executive Director manages Chapter human and financial resources and creates an atmosphere for volunteers, staff, and stakeholders to succeed in meeting the objectives of APDA’s mission. The Executive Director will accomplish this through the development, implementation and evaluation of all Chapter program and services, event, and operations, and administers APDA policies and procedures necessary to ensure efficient functioning and sustainable growth. The Executive Director reports to a Regional Director and works in conjunction with the Chapter’s Board of Directors and with the support and approval of the APDA President and CEO and/or designee(s).

Strategic Leadership

  • Provides leadership, direction, management and training for chapter volunteers and staff in the development and implementation of the approved Annual Plan and Budget
  • Provides leadership for the cultivation of productive relationships with the various local spheres of influence including media, clinical, corporate, educational, and political leadership.
  • Provides inspired and motivational leadership to the staff and volunteers while encouraging and promoting growth by serving as a visionary.
  • Serves as the primary liaison to the chapter’s Board of Directors and works with the Board Development Committee to identify, cultivate, recruit and train successor leadership to the chapter board and leadership positions.

Fundraising and Marketing

  • Responsible for executing all levels of fundraising including events, grantsmanship, corporate support, and major gifts to achieve the chapter’s annual plan and budget.
  • Establishes an annual revenue plan that represents broad opportunities for donor prospecting, cultivation, acquisition, retention, upgrading, acknowledgement, and recognition.
  • Marshalls the varied talents and resources available to meet and exceed fundraising goals and maximize market penetration.
  • Directs the meaningful involvement of volunteers in fundraising at all levels of income producing activities.
  • Evaluates the income growth potential of all chapter activities and develops appropriate strategies to ensure income stability and growth.
  • Creates and implements an awareness and marketing program to improve APDA’s brand recognition in the local chapter’s territory.

Community Development and Public Outreach

  • Provides leadership, management, and support for the development of mission driven programs (i.e., Support Groups, Patient Services, Public Education Campaigns, etc.)
  • Serves as the primary staff spokesperson to promote the understanding of the APDA mission and presence in the chapter market areas.
  • Cultivates productive relationships with the media and various constituent and related groups including professional, educational, and political leadership.

Finance and Administration

  • Accountable for the development, management, and attainment of the annual budget, and administration of chapter accounting policies, preparation of reports, chapter records, and other documents as requested.
  • Ensures there are no material weaknesses on Chapter Internal Audits
  • Implements the approval process for all contracts and purchases in accordance with APDA operational policies and/or practices.
  • Appraises operating results in terms of costs, approved budget compliance, operating policies, trends, and increased net profit opportunities.
  • Ensures that the policies adopted by APDA through the National Board of Directors are understood and followed by all employees and volunteers.

Liaison with National Home Office

  • Represents the best interests, professionalism, and integrity of APDA in all activities and relationships through a unified message of APDA’s mission and a commitment to organizational standards.
  • Provides leadership in building confidence and a strong working relationship between the chapter office and the national office.
  • Represents APDA at designated functions as an APDA professional and attend meetings as requested.


  • 5-7 years of progressively responsible related experience with a minimum of 4 years in a supervisory capacity
  • Knowledge and skill in nonprofit management with emphasis on proven fund-raising results
  • Proficiency in fiscal management, skilled in exercising sound judgment and must possess good analytical skills.
  • Training and/or experience in community development and strategic planning, ability in volunteer recruitment and development
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to build relationships with all levels of volunteers and staff.
  • Experience with field-based organizations and distance management is preferred.
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office/Outlook and user fluency in fundraising databases (Blackbaud preferred), and web-based platforms such as Constant Contact, WordPress, NetSuite, and Donor Drive.

Minimum Education Level – Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent.  Master’s Degree preferred.

Starting Salary Range: $100,000 – $105,000; annual salary based on background and experience.

Benefits Include:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision on the first day of the month after start date
  • 401K after three months of service (no company match)
  • Life Insurance
  • Pension eligible after one year of service and fully vested after five years of service.
  • HSA & FSA spending accounts available
  • Paid time off in addition to standard holidays

Have we described a role that you have been seeking, along with a set of skills you possess? If so, we’d like to hear from you!

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American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, APDA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, compensation, and training. APDA expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of APDA’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge. APDA will provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities.

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