Highbanks Society

Calgary, Alberta


About the Organization – Highbanks Society

Highbanks Society (‘Highbanks’) is a highly successful and innovative local non-profit organization based in the northwest Calgary community of West Hillhurst. It was founded 20 years ago in response to an identified need for safe, affordable, centrally located long-term housing for parenting youth and their children in the City of Calgary. Since then more than 125 young mother-led families have called Highbanks home.

Unsupported young mothers and their children are especially vulnerable to the cycle of poverty and homelessness. By providing housing and support, Highbanks assists in interrupting this cycle and helps young mothers to reach their full potential.

The Highbanks program sets itself  apart with an established housing model that addresses the need for long-term, safe, and affordable housing. Highbanks seeks to provide security, stability and eliminate any barriers to growth for pregnant or parenting women between 16-24 years of age. While young mothers are required to to attend school full-time, Highbanks individualized planning and goal setting helps their clients/residents visualize and achieve a future of safety, security, joy and contribution.

Highbanks provides a safe, affordable home and a nurturing community where young single mothers and their children can learn and grow. Highbanks teaches valuable parenting and life skills to empower young women and develop healthy children. The organization’s long-term support and education for young moms increases their confidence, independence and participation in the community.

Examples of positive outcomes include 96% indicating that Highbanks made their lives more stable, 88% of alumni graduating high school, 64% of alumni paying market rent and 24% owning their own home. Highbanks alumni have developed careers as nurses, social workers and entrepreneurs.

Over the past 2 years Highbanks has doubled the number of directly-supported concurrent mother-led families from 8 to 16.


About the Opportunity – Executive Director

This is an outstanding opportunity to contribute to the success of a unique and highly effective organization.

Highbanks’ Executive Director leads the organization in achieving the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors. This is accomplished through the delivery of programs, services, and initiatives that support Highbanks mission (‘To provide affordable housing and a nurturing community where young families can learn and grow.’) and vision (‘Educated, confident and self-sufficient parents raising healthy, happy children.’). The Executive Director displays Highbanks’ values of Discovery, Life Skills, Connection, Empowerment and Love while demonstrating a Commitment to Truth & Reconciliation.

The Executive Director stewards the organization’s resources to support the 4 key strategic priorities:

  1. Excellent Programming Support
  2. Financial & Operational Management
  3. Powerful Communications & Awareness
  4. Extending Our Impact (Growth)

Leveraging the skills of the team, the Executive Director is responsible for Highbanks’ leadership and operations, which include program planning & management, human resources, financial management, community relations / advocacy and risk management.

The Executive Director role reports to the Board of Directors.  The role currently has the following direct reports: Program Manager, Communications Specialist, and Office Administrator. A contract Psychologist also works on-site.

This position is based in Highbanks’ Calgary residences/office in West Hillhurst.

The Ideal Candidate

As an ideal candidate you’re a LEADER and BUILDER of grass-roots NFPs who will continue Highbanks successes and accelerate the organization’s impact on the community (including fund raising programs). You’re passionate about lifting up marginalized populations and teaching them how to support themselves and their families. You’re ready to fully understand the challenge of young, mother-led families, where Highbanks has gone in the past and where it needs to go now. As an articulate COMMUNICATOR, you’re ready to jump in and build relationships with key stakeholders (applicants, client families, staff, volunteers, donors, neighbours, commercial tenants, community partners) and then pull them together to align their efforts. You make efforts to embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and the path forward laid out by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

As a deft MANAGER of people, finances and assets, you’re poised to energize Highbanks staff and organization to execute its plans. As a DO-ER that consistently FOLLOWS THROUGH on commitments, you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and personally address items (Highbanks is a very lean organization). You’re a COMPASSIONATE and NURTURING ‘parent figure’ and mentor who seeks to understand and support Highbanks client families while demonstrating traits such as SELF-REGULATION in a dynamic (sometimes chaotic! … but generally cheerful with loads of laughter) environment. You’ll ensure our mothers are ‘heard’ and empowered and ensure that the entire team does the same.

As a LIFE-LONG LEARNER, you’ll bring fresh perspectives, sophistication, and innovation to the organization. And you’ll act with the utmost integrity and put the best interests of the client families and organization at the forefront of everything you do.

Responsibilities & Accountabilities

The Executive Director is the senior leader and public face of Highbanks overseeing the operations of the organization. The Executive Director provides effective advice and support to the Highbanks Board of Directors in developing and implementing strategies that address the unique challenges of Highbanks mother-led families. The Executive Director is accountable for providing effective leadership to Highbanks staff and leads the execution of Highbanks Strategic Plan.

The key responsibilities and accountabilities of Highbanks Executive Director are:

Board Support and Strategic Direction

  • The Executive Director works collaboratively with the Chair and Board to develop overall policy for the organization and set and implement strategic direction. The Executive Director provides information to, and communicates, with the Board on the current status of internal and external issues affecting Highbanks.
  • Develop programs and services that work toward Highbanks vision.
  • Develop strategies, including innovative new approaches, to accelerate Highbanks impact on the community.
  • Deliver Highbanks strategic/operational/financial reporting to the CCH Board regularly and as requested.
  • Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure/report on Highbanks’ progress towards desired outcomes.

External Relations

  • As the chief representative, spokesperson and ambassador of the organization to all external constituencies, including community partners and funding sources, the Executive Director educates, inspires and motivates stakeholders about the organization’s mission, vision and programs.
  • Be a champion for Highbanks. Understand the past, current-state and trends impacting Calgary’s mother-led family’s housing challenges. Become the ‘go-to’ resource for communicating the community’s challenges and Highbanks’ strategies.

Fund Development

  • Takes the lead on fundraising and, as appropriate, collaborates and works closely with the Board with respect to donor cultivation and solicitation efforts;
  • Develop strategies and targets for the annual fund development plan;
  • Develop an ongoing relationship development plan for existing and potential donors & funders;
  • Prepare grant applications for various funding sources.

Financial Management

  • Prepare and present Highbanks’ annual operating budget to the Board for approval.
  • Monitor Highbanks budget and manage all Highbanks financial affairs and assets; in all instances acting with due diligence and prudence.
  • Ensure that operating results established in the annual budget are achieved and controls and oversees the operating expenses to ensure that they are within budget.
  • Ensure accuracy and timeliness of the complete financial, statistical, and accounting records and reporting of the organization.


  • Provide leadership and coaching to Highbank’ team to support the delivery of their accountabilities;
  • Effectively supervise and mentor Highbanks employees and create a positive and collaborative working environment and ensure a spirit of continuous improvement;
  • Administer all approved employment policies;
  • Provide effective direction and feedback to Highbanks staff and further develop and foster a culture of positivity, responsibility, teamwork, innovation, courage, and urgency;
  • The Executive Director has authority to recruit, retain, employ, appoint, discipline, suspend and dismiss all employees of Highbanks;
  • Exhibit a high level of personal and professional integrity;
  • Ensures compliance to standards in accordance with government legislation, regulations & guidelines pertinent to the organization’s role as an employer & non-profit entity;
  • Maintain administrative policies and ensures adherence by staff to all internal policies;
  • Maintain an effective and cost-efficient office environment;
  • Determine staff training and/or equipment needs of team members, taking into account annual budget allocations;
  • Submit all information, reports and records, as requested or required by law, to appropriate government entities;
  • Develop and implement operational plans, policies, and goals that further strategic objectives; and
  • Managing contracts with service providers, suppliers and commercial tenants.

Program Delivery

  • Work closely with Highbanks Program Manager to monitor and evaluate existing program goals;
  • Work closely with Highbanks Program Manager to facilitate the research, planning, development and implementation of new programs, services and business enterprises.

Education & Experience

  • University degree in a related discipline, or equivalent relevant experience such as affordable housing, social work, NFPs etc.;
  • Minimum three years’ experience in a senior management position in a NFP environment;
  • Demonstrated experience working with a Board of Directors;
  • Ability to articulate and create alignment around a vision and mission;
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills;
  • Proficient computer-based skills;
  • Financial management expertise related to small business enterprises or NFPs;
  • Proven track record of successful NFP fund development;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders from across all sectors including government, business, community, and NFP;
  • Executive-level leadership, critical thinking, conflict resolution, negotiation, problem-solving skills;
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully managing and leading people;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to inspire a team; and
  • Demonstrated capacity in working with ambiguity.


We acknowledge that we live, work, & play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), & all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

Equal Opportunity

Highbanks is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognizes that a diverse staff benefits and enriches the work environment and contributes to organizational excellence. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals including candidates from diverse backgrounds and those with disabilities. With a significant proportion of indigenous client families, Highbanks is fully committed to the Truth & Reconciliation journey.


Compensation will be commensurate upon experience and skills consisting of an annual salary plus a benefits package. While the Executive Director role is a full-time position based on a regular work week, hours of work and schedules may vary. Professional development and continued education are supported. A condition of employment will be a clear criminal records check. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.


In compliance and consistent with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), HumanEdge shall respect the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information provided directly or indirectly verbally, electronically or in print throughout the process of candidate engagement in our search assignments.

Are You An Ideal Candidate?

To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please reference “Executive Director – Highbanks Society” in the Subject line of your email and forward a cover letter and PDF version of your resume to mark@humanedgeglobal.com so that we can identify the opportunity and confirm receipt.

Only those candidates meeting the selection criteria (for a screening interview) established by Highbanks Society will be contacted further.