Founded in 2003, Bright Star Schools continuously redefines what is possible for students, families and the public education system at large. Bright Star’s vision is for every student in Los Angeles to have equitable access to a school that delivers an exceptional, college-ready education. With 9 schools in operation, currently serving over 3,500 students throughout three distinct communities in Los Angeles, Bright Star is living proof that different outcomes are possible when students from underserved communities are given access to high-quality educational opportunities. Bright Star provides its students with a tuition-free, high-quality education that prepares them to compete in the global marketplace and give back to their communities. Through enrichment opportunities, extracurricular activities, and student and family services, Bright Star educates the entire child.
Bright Star has an annual operating budget of approximately $67M that is expected to grow to over $75M over the next 4 years, and currently employs over 500 employees. Bright Star relies primarily on state and federal funding for its operating budget as well as contributions from private donations.
Bright Star seeks a Chief Business Officer (CBO) to lead financial operations and oversee the accounting team. In addition the CBO will oversee the outreach and enrollment team – which manages the recruitment and enrollment of Bright Star’s students. They will also manage the facilities team, which is responsible for identifying, acquiring, building, and renovating our school facilities, and manage a number of strategic consultants and advisors. Currently all 9 of Bright Star’s schools are either in a permanent facility or on a pathway to a permanent facility in the next 3-5 years.
The successful candidate will ensure that Bright Star maintains a culture that puts students first and ensures outstanding service to our schools. They will combine a capacity for systems-level and strategic thinking, careful attention to detail, and strong interpersonal skills in building relationships with critical internal and external stakeholders.
Organizational Leadership & Strategy
● As a member of Bright Star’s Executive Leadership Team, serve as a strategic advisor and thought partner to the Executive Director (ED) and other senior leaders, working to achieve Bright Star’s mission.
● Lead and implement Bright Star’s short and long-range strategic planning efforts and maintain the multi-year financial model. In partnership with the ED, leadership team, and members of the Bright Star Schools Board of Directors, set financial targets to ensure strong financial health and financial sustainability.
● Maintain a close working relationship with members of the School Support Team (Bright Star’s central office support team); provide support to school leadership and campus staff, emphasizing a culture of excellent customer service.
● In collaboration with the ED, lead finance committee meetings of Bright Star Schools; make presentations to the board on monthly financials or pending facility projects. ● Serve as an ambassador of Bright Star internally and externally – communicate proactively, knowledgeably and passionately about Bright Star’s mission.
● In collaboration with the ED and strategy personnel, build and provide oversight for an advancement strategy with individual donors, granting partners, etc.; help coordinate advocacy efforts for Bright Star Schools.
● Provide leadership and direction on all aspects of finance, including budgeting, forecasting, long-term planning, capital planning, financial reporting and analysis, accounting, cash flow planning, investment management, grants management and risk management.
● Develop and lead the budgeting process for Bright Star schools and School Support Team departments; meet regularly with the leadership team and school leaders to review financial information and help build their business acumen.
● Maintain and document sound financial policies, procedures, systems, and controls and ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws; ensure clean audits. ● In collaboration with the ED, ensure Bright Star secures the equity and debt financing necessary to fuel its next phase of facilities projects. Work with local financial institutions, lead financing negotiations, and work in close collaboration with facilities personnel and consultants on the design and construction of facilities projects.
● Oversee the Accounting team and ensure fluid communication with finance and accounting functions
● Help to acquire, finance and project manage facility projects; oversee Proposition 39 application process, as needed.
● Work with realtors to help identify short and long-term properties that can accommodate schools in the Bright Star Network.
● Ensure that all facilities are in compliance with local, state, federal, and district rules and regulations and ensure that all renovations to buildings are completed with fidelity.
● Oversee and manage Bright Star’s outreach and enrollment efforts.
● Ensure that each Bright Star school has an enrollment plan that takes into account historical enrollment trends, facility capacity, budget requirements, and school program requirements.
● Serve as an exceptional role model and directly manage a team of three direct reports, including a VP of Finance & Facilities, Controller, and Sr Director of Outreach and Engagement. Oversee hiring, on-boarding, management, and evaluation of the team.
● Build a strong team culture that incorporates a strong customer service orientation into all aspects of the team’s work.
Successful candidates must be a steadfast believer that all students can achieve academic excellence, regardless of their background. In addition, strong candidates will have:
● Over ten years of progressive team leadership experience managing finance and accounting; California charter school finance/accounting background is a plus
● Strong financial management skills and business acumen; demonstrated ability in budgeting, financial analysis and financial modeling
● Experience with bond and other debt financing preferred
● Successful track record of leading and developing high-performing teams committed to the mission and goals of the organization, with the ability to foster trust and collaboration among team members
● Demonstrated success developing, managing, cultivating, and leveraging strong interpersonal relationships and partnerships across all levels of an organization ● Inspirational and empathetic individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values, treating others with respect, and having a demonstrated record of supporting and driving initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
● A demonstrated ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment, lead multiple projects, problem solve and meet concurrent deadlines
● Bachelor’s degree required, with a strong preference in finance, accounting or related field; advanced degree in a related field, MBA and/or CPA strongly preferred.
COMMITMENT AND COMPENSATION
Compensation commensurate with experience. Bright Star offers a friendly and committed team of colleagues, and a comprehensive benefits plan including medical, dental, vision, life and disability, plus supplemental policies, and retirement programs, including a 403(b) plan with employer match. Bright Star is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, pregnancy or veteran status.
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