Organization: Genesys Works Twin Cities
Position: Executive Director

Ballinger Leafblad is pleased to conduct the search for a new Executive Director at Genesys Works-Twin Cities in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


Genesys Works is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building bridges between economically disadvantaged high school students and businesses seeking technology-proficient workers by helping to produce high-quality, market-ready graduates.


Genesys Works was founded in 2002 in Houston with the mission to enable economically disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing them the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals. Since then, Genesys Works has an impressive and proven track record of success with 90% of their program graduates going on to enroll in college. Genesys Works operates in Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; New York City, NY; San Francisco, California and Washington, DC.

Genesys Works–Twin Cities (GWTC) was created in 2008 with a mission is to provide pathways to career success for young adults in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships.

Two of the most critical and challenging milestones facing youth in Minnesota are the transition from high school to college, and from college to entry-level employment. For students of color and students in low-income households, those milestones not only feel challenging, they may feel impossible. While 88% of white Minnesotans graduated high school on time in 2018, just 51% of American Indian students, 67% of Hispanic students, and 67% of black students graduated on time.

This educational achievement gap has serious long-term consequences, because even as public schools lack the resources to position students for college and career success, the demand for workers with a college degree and professional skills has never been higher. To be competitive for these positions, individuals must not only have a postsecondary credential, but also skills and work experience. Studies show that recent graduates who had a relevant internship in college are two times more likely to have a job offer immediately after graduating.

Genesys Works face these challenges head-on with programs that have a proven track record of closing this achievement gap. Over the past 12 years, Genesys Works Twin Cities has provided opportunities for driven, low-income, youth of color through educational and financial literacy support, hands-on training, and paid professional experience in business and technology.


We envision a future when all young adults are equipped and empowered with the knowledge and skills required to achieve career success and a lifetime of economic self-sufficiency and upward mobility.


Provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships.


Genesys Works collaborates with Twin Cities-area public schools, leading corporations, and other youth development organizations on both a local and national scale to leverage available resources while maximizing impact in the community.

The organization maintains informal partnerships with public schools in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and first-tier suburbs, including Richfield, Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Robbinsdale, and others to provide relevant, real-world educational opportunities that motivate high school students to graduate and enroll in college. To recruit the targeted populations for the program, self-nominated Genesys Works champions within the school system are critical partners. These are typically principals, counselors, career center staff or work-based learning teachers. Partnerships with these champions is bolstered by a common goal of creating a high school culture focused on college and career readiness and success. Thus far, this system has produced meaningful collaborations and relationships with many long-term partners who work with the organization year after year.

Beyond the primary partnerships, other Twin Cities organizations work with high schools and employers to provide youth employment and career readiness programs.

As the impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, we are heartened by the fact that this new economic reality will rely heavily on technology, a core competency of every Genesys Works Twin Cities young professional. Regardless of industry, technology is embedded in all aspects of industry. We look forward to continuing to reduce disparities in the Minnesota STEM workforce, focusing on opening the doors to opportunities for our diverse and talented young professionals — right here in our neighborhoods.

Genesys Works Twin Cities is a unique organization among our peers in respect to the pipeline of services that we are able to provide for our students, the quality of programming, and the recognized reputation of our results. Students can rely on always having a touchstone at Genesys Works, with dedicated program coordinators who support them in each step of the programming, from reviewing their financial aid options at their top college choice to navigating their chosen postsecondary path. This support continues throughout their years of college, ensuring college completion as a cornerstone of the lasting impact we aim to have on our students.

We have also added a Talent Development Pipeline to help ensure students pursuing technology careers are able to make the jump from post-secondary training to professional career. The results of the Genesys Works programs are truly transformational:

  • Since 2002, 100% of our students graduated from high school, 100% of our students applied for and were accepted into at least one college, 90% enrolled in college immediately following high school, and 71% graduated with a 2- or 4- year degree or are still enrolled in college
  • Our students earned college degrees at a rate 3.5-times greater than their peer group.
  • The median income of employed alumni at age 24 is $45–50K; 46% of program alumni earn the same or more than at least one parent; and, 23% earn more than both parents combined.



Over the past twelve years, Genesys Works–Twin Cities has significantly expanded partnerships with corporate and private sector employers, growing from 7 corporate partners in 2008 to 60 partners in 2020. The corporate partnerships are based on a written services agreement, with students serving as paid contractors for the duration of the internship. Service agreements are secured by recruiting in the Chief Information Officer (CIO) community; then, workplace champions (similar to school champions) find the right positions, tasks, projects, and supervisors to give students a meaningful hands-on experience they can draw upon for future career success.

With a focus on information technology, students are trained to excel in their jobs. Students selected for the program are taught technical and professional skills in the information technology (IT) field and then hired by Genesys Works as young professionals. They are then engaged to work in the IT departments of client companies where they work as contract technicians each day during their senior year.

Genesys Works’ young professionals provide various services to client companies via Informational Technology and Business Operations internship roles.


Reporting to the Board of Directors and working collaboratively with the National Office of Genesys Works, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for implementing the Genesys Works business model in the Twin Cities. Specifically, the Executive Director is responsible for growing and executing the program; developing, coaching, and managing the professional staff; and establishing authentic, genuine, and commercially relevant relationships with corporate partners and donors. This position is open due to the departure of Karen Marben. After five years in the role she has taken a new position with Goodwill of Southern Nevada as Chief Mission Services Officer.

Essential Responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Create a bold and compelling vision and strategy for the organization while building a positive, inclusive work environment that attracts, inspires, and retains staff.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain Genesys Works Twin Cities’ high-performance leadership team.
  • Manage a diverse and inclusive Board of Directors representative of the community, that is highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board of Directors and National Office, ensuring open communication of financial, program, and community impact performance against agreed milestones and goals.

Sales and Resource Development

  • Be the primary face of Genesys Works Twin Cities to the market, advocating for the students served in the community.
  • Develop relationships with senior leaders of local schools and school districts to align the Genesys Works program with incumbent career readiness initiatives.
  • Develop and commercialize relationships with executives and decision makers at Fortune 500 companies to secure work placements for students.
  • Grow the organization’s sustainable business model by increasing both annual giving and long-term capital funding

Collaboration with National Office

Ensure that Genesys Works Twin Cities complies with and effectively leverages the National Shared Standards across all functional areas including program execution; finance, planning, and accounting; corporate partnerships; philanthropic development; human resources; marketing and communications; and legal and compliance.

Management Responsibilities

The Executive Director oversees the staff and activities of all of the business functions of Genesys Works Twin Cities. A total of 36 professional staff work in the organization. The executive leadership team reporting directly to the Executive Director is comprised of four direct reports.


  • Passion for the mission of Genesys Works and making a difference in the lives of students from underserved communities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and lived experience around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Proven leadership and relationship management experience.
  • BA degree, advanced degree preferred, with 7-10 years of senior management experience in either the private sector or not-for-profit space or both (preferable).
  • Track record of effectively leading and scaling a performance and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Excellence in organizational management with ability to coach staff, manage, and develop/change culture of high-performing teams; set and achieve strategic objectives; and manage a budget.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing and new board member relationships.
  • Strong marketing, sales, and fundraising experience with the ability to effectively engage a wide range of cross-cultural stakeholders.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable and innovative approach to business planning and execution.
  • Passion, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Legally authorized to work in the United States

Compensation and Benefits

The base salary range for this position is $170,000 – $195,000 and includes participation in the organization’s benefits plan.

View complete profile:

For additional information and to apply for the position please contact:

Lars Leafblad, MBA


Marcia Ballinger, PhD