Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

Travis Mills Foundation Seeks Executive Director

Friday, January 31, 2020

The board of directors of the Travis Mills Foundation (TMF) seeks a new executive director to advance the organization’s powerful mission: supporting post-9/11 recalibrated veterans and their families through long-term programs that help these heroic men and women overcome physical obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation. At the center of the foundation’s work is a nationally recognized retreat in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. Veteran families who have been injured in active duty or as a result of their national service receive an all-inclusive, all-expenses-paid, barrier-free vacation at this beautiful facility where they participate in adaptive activities, bond with other veteran families, and enjoy Maine’s great outdoors.

The foundation’s new executive director will lead the organization beyond the successful start-up phase to extend its reach and deepen its impact.

Organizational Overview

Conceived in 2013, the Travis Mills Foundation has grown with the speed, determination and focus that have characterized the extraordinary life of its founder. On April 10, 2012, United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. It is a tribute to his personal strength and the quality of care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that Travis started walking again in less than three months; and from those early days in his recovery and rehabilitation, other recalibrated warriors recognized him as a mentor and leader.

Travis and his family left Walter Reed at the end of 2013, and just over a year later, their new foundation purchased the historic Maine Chance Lodge, originally built in 1929 by cosmetics pioneer Elizabeth Arden. With the generous support of donors, mission-aligned businesses and other organizations, and a dedicated corps of volunteers, the foundation renovated the lodge to create a fully accessible retreat for combat-injured veterans and their families. The Travis Mills Foundation Veteran Family Retreat opened in 2017, and to date, it has proudly served 210 families from 46 states.

In an effort to meet the needs of more recalibrated veteran families and to operate the facility year-round for 40 weeks of the year, the TMF will break ground on a new Health and Wellness Center this fall. The 9,800-square-foot facility will house an indoor pool and fitness center that promote health and wellness year-round and will benefit veteran families during and after the retreat program.

The foundation is committed to:

• Providing the best retreat program in the world and a continuum of care that goes beyond the grounds of the retreat
• Identifying ways to serve those with invisible wounds of war
• Doing what it does best and partnering with the rest
• Maintaining its first-class reputation and protecting donors’ investment
• Identifying opportunities for everyone to grow personally and professionally
• Remaining a family-focused organization for all stakeholders

The foundation’s annual operating budget is approximately $1 million, and it has a full-time staff of nine. Additional information about TMF can be found at

Position Requirements

Great organizations are made of great people. At the Travis Mills Foundation, supporting combat-injured veterans and their families is a passion for every employee and volunteer. Together, the team has advanced the foundation’s mission while establishing a strong culture that values commitment, dedication, creative solutions and results. A comprehensive set of skills and abilities is required to maintain allegiance to these values and to lead the TMF during this exciting period of growth.

The foundation’s next executive director will oversee operations, program design and implementation, financial management, marketing, communications and public relations; and fundraising and relationship development will be core responsibilities. Travel will be required, including overnight stays, approximately once or twice per month.

We expect that the successful candidate will be highly engaging, articulate and energetic, bringing the following to the role:

• Strong track record of organizational leadership
• Passion for the TMF’s mission and a personal connection to military service and sacrifice
• Collaborative leadership style
• Experience building effective relationships and enduring partnerships
• Demonstrated strength in developing and executing a multifaceted fundraising strategy
• Exceptional public speaking skills and a high degree of comfort with various constituencies in one-on-one interactions and large-group settings
• Confidence, optimism, warmth and a sense of humor
• Ability to think outside the box while maintaining strategic focus


The TMF’s new executive director will earn a comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience. This position reports directly to the board of directors.


The TMF does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, national origin, ancestry, public assistance, ethnic background, religion, marital status, economic class, age, disability or handicap (mental or physical), sex, creed, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and any other legally protected characteristics in admission or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment. The foundation complies with all applicable national, state and local laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity and will take “affirmative action” measures to ensure the enforcement of its policies.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following address: The cover letter and resume should contain detailed information concerning work experience, past successes, leadership experience and qualifications. Please be prepared to provide contact information for professional references upon request.

Paper copies may be sent to Lisa Belyea, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow Street, Suite 4, Bangor, ME 04401, but electronic submission of materials is preferred. No phone inquiries, please. Review of applications will begin on February 25, 2020.

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