What Does It Take to be a Successful Interim Executive Director?

Senior Living nonprofit organizations that need an Interim Executive Director are most likely in the midst of change. Interim Executive Directors bring in-depth knowledge of change management principles plus, they’re able to guide staff, board members, donors, and stakeholders through what can be a challenging transition.

A skilled Senior Living Interim Executive Director helps nonprofits avoid business disruption, emerge stronger, and remain fiscally sound. They basically take the helm and steer the organization in the right direction while at the same time, laying the groundwork for the success of the incoming permanent Executive Director.

We are frequently asked about what it takes to be a successful Interim Executive Director. Here are 6 must haves:

  • Previous Executive Director Experience. Having experience as an Executive Director is almost always a prerequisite for interim work. An organization in transition can be in a vulnerable position and guiding it to stability requires a broad skill set and deep experience.
  • Ability to Work with Board Members. The Interim Executive Director will work in conjunction with board members to set a clear strategy that will help guide the organization and prepare for the permanent incoming Executive Director.
  • Possess Excellent Communication Skills. Interim Executive Directors will foster teamwork but may also be the face of the organization in public relations matters.
  • Must Be Compassionate Leader. An Interim Executive Director must build trust and credibility with the team and address their concerns about the direction or change of the organization as well as address staff vacancies in order to put the team at ease.
  • Possess Skills in Management and Transitions. The Interim Executive Director runs the day-to-day operations which includes leading staff, reassuring funders, and keeping finances and revenue generation on track.
  • Demonstrate Know-How to Fund Raise. A successful interim Executive Director has the ability to help the organization get a clear picture of their financial status and direct the organization through fundraising efforts and activities.

Serving as an Interim Executive Director can be very challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Temporarily joining a new organization during a time of great change and organizational stress takes a true leader with unique skill sets.

If you’re looking for a position as an Interim Executive Director or have a need for one, we’re here to help.  MedBest has years of experience in finding the interim right fit!

Read Our Related Blogs:

Is an Interim Career in Senior Living Right For You? 
The Increasing Demand for Interim Executives In Senior Living


Julie Rupenski is the Founder, President & CEO of MedBest, opening the doors in 2001. Since then, Julie has gained national recognition for providing top talent solutions exclusively for the Senior Living Industry. Her specialties include filling C-Suite, Vice President, Regional, and Property level perm positions plus Interim leadership roles including Interim Executive Director,  Interim Nursing Home Director, Interim Assisted Living Administrator, Interim Director of Nursing, Interim Health Services Director, Interim MDS Coordinator, and Interim Resident Care Director. 

Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the Senior Living Industry.  She previously worked in operations for both Senior Housing and Senior Living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie makes it her personal and professional mission to place qualified people in health care positions where they have the greatest impact.

Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.

(Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Oregon Health Care Association, and Virginia Assisted Living Association.)

Contact Julie Rupenski at / 727-526-1294.

interim senior living director of nursingABOUT MEDBEST

MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001.  We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Ask us about our Interim Talent Solutions including: Interim Executive Director, Interim Nursing Home Administrator, Interim Assisted Living Director, Interim Director of Nursing, Interim Resident Care Director, Interim Health Services Director, and Interim MDS Coordinator.

Contact MedBest at 727-526-1294 /


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