Executive Director

Website cafemomentum Café Momentum Pittsburgh

The Organization

Soon to open in Pittsburgh as an innovative nonprofit start-up, Café Momentum will be a 501(c)3 nonprofit restaurant and culinary training facility that provides employment, life skills training, and wraparound care to youth exiting juvenile detention facilities. Established in 2012 in Dallas, Texas, Café Momentum has served more than 1,000 young people through a 12-month paid internship program at the restaurant, coupled with case management and trauma-informed support services. As a young organization focused on changing the way our country thinks about juvenile justice and reentry, Café Momentum provides justice-involved youth with a path to meaningful employment and all-around holistic well-being. They are creating a national conversation around the challenges these young people face, and building a coalition of partners dedicated to meaningfully changing the system. Café Momentum’s parent group, the Momentum Advisory Collective, is now expanding the Café Momentum model nationwide, opening its second and third locations in Pittsburgh and Nashville in 2022.

  • Mission: To build clear pathways out of incarceration so today’s justice-involved youth have access to resources, opportunity, and trauma-informed support such that they and their future generations can thrive, not just survive.
  • Vision: We envision a country where the basic and socioemotional needs of our youth are met; a country that understands that justice-involved youth often lack resources, have experienced trauma and require holistic support; a country whose communities come together to support this vision.

Café Momentum Pittsburgh will serve youth through the following core programs:

  • Restaurant: Equal parts dining room and classroom, the restaurant located in Downtown Pittsburgh will be open to the public as well as special events for donors and community partners. Students will work their way through all areas of the restaurant during their 12-month paid internship, including culinary skills, table service, hosting, and catering. Menu concepts are built to meet the expressed interest of the community served and will be regionally inspired, featuring produce and ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors.
  • Community Services Center: Co-located next-door to the restaurant, the community services center will be staffed by case managers providing an ecosystem of support throughout the student’s internship and following their graduation. Services will include assistance with basic food and housing needs; no-cost healthcare; mental health counseling; re-enrollment in an accredited education program; financial literacy training; parenting classes; educational assistance; and career exploration.
  • Pop-Up Dinners: These special dining experiences introduce the Café Momentum program to new communities and audiences. Designed to open hearts and minds while starting important conversations about the Momentum model, they also provide youth with opportunities to begin training and benefitting from services prior to a restaurant’s official launch date. The events highlight the resilience of our youth, the outcomes of our work, Momentum’s projected impact on the community, and our vision for systemic change.

For more information about the organization, please visit the Cafe Momentum website. 

Position Overview

Café Momentum Pittsburgh’s parent group, the Momentum Advisory Collective (MAC), has secured seed funding and a brick-and-mortar location for the Pittsburgh location and now seeks the right leader to lead their expansion into the Pittsburgh community. The Executive Director will serve as the first employee of Café Momentum Pittsburgh and will build a restaurant and community services center that provides employment, life skills training, and wraparound care to juvenile justice system-involved youth. The new Executive Director will play a key role in forming a board, building a team, and creating partnerships with philanthropic, community, and justice system partners. The candidate will be highly visionary and entrepreneurial, equally energized to build and refine operational structures as well as to provide trauma-informed, compassionate care for vulnerable youth populations.

An experienced nonprofit leader, the Executive Director is responsible for setting a strategy that models MAC’s core values. They will direct initiatives aligned with MAC’s mission and vision, meeting the needs of youth participants, employees, donors, and communities. The ideal candidate is a compelling advocate who is motivated by community and willing to take chances, with a focus on innovation in driving lasting change. They will speak candidly and work collaboratively, making recommendations to the MAC team and Pittsburgh Board of Directors that result in effective programs with a sustainable impact.

The Executive Director will be a key member of the senior management team, reporting to MAC’s Founder/CEO and the Pittsburgh Board of Directors. They will have the opportunity to recruit and build a team of restaurant operations and case management personnel and will manage an annual budget of approximately $2.3 million.

The Executive Director will perform the following duties and will work in accordance with the policies and goals established by the Momentum Advisory Collective:

People Leadership and Start-Up Operations

  • Build and maintain an innovative, safe, and effective organization modeled after Café Momentum’s flagship Dallas location.
  • Develop, engage, and support an active, diverse Board of Directors and committees.
  • Build and lead an excellent and diverse Pittsburgh team, promoting team cohesiveness by establishing, communicating, and reinforcing shared values and organizational cultural norms that build and improve working relationships.
  • Supervise the opening of the restaurant and community center and the ongoing responsibilities of managing the programs to include staffing, inventory, and overall operations, in partnership with program professionals.
  • Authorize key decision-making activities and the implementation of approved financial and operational strategies, ensuring all tactical initiatives align and result in optimal performance.
  • Manage budgeting processes, including creation of the annual budget and the consistent delivery of financial information to the Board through accurate reporting.
  • Manage costs by continually seeking data that identifies opportunities and eliminates non-value-add costs.

Youth Advocacy and Community Partnerships

  • Maintain awareness of the latest news, events, legislation, best practices, and procedures impacting the criminal justice and juvenile justice sectors.
  • Develop strong partnerships with peer organizations in the justice-involved youth space.
  • Create referral pipelines for recruiting justice-involved youth into the program.
  • Model an approach to youth service delivery rooted in compassion and trauma-informed care.
  • Engage local and state level partners in advocacy and external communications initiatives designed to elevate awareness of Café Momentum’s work and broaden its reach and impact.

Revenue Generation and Public Relations

  • Ensure the financial sustainability of the Pittsburgh location through effective revenue generation strategy and donor cultivation.
  • Oversee and approve overall budgetary commitments and provide guidance for multiple revenue streams and financial avenues.
  • Act as the primary spokesperson for the organization by communicating the vision, mission, strategic goals, and messages to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Build and expand relationships with individual, corporate, and government funders to carry out organizational objectives at local and state levels.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Executive Director will be an excellent relationship builder, team leader, and champion for justice-involved youth. All candidates should have senior leadership experience, exceptional revenue generation and relationship management skills, as well as a proven ability to connect a high-level vision to execution at the ground level.

Demonstrable experience, competencies, and qualifications include:

  • Passion for and commitment to the Café Momentum mission and vision.
  • Knowledge of, or interest in, the criminal justice sector including federal, state, and local regulations.
  • An action-oriented and entrepreneurial visionary with an innovative approach to strategic planning.
  • A self-starter who has the ability to work both as a part of a remote team and independently.
  • Excellent organizational management skills with the ability to coach and develop staff to set and achieve strategic objectives.
  • Experience working with and engaging boards of directors.
  • Previous experience serving justice-involved youth or other marginalized populations.
  • Knowledge of trauma-informed care.
  • A working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Ability to model leadership through a hands-on approach and consistent on-site presence.
  • Adaptable and comfortable working in dynamic start-up climates, where last-minute pivots may sometimes be required to meet the evolving needs of the growing organization.
  • Senior-level experience in an organization with a comparable budget, size, and complexity in operations.
  • Successful operations management and administration experience.
  • Previous financial management responsibility of an organization (i.e. developing budgets, creating financial reports, reporting financial health to the board).
  • Public speaking and excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, with the ability to serve as a strong external spokesperson for an organization.

Performance Objectives

In the first six months, the new Executive Director is expected to deliver outstanding outcomes while successfully completing the following objectives:

  • Complete training and shadowing on-site at Café Momentum Dallas.
  • Recruit and onboard a Pittsburgh Board of Directors.
  • Recruit and onboard personnel for both the restaurant and community service center arms of the organization.
  • Launch an effective restaurant and community service center with progress towards the goal of serving 60-80 youth in year one, then 120-150 in following years.


This position offers a competitive salary in the $100,000 – $125,000 range and a traditional benefits package found with other nonprofit organizations of similar size, scope, and scale.

DEI Imperative

Momentum Advisory Collective seeks to recruit candidates for employment that represent our diverse community in race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and ability. Inclusive and equitable in our recruitment and retention practices, we are dedicated to uplifting and learning from diverse voices and backgrounds in order to grow and evolve as a welcoming workplace for all. MAC is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Momentum Advisory Collective has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational milestone. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Michelle@NonprofitTalent.com. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact MAC.

Resume, position-specific cover letter, and salary expectations uploaded here:



To apply for this job please visit nonprofittalent.applytojob.com.