REPORTS TO: Board of Directors

LOCATION: Fort Collins, Colorado

TO APPLY: Submit resume and cover letter by October 3, 2021 to searchcommittee@wordpress-720709-2430876.cloudwaysapps.com

DOWNLOAD THIS POSITION DESCRIPTION:  No Barriers Executive Director Opening



To unleash the potential of the human spirit


To help people from all walks of life break through barriers, unleash their potential and have a positive impact on the world.



Group of Kids in Cloud ForestAt our core, humans all crave purpose. Yet, every day we face challenges. Only some of us have a trail map to navigate the barriers between our idealistic aspirations and our potential.  As a result, many give up and lose hope. Others settle at a place far short of their dreams. Only some of us continue to climb towards those things we know in our hearts to be truly possible.  The end result is that we are failing to activate the full capacity of civilization to create the brightest future possible.  No Barriers serves as a catalyst to activate human potential, providing a roadmap to help people who struggle break through the adversities that they face.

We are building a movement that will become a global community united by a belief in our ability to break through barriers, unleash individual and collective potential and have a positive impact on the world.  We will be a top leader in providing cutting edge, high quality and proven transformational programming.  The barometer of our success will be our ability to change individuals’ lives.   Relationships and community will be the human thread that transcend all that we do.  Our scalable model and approach will be sought domestically and internationally.  We will have an effective, financially sustainable model allowing for advance planning, creative innovation, and excellence.  We will become a role model for a successful modern workplace that prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and unleashes each team member’s potential to contribute their absolute best to the organization and the world.


Through transformative online and in-person experiences, tools and inspiration, we help people tap into their inner hope, optimism and resilience.  In the process, we foster a community of curious, brave and collaborative explorers who are determined to live the No Barriers Life.  We have a proven ability to transform people’s lives, create community and share powerful stories.  95% of the participants in our transformative programs agree with the statement, “This program changed my life.”  Our participants exhibit statistically significant growth across all of our No Barriers Life Learning elements, from an ability to create a personal vision to a belief that they have the agency to make change in the world.  96% of participants commit to reaching their full potential at the conclusion of their programs.  95% believe that what’s within them is stronger than what’s in their way more than a year after programming.  But proven individual impact is only the beginning.  We know that individuals need strong rope teams to guide them.   We build and foster those teams so that they can support each other.  Finally, our powerful stories resonate with hundreds of millions of people, inspiring them to tap into their No Barriers spirit.

Woman using adaptive climbing equipment on rock climbing wall.WHO WE SERVE

We serve tens of thousands of people annually through direct programming, reaching hundreds of millions of people through our stories and live streaming events.  Though our No Barriers Life Framework is valuable to all humanity, we currently focus our efforts primarily on the 100 million people with disabilities and caregivers in the United States.  This includes programs for veterans with disabilities, part- and full-time caregivers, people with mild to severe physical disabilities and people with mild cognitive disabilities.  We also serve middle school students and teachers who face significant and persistent challenges that hold them back from reaching their full potential.  Whether you have a disability, are faced with discrimination, have lost a loved one, or are struggling with illness, No Barriers is here to support you. 

For a Deeper Understanding of Our Mission

Check out our website at www.nobarriersusa.org and our social channels @nobarrierusa on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.  Over our twenty year history, we have produced many terrific stories about our mission.  Here are just a few.

Picture of book cover with #1 Amazon BestsellerWhat’s Within You: Your Roadmap To Living Life with No Barriers: Our 2020 bestselling book about our No Barriers Life Philosophy and how to apply it to your own life.

From My Window: Our 2020 award-winning feature short film showcasing our work with brand ambassador Melissa Simpson.

What’s Your Everest?: A story about one of our annual events that is designed to challenge people to tackle their biggest barriers head-on.

The Weight of Water:  The 2018 Banff Film Festival Grand Prize winning film about our co-founder Erik Weihenmayer’s epic adventure down the Grand Canyon.  Purchase the best-selling book about the experience here: No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

High Ground: Our award-winning feature film about our inaugural program for veterans with disabilities that launched our decade-long commitment to serving this population.



Now, more than ever, the world needs to believe our No Barriers motto, What’s Within You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way.  We are at an exciting moment in our nearly twenty year history and we seek a leader who can help us write the next chapter of our evolution into a growing No Barriers movement.  

Prior to 2020, we were primarily an in-person experiential programming organization providing retreats, conferences, expeditions and more for the many populations that we served.  Like many nonprofits, we cancelled our in-person programming for 2020 and most of 2021.  As a result, we made the tough decision to cut staff as we weathered the storm of decreased programming and revenue for the organization. 

Meanwhile, we channeled all of our energy into building our virtual presence and outreach.  The response was incredible.  Tens of thousands of people registered for our events and programs and millions live streamed them. We realized there is a huge need for virtual  programming for the populations that we serve – many of whom would never be able to make it to our in-person experiences but who still need community, purpose, tools and support. Meanwhile, we used the temporary pause in our in-person programming to invest over $1 million in our one-step-away-from-wilderness mountain campus 45 minutes west of Fort Collins – creating a fully accessible campus poised to reopen in May 2022.  Currently, in 2021, we pivoted programming to a hybrid format, bringing back a modest portion of our in-person experiences while still leaning into our new suite of virtual programs.  As we move to 2022, we’re ready to start building towards an ambitious future again, growing to reach exponentially more people we now know need our support.

Our new leader will navigate the organization through this evolving terrain, creating a strong pathway forward towards our 20-year vision.  They’ll make calculated strategic, operational and financial decisions that get us back on track towards the sustained period of growth we saw for nearly seven years prior to COVID (growing from an organization serving thousands to an organization serving millions).   They’ll need to channel everything we teach about leading through change, uncertainty, and adversity – what we call The No Barriers Life Framework – into their approach as they grow our No Barriers Movement.


Our ideal candidate will possess all of the qualities below. 

Movement Catalyst: We want a leader who has experience creating a movement, balancing grassroots efforts with regional, national and/or international strategies to create successful momentum around a cause, issue or policy. 

Strategist & Operational Leader: We are a mid-sized nonprofit and our leader needs to understand how to balance strategy and operations.  We’re not large enough for the leader to take a hands-off approach to day-to-day operations.  They’ll need to get their feet muddy alongside our team of staff and volunteers.  They’ll need to have experience establishing and managing efficient systems and tools for operational support.  At the same time, we need someone who can also look above the fray with an eye towards the broader Vision of the organization.  Operationally, the leader needs to understand marketing, fundraising, board development and management, program development, assessment and evaluation, PR, strategic planning processes, stakeholder engagement, crisis management and more. The ideal leader will have a proven track-record of developing and implementing cross-functional business processes and talent required to grow and scale organizations successfully. =

Proven Fundraiser:  Our leader needs to be excited about driving fundraising alongside our Board of Directors, Marketing and Development Teams.  We look for a proven ability to successfully raise millions of dollars per year and to build durable and effective relationships with funders and donors.  Clear and relevant experience securing major ($100K+) national and/or international corporate financial partners, individual donors and foundations is a must.

A True Pioneer: At No Barriers, we see Pioneers as people who are able to envision a future that does not yet exist and to fearlessly pursue that future.  We seek an entrepreneurial leader who has innovated consistently with a relentless drive to create new opportunities.  At the same time, our future leader will balance entrepreneurial spirit with an ability to keep us in our lanes so we stay focused on executing our strategies without major distractions.

Values and Vision Aligned:  We believe that the most successful leaders and organizations are rooted in a shared set of values combined with a powerful Vision for the future.  We seek a leader whose values align with ours and who leads from a values-centered approach.  We also look for leaders with a proven ability to energize and align others around a Vision and experience co-creating future Visions with dynamic and diverse stakeholders.

An Alchemist:  As described in several of our bestselling books, exceptional leaders are able to turn lead into gold leading through change and uncertainty with hope, optimism and a sense of opportunity.  Given everything that has happened with COVID-19, we need a leader who shows us they’ve successfully led organizations through change.  Alchemy is a bit about the spirit of how you lead in the midst of uncertainty and we want to see that spirit in action via previous practice.

Someone Who Elevates Others: Strong leaders bring out the very best in others.  We seek a leader with experience supporting a diverse and inclusive staff, volunteer and board team.  This should include proven managerial skills, exceptional communication ability, leading people through change, effective team-building, exercising influence without authority, strong ability to empathize, and a knack for getting people to stretch beyond what even they thought they were capable of accomplishing.  We look for a leader who is a strong culture and team builder who is inclusive, collaborative and empowers staff to be their best selves.  

Understands our Community: We serve a diverse community of individuals who all face significant struggle in their lives. This includes a strong focus on people with physical and/or mild cognitive disabilities and caregivers but also extends to people who have lost loved ones, face terminal illness, struggle with anxiety and depression, wrestle with past trauma, and live in violent or impoverished communities.  The ideal leader will understand the needs of these populations through a combination of personal and/or work experience.  We seek a leader with experience with caregivers, veterans with disabilities, middle and/or high school students and teachers, kids and adults with disabilities, and the communities of support around these people.  

Knows Our Tools:  With a small team, the new leader will definitely need a hands-on approach to support our programmatic teams strategically and operationally.  We’ll look for a leader with experience building or leading teams that: utilize podcasts, books, and short- and long-films to grow a movement; deliver meaningful virtual and at-home programming; design exceptional experiential expeditions, retreats, and/or conferences; offer in-school curricula and experiences to middle school audiences; and/or create supportive virtual communities that learn and grow together.

Colorado Ready:  Though we are an international organization, we are strongly rooted in Colorado with a Colorado Field Campus, several major annual events in Colorado, offices in Fort Collins, Colorado and a strong and committed core of staff, volunteers and board members here in Colorado.  We prefer a leader who is either already living in the Front Range of Colorado or who has a clearly defined pathway for leading the organization from Colorado shortly after hiring.  

Additional Qualifications:


Submit resume and cover letter by October 3 to searchcommittee@wordpress-720709-2430876.cloudwaysapps.com. We are committed to fair and equal hiring practices.

No Barriers

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