Elinvar is an Executive Search and Leadership Development firm located in the historic Caveness house in Raleigh, NC. 

The clients we serve include foundations, nonprofits, higher education institutions, professional associations, and closely held businesses located in North Carolina and the Southeast.

Leadership Solutions

Elinvar's Integrated Leadership Solutions address the full range of leadership challenges that organizations face as they grow and adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Elinvar's approach to search includes support for the entire leadership transition. The outcomes of our work can be seen in the transformations that occur and the resulting amplification of the impact our clients are achieving.

30+ YEARS in Business

Elinvar celebrated our 30th anniversary of recruiting leaders for mission critical executive and senior leadership positions in 2017. We are excited to continue our work in 2018 and proud of the impact the leaders our clients have hired are having on North Carolina and our communities.

For the last nine years we have also provided highly credentialed experts in leadership coaching and organizational development to boards and leaders in their organizations.

Featured Leadership Opportunity

Shift NC

Executive Director

Elinvar has been retained to conduct the search for this exciting nonprofit with the mission of leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health.

About SHIFT NC                     

 SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens) is a statewide nonprofit leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health.

Founded in 1985 as the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina, the organization has set and exceeded ambitious goals in support of reducing teenage pregnancy in NC and created initiatives that have been recognized and replicated outside of NC.

 In 2015, recognizing that the work was having an impact far beyond teen pregnancy prevention, the name SHIFT NC was adopted to reflect the expansion of the work to include all aspects of promoting sexual health for teens to include teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and STIs, sexuality, development, relationships, and access to care. Using successful, evidence-based methods to make positive changes SHIFT NC is empowering North Carolina’s professionals to support healthy development. 

 Sexual health matters. Investing in young people’s sexual health benefits them, our state, and our communities now and in the future.

 SHIFT NC Mission

Leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health. So young people grow up healthy.  

 SHIFT NC Vision

Sexual health matters. We work to empower North Carolinians so that every adolescent grows up in a state that is equipped to support their sexual health. Investing in young people’s sexual health benefits them, our state, and our communities now and in the future.

 CEO Position

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) serves as chief executive of SHIFT NC and, in partnership with the Board, is responsible for the success of the organization. Together, the Board and CEO assure SHIFT NC’s relevance, the accomplishment of SHIFT NC’s mission and vision, and the accountability of SHIFT NC to its diverse constituents.

 The Board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the CEO, who has the authority to carry out these responsibilities, in accordance with the direction and policies established by the Board. The CEO provides direction to the Board as it carries out its governance functions.

 This is a fast-paced, high profile executive position based in Durham, NC, with responsibility for SHIFT NC operations. The opportunity of the next CEO is to lead a well established and accomplished team of professionals, work with key partners across the state and beyond, and continue to build the expanded mission while incorporating equity and inclusion in the work as well as supporting the internal culture that embraces these values.


·         Bachelor’s Degree required, experience in the field of sexual health is preferred but not required

·         7+ years of progressive leadership experience

·         Previous experience in an executive or senior leadership role serving in a medium size, complex organization reporting to a board of directors

·         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 the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set, and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget

·         Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships and developing new relationships

·         Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures

·         Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills

·         Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning

·         Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people

SHIFT NC offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits package. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

 Application Procedure

For confidential consideration, please submit your resume and cover letter detailing your unique qualifications and interest in the position via email to:

margaret@elinvar.com     Please apply no later than November 19, 2018.

 SHIFT NC is an equal opportunity employer and strives for diversity among its applicant pool as well as within its staff and board of directors.

SHIFT NC offers equal opportunity to and prohibits the discrimination against or harassment of anyone based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, handicapping condition, or other reasons prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination and opportunity policy extends to employment, membership, board service and leadership, volunteerism, and participation in any of the organizations programs or services.

For a confidential inquiry please email margaret@elinvar.com.


“Our mission is simple — to change the world by accelerating the progress of mission driven leaders and organizations.”
— Elinvar

What We Do

Elinvar works with each client to provide the appropriate leadership solution to their organization. Our Executive Search services include Retained Search as well as select components of the retained search process that augment the internal resources of your organization.

Our leadership development practice provides support for Boards and for individual leaders. Board retreats, succession planning, executive coaching and support for new leaders are all available through Elinvar.

Why We do it

Like our clients, we care deeply about making a positive difference through our work. We know the profound difference effective leaders make in the organizations they lead because we have had the privilege of witnessing their accomplishments first hand.    

The boards and senior executives that engage Elinvar are courageous leaders who share our impatience to have impact and create sustainable change for the people they serve. Direct service, advocacy, funding and educating missions are all important. Building a for profit business that balances the needs of employees with the needs of customers and shareholders requires a special kind of leader. The right leader at the right time is the ingredient that creates the transformation for which all sectors are yearning.

How we serve you

No two organizations are alike; however, there are commonalities in our clients that have informed our approach to serving you. As experts in leadership, Elinvar brings an appreciation for the complexities that your organization is navigating and the many different people who may be impacted by our work with you.

With this holistic approach to our work together - either in finding a new leader, preparing for a leadership transition, or developing your board - Elinvar anticipates the unexpected and is prepared to help you through any challenges that present themselves during our work together. We have a team based service approach that is unique in our industry and embraced by Elinvar clients because we leverage all of our experience to create effective solutions.

Elinvar clients are committed to hiring leaders that reflect the diversity of the people they serve. We have purposefully and proactively developed a robust network of relationships and a deliberate process that results in slates of highly qualified diverse candidates and placements.

“I am a true believer in Elinvar’s process - the team creates a positive space for organizations to find the best people and for individuals to find the right fit.”
— Kristy Teskey, former President, John M. Belk Endowment

Our Services

Elinvar’s service offerings have been thoughtfully developed based on what we have learned is effective and impactful.

The span of our offerings is designed to give you one organization that, as your trusted advisor, has a solution for any leadership need.



Retained Search

An unrivaled track record of success in working with search committees, boards and senior leaders to successfully identify their next leader is why you were referred to Elinvar.

We know that because a leader is successful leading in one organization does not mean automatic success in leading yours.

Our approach to retained search is to spend enough time with you to learn your culture and expectations of the next leader and to develop the trusting relationship needed to effectively partner during the leadership transition.

We begin with an in-depth review of the organization to learn all that we can about what the next leader will encounter when they step into their new leadership role.

We work with you to help clarify and create a clear agreement as to what is desired in the new leader. Elinvar represents each client in an accurate and professional manner with sensitivity toward staff, funders and other stakeholders that are vital to you during a leadership transition.

We leverage the specific experiences and diverse talents of every Elinvar team member. This approach creates amazing results for our clients and a great experience for every candidate we meet.

We work to make the process as smooth and time efficient as possible for you. In addition, we:

  • Leverage your network with ours;
  • Provide a transparent process for you;
  • Protect the confidentiality of candidates;
  • Provide a transition service that begins before the launch of the search and continues through the assimilation of the new leader.

Please contact us at 919-622-5141 or patti@elinvar.com to learn more about how we can work together.  

“We now have an excellent Executive Director, due in large part to Elinvar’s efforts.”
— Dan Gerlach, Golden Leaf Foundation & NCNG Board Member

CEO Selection Options

Not all organizations need a full search or have the budget to support one. For that reason, Elinvar has developed a menu of services that our clients find valuable when selecting a new leader.

For smaller nonprofits or critical positions reporting to the CEO, Elinvar clients find that engaging us for specific parts of our search process is a beneficial approach to leveraging our expertise, working with a smaller budget and assuring them of making a great hiring decision.

We can be engaged to help in the following areas:

  • Transition Support
  • Job Benchmarking
  • New Leader Selection
  • New Leader Assimilation
  • Candidate Evaluation

Every engagement is designed based on the specific needs of your organization.

Please contact us at 919-622-5141 or patti@elinvar.com to learn more about how we can work together.  


Board Development

The boards of philanthropic organizations are under immense pressure. CEO turnover is accelerating, funding models are changing, and society’s needs are mounting. With that in mind, Elinvar’s work with over 50 nonprofit and foundation boards has informed the services we provide.

Elinvar embraces a collaborative approach by combining our facilitation skills and expertise with the great knowledge possessed by the board members of our client organizations. Our work together includes:

  • Board development & succession planning
  • CEO succession planning
  • Board retreat facilitation
  • Board governance
  • Board performance
  • CEO performance
  • Organization assessment
  • Strategic planning

Please contact us at 919-622-5141 or patti@elinvar.com to learn more about how we can work together.  

“Elinvar is in a unique position to advise on critical issues nonprofit board members face. Elinvar provided our attorneys serving on area boards with key insights and strategies for improving board effectiveness.”
— Anne Croteau, Partner, McGuire Woods Law Firm

Leadership Development

Leadership is a subject that has been studied for centuries and there are many definitions of what successful leadership looks like. At Elinvar, we believe that effective leaders achieve results and have enthusiastic followers.

Elinvar has assembled a cohort of the best executive coaches, organization consultants and trainers in the Triangle area to form our Alliance Partners. We work with our clients to determine the best fit for their project, provide options for executive coach selection, and manage the entire process. 

Examples of our work in this area include:

  • Executive coaching
  • Team effectiveness
  • Leadership retreats
  • Conflict resolution
  • Executive team alignment
  • New leader assimilation
  • Diversity Training
  • Presentation skills

Please contact us at 919-622-5141 or patti@elinvar.com to learn more about how we can work together.  


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
— Margaret Meade

Our Team


As Elinvar's leader since 1995, Patti has built the Elinvar organization around her belief that great results stem from effective leadership and great leadership happens when leaders are working in an environment that supports them. "It is with exceptional leaders at the helm that organizations are able to create value for all of their stakeholders."

Read More

Gerri Williams, Strategic Search Partner

We are excited to bring Gerri’s accomplishments, extensive network, and strategic approach to Elinvar clients in our nonprofit and education practice areas. When Gerri is part of the Elinvar search project, her experience as a past Elinvar candidate also informs and enhances her ability to bring passive candidates into the process.

Read More

Kelley O’Brien,
Strategic Search Partner

Kelley’s broad range of experience in the nonprofit sector, combined with her leadership achievements in higher education, make her a versatile and invaluable asset to Elinvar’s clients. Kelley has never met a stranger! This attribute enables her to identify and attract top candidates for our clients.

Read More

Michael Horswell, Strategic Advisor

As Elinvar’s Strategic Advisor, Michael’s experience in higher education administration brings key insights and helpful contacts to enhance Elinvar’s work in identifying great leaders for our College and University searches.


Read More


Margaret VanDeCar, Business Manager & Researcher

Margaret brings her passion for making the world a better place to every aspect of her work at Elinvar. Our clients and candidates appreciate her warm greeting and sincere efforts to make them feel at home when they come to our office. This is just a small part of her job as she keeps the wheels turning behind the scenes and there is nothing she can't do to help us better serve our clients.

Read More

Elinvar Alliance Partners

Our Alliance Partners include top executive coaches and organization development professionals who possess advanced education, certifications, training, business experience, and a minimum of 10 years of executive coaching or consulting experience. Our Alliance Partners are based in North Carolina and we look forward to introducing you to the consultant that is best suited for your specific need. 

Alliance Partner Directory



Contact Us

Call us at 919-622-5141 or send an email to patti@elinvar.com.  

We look forward to hearing from you.

Click Here to see a map of our location.


Sign up to receive our newsletter.