Innovation Works has partnered with Baltimore Corps to conduct the following executive search through its Place for Purpose service:


Innovation Works, a collaborative knowledge center based in Baltimore, Maryland, seeks an experienced, entrepreneurial professional to serve as its founding Chief Innovation Officer.


The mission of Innovation Works is to reduce Baltimore’s neighborhood and racial wealth divide and teach members of disinvested communities how to build and own successful social enterprises, which create sustainable neighborhood economies.

Innovation Works is a new social enterprise, dedicated to:

  • creating business ventures in Baltimore that address unmet economic requirements for residents throughout the city;
  • preparing nontraditional, city entrepreneurs to lead these businesses; and
  • creating livable-wage employment for city residents through these new business ventures. 


  • Launch new, sustainable mission-driven social enterprises throughout Baltimore
  • Expand employment opportunities in underserved Baltimore neighborhoods
  • Make Baltimore the social enterprise capital of the United States' urban communities
  • Establish a robust plan for the financial sustainability of Innovation Works


The CIO will accomplish this work by adapting the proven model, methods, and best practices of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, based at Santa Clara University, which, since 2003, has enabled more than 800 social entrepreneurs in developing countries to raise more than $580 million, employ more than 25,000 individuals, and positively impact the lives of nearly 260,000,000 people.

Innovation Works will also assess the experiments to implement the Miller Center Model in the United States by the Center for Social innovation at Marquette University, and the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Detroit Mercy. Innovation Works will also integrate and modify the social entrepreneurship ignition and ideation best practice programs developed by the Ewing Kaufman Foundation, Company Lab, the Build Institute, and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Innovation Works proposes to extend the work of these Jesuit institutions by basing its operations, programs, and services in Baltimore’s disinvested and underserved neighborhoods, rather than on a university campus, in order to accomplish the following:

  • Recruit aspiring social entrepreneurs from underserved neighborhoods
  • Help identify economic challenges in underserved neighborhoods around which new business ventures can be developed and expanded to serve needs across urban communities in the United States
  • Assist new social entrepreneurs in
    • establishing a clear focus for the new business;
    • articulating the economic value proposition for the business; and
    • developing a well-defined business plan for the venture.
  • Secure required start-up capital to launch the business
  • Recruit a deep network of experienced entrepreneurs and successful senior business executives who will mentor and advise cohort members as they launch and develop new ventures

Innovation Works is a collaborative effort of the Maryland Province of Jesuits, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Loyola Early Learning Center, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, and Loyola Blakefield High School. These founding partners are providing financial underwriting for this initiative, and will provide faculty, staff, students, and families from their educational institutions to Innovation Works’ educational and entrepreneurial programs in collaboration with other education and talent development partners.

Innovation Works’ launch and development will be guided by Founding President Frank Knott, a Jesuit-educated, lifetime resident of Baltimore; successful private sector entrepreneur; and founder of ViTAL Economy, an economic development social enterprise that has assisted communities across North America for more than 25 years.


Reporting to Innovation Works’ President, the ideal candidate will bring interest, energy, and passion to not only build the Innovation Works model, but also to enhance and improve upon the original vision, based on their experience and ideas. Although envisioned to include launch and build based on best practices, the founding Chief Innovation Officer will bring his/her own set of questions and urban youth development goals, powered by the need to provide positive impact. 


  • Incredible passion for the Innovation Works mission
  • Private sector entrepreneurial experience
  • Credibility in the Baltimore community
  • Inclination and ability to roll up one’s sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done
  • Ability to integrate the principles of Ignatian values into how each social entrepreneur learns to create, build, expand, and sustain a mission-driven enterprise that delivers a service or product that improves the world for the betterment of society and/or humankind, (Applicant is not required to be Jesuit or any specific religion.)


  • Implement programs and services successfully
  • Manage finances
  • Provide direct supervision for staff
  • Build a collaborative network of talent development and innovation ecosystem assets
  • Work collaboratively with Innovation Works’ President to create initial operating plan, formulate performance metrics for programs, and develop appropriate assessments of program outcomes and return on investment (ROI) for financial underwriters

During Innovation Works’ first 30 months of operation, work will be organized in the following three stages:

1. Months 0-6: Program Development

  • Finalize the social entrepreneurship training programs design and curricula
  • Develop a recruitment pipeline of community adults interested in participating in the first social entrepreneur training cohort
  • Select and train faculty and mentors for the program pilot
  • Establish performance metrics for evaluating the pilot program, its outcomes, and the initial ROI for financial underwriters

2. Months 7-19: Pilot Program

  • Recruit potential social enterprise entrepreneurial trainees for the first pilot training cohort
  • Supervise the selection of the strongest candidates for the first pilot training program
  • Launch the first pilot training program
  • Sustain the recruitment pipeline for future social entrepreneur training cohorts
  • Establish a curriculum development team to adapt the social entrepreneur training programs for implementation in the participating Jesuit educational institutions
  • Test youth-oriented training curriculum in pilot group of middle and high school students in each of the participating Jesuit educational institutions
  • Implement the performance metric assessments and communicate their results to key stakeholder groups

3. Months 20-30: Program Expansion

  • Launch two additional social enterprise entrepreneurial training cohorts
  • Support the launch and development of two sustainable social enterprises
  • Hire a program development and volunteer resource coordinator
  • Expand the networks of program mentors and volunteers who will assist in supporting the entrepreneurs/trainees
  • Sustain the recruitment pipeline for future participants in the training program
  • Expand the social enterprise exploration and training programs for youth in participating institutions
  • Continue program evaluations and initiate a process of continuous program improvement based on the results of the performance metric evaluation

Throughout these first 30 months, the Chief Innovation Officer will create and implement a multimedia communications plan to provide visibility for Innovation Works, its social enterprise training programs, its social entrepreneur graduates, and the new ventures they launch.


  • 10+ years of progressively responsible executive experience in either the private or nonprofit sectors, with a history of a collaborative management style
  • 3+ years as either a private sector or public sector entrepreneur who fully understands the processes for innovation in new products and/or services, the formation of a business enterprise to bring these innovations to market, and the challenges of launching this new enterprise and guiding its initial growth and development
  • Experience in supervision of training curricula development (based on best practices taken from the Miller Center and other institutions)
  • Experience recruiting and supporting staff
  • Excellent skills in the recruitment of volunteers and collaborative implementation with participating educational institutions a plus
  • Profit & Loss responsibility for an enterprise with annual operating revenues and expenses of at least $1 million required

Women and people of color encouraged to apply.

Innovation Works and Baltimore Corps provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Innovation Works and Baltimore Corps comply with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.