Los Angeles, CA

Controller, The California Wellness Foundation

The Foundation:

The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 1992 with a mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California. As one of the largest health-focused foundations in California, with over $900 million in assets, Cal Wellness is a nationally recognized leader for its strategic core operating support for grantees; public policy grantmaking; and a focus on violence as a public health issue. It is Cal Wellness’ desire to promote equity and level the playing field so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, healthy and safe neighborhoods, and quality health care services. The Foundation’s current Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy includes four interrelated portfolios that focus on equitable access to health care; safe and healthy neighborhoods; economic security; and community and organizational leadership. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded nearly 9,000 grants totaling more than $1 billion. As the Foundation looks to the future, it is pursuing new and innovative strategies beyond its core grantmaking to advance its mission, including implementation of new technology systems, development of its public affairs capacity, and establishing mission- and program-related investment portfolios.

Cal Wellness has a diverse staff of approximately 40 located in our Los Angeles and Oakland offices and a diverse 11-member Board located throughout the state of California. The Foundation’s work underscores a belief that wellness requires social justice, a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and sustained efforts to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent access to health care, education, employment and safety.

Please visit http://www.calwellness.org for more information


The California Wellness Foundation seeks an experienced, collaborative and exceptional Controller who will be responsible for oversight of all finance, accounting and reporting activities including the maintenance of an adequate system of accounting records and a comprehensive set of controls and budgets designed to mitigate risk, enhance the accuracy of the Foundation reported financial results and ensure that reported financial results comply with generally accepted accounting principles. This position is part of a 6-person finance team.  It reports directly to the CFO and oversees the work of a Sr. Accountant and an Accountant.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Has primary duty to manage the accounting and financial reporting functions of the Foundation. Oversees all accounting systems including general ledger, accounts payable and payroll.
  • Oversee the implementation of and compliance with Foundation investment policy, including, monitoring and reconciliation of custodian investment reports with investment manager statements; oversee quarterly investment accounting and ensure accurate recording and reporting of investment values.
  • Manage the preparation of financial statements and has overall responsibility for the annual financial audit and the preparation of the annual audited financial statements. Liaises with external auditors and the audit committee of the board of directors.
  • Develops the annual operating budget in consultation with executive management, ensuring the operating budget is in alignment with the operating plan and foundation’s strategic priorities.
  • Monitors monthly budget variances and reports to the executive management team.
  • Develops mid-year Forecast and monitors actual spending to budget and forecast.
  • Analyzes grant payout requirements and works closely with the grants management team to monitor grant payout and oversees pre-grant financial analysis of grantee financial statements.
  • Oversees the preparation of annual and/or periodic tax and regulatory filings including the Foundation’s 990-PF; Oversees the maintenance of tax accounting records for investments.
  • Oversees cash management needs.
  • Manage the financial analysis of operating expenses, cash forecasts, payout projections, investment performance and certain other trends and projections; develops, calculates and issues reports on financial and operating metrics.
  • Oversees, reviews and approves the bi-weekly payroll and 401 (K) contributions. Member of the 401(k) Plan Committee, ensuring compliance with Foundation policies and procedure and Federal regulations and reporting requirements.
  • Manages internal control processes and the continual improvement of accounting systems, processes and policies.
  • Manages, trains, develops and directs finance and accounting staff. Ensuring that positive relationships with bankers, investment advisor, investment managers, external accountants, grantees, community partners, staff, Board members and various constituencies are maintained.
  • Board Relations: Present annual operating budget and budget to actual analysis to the Executive Committee of the Board (quarterly) and the Board of Directors (annually).
  • Other duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will possess many or all of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of strategic leadership and career growth in a finance function at a complex and relevant organization (e.g. a foundation, large nonprofit, university, audit/consulting firm, etc.).
  • Clear record of achievement in financial management and experience with the intersection of finance, accounting, and compliance.
  • A CPA is a plus.
  • Experience with NetSuite accounting system is highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of US GAAP, investment theory, financial markets, tax concepts and regulations and financial analysis.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills and ability to convey complex information and data visually and orally in a concise, effective, and engaging way.
  • An effective manager with demonstrated ability to develop strengths of individual team members and to build effective, values-based teams.
  • Ability and willingness to travel periodically.
  • Passionate about The California Wellness Foundation’s mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California.

The ideal candidate will have extensive knowledge and experience in finance and accounting, combined with superb interpersonal skills, a positive attitude, and the ability to adapt and respond thoughtfully to emerging needs and work quickly and effectively in a dynamic work environment. He or she will bring the knowledge and experience necessary to work with minimal oversight, as well as taking on additional project work. He or she will possess a high level of flexibility, strong written and oral communication skills, and exquisite attention to detail.

The California Wellness Foundation is guided by a set of Core competencies, that are the essential set of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors that enable its team to achieve their mission, goals and philosophy. These include:

  • Live Our Core Values: Our North Star. Modeling our values and using them in decision making and navigating challenges.
  • Drive Toward Innovation: Be bold. Experiment and learn from both successes and failures.
  • Make a Difference: Yes, we can. Own our responsibilities and our ability to make positive change.
  • Contribute to One Team: We’re in this together. Our success is a collective effort.
  • Show Courage: Be thoughtful but act on your convictions and be open to feedback.

Compensation and Culture:

For this position, the selected candidates starting salary may range from $154,600 to $192,200 per year, commensurate with skills and experience. The benefits package includes a variety of health plans, a generous 401(k) retirement savings plan, paid time off, professional development and educational opportunities, matching gifts, and the opportunity to work at a mission- and values-driven organization.

How To Apply

To Apply

Lucas Group has been retained for this search. Interested and qualified candidates should apply by uploading their resume letter of interest and salary requirements at https://www.calwellness.org/mission/employment/#op-371755-controller

All correspondence will remain confidential.

Candidates selected for advancement will be asked to participate in several rounds of interviews, complete a writing assignment and skills assessment.  The final offer will be contingent upon a background check, inclusive of credit, and professional references.  If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in our interview process, please let us know.

The California Wellness Foundation and Lucas Group are equal opportunity employers. We welcome a diverse candidate pool. 

The above job description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed and is not intended to limit the scope of potential work assignments. This is only a summary of the typical functions of the job and duties may differ from those as outlined above.

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