Read Employee Empowerment: The Key to Foundation Staff Satisfaction from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries. The Fund has an endowment of $700 million, and an annual budget of $32 million, approximately 60 percent if which is spent extramurally in grants and 40 percent intramurally in developing programs, conducting research, and communicating results to influential audiences.
GENERAL POSITION DESCRIPTION
Reporting to the Director of Administration, the Receptionist for the Commonwealth Fund provides reception, meeting management and front-line security for the Fund. The Receptionist ensures that the first floor of the Harkness House is fully operational each morning, and assists the building staff in maintaining the public space. The Receptionist greets staff and announces guests, making guests comfortable while they wait. The Receptionist is responsible for the main phone: answers calls, responds to inquiries and directs calls and overnight voicemail messages to the appropriate staff member. The Receptionist receives deliveries and calls for messenger service as necessary. Coordinates meetings for the two main meeting rooms ensuring the availability of appropriate food and beverage service, as well as audio-visual, computer, and phone equipment. The Receptionist assists the President’s staff in coordinating food and beverages related to meetings in the President’s Office. This responsibility requires close coordination between the front desk, administration, building and dining room staff, the office services coordinator, and IT. Cohesive meeting execution requires that the Receptionist maintain, draft, edit, and post various Fund calendars. In addition, this position is responsible for ordering building supplies from U.S. Coffee and Soap.com, for working with the office services coordinator to keep track of supplies in-house, and for maintaining the budget for these expenses. Other responsibilities include coding invoices from Federal Express, messenger services, car services, and all other vendors. The Receptionist assists the Director of Administration in assignments ranging from Board Meeting related efforts, to working with other departments on short-term projects. The Receptionist trains replacement staff to handle the front desk responsibilities.
Reception: First and foremost, the Receptionist is the face of the Fund and is the front line of security for Harkness House. When guests arrive, the Receptionist greets and announces them to the appropriate staff member. Since guests are not allowed to move about the building unaccompanied, they are directed to wait in the Board Room or the Reception Room. It is the Receptionist’s responsibility to ensure all guests are comfortable. The position ensures that the first floor is fully functional each morning and all day. This includes making sure the lights are on, that the Reception Room, Board Room, Front Hall and two restrooms are clean, and fully supplied,; window blinds are even, that tables are clean and clear, old newspapers have been discarded and trash cans empty in the morning, that unnecessary equipment has been put away and finally that meetings are set up before their scheduled time.
Key Member of Administrative Team: The Receptionist is included in all email alerts to the IT department and the Building department and functions as an important resource for making sure all issues are resolved in a timely manner. Typically, the Receptionist locates the appropriate staff member and notifies the team when an issue is resolved. The Receptionist has the same responsibility in the event of a fire or other building alarm and fields calls and responses while stationed at the front desk. The Receptionist arranges the weekly department meetings and prepares and presents the meeting schedules and administrative team calendar which allows the team to successfully coordinate upcoming time-off and work allocation.
Telephone Duties: Each morning the Receptionist turns off the evening voice mailbox and checks for voice mail messages made to the main phone line overnight. If needed, messages are passed on to the appropriate staff member. During the day, the Receptionist answers the main telephone line, fields questions, and redirects calls as necessary. The position requires familiarity with the Commonwealth Fund purpose, operations, staff, and program areas. On occasion, the Receptionist may be responsible for taking and transmitting messages for senior staff. At 5:00 pm the Receptionist activates the evening voice mail.
Meeting Arrangements: Scheduled meetings in the public meeting rooms and the President’s Office are managed by the Receptionist. As staff members submit meeting requests, the Receptionist makes sure there are no scheduling conflicts, by checking the Reception Room and Board Room calendars closely and double checking for reservation errors and conflicts. An email is sent to HH and IT each morning with any meeting changes for that day. It is the Receptionist’s responsibility to ensure that meetings have been booked properly and that there are no conflicts with the room reservations. Each Wednesday afternoon, the Receptionist prepares detailed meeting request sheets by consulting the Reception Room and Board Room calendars and communicating with staff members. A meeting is held between the Receptionist and the Director of Administration to review these before the sheets are provided to the IT department, the office services coordinator, dining services, and the building managers during the weekly department meeting. For large and important meetings, the Director of Administration may ask the Receptionist to order wait staff and food from outside vendors. The Receptionist will follow-up with those vendors, as well as the appropriate staff member, to ensure order is correct and delivered on time. For all meetings, the Receptionist provides the final oversight to ensure that everything is set properly and that equipment is available, and working. The primary duty of the Receptionist is to coordinate between all involved departments and staff members, ensuring that all parties are informed so that meetings can take place without a hitch. The Receptionist also provides training and ongoing guidance to program staff on how to run a meeting at the Fund, sometimes in the form of a monthly PA meeting. A close relationship between the Receptionist, the Director of Administration, program support staff, the office services coordinator, the IT department, dining services and building staff is vital to the successful coordination of meetings.
Technical Support: The Receptionist is expected to be familiar with the Tandberg Video Conferencing equipment, web conferencing and the teleconferencing unit, as well as laptop connections and Fund passwords for access in the meeting rooms. The position is also responsible for coordinating with the teleconferencing provider when it is necessary to add or delete a user account, ensuring all subscriptions are current. The Receptionist also manages staff cell phone plans. Another duty is maintaining and updating the staff phone lists and teleconferencing information in the Board Room and Reception Room. Up-to-date versions of these lists are also posted on the bulletin board in Outlook as well as placed in the Board Room and Reception Room.
Supply Management: Supply responsibilities include monitoring the budget while working with the office services coordinator to maintain sufficient supplies in the supply room. The Receptionist also provides purchasing support to the dining room manager and building manager, ordering coffee, soda, and janitorial supplies.
Travel and Attendance: The Receptionist keeps a daily log of staff arrival and sends the completed log to the Director of Administration. The Receptionist notifies the dining staff of any anticipated lunch guests for the day. At monthly all staff meetings the Receptionist may be asked to present the two month look-ahead calendar to staff. The look-ahead calendars are posted on the Fund’s bulletin board. The Receptionist tracks external guests and vendors on the daily attendance sheets.
Building Maintenance: The Receptionist is responsible for notifying the building staff if there are problems with the front doors, security system, elevators, lighting, and plumbing. This entails a daily sweep of the first floor and a diligent attention to detail. In addition to meeting rooms and other building issues, if one of the bathrooms is soiled or not fully stocked, the appropriate dining services staff must be immediately notified.
Delivery Service Arrangements: The Receptionist accepts deliveries from Federal Express, UPS and messenger services. The recipient is notified immediately. If the package is not picked up by the end of the day, it will be picked up for the interoffice mail or will be placed in the pantry and a reminder email sent. Large deliveries are directed to use the back service entrance and the appropriate staff is notified upon their arrival. The Receptionist monitors daily pick-ups by Federal Express and manages the messenger service, arranging for a pick-up online, ensuring timely pickup and including the appropriate code for billing purposes. The confirmation email should be forwarded to the sender. A pleasant relationship with vendors and delivery personnel who frequent the Fund is an important facet of the position.
Billing:The Receptionist is responsible for coding all bills including but not limited to car services, Federal Express, and messenger services. In addition, the Receptionist codes bills related to telecommunications, basic supplies, and general building maintenance. As the first set of eyes, the Receptionist is expected to look for incorrect charges and bring them to the attention of the Director of Administration. The Receptionist may be asked for assistance with dining room, janitorial, paper, and office supply vendor evaluation. Working with the office services coordinator, dining room staff and others, the Receptionist may be asked to assist with compiling invoices, researching vendors, preparing a bid to distribute to selected vendors, and attending meetings with potential vendors.
Special Events: The Receptionist will be called upon to assist with special events such as the annual holiday reception and board of directors meetings. Duties may include updating the guest list, name tag preparation, and set up coordination, as well as booking car service and other requests that may arise.
Interdepartmental Support: Miscellaneous projects are commonly passed down to the Receptionist from the Director of Administration and other departments. The Receptionist is expected to collaborate with other program areas and assist with special projects.
Other Duties: This position will encounter any number of situations during the day that require a certain amount of maturity and judgment. The Receptionist may be asked to assist Fund staff members with various projects, and should expect to do so without being directly assigned by the Director of Administration.
The Fund’s philosophy on successful performance on the job includes the willingness on the part of all staff members to handle any assignment necessary to further the goals of the institution. This may include taking on responsibility for other program areas or departments if the need arises.
College degree and one to two years of related work experience preferred. Excellent communication skills are required. The successful candidate will also have strong computer skills, including a working knowledge of Windows, Microsoft Office, and the Internet.
This position requires a team-player who is reliable, conscientious, flexible, willing to work, accurate and detail oriented, is able to follow a routine, a good listener and communicator and who wants to learn. This position requires the ability to deal politely with all levels of staff in the organization, with delivery people, workers and vendors, and with the Fund’s colleagues outside of the organization. This position requires good judgment and the maturity to deal with all kinds of issues that arise at a front desk of a building. The successful candidate will be independent, know how to make the best use of his or her time and will work well as a member of the administrative team.
The Fund has a relatively small staff and teamwork is essential to effectiveness. Judgment, integrity, and the ability to listen with sensitivity to others are traits that are particularly important in an organization of the Fund’s size. The ability to work collegially with a variety of Fund staff and an interest in and strong commitment to the Fund’s mission and programs are key qualifications.
Compensation is commensurate with background and experience. The Fund offers an excellent benefits package (medical/dental insurance, life/disability insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, tuition assistance, paid time off and lunch in staff dining room).
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Vice President, Administration
The Commonwealth Fund
One East 75th Street
New York, NY 10021-2692
The Commonwealth Fund values diversity and is committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals of diverse backgrounds, sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation.