Senior Director of Operations

Project Eats

Sector:

Social Enterprise / Social Entrepreneurship, Arts

Function:

Operations

Location:

NY - New York metropolitan area

About the Organization

Project EATS (PE) occupies a unique space in the urban agricultural landscape of New York City. Founded in 2009 by artist Linda Goode Bryant, Project EATS seeks to catalyze and support residents and infrastructure of low-wealth urban communities to increase their own ability to create conditions that transform their neighborhoods into vital hubs for health and wellbeing. PE believes that increased self-determination and resiliency in these communities will enhance their economic power and food sovereignty.

The PE model features small-plot, community-based and operated, high-yield farms – both ground-level and rooftop. Using sustainable, primarily hand-grown, farming methods, and employing seeding, succession planning, and carbon waste reuse, PE works to maximize crop yields and provide the community with ease of access to healthy, ultra-local, ‘income-appropriate' food. PE also operates community farm stands, food pantries, and food Farmacies, to increase resident access to and consumption of nutritious food, and offers an array of workforce development, employment, and learning opportunities for community members. The use of art in PE programs increases the use of imagination, creativity, commitment and determination as tools for reshaping social, economic, cultural, and environmental conditions in communities that support their ability to thrive and enhance their visions of what's possible.

Project EATS' work is anchored by the following five values:

  • Resourcefulness: A belief that people can use whatever resources they have to create the resources they need, and thus shape the social, economic, and cultural conditions that support their well-being;
  • Understanding: A belief that consideration, thoughtfulness, and tolerance are essential to catalyzing and supporting the process of change
  • Creativity: A belief that imagination, new ways of seeing, and fresh ideas lead to new possibilities, strategies, and opportunities that turn "can't" into "can"
  • Determination: A belief that tenacity and willpower are necessary to create change that improves the way we live; and
  • Commitment: A belief that reason, enthusiasm, responsibility and dedication are necessary to create equity where inequity exists.

The long term vision of PE is that these value chains will eventually produce real, lasting change for low-wealth communities, addressing their historic disenfranchisement and allowing them to build social and political capital, economic power, and hope.

Check out this video to see Project EATS work in action.

About the Position

Project EATS seeks a Senior Director of Operations (SDO) to join its dynamic and growing team. Reporting to the President and Founder, the SDO will help build the financial and operational infrastructure of the organization as PE continues its transition from start-up to a mature, sustainable social enterprise. The SDO will lead day-to-day business planning, team management, and systems building while the President will continue to lead the creation, innovation, research, and development functions. Specifically, the SDO will manage the senior team responsible for overseeing farm planning and operations, produce sales, and community programs, and oversee all internal administrative functions.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the overall development and sustainability of a complex and impactful social enterprise. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Financial Management

  • Lead financial planning, forecasting, and analysis, with the ultimate goal of PE farms becoming self-sustaining entities
  • Collaborate with the President to develop and monitor an annual budget that reflects PE strategic priorities
  • Provide oversight of all financial operations including cash flow management, audits, and financial reporting, including management of external accounting vendor
  • Ensure appropriate financial transparency, and that sound financial structures, procedures and controls are in place
  • Provide the President and the Board with accurate financial reporting and forecasting at appropriate intervals
  • Work with the Board's Governance Committee to ensure that PE is meeting all compliance requirements, including federal and state filings, audits, insurance, and workplace rules and regulation

Systems and Process Building

  • Develop goals and metrics for the organization in alignment with PE vision and strategy
  • Supervise external consultants to develop data systems and processes that enable accurate tracking and analysis for farm operations
  • Identify opportunities to maximize impact and efficiency across programs as the organization scales; develop solutions in collaboration with the team
  • Develop internal communications processes to foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and shared learning
  • Build and implement a streamlined performance management process for the team
  • Guide the formulation of other organizational policies and standardized processes appropriate to an organization of PE's size
  • Oversee other administrative functions, including ACP benefits programs, workplace safety and security planning, and other HR compliance regulations
  • Oversee and manage the relationship with external consultants

People Management

  • Promote and model a culture of empowerment, high performance, and continuous learning that values integrity, quality, and impact
  • Directly manage and coach the senior team of program leads for Farm Operations, Sales, Community Health, Workforce + Development, and the Administrative Associate
  • Develop performance goals for the senior team in collaboration with the President Ensure team leaders have the resources they need and are well positioned to deliver on their respective goals and outcomes
  • Lead implementation of an effective and efficient performance management process across the organization
  • Provide meaningful opportunities for staff development and growth to continue to advancing an organizational culture that supports the agency and productivity of all staff

Partnership Management

  • Manage relationships with partners and a broad range of community stakeholders in support of PE goals
  • Work with the President to vet potential partners, manage negotiations, and operationalize the partnership
  • Propose budgets for potential new initiatives and businesses with partners
  • Review commitments to funders and progress against deliverables as part of the organization's operational planning

Candidate Requirements:

Research shows that women and people from underrepresented groups often only apply to jobs if they meet 100% of the qualifications. As no one ever meets 100% of the qualifications, we encourage you to apply if you feel that much of the following matches your experience:

  • Full alignment with and commitment to the mission, vision, and goals of PE
  • 10+ years of experience, with exposure to social enterprise or nonprofit settings
  • Senior operational leadership responsibility with a track record of success managing finance and internal operations
  • Experience developing, implementing, and managing business systems and processes to support a growing organization
  • Skills in business/financial modeling, forecasting, and analysis
  • Excellent people management skills, with the ability to build, coach, and manage a high-performing, diverse, and missioned-aligned team
  • Experience negotiating and navigating constructive partnerships and deals with a broad range of external stakeholders
  • An ability to communicate effectively, in writing and verbally, with diverse audiences, internally and externally
  • Experience engaging with low-wealth communities preferred
  • Experience with farming a plus; passion for growing things and willingness to learn required
  • Experience with art institutions a plus; passion for helping humans tap into their creativity required
  • Sound judgment, strength of character, courage of conviction, and a patience for process
  • Service-orientation; openness and responsiveness to the ideas of others

Art is what we imagine and create that shapes how we live. Food is the sustenance we need to live. Life is how we use, value, and share what we create to survive and thrive. Project EATS - in its design, work and relationships - operates from the interweaving of these key aspects of being.

Compensation and benefits:

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at PE where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation / preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact info@on-ramps.com.