Executive Director, American Mushroom Institute

Job Type

Full Time


Details: The American Mushroom Institute offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience.




1284 Gap Newport Pike
United States


POSITION TITLE:      Executive Director

REPORTING TO:       Board of Directors

LOCATION:                Avondale, PA

ORGANIZATION:       American Mushroom Institute



The American Mushroom Institute (AMI), headquartered in Avondale, PA, is a national voluntary trade association serving the U.S. mushroom farm community and industry suppliers worldwide. AMI has approximately 250 member organizations including farms, packinghouses, processors, suppliers of materials and services, consultants, and academics involved in mushroom science. AMI’s grower members represent about 90% of all U.S. mushroom production.

AMI, governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, provides services to its members related to government relations, public relations, risk management, pest management, research, and technical services, along with managing meetings, conventions and continuing education programs. AMI’s wide-ranging technical and professional programs involve more than 10 standing committees and subcommittees whose activities address the critical operating needs of the mushroom farm community. Every third year, AMI hosts an industry conference and trade show (attendance approximately 300 with 30 exhibitors). AMI maintains an active lobbying effort, although it does not have a political action committee. For more information, visit www.americanmushroom.org.

Mission Statement

AMI is a resource center dedicated to acting as the unified voice of the U.S. mushroom industry by bringing our member businesses together to provide resources and increase knowledge on policies, research, education and training programs.

Position Summary

AMI seeks an experienced and driven Executive Director to champion the organization’s mission by balancing internal management with external pursuits. The Executive Director acts as the chief executive officer with the responsibility for management of day-to-day operations, programs and affairs of AMI. Reporting to the Board and working closely with the Board’s Executive Committee, the Executive Director provides executive leadership to the organization and has overall responsibility for AMI’s operations, including government relations activities, public relations, research, financial management, and administration. In conjunction with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director enacts and implements a strategic vision in order to strengthen and move the organization forward. The Executive Director champions and communicates the organization’s mission and relevance; is responsible for the organization’s financial stability; and engages, communicates, and collaborates, not only with the Board of Directors, but also with industry members, government leaders, and related organizations.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director ensures the effective and successful implementation of the following areas of responsibility:

Board Interaction/Vision and Strategy

  • Develop a strong collaborative working relationship with the Board; assist in its policy-making duties by providing relevant information including options and potential consequences of Board actions; enable the Board and committees to make informed decisions.
  • Assist and advise the Board by developing and directing the planning process to generate short and long-term objectives and strategies.
  • Communicate regularly with the Board of Directors about internal operations and external stakeholder communications, invite and encourage Board member participation in various events as appropriate.
  • Schedule Executive Committee meetings. Create an agenda that includes financial reporting, personnel updates and progress reports on committee initiatives.
  • Align organizational goals with committees’ activities (e.g. food safety, worker safety, pest management, human resources, research, etc.). Meet with committee leaders, coordinate and implement work plans which support established goals.
  • Serve as AMI liaison to commodity checkoff program (Mushroom Council) and Canadian mushroom growers association (Mushrooms Canada).
  • Other tasks and duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.


  • Ensure that AMI’s operations are fiscally sound, governance is transparent, and the integrity of the association is always maintained.
  • Develop and monitor an annual AMI operating budget; analyze financial information (e.g. revenues, expenditures and cash management) to ensure all operations are within budget.
  • Manage multiple budgets; identify areas for cost reduction, revenue enhancement and increased efficiencies and communicate those recommendations and creative solutions effectively to the Board and staff.
  • Monitor organization’s investment portfolio; facilitate communicate with advisors and Board.
  • Oversee the organization’s financial systems and practices to ensure compliance with all fiduciary responsibilities associated with a 501(c) (5) status.
  • Oversee AMI Community Scholarship Foundation, incorporated as a 501(c) (3). 
  • Review operating results of the organization, compare them to established objectives, and take steps to ensure that appropriate actions are implemented to align day-to-day operational activities that support and achieve those objectives.
  • Lead company compliance with all legal reporting requirements and administer employee benefits programs such as retirement plans, medical plans, etc.

Member Relationships

  • Manage a member-centric organization with an emphasis on customer service; maintain an on-going commitment to customer service by encouraging AMI staff to exceed members’ needs.
  • Balance the needs and show sensitivity and appreciation for the diverse needs of all AMI’s individual member companies.
  • Ensure that AMI’s programs expose members to the latest in regulatory compliance, best practices, technology, and are responsive to the training and professional development needs.
  • Give particular attention to the development and performance of membership services designed to meet emerging member needs, e.g. food safety best practices, integrated pest management, worker safety best practices, research dissemination, etc.
  • Oversee the Association’s membership promotion and retention efforts.
  • Continually examine AMI’s technology needs and capabilities, identifying opportunities for improvement and advancement to provide a high level of customer service to its members.

Internal Relationships

  • Provide strategic vision and guidance to ensure successful succession and employee development plans across all functions of AMI. Provide leadership to encourage employees to take initiative and develop within the organization.
  • Establish and maintain an effective organization by hiring and managing a competent and qualified staff.
  • Determine and recommend employee relations practices necessary to establish a positive employer-employee relationship and promote a high level of employee morale and motivation. Conducts periodic reviews to measure employee satisfaction and employee engagement.
  • Examine the current organizational structure and how its alignment serves its members; determine the most appropriate structure for efficiency and effectiveness in order to increase internal communication, empower staff to make decisions, and promote new thought inside the organization.
  • Maintain an open-door policy whereby employees feel comfortable being able to approach the Executive Director; create opportunities for employees to communicate with the Executive Director as well as express new ideas and discuss their own personal thoughts/concerns.

General Management

  • Ensure excellence of AMI’s monthly trade publication, Mushroom News. Make relevant content suggestions and ensure ongoing issue development, production, and timely delivery.
  • Stay current on industry trends, best practices and news; understand the current economic and political climate and how this climate will continuously shape the future of the mushroom farm community.
  • Oversee and participate in the planning and execution of all AMI conferences, trade shows, seminars, workshops, and committee activities as appropriate.
  • Manage delivery, compliance and reporting of local, state and federal grant programs and other funding opportunities.
  • Coordinate with universities, extension programs and research institutions (e.g. Penn State University) on industry needs.
  • Oversee the planning and execution of AMI’s legislative advocacy efforts including the management of the legislative consultants and various coalitions.
  • Responsible for property management, including managing tenants, handling leases, property maintenance and repairs, and collecting and adjusting rent.


  • Proven financial management, managerial, and operations experience with a solid track record of success.
  • Demonstrated leadership, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong work ethic; ability to work both independently and as a team member.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal; proven ability to work well with staff, Board members, and outside stakeholders.
  • Results-oriented, ability to manage new challenges efficiently and effectively.
  • Bachelor’s degree and 10+ years professional experience required; preference for prior nonprofit experience.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

The firm of Watkinson Miller will be managing the search. To express your interest in this position, please send a statement of interest and resume listing your experience and qualifications to candidate@watkinsonmiller.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.