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Executive Director

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Published 12 days ago

ABOUT STEIN LEARNING GARDENS

Stein Learning Gardens at St. Sabina (SLG), established in 2018, is an urban farming and food systems project at St. Sabina Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. The organization has achieved early success and rapidly established notoriety and is ready to be guided to new levels of growth, impact, and sustainability by the next Executive Director.

·      Mission: Stein Learning Gardens is committed to delivering high quality garden education and community programs that create positive learning experiences, encourage healthy lifestyle choices, and increase community members’ access to fresh and affordable healthy produce.

·      Programs: SLG provides garden, cooking, and nutrition education programming to school-aged children, high school youth, families and seniors. Our programs lead participants from seed to plate in urban gardens on the St. Sabina campus and in both on and off campus work to support families growing food at home via the citywide Grow Your Groceries campaign. In addition to providing  these programs, SLG pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic and now provides low/no-cost produce to area families.

·      Facilities: We have two major locations on campus where we conduct our work—

o   The Barbara Stein Memorial Learning Garden and Greenhouse

§  Our original outdoor classroom features multiple teaching spaces, a greenhouse for year-round production, and a small woodshop for creative projects.

o   The Nurture Life Farm and Community Hub featuring Barbara’s Market

§  Our newest development brings together two adjacent city lots to form a place where students, staff, and neighbors gather to grow, receive, and eat locally grown produce while reflecting on and living out what it looks like to create peace and safety in the community on a daily basis.

§  Barbara’s Market features prominently on the site as our donation based farmstand where families can come weekly to pick up produce grown on site and at other nearby farms.

PRIMARY JOB FUNCTION:

Stein Learning Gardens at St. Sabina (SLG) is seeking an engaging, experienced, and motivated Executive Director to build up and expand upon the strong successes and outcomes achieved in SLG’s Start Up and Early Growth stages. Specifically, we are seeking a candidate who is confident about employing strong storytelling and business acumen to diversify and increase revenues for SLG by an additional $50-100K in the first year.

The ideal candidate is a passionate leader and communicator with a track record of successfully growing an organization, department, or initiative. Further, the candidate is a visionary, a proven fundraiser and team leader, who possesses a deep commitment to youth development, urban agriculture, and creating a collaborative, just, and anti-racist food system for all.

Established in 2018 with generous and ongoing support from the Stein family, Stein Learning Gardens achieved early success serving upwards of 150 children per week in our first two seasons. Since then, the program not only survived the pandemic, but adapted and expanded the work in 2020-2021 amid great uncertainty for the future providing home garden kits to over 5500 children citywide. 

Heading into 2022, the organization is now poised to grow again with the foundation of a strong suite of programs, enthusiastic community support, a well-rounded program and operations team, and a solid balance sheet. The next leader will be someone who can take this well-oiled machine and strategically drive it towards greater long-term growth and sustainability. 

KEY ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

Leadership

•      Provide overall leadership of SLG strategy, staff, programs, administration, and finances to ensure the successful execution of the mission

•      Engage and support staff to develop and carry out a range of activities and programs

•      Foster collaboration between SLG staff and programs and stakeholders at Saint Sabina Academy, The ARK, The Saint Sabina Employment Resource Center, The Saint Sabina Elders' Village, The Faith Community of Saint Sabina, and other internal stakeholders.

•      Act as an effective and inspiring spokesperson for SLG

•      Represent SLG in new and ongoing partnerships with external partners and institutions

Operations and Program Planning and Management

•      Serve as the primary decision-maker on core operating activities including human resources, budgeting, and financial management

•      Manage and support staff in the successful execution of their duties 

•      Oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of all programs

•      Ensure programs achieve clear, measurable results and the impact is tracked, evaluated and communicated to the appropriate parties (e.g. funders, pastor of St. Sabina)

•      In collaboration with the Production Manager and the Education Program Manager, ensure that all outdoor sites are well maintained and ready for our programs and safe use by the public

•      Track systems for responsibly managing physical resources and maintaining tools and equipment in good working condition

Human Resources Planning and Management

•      Maintain a positive, safe, and legally compliant work environment

•      Professionally implement human resource policies, procedures, and practices, including staff performance management and evaluation that build upon the existing policies, procedures, and practices prescribed by the Archdiocese of Chicago

•      Recruit, lead, develop, and support all staff

•      Ensure appropriate onboarding and training for new staff members

•      Maintain records of staff compliance with required trainings including VIRTUS, First Aid/CPR, Serv Safe, and others, as required on a position by position basis

Financial Planning, Management, and Development

•      Prepare comprehensive annual budgets and secure approval from senior pastor of St. Sabina and other relevant parties

•      Maintain and expand SLG’s income from grants, corporate sponsors, major donors, individual donors, program related income and other sources

•      Administer and control funds in accordance with annual budget

•      Monitor the cash flow of SLG and produce monthly reports on revenues and expenditures

•      Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed and that SLG complies with tax obligations and all relevant regulations

•      Complete all grant reports in a timely and professional manner

Community Relations/Advocacy

•      Establish and maintain good working relationships with community, funders, individual donors, policymakers, volunteers and all other stakeholders to achieve organizational goals and ensure longevity and viability of SLG

•      Communicate with SLG stakeholders and keep them informed of SLG’s work and progress

•      Identify and keep up to date on urban agricultural issues pertinent to both the immediate community and region and, on a lessor scale, the country and apply knowledge to SLG’s operations

Communications and Marketing

•      Ensure the team is regularly using various digital media resources to communicate about SLG to stakeholders and the general public

•      Expand and build upon SLG’s brand identity to increase notoriety and brand recognition

•      Serve as spokesperson for SLG as needed while making efforts to support team members, program participants and allies to be camera-ready for increased representation in the media

•      Follow all communications guidelines as set forth by Saint Sabina and the Archdiocese of Chicago

REQUIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Any combination of formal education, paid work experience, unpaid/volunteer experience, and life experience will be considered to meet the following:

•      A minimum of five years nonprofit experience, specifically in fundraising and marketing, and/or operations.

•      A minimum of three years managing direct reports, preferably in a nonprofit setting. 

•      Considerable knowledge of fundraising techniques and sources of funding for nonprofits.

•      Proven success developing charitable funds from a diversity of sources.

•      Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a related field 

•      Demonstrated track record of scaling an organization, department, or program(s)

•      Ability to manage, organize, and coordinate fundraising systems and operations

•      Excellent verbal, written, analytical, and interpersonal skills.  

•      Strong time management skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

•      Professionalism, empathy, and the ability to work as part of a team and interact with a diverse array of people from all walks of life.

•      A proven ability to move initiatives forward, identify opportunities, take reasonable risks, manage challenges, and achieve desired results

•      A skilled leader with an ability to motivate, coach, and develop an experienced staff

•      Confident and inclusive leadership style

•      A commitment to improving outcomes for youth on the South Side of Chicago

•      Passion for gardening, food justice and the benefits of farm-to-school programming

PREFERRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:

·      Multiple years’ experience growing food intensively in an urban setting

·      Experience in curriculum development, program design & evaluation is a plus

·      Knowledge of urban agriculture, community and youth development communities in Chicago.

·      Experience cultivating support from corporate sponsors.

WORKING CONDITIONS: 

  • Normal office environment with little exposure to excessive noise, dust, and temperature.
  • Work occasional nights and weekends as necessary to attend meetings and events.
  • Must have access to reliable transportation and ability to travel to meetings or events at different locations.
  • Use of computer required.
  • Some heavy lifting may be required (under 50 lbs).

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

·      This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position that is housed within the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Full benefits are available through the Archdiocese of Chicago including healthcare, dental, short and long term disability, retirement fund, employer-provided laptop, and generous PTO and sick days (in addition to federal holidays).

·      Salary Range $60,000-70,000

ABOUT STEIN LEARNING GARDENS

Stein Learning Gardens at St. Sabina (SLG), established in 2018, is an urban farming and food systems project at St. Sabina Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. The organization has achieved early…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    October 25, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    September 22, 2021
  • Professional Level
    Managerial

Salary

USD 60,000 - USD 70,000

Benefits

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position that is housed within the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Full benefits are available through the Archdiocese of Chicago including healthcare, dental, short and long term disability, retirement fund, employer-provided laptop, and generous PTO and sick days (in addition to federal holidays).

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position that is housed within the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Full benefits are available through the Archdiocese of Chicago…

Location

On-site
7840 S Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60620, USA

How to Apply

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume in an email with the subject line “[Your Name] - Executive Director” to apply@sabinagardens.org.

The application deadline is September 22nd. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until then.

Stein Learning Gardens is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions). Women, people of color, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume in an email with the subject line “[Your Name] - Executive Director” to apply@sabinagardens.org.

The application deadline is…

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