AUA Chicago is seeking a new Executive Director

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2002 and is a coalition of individuals, organizations and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the greater Chicago area, from home and community based growing to market gardens and small farms.

AUA envisions a flourishing food system that promotes sustainable food growing in the Chicago area as an integral part of community economic development, food security, environmental sustainability, and overall quality of life for the region, and in which practitioners, organizations, and residents can reap the benefits.

AUA‘s Board and staff work in concert with AUA’s 2,000 plus members, partner organizations and businesses and local government in multiple ways. These include education and information sharing about best agricultural practices, participation in the development of progressive city and county policies that support urban farming and farmland conservation, and support for state legislation pursuant to these goals and values.

Sustainable food growing in the greater Chicago area is deeply rooted, robust and growing. So too is AUA. As Chicago’s hub for urban agriculture, AUA is increasingly recognized by Chicago’s food-system funders and government agencies as an important collective voice and effective partner in forging sound local food policies and related regulations. And now, upon a foundation of fifteen years, AUA is preparing plans to expand its efforts with the goal of helping Chicago build an even more vigorous and sustainable food system.

AUA’s Executive Director is a key player in the pursuit of this goal.

After five years with AUA, the current Executive Director will be leaving to fill a wonderful new position in Michigan, just down the road from his home. The AUA Board, therefore, is seeking an individual with superior leadership skills and the knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, insight and commitment to fill this position and help lead both AUA and Chicago urban agriculture well into the future. Applicant’s education, experience and skills should be commensurate with the responsibilities and requirements of the position, as outlined in the attached position description.

Please send a cover letter and resume in .pdf form to jo**@au********.org. Applications are due Friday, June 9, 2017.

Job Description for the Full Time Position of Executive Director of the Chicago Based Advocates for Urban Agriculture

Position Title: Executive Director

Executive Director Reports to: Advocates for Urban Agriculture Board of Directors

Executive Director Supervises: Outreach Coordinator

Position Purpose: The Executive Director is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission. The ED is the primary communicator between AUA and its members, partner organizations, government agencies and funders; is the lead voice in representing AUA’s position to various constituencies; and is responsible, in collaboration with Board members and contracted assistance, for achieving the organization’s fundraising objectives and managing its overall financial affairs.

Executive Director’s Responsibilities

Organizational Performance

  • Works with the board and leadership team to develop and lead strategies for achieving mission, goals and financial sustainability.
  • Maintains and utilizes a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the fields of sustainable and urban agriculture, community development and social enterprise, and local, regional and state policies that are needed or are in development that will have impact in these areas.
  • Oversees strategic plan implementation, assesses and reviews program activities, and monitors need for change.
  • Oversees and manages AUA Board participation through monthly meetings, conference calls, and online communications.
  • Oversees and supports Board and member activities in AUA task forces; translates those activities into actionable plans.
  • With the Board, actively identifies potential Board candidates who can strengthen AUA’s diversity and capacity
  • Develops and executes ambitious, but achievable plans for resource development, e.g., cultivate positive relationships with institutional funders such as foundations, government agencies, corporations, and others.

Community Engagement and Leadership

  • Serves as an effective spokesperson. Represents the organization well to its constituencies, including AUA members, partner organizations, government agencies, elected officials, funders, and the general public.
  • Develops and effectively uses AUA’s website, social media tools and face-to- face opportunities for communication.
  • Oversees and manages the development and expansion of resources like AUA’s Urban Agriculture Resource Guide and mapping project.
  • Positions AUA as a leading voice in the development of sustainable food growing and related activities in urban, suburban and even rural settings where appropriate

Administration, Finance and HR

  • Supports the development of policies and organizational culture that enable satisfying roles for current staff and ability to attract and retain additional diverse staff in key positions as funding becomes available.
  • Assures adequate control and accounting of all funds, including maintaining sound financial practices.
  • Works with the Board to prepare budgets and reports, monitor progress, and initiate changes (to operations and/or to budgets) as appropriate.
  • Sees that official records and documents are retained; ensures compliance with federal state and local regulations (examples: Form 990, payroll withholding)

Executive Director’s Compensation

$50,000 annual gross salary for this full time position, and 20 personal days off per year