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Executive Director, Food Desert Action

Executive Director, Food Desert Action

Executive Director,
Food Desert Action
Chicago, IL

POSTED January 3, 2012
January 15, 2012

The mission of Food Desert Action is to provide community-engaged solutions that will end food deserts. We believe that a holistic approach, including social enterprise, education, community organizing, and advocacy is needed to restore meaningful food access and eliminate health disparities in under-resourced communities. Overview: The Executive Director is responsible for the professional leadership and management of Food Desert Action, the parent organization of Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market. The Executive Director will work with the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and partners to advance the mission and goals of the organization.


Organizational Management

  • Work with the Board President to ensure the organization has a strong and effective board of directors, with regular meetings and functioning committees
  • Ensure that the board is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all important factors influencing it
  • Oversee all organizational programming, including the Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market and other programs that may be developed to advance the mission of the organization
  • Supervise and work with staff who have day-to-day responsibility for the operation of the organization to ensure optimal operations of programs and fiscal accountability; currently this includes Senior Project Manager for Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market, and may include additional reports as the organization expands
  • Ensure the effective management of organizational consultants, contractors, and volunteers
  • Ensure the effective recruitment, hiring, staffing, and supervision of organizational staff
  • Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and sound human resource practices are in place
  • Maintain a climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people
  • Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy which is mission-driven and is implemented in a consistent and timely manner


  • In conjunction with the Board of Directors, create an annual fundraising plan for the organization
  • Identify potential new funders and funding opportunities
  • Meet with potential grantmakers, donors, and other supporters to solicit funds and ensure that sufficient resources are available to support the work of the organization
  • Ensure that grant proposals and reports are submitted in a timely fashion


  • Advocate for policy change in the public and private sectors to advance the mission of the organization
  • Serve as primary spokesperson to the media regarding the organization’s work and mission
  • Develop key relationships with elected officials, regulators, policymakers, thought leaders, community leaders, and colleagues to advance the mission of the organization

Fiscal Management

  • Prepare and present the annual organizational budget for approval by the Board of Directors, ensure that expenditures fall within budgeted amounts, and revise the budget as needed throughout the year
  • Act to oversee and ensure sound fiscal oversight of an organization with daily cash and online sales operations
  • Be a primary authorized signer for checks written by the organization
  • Ensure organizational reporting and compliance on all fiscal issues, including the filing of sales and income taxes, filing of legal documents with the state and federal governments to ensure the organization is a charitable nonprofit in good standing, and the preparation of an annual report
  • Ensure an annual independent financial audit of the organization

Oversight of program expansion

  • In conjunction with the Senior Project Manager, develop a plan, timeline, and budget for expansion of the Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market to the south side of Chicago
  • In conjunction with the Senior Project Manager, develop a plan, timeline, and budget for Fresh Moves’ consultation with additional mobile market projects around the country
  • Work to ensure a place of organizational leadership in the national field of organizations increasing urban food access

Building of organizational partnerships

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key organizational partners, including Chicago Transit Authority, Kendall College, Architecture for Humanity, Engaging Philanthropy Inspiring Creatives (EPIC), Goodcity, and other key organizational partners
  • Build relationships with key community leaders in the neighborhoods in which Fresh Moves operates
  • Ensure a high level of community participation through outreach to organizations hosting current and potential stops, and the development of a community advisory council. Other duties as assigned


  • 5+ years professional management experience
  • Experience in nonprofit governance, fiscal systems, and operations
  • Prior experience with start-up organizations, and the ambition and work ethic to drive an organization with exponential growth
  • Ability to build relationships effectively across different racial, age, and socio-economic levels, from corporate CEOs to youth on the streets of Chicago’s marginalized communities of color
  • Proven fundraising experience
  • Exceptional communication skills, including writing and public speaking
  • A passion and personal commitment to food justice, health equity and community engagement
  • Deep experience in community development, especially in the African-American community
  • In-depth knowledge of Chicago’s community areas and political landscape
  • Experience developing and managing budgets
  • Familiarity with business development ideas and practices
  • Proven track record of building strong and productive work teams with a focus on mentoring and nurturing staff development
  • Comfortable working with and driving a consensus-driven, collaborative environment where voices from across the organization are valued in setting strategy and making decisions
  • Ability to work with a Board of Directors and build the consensus necessary to ensure organizational success


To apply, please go to the online application.