Executive Director of MOFGA
Hiring Process: MOFGA is accepting applications and reviewing them on a rolling basis. The hiring process will remain open until we find the appropriate candidate.
MOFGA is looking for an inspiring and visionary leader to advance the organization’s goals. MOFGA’s mission is to help farmers and gardeners: grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.
Organizational Description: Founded in 1971, MOFGA is the oldest and largest state organic association in the country, with members in almost 7,000 homes and businesses in Maine and beyond. We are a diverse group of people, united in our enthusiasm about fresh, organic, local food, healthy communities and environmental stewardship. Our staff provides technical assistance to farmers, gardeners and marketers, and trains the next generation of Maine farmers. We host dozens of workshops, classes, conferences and other educational events throughout the year at our home in Unity and around the state. We host the Common Ground Country Fair each September, drawing about 60,000 visitors. We operate a USDA-accredited organic certification program that certifies more than 400 operations in Maine. Through coalition work, legislation, teach-ins and reporting, our staff and volunteers educate state and federal policy makers and the general public about the benefits of organic agriculture. We have an award winning newspaper, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, and an extensive Internet presence through our own websites – www.mofga.org and www.mofga.net – well as social media outlets.
MOFGA operates out of its 400-plus-acre Common Ground Education Center, site of the Common Ground Country Fair, in the town of Unity. In addition to office headquarters, the Education Center features working farmland, a modern homestead, barns, maintenance buildings, orchards, educational gardens, a vast living collection of shade trees and ornamentals, extensive forest land managed with low impact forestry practices, renewable energy systems, and an extensive trail network. The organization depends on the commitment of 1,500+ active volunteers to enable us to carry out our mission.
Context: Russell Libby led MOFGA beginning in 1995 when he became our fifth Executive Director. His vision and leadership helped raise the organization to its current prominence. In the spring of 2012, Russell and MOFGA’s Executive Committee began succession-planning discussions and created a position that would allow him to shift his energy away from day to day administration of the organization, toward public policy initiatives, particularly in food security – an area of Russell’s great expertise. In November, MOFGA’s Board appointed Russell to the position of Senior Policy Advisor. He served in this position briefly until his untimely death in December. Deputy Director, Heather Spalding, who worked closely with Russell for more than 15 years, currently serves as Interim Executive Director and plans to resume her role as Deputy Director once an Executive Director is hired.
Position Requirements and Expectations: The Executive Director will work collaboratively with the Board of Directors and Staff in the following areas:
- Program Development – Assess and conduct programs that build MOFGA’s capacity to encourage and serve the rapidly expanding network of organic farmers and gardeners, and to help consumers gain access to organic food.
- Organizational Management – Enhance the internal management systems with structures, policies and procedures in governance, financial management, personnel and human resources, communications technology, resource development, and internal assessment and programming, using current best practices for nonprofit management.
- Communications/Marketing – Increase public awareness and knowledge about MOFGA, its certified organic farmers, and the broader organic farming and gardening community.
- Public Policy – Create, articulate and implement clear policy that teaches government leaders and the general public about the benefits of organic production methods, and the numerous health and environmental consequences of conventional agriculture and its dependence on synthetic chemicals.
- Networking – Expand and strengthen MOFGA’s role as a leader of the local, organic farming and gardening community by building relationships with state and national organizations.
- Facilities – Oversee and direct maintenance and development of MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center and other properties.
- Fundraising – Work with Associate Director for Development and program staff to ensure MOFGA’s financial stability, drawing on the organization’s broad and diverse community of members, volunteers, major donors, foundations and government agencies.
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have extensive practical experience at a senior management level, and a record of exemplary success in the professional domains encompassed by the position requirements and expectations described above. The successful candidate will have:
- An engaging personality.
- A proven ability to manage and inspire a professional staff of more than thirty as well as a vast, highly involved volunteer community.
- Extensive experience with non-profit administration and facilities management.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills through all media channels.
- A proven, creative and effective fundraising record with public and private donors and foundations.
- Successful public policy development and implementation at state and national levels.
- An effective and respected public presence.
- An ability to build bridges among diverse communities, stakeholders and networks.
- A vision of Maine as a leader in providing local, sustainably grown, organic food.
- Appreciation of Maine's rich agricultural history, culture and diversity.
- Experience with local, organic agriculture, and rural community development.
The position is based at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity, Maine. Salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience and comparable to those of organizations of similar type and size.
Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and relevant writing sample to MOFGA’s Executive Director Search Committee. The letter should describe the candidate’s qualifications and articulate the candidate’s professional vision.
Materials shall be submitted electronically as attachments in PDF format. All required documents should be compiled in a single PDF and addressed to email@example.com, subject line: “<candidate’s name> – MOFGA ED Application.” Review of candidates is under way. The hiring process will remain open until we find the appropriate candidate. We anticipate that the position will be filled by June 2013.
Questions regarding this announcement may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; subject line: “<your name> – MOFGA ED Inquiry.” Please include your full name and contact information (email address and phone number) in the body of the email.
Please encourage qualified individuals to apply.
MOFGA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Primary Responsibilities: Support the Fair Director and Fair Coordinator as needed with administrative support, logistics coordination, and promotional programs in the preparations and operations of the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair.
Work Week: Seasonal/Part-time, 16-24 hours per week, May through mid-October with additional hours in the weeks leading up to the Fair and during Fair weekend. This position is non-exempt under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The employee in this position is eligible for overtime pay.
Required Abilities and Knowledge:
- first hand familiarity with the Common Ground Country Fair and support for the mission and work of MOFGA
- previous experience organizing events and working with volunteers
- a clear writing style, composed phone manners, a good sense of proper email etiquette, and congenial interpersonal skills
- comfort working with MS Word and proficient with Excel
- adept with online tools, including Google Docs
- experience working with databases
- competence with the Adobe suite of design programs, particularly InDesign, a plus
- at ease working with many projects simultaneously while prioritizing workload
There is quite a learning curve with this position because it begins at a time when the Fair planning is well under way. You will be trained to work with systems and programs (ex, our database) that support the Fair's operations. You will be working closely with the staff, providing day-to-day administrative support and undertaking select ongoing projects that will require initiative and planning to keep on track. You can expect your work to encompass the following, and more:
- providing administrative support to the Fair Director and Coordinator
- processing mailings and communications with Fair volunteer staff and participants
- fielding inquiries via phone and email from the general public
- coordinating advance ticket sales
- coordinating promotional logistics
- record keeping necessary to support the logistical needs (show ribbons, tent supplies, t-shirts, meal tickets, parking passes, etc. …) of the Fair volunteer staff
- updating participant records and Fair program information in the databases and content management system used for publishing the Fair program online
- liaison with Fair utilities and site crew
- engage with Fair vendors and exhibitors on the phone and in person, assisting them with the myriad of questions that surface as the Fair approaches
- assist with Fair set-up and clean-up
- and other duties as needed
You will be expected to carry out all of the above in accordance with the mission statement, goals, and philosophy of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
To apply for this position, submit a cover letter and resume via email using the subject "Fair Assistant Job - <your name>" to email@example.com. This position is open until filled.