Executive Director (269 views)

Northampton, MA
January 20, 2020 2020-03-20
Job Description

The Opportunity

Valley Community Development (Valley) is seeking a highly experienced, dynamic, entrepreneurial, and visionary leader who will guide this vibrant and highly recognized community-based organization to its next level of development and growth. The new Executive Director will provide leadership for a nonprofit which is fiscally stable and well positioned to expand its work to empower low- and moderate-income people and underserved populations manage and improve the quality of their lives. The organization addresses these needs through the development and preservation of affordable housing, providing homeownership education, improving economic opportunities through small business technical assistance, and fostering community leadership in Hampshire and Franklin Counties of Western Massachusetts.

Valley Community Development is based in Northampton, located in Hampshire County Massachusetts, also known as “Paradise City”. Northampton is located within the beautiful Pioneer Valley including the Connecticut River and the mountains of nearby Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom. The organization resides in a region influenced by sixteen colleges and universities, creating a vital and engaged academic

For additional information, please visit: https://valleycdc.com/

Organizational Overview and Accomplishments

Since 1988, Valley Community Development has focused on promoting economic self-sufficiency and community leadership. The organization serves low- and moderate-income residents, primarily underserved communities: communities of color; especially immigrant populations; people earning below 80% of the median income; and homeless residents with special needs.

To achieve these goals, Valley Community Development has developed 279 units of affordable rental or ownership housing. Valley currently owns or manages 189 units of rental housing in Northampton, Easthampton, and Amherst, including 38 Single Room Occupancy housing. Valley recently completed the development of The Lumber Yard, a 55-unit affordable rental development in downtown Northampton which includes Valley’s office on the first floor, and Parsons Village, a 38-unit affordable rental development in Easthampton. Additionally, Valley has graduated more than 6,000 first-time homebuyer class participants and has administered down payment and closing cost assistance and mortgage subsidy programs.

Over the years, Valley has provided business technical assistance to over 1600 local start-ups and existing small businesses. Through an active collaboration with two nearby community development organizations in Western Massachusetts, Franklin County Community Development Corporation and Hilltown Community Development Corporation, Valley is able to offer coordinated business counselling services to entrepreneurs and small businesses not only located in Hampshire, and Franklin counties, but also to small businesses located in the North Quabbin, and Northern Berkshire regions.

Valley Community Development is recognized for its long-time collaborative relationships and partnerships both statewide and in Western Massachusetts. The organization maintains active relationships with statewide community development associations and nonprofits, housing partnerships and trusts, city and town planning departments, immigrant-led organizations and other nonprofits, and local elected officials.

Valley has had the opportunity to access over $250,000 a year unrestricted dollars since 2014 from the Massachusetts Community Investment Tax Credit Program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Valley’s very active and engaged resident-based 14-member board of directors meets bi-monthly to govern the organization and provide strategic oversight. Board members participate in five committees together with community members to ensure the work is implemented in partnership with residents and community stakeholders. The Board has recently been focused on addressing issues of racial and economic equity, inclusion, and diversity, by changing its composition to better reflect the diversity of its constituency.

Valley Community Development has a budget of about $750,000 and six full-time staff.

Valley Community Development Programs and Initiatives

Affordable Housing Development

Valley is recognized as a primary developer of affordable housing for Northampton, Amherst, and Easthampton and has recently expanded its development to Franklin County. Valley has preserved and developed a variety of affordable housing including family, senior, and supportive housing.

Housing Services

Through its Homeownership Assistance Center, Valley provides first time homebuyer counseling and education, down payment and closing costs assistance, post-purchase education, foreclosure prevention services, and marketing of affordable home resales. These services strengthen the financial assets of low- income households and allows them to remain in the communities of their choice, contributing to the social, economic, and racial diversity of their community.

Small Business Development

Valley Community Development’s Small Business Development Program provides a range of free services to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals engaged in start-up and existing small businesses. Services include business plan development, cash flow analysis, credit counseling, financial literacy, marketing, and access to community loan funds. Individual counseling and educational workshops and seminars are offered.

Community Engagement

Valley engages its constituency, particularly tenants and other program participants in various community activities and leadership development initiatives, such as advocacy for affordable housing, assistance in determining affordable housing needs and development, and neighborhood improvement.

Strategic Directions, Opportunities and Challenges

Valley Community Development has been operating under a five-year strategic plan (FY 2016-FY2020) and has recently voted to extend it, with modifications for an additional year during this transition. Over the next few years, Valley would like to expand its community impact. With growing income inequality in the region, the development of affordable housing continues to be a major focus of Valley Community Development’s programmatic priorities. Valley currently has over 150 units of affordable housing currently in the pipeline for development and plans to develop and maintain a pipeline of 200 units of affordable housing in the next three years, with a focus on affordable rental housing. In 2020, Valley plans to expand its housing development capacity through partnering with housing consultant services. The organization also will consider developing future properties on its own without a larger partner which will provide Valley with access to the full developer fees and create more flexibility regarding the size of new projects.

Valley plans to serve about 350 first time homebuyers and existing homeowners each year. Additionally, Valley hopes to increase its small business development staff capacity and offer services to as many as 80 small businesses annually. Additionally, Valley plans to expand its ongoing initiative to increase the engagement of its constituency with the mission, programmatic, and advocacy work of Valley Community Development. Through the leadership of its Community Engagement Committee, the organization will increase its efforts to develop and engage new and emerging leaders within its constituency to initiate and implement new advocacy initiatives.

Increasing its visibility in Western Massachusetts through social media and other communication strategies will continue to be a focus for Valley Community Development as well as expanding its fundraising capacity over the next few years.

The Board is committed to continue its work to be more inclusive and expand the racial and economic diversity of its composition to better reflect the diversity of the communities it serves. As part of this initiative, the Board and staff will continue to engage in trainings and discussions about racial and economic equity, inclusion, and power dynamics; evaluate its policies and practices in alignment with this learning; and make changes where needed to increase equitable organizational practices.

Profile of the Ideal Candidate

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Demonstrated knowledge of affordable housing  development; technical experience, such as evaluation of potential projects, negotiation, and financing is a plus.
  • At least seven years of progressive, senior-level nonprofit staff management experience.
  • Knowledge about, and experience working within the nonprofit community development field.
  • Proven track record of successful fund development, including individual donor campaigns.
  • Experience with, and sensitivity to working wi th diverse communities and cultures.
  •  Successful experience in developing and cultivating relationships with public officials, neighborhood institutions, and other political and community stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated competence in nonprofit financial management.
  • Experience taking an organization to its next level, developing new initiatives, and successfully managing change.
  • Demonstrated success in working collaboratively with consultants and board members to develop and implement strategic plans.
  • Experience working within a participatory, collaborative management model.
  • Successful experience working with an active board of directors and in building a collaborative relationship between and among boards, staff, and community residents.
  • Excellent interpersonal, and relationship-building skills along with excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Previous experience as an executive director is a plus.

Leadership Style and Personal Attributes

  • Well-organized, solid follow-through and implementation abilities; able to prioritize and balance conflicting demands.
  • Demonstrated ability to be a strategic, forward-thinking leader who is entrepreneurial, visionary, and takes initiative.
  • Ability to effectively multi-task.
  • Resilient and flexible, willing to jump in and participate with other staff as necessary.
  • Facilitative leadership style that encourages meaningful staff participation, initiative and problem- solving, while maintaining accountability.
  • Ability to be self-reflective, and open to listening and learning.

Key Responsibilities

Overall Day-to-Day Operations and Staff Management

  • Provide leadership and oversight for all day-to day operations and management of Valley Community Development.
  • Operate using a participatory management model, encouraging staff empowerment and accountability.
  • Recruit, hire, and supervise staff, as required.
  • Ensure job descriptions and workplans are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that industry-standard human resource practices are in place.
  • Maintain an organizational climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse and highly qualified staff and volunteers.

Fund Development

  • Work with Board and Resource Development Committee to develop, implement and adapt a fundraising strategy to ensure short and long-term financial sustainability of Valley.
  • Develop and sustain relationships with funders, elected officials, and other stakeholders.
  • Direct and expand all revenue-generating and individual/corporate donor fundraising activities in collaboration with the Board, and with emphasis on the Community Investment Tax Credit Program. This important responsibility is in, support and growth of the organization’s operations, affordable housing projects, and other key programs.

Financial Management

  • Work closely with Fiscal Director, Audit/Finance Committee, and Board to prepare and manage annual budgets.
  • Provide oversight of all contract management and compliance for funding sources.
  • Provide oversight of all accounting and bookkeeping.
  • Work with the Fiscal Director to produce accurate, timely and comprehensive financial reports to the Board.
  • Ensure the organization’s expenditures are consistent with the existing budget.

 Program Stra tegy and Development, Strategic Planning, and Evaluation

  • Ensure that Valley Community Development’s board and staff engage in strategic planning processes with outside consultants every three to five years and effectively implement the plan to achieve the strategic directions.
  • Maintain and utilize a working knowledge of significant developments and trends within Hampshire and Franklin Counties to help the organization advance its goals.
  • Work with Board, staff and consultants to explore affordable housing projects, negotiate acquisition of properties, and oversee the management development process.
  • Oversee the management of the pipeline of housing development projects and asset management of the existing housing portfolio.
  • Promote and support active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization’s work, especially through its committees.
  • Oversee the organization’s evaluation systems for improving programs.

S takeho lder Relationship Building and Member/ Resident Engagement

  • Working closely with the Community Engagement Committee, ensure meaningful engagement of residents and other key community stakeholders. Ensure voices are well represented, and power and influence are appropriately shared by building on mutual respect and a deep understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Develop and cultivate ongoing relationships with elected officials, key community, city, and statewide leaders, and other stakeholders who can impact Valley Community Development’s mission, affordable housing initiatives, and other programs.

 Board Development  

  • Works in partnership with the Board President to design agendas for board meetings.
  • Support other Board committees (direct or delegated).
  • Works in partnership with the Board to assure development of an effective and motivated Board.
  • Assist the Board in recruitment, cultivation, and orientation of new Board members.
  • Provide timely written reports to the Board and keep Board fully informed of important projects and conditions of the organization.
  • Develop strategic proposals to bring to the Board.
  • Assist the Board in developing and cultivating relationships with individual donors and other funders and external stakeholders.

Communications and Social Media

  • Ensure that Valley has an effective communications and social media strategy to publicize the organization’s programs, initiatives, resident engagement, and fundraising events.

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation package is commensurate with experience within the framework of the organization’s operating budget and in conjunction with Valley’s generous benefits package. Compensation is competitive with nonprofit organizations in the Western Massachusetts region.

Valley Community Development is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates for this position.
We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and cultures to apply.