Vice President, Agri Food Engagement

Vice President, Agri Food Engagement

Feeding America

Location Flexible; Chicago, IL Preferred   |   May 27, 2021

About Feeding America

As the nation’s 2nd largest nonprofit and largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America is at the forefront of the fight to end hunger. With an annual revenue of $2.7 billion, which includes 3.5 billion pounds of donated food, Feeding America fights hunger through innovative initiatives to feed, nourish, empower, unite and connect with communities in need. Through it all, Feeding America keeps the people it serves at the center of its vision of a hunger-free America.

Feeding America engages our country and communities in the fight to end hunger on an unprecedented scale. It serves as a catalyst at both the national and local levels, reaching every county in the United States. It moves nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, Feeding America helps the people it serves build a path to a brighter, food-secure future.

In 2020, the COVID crisis hit the country and surged. It devastated individuals and families as food insecurity grew. The average increase in the number of clients reported by food banks grew by an astounding 60%. Feeding America and its partners were able to move quickly and decisively to implement multi prong strategies that included new systems, distribution and supply chain, leveraging and expanding partnerships, and tapping into new sources such as cafeterias and restaurants. The result was that Feeding America’s partners provided one billion more meals in 2020 versus 2019.

Inspired by this success, Feeding America continues firmly on the march to solve hunger.

The organization is a nationwide network of 200 food banks, which distribute food through 60,000 partner food pantries and meals programs. Together, the Feeding America network provides more than 4 billion meals to more than 40 million people across the United States and supports programs that improve food security for the families they serve. Feeding America reached this milestone by investing in creative food sourcing strategies and expanding partnerships.

Feeding America is deeply committed to meeting the unique nutritional and health needs of individuals and their communities by leveraging an approach that is people-centered, responsive and adaptive. The work is not just about providing meals. On the journey to achieving its mission, Feeding America addresses barriers so everyone can thrive.

In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it is almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet, there are 40 million people who don’t have enough to eat. That is 40 million too many. Each year, more than 12 million children and 5 million seniors struggle with hunger.

Hunger is not a partisan issue. To reduce our nation’s meal gap, Feeding America partners with lawmakers from both parties to educate Congress and the Administration about policies that will reduce hunger.

By 2025, Feeding America will meet ambitious goals tied to capturing more nutritious food to feed more families and helping to save the planet along the way; improving equitable access to nutritious food for individuals and families, particularly people from vulnerable communities and populations; and most importantly, building greater public will and action to end hunger by driving innovation and expanding access.

Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Feeding America will continue to broaden its impact in the pursuit of ending hunger in America. As it enters this next chapter, Feeding America will continue to serve as a thought leader and pioneer, filling the gap left by federal nutrition programs unable to meet the needs of people facing hunger each day.

For more information on Feeding America, please visit www.feedingamerica.org.

The Opportunity

At this critical moment in its history, Feeding America is seeking a dynamic, mission-driven executive to serve as the Vice President, Agri Food Engagement.

The VP, Agri Food Engagement will be charged with leading a team that will collaborate with network members and other external partners to co-design and collectively advance strategies for increasing the sustainable supply of agricultural products, including produce, protein and dairy, for people facing hunger. The VP, Agri Food Engagement will work closely with network members to ensure network models for regional supply chains are aligning and following core best practices in the areas of supply/demand planning, coordinated and optimized logistics, sourcing and distribution of excess supply, as well as sustainable funding methods and equitable grant opportunities.

The VP, Agri Food Engagement will report to the Chief Supply Chain Officer, serving as a member of the Supply Chain Department Leadership Team, and will lead a team of four.

Key responsibilities of the VP, Agri Food Engagement include:

  • Lead the development and execution of collaborative strategies and programs designed to optimize the availability of agricultural product for the Feeding America network. This includes the development of agri-sourcing business models focused on optimizing forward planning, a national systems platform, optimized transportation as well least-cost acquisition, variety and quality. Conduct this work in collaboration with network members and the agri-sourcing team’s national efforts for produce, protein and dairy sourcing as well as the transportation team.
  • Advance co-op and state agri-sourcing systems and structures to develop next generation food sharing systems and processes allowing excess food to be identified and moved to where it is needed most.
  • Support food banks, co-ops, and other stakeholders in understanding and adoption of the unified systems platform to fully utilize the tool and to leverage network scale to more efficiently and equitably source and distribute produce, protein and dairy.
  • Leverage the strategic relationships within agri-business and align food bank members to leverage collective strengths and abilities for securing additional agri-sourced food at lowest possible costs and reinforcing Feeding America’s strategies around a Regional/National Agri Model.
  • Collaborate with the Strategic Capabilities Team to provide technical assistance and training to help network members fully leverage the benefits of a collaborative regional agri food-raising model.
  • Engage collaboratively with Customer Service, Marketing, Corporate Partnerships, Government Relations, and other internal functions in developing and executing agribusiness strategies and promote food and product donation outcomes focused on increasing the supply and quality of food available to people facing hunger.
  • Direct the development of department objectives, actions and metrics, and associated budget needs each annual budgeting cycle and for a perpetual three-year planning process ensuring alignment with Feeding America’s strategic outcomes and priorities. Incorporate EDI goals and objectives that align with department and Feeding America strategic objectives. Establish effective processes to ensure transparency and accountability to track progress through KPIs and other scorecards.
  • Create a team-based, continuous improvement-oriented work environment that is focused on providing excellent customer service to donors and network members, while keeping people facing hunger at the center of our decisions.
  • Invest in, and develop, the professional capabilities of team members to support career growth and build a high performing team.
  • Lead or support Feeding America national learning conferences as needed to ensure maximum value of content for network.
  • Participate on task forces, special projects, and inter/intra departmental projects as needed.
Foundational Principles

Candidates must meet the following foundational requirements:

A Passion for the Mission

The VP, Agri Food Engagement will have a passion for the mission of Feeding America and a commitment to ending hunger. This leader will embrace the core values of the organization and its commitment to transforming the lives of those in need. The VP, Agri Food Engagement will flourish in a mission-driven, business environment. This leader will be energized working in a national organization while continually innovating to help expand the reach of Feeding America. This executive will have a collaborative spirit and will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect. This leader will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The VP, Agri Food Engagement will play a critical role in prioritizing equity as a driver for Feeding America. This leader will embrace principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in word and action, including hiring, mentorship, teambuilding, network activities and stakeholder engagement. The VP, Agri Food Engagement will actively focus on building equity into structures, systems, operating goals and processes for employees and the communities Feeding America serves. The VP, Agri Food Engagement will bring expertise, an innovative and open mindset, and a commitment to inclusive practices that value different backgrounds and life experiences and allows everyone to bring their authentic self to work.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

An Innovative Thinker & Change Agent

The VP, Agri Food Engagement will have a strong track record of providing creative leadership to design and deliver systems and processes to solve complex problems and fulfill an organization’s mission. With innate curiosity and exceptional conceptual and critical thinking abilities, the VP will demonstrate the ability to lead a team to curate and turn ‘big ideas’ into reality and deliver results, while boldly pushing the boundaries of the work and encouraging new ideas and approaches. Energized by the opportunity to ‘break new ground,’ for Feeding America’s highest growth area, the VP, Agri Food Engagement brings a keen ability to serve as an agent of change. The VP will naturally inspire and influence others to think big and to take action toward a shared vision with an unwavering focus on the mission and doing what is best for the people Feeding America serves.

Building Relationships and Leading through Influence

The VP will be skilled at building effective relationships at all levels within a complex environment, including all Feeding America departments, across the Network of 200+ food banks, and with external partners. This leader will have a high level of emotional intelligence and be able to build trust to develop productive and fulfilling relationships with all stakeholders. This executive will be low-ego, yet able to command respect and have the gravitas to work across the diverse spectrum of current and future stakeholders. The VP will be a strong communicator and collaborator who is skilled at listening to, and learning from, constituents. The VP will have the ability to develop a powerful sense of shared purpose in others and motivate them to engage the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Functional Acumen and Results Orientation

The VP will be a credible supply chain leader with the ability to engage in the end-to-end processes from planning, sourcing and procurement through the final point of distribution. By understanding supply chain and operational best practices, the VP will be able to position Feeding America for immediate as well as long-term impact. This executive brings a level of comfort with relevant technology and an understanding of how to leverage systems to drive further impact. The VP must exude a sense of intellectual curiosity and an eagerness to share their knowledge and understanding within Feeding America as well as the Feeding America Network. The Vice President will be a results-oriented leader who evaluates outcomes with a metrics-based approach.

Additional Information

The successful VP, Agri Food Engagement candidate will be willing and able to do a significant amount of domestic travel.

Feeding America embraces a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity. Its goal is to attract, develop, retain and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Cheryl Stevens, Michele Ybarra, Alison Salisbury and Alison Ranney are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please email [email protected] All nominations, inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

……………..

Feeding America is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Click here to download the Position Profile.