Vice President, Food Industry Partnerships

Vice President, Food Industry Partnerships

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, Food Industry Partnerships.

The VP, Food Industry Partnerships will develop and lead the execution of food industry donation strategies that meet overall network food raising objectives. This leader will lead the team that works with national food donors to design and implement food donation programs benefiting Feeding America member food banks, agencies and the clients they serve. The VP, Food Industry Partnerships will identify, assess and operationalize innovative food donation streams, optimize efficiencies and scale of existing food donation streams, and ensure the development of new programs and partnerships. Reporting to the Deputy Chief Supply Chain Officer, the VP, Food Industry Partnerships serves as a member of the Supply Chain Department Leadership Team and will lead a team of 12.

Key responsibilities of the VP, Food Industry Partnerships include:

  • Lead the development of strategies and programs to grow the retail and manufacturing donations, as well as Grocery Purchasing Program participation, working in collaboration with the Feeding America network of food banks to leverage national relationships while ensuring local value creation.
  • Research, develop, test, implement and manage innovation within food recovery that will secure food products from untapped sources across the grocery and manufacturing food industry supply chain.
  • Collaborate with the Strategic Capabilities Team to optimize synergies in building food sourcing capacity in the food bank network focusing on areas where the work between the two teams intersects.
  • Work closely with the Information Technology team and network members (including the National Council) to lead the development of strategies supported by technology solutions which transform the FANO (Feeding America Nonprofit Organization) network’s ability to source food in an equitable and collaborative way.
  • Engage collaboratively with the Development and Marketing teams to effectively develop, grow and steward critical donor relationships and respond to donor needs and requests.
  • Develop and maintain “key” value-added, strategic relationships within the grocery and manufacturing industries positioning the Feeding America network as a food waste solution and hunger-relief partner. Educate food donors on Feeding America’s network organizational structure and operations.
  • 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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 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 all decision making.
  • Invest in, and develop, the professional capabilities of team members to support career growth and build a high-performing team.
  • Collaborate with the Strategic Capabilities Team in determining network grant awards.
  • 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, Food Industry Partnerships 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, Food Industry Partnerships 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, Food Industry Partnerships 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, Food Industry Partnerships will actively focus on building equity into structures, systems, operating goals and processes for employees and the communities Feeding America serves. The VP, Food Industry Partnerships 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:

A Skilled Leader & Manager

The VP, Food Industry Partnerships has a proven track record of leading and elevating a team and function. This leader will bring the ability to translate strategy into ambitious and transformative goals and empower their team and all key stakeholders to ensure successful execution. With a hands-on approach, the VP, Food Industry Partnerships brings an approachable, authentic, transparent and consistent style of leadership. This leader coaches, mentors and develops talent with a focus on creating growth opportunities and providing regular, constructive feedback to the team and others as appropriate. The VP, Food Industry Partnerships is comfortable with and capable of making difficult decisions and ensures accountability and high standards for staff deliverables, while providing staff with a mission-driven work environment and professional growth opportunities. This leader encourages and inspires innovation and develops a learning-centered environment.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator

Critical to success in this role, the VP will be skilled at quickly establishing and sustaining excellent relationships across Feeding America, food bank members, donors and other key stakeholders. The VP will be a natural partner and ‘ambassador’ with a demonstrated ability to connect and build bridges. A diplomatic and supportive professional, the VP will enhance Feeding America’s culture of collaboration. This leader will be a proactive communicator with natural gravitas and the ability to lead through influence. This leader will successfully develop partnerships outside Feeding America to advance the organization’s strategic priorities.

Functional Acumen and Results Orientation

The VP will be a credible leader with experience managing a sales, marketing or supply chain function within the grocery or manufacturing industries. This leader will bring a demonstrated ability to analyze and quantify the economics of decision-making within the food industry (for example, the decision to sell to the secondary market, donate or dump unsellable product). The VP will bring a proven ability to identify and implement “best in class” management and operational processes as it relates to the development of purchasing and logistical programs, service, quality assurance and technology systems supporting operations. The VP will be a results-oriented leader who evaluates outcomes with a metrics-based approach.

Additional Information

The successful VP, Food Industry Partnerships candidate will be willing and able to travel domestically on a regular basis.

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.

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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.