Organization: Greater Chicago Food Depository

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest!

About Greater Chicago Food Depository:

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. Founded in 1979, the Food Depository makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile distributions, and programs for children, older adults and veterans. The Food Depository’s mission is providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community.

Nearly 800,000 people in Cook County are food insecure, unsure of where or when they will have their next meal. The Food Depository distributes donated, purchased and government food through their network. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 68 million pounds of fresh produce, shelf-stable groceries, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 155,000 meals every day.

The Food Depository addresses root causes of hunger through advocacy, benefits outreach, workforce development and strategies to increase nutritious food access.

In July 2015, the Food Depository began working under a new strategic plan focused on the core strategies of Food, Community and Voice:

  • Food: This strategy will guide the Food Depository as it increases the supply of quality, nutritious food for hungry men, women and children in our community. Additionally, the Food Depository will implement an “all delivery” model of distribution, which will increase food safety and decrease costs for agencies. Similarly, the Food Depository will work to educate and instill a culture of food safety within the network.
  • Community: The Food Depository’s network of pantries, soup kitchens and shelters is a vital component of the response to hunger. The second strategy, Community, is geared towards strengthening this network. Other Community goals include encouraging healthy options for clients accessing the network and leveraging the network to support the economic stability of clients.
  • Voice: The Food Depository cannot fight hunger alone. Voice is meant to expand awareness of hunger and encourage support for the cause. Voice also encompasses the Food Depository’s advocacy agenda, which will focus on a strong nutrition safety net. In addition, this strategy will lead the Food Depository as it works to build the nation’s premier volunteer engagement program.

The Food Depository’s core values include:

  • Act with urgency and provide solutions to hunger in our community;
  • Serve and collaborate with dignity;
  • Be good stewards of our resources;
  • Support one another; and
  • Be better today than we were yesterday.

For more information on the Greater Chicago Food Depository, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Vice President of Community Impact (Vice President) will lead strategy towards achieving the goal of reducing hunger in our community through strategic partnerships, collaboration, policy change and grass roots advocacy. Reporting to and partnering with Kate Maehr, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Vice President will work closely and support a network of community partners.

A member of the Food Depository’s Senior Leadership Team, the Vice President will actively participate in the development and execution of strategic plans and objectives for the organization. A collaborative leader, the Vice President will lead teams overseeing public policy, advocacy, specialized programming, community partnerships and relationships. S/he will ensure the ongoing development and effectiveness of the team by making available adequate tools, systems and training on a consistent basis to carry out work effectively.

Specifically, s/he will drive develop and lead strategies to reduce hunger in Cook County, Illinois in collaboration with:

  • Distribution partners (i.e. food pantries and soup kitchens);
  • Strategic partners (i.e. human service organizations with food as one part of a larger mission); and
  • System partners (i.e. health care).

The Vice President of Community Impact is responsible for overseeing public policy, including government relations, research and advocacy.

A key tactic in achieving the Food Depository’s mission is advocating for policies that support the fight to end hunger. As need continues and programs that serve the hungry remain under scrutiny, it is vital the Food Depository do all that they can to ensure that the vulnerable people have the food they need. In alignment with their most recent Strategic Plan, the Food Depository utilizes an advocacy agenda at the federal, state, county, and local government levels to support the accomplishment of their strategic goals.

Candidate Profile:

The Vice President of Community Impact will be a driven individual who is deeply invested in hunger issues. S/he will partner closely with the Senior Leadership Team to develop and advance the Food Depository’s strategic priorities. S/he will be a natural collaborator who will have the skills and experience to be a leader within the organization.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Passion for the Mission

The Vice President will have a true passion for the mission of the Food Depository and a commitment to effectively support the goals of the organization. On the most fundamental level, s/he will care deeply about the tools and steps needed to end hunger, promoting this passion throughout the organization. S/he will have a solid understanding and interest in relevant urban, social issues affecting Chicago’s communities. S/he will be compelled by the Food Depository’s mission and will embrace their tradition of excellence, while having an eye consistently focused on the future. S/he will be an empathic, charismatic leader who has strong faith in humanity and treats others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The Vice President will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies including the Food Depository’s Board of Directors, Senior Leadership Team, community leaders and government officials. The Vice President will be comfortable in a role expanding and enhancing the credibility, visibility and reach of the organization. S/he will be skilled at actively and strategically seeking partnerships and building coalitions with other organizations to leverage expertise and expand reach and visibility. S/he will be an even-tempered and humble leader who can talk with all constituents and successfully convey the Food Depository’s objectives. S/he will build bridges and engage colleagues internally and externally. S/he will ensure alignment and collaboration with local and national partners and grass roots advocacy. The Vice President will ensure that all policy-related work is consistent and aligned with the Food Depository’s strategic outcomes and executive in a professional and collaborative manner.

Strategic Leadership and Management Acumen

The Vice President will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who, along with the CEO and Senior Leadership team will actively participate in strategic planning. S/he will assess, direct and enhance the team of individuals responsible for executing community impact strategy, ensuring coordination with all other Food Depository leaders and departments. The Vice President will have the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. With the ability to engender trust, honesty and integrity, the Vice President’s management style will be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus, recognition of teamwork and the ability to resolve conflict. S/he will be an innovative and energetic individual who functions well in a fast-paced, team environment, which includes cross-department coordination. A diplomatic and supportive professional, the Vice President will enhance the organization’s culture of collaboration.

Ambassador for the Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Vice President will work tirelessly as one of the key ‘Ambassadors’ for the Food Depository’s mission. Partnering closely with the CEO and Senior Leadership Team, the Vice President will have the shared responsibility as an external voice of the organization. S/he will articulate, extend and heighten the mission of the Food Depository. The Vice President must be a confident public speaker and have a solid understanding of the complex population the Food Depository serves. S/he will stay current on relevant events, including federal, state and local legislation that impacts low-income individuals, food and nutrition and the charitable sector. A thought leader in Illinois, the Vice President will participate in community and policy-related meetings, events and conferences. S/he is responsible for representing the Food Depository with all staff, general public, governmental agencies, volunteers, member agencies and donors.

A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Alison P. Ranney, Marissa Martin and Shavon Bell of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Shavon directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit