Food Connects is seeking a Business Manager with a passion for our vision to provide innovative and transformative solutions to New England’s local food system. This person will employ their technical skills and business know-how to lead our social enterprise through this exciting stage of growth.
Supervisor: Executive Director (ED)
Employee Status: Full – Time, Non-Exempt, Salary
We value diversity in all of its forms and strive to have our employment practices reflect that. As such, we are an equal opportunity workplace and will not discriminate on the basis of disability or other legally protected categories. If an employee has a disability that makes it difficult to perform their job duties, they are encouraged to notify us to engage in a discussion about reasonable accommodations.
Why Choose Food Connects?
We are a dynamic non-profit organization with strong roots in the community and a commitment to challenging the status quo and transforming the food system. We think organizational culture is just as important as the job you’ll be doing. We value a balance of work and life, which is why we offer a flexible working schedule and the opportunity to work remotely when possible. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to do your job and the trust to get your work done in a way that works for you.
Headquartered in beautiful Brattleboro, VT, Food Connects is a regional food-systems non-profit organization with three flagship programs. The Farm to School (FTS) program supports school implementation of food, farm, and nutrition education, strengthening their school nutrition programs. Vermont Harvest of the Month is a program run by Food Connects and two other non-profit organizations in Vermont to promote seasonal eating, encourage nutritious diets, and support the local economy. We provide ready-to-go materials for the classroom, cafeteria, and community that promote the use of local, seasonal Vermont foods.
And our Food Hub delivers source-identified local food from over 80 farms and value-added producers to over 140 wholesale customers located in Vermont, Western New Hampshire, and Western Massachusetts. Currently, we have trucks on the road for pickups and deliveries 5 to 6 days per week. We have an online e-commerce platform for customer ordering, and are implementing a new ERP system for administrative control of the sales flow. The Food Hub is experiencing rapid growth and will be expanding operations, infrastructure, and delivery schedule over the coming year.
FOOD CONNECTS CORE VALUES
- We challenge the status quo by taking risks, acting boldly, and learning from our mistakes to transform the food system.
- We commit to pursuing justice, fostering inclusivity, and practicing equity.
- We believe in the possibility of BOTH equitable access to nutritious food AND producer viability.
- We cultivate a culture of learning, care, creativity, transparency, honesty, and humility within our team and with our partners.
- We know that collaboration and strong relationships are vital to building a vibrant and healthy community and that we can only fulfill our vision when we invite everyone to the table.
Who We’re Looking For
We’re looking for someone with the passion for local food and the technical skills and business know-how to lead our internal systems through this exciting stage of growth.
Someone who uses a spreadsheet to plan their garden, builds systems to make it easier to prepare the next harvest dinner (and the next!), and isn’t afraid of using technology as a tool to create the time to be connected with their food.
We are looking for a candidate who wants meaningful work and a work-life balance. Most of all, we hope this job posting has sparked some delight in you and that you’re excited about the opportunity to work with us!
What You Will Be Doing
The Business Manager’s primary responsibility is to improve internal systems to keep up with (and plan for more!) growth, including contract management (grants, etc), supporting program leads with budgeting, business and program planning, basic IT and ad-hoc project management.
You will make sure members of the Leadership Team have the information they need to make the right decisions in a timely manner, while supporting efficient internal systems for the social enterprise to continue growing its impact. Your technical skills will be put to good use in our efforts to go deeper in transforming the food system into one that puts producers and consumers first.
Experience and Knowledge Needed
This position requires an organized individual excited to have a varied workload. Knowledge about regional food systems, local farms, and community food systems is useful but not required; there will be plenty of learning opportunities on the job!
The right candidate will be skilled at:
- Technical Expertise: The ability to demonstrate depth of knowledge and skill in a technical area.
- Empowering Others: The ability to convey confidence in employees’ ability to be successful, especially at challenging new tasks; delegating significant responsibility and authority; allowing employees freedom to decide how they will accomplish their goals and resolve issues.
- Building Collaborative Relationships: The ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support.
- Analytical Thinking: The ability to tackle a problem by using a logical, systematic, sequential approach.
- Thoroughness: Ensuring that one’s own and others’ work and information are complete and accurate; carefully preparing for meetings and presentations; following up with others to ensure that agreements and commitments have been fulfilled
- Time Management: Can organize time for optimum efficacy with regard to deadlines, collaboration, competing priorities, and personal work style.
- Managing Change: The ability to demonstrate support for innovation and for organizational changes needed to improve the organization’s effectiveness; initiating, sponsoring, and implementing organizational change; helping others to successfully manage organizational change.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
- Implementing recommendations to improve processes and procedures
- Defines and implements procedures for retention, protection, retrieval, transfer, and disposal of records.
- Designs and implements office policies by maintaining accounting standards and procedures; measuring results against standards; making necessary adjustments.
- Oversees leases and the maintenance of office equipment, including printers, copiers, postage, telephones, computers, network, etc.
- Advises ED regarding the need for revisions in administrative and account procedures/policies.
- Maintain financial policies and procedures as required and adjust as necessary to maintain adequate internal controls.
Financial Planning and Management
- Monitoring budgeted financial performance benchmarks
- Reviewing financial reports to improve budgets and annual operating costs
- Coordinates with the Executive Director to implement approved financial policies and procedures for accounts payable, payroll, and accounts receivable.
- Prepare projections with ED, Quarterly/YE forecasting and budgeting for upcoming year.
- Produce monthly financial reports for the ED and Board
- Notifying ED and/or Board Treasurer (when applicable) of accounting errors
- Works with ED to prepare and facilitate annual audit review
- Prepares reports to fulfill grant reporting requirements.
- Monitor and maintain the reporting schedule per grant requirements.
- Assist ED on implementing practices to oversee grant expenditures at sub-award partner organizations and ensure compliance with Federal and State regulations.
- Check all new vendors against Federal and State excluded parties’ listings.
- Overseeing basic IT programs and procedures
- Assisting ED/ Program Leadership in developing business plans and strategies to align with organizational goals
- Monitoring company resources
- Work with staff in analyzing data and comparing to goals
- Reviews, approves, and orders small supply requisitions.
Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in business, management, or related field
- At least 3 years experience as a business manager or relevant managerial role
- Proven experience with business and strategy development processes
- Outstanding poise in a fast-paced business or non-profit environment
- Superior leadership skills, with a focus in employee coaching and development
- Master’s degree in business, management, or related field
- Strong capabilities with database and information systems software
- Previous data analysis experience
- Proven ability with financial and budgetary processes
- Prior industry experience and up-to-date knowledge of relevant trends
Compensation and Benefits
The compensation for this position is $23-25/hour, depending on experience.
- 15% Employee Discount on Food Purchases through the Food Hub
- Access to Life insurance equal to annual wage & up to $50,000
- Short-term disability insurance, employer paid
- Worker’s comp
Beginning after 90 Day intro period:
- Access to fairly-priced vision and dental insurance
- 2% Flat Retirement Contribution (SIMPLE IRA)
- Paid-Time Off: PTO will get explained in much greater detail during the onboarding process but to summarize…
- Holiday PTO
- Full-time employees receive 8 hours on each Food Connects designated Holiday (10 holidays per year)
- Holiday PTO is available during the 90-Day intro period if FC-designated holidays fall within that period.
- Vacation PTO: Accrued per hour paid
- Personal PTO: Accrued per hour paid
- Sick Time: Accrued per hour paid
- Vacation/Personal/Sick time accrued at variable rates. You would start accruing PTO as soon as you start working but cannot use that PTO until after your 90-Day intro period.
The Food Connects Equity Committee has been working on the following equity assessment action items.
Food Hub (FH)
Ensure that the FH is visible to all farmers/producers
Organizations to connect with to expand our network
Can include providing technical support
Develop programs to specifically support smaller/underrepresented farmers/producers
Access to our markets
Access to grants, professional resources
Education about producing for wholesale markets
Info about the products, packaging, processing parameters that we’re looking for
Easy, friendly reference guides for some of this info
Improve communications about which customers engage in FH purchasing
Create a customer and producer census
To have a better understanding of who we are servicing
To better tell their stories
Expand diversity (in all forms) of staff
Reach out to community colleges/state job training programs
Have a more creative lens when looking at experiences/resumes
Reach out to other organizations who have success hiring for diversity
Post jobs on larger networks
Assess benefits structure
More flexible vacations/schedules
Expand transparency in hiring process
SOP for how the process works
Share with staff the job descriptions
Bring all staff into compliance on harassment and bullying training
Address “Don’t Know” Responses
Address the assessment during orientation
Prepare for employee or potential employee assistance
Obtain a list of resources for things like sign language interpreters etc.
Create an anonymous conflict report process
Managers communicate with staff professional development opportunities
Include detailed information on family-friendly policies during orientation
Culture & Community
Hold staff community-building opportunities
Actual gatherings (as COVID permits)
Hold space with physical representations (posters) etc.
Post FC staff survey assessment with enable us to determine what to do.
Internal Comms & Culture group on this
Revisit the FC “House Rules”
Update, adjust, and share out
Staff gratitude opportunities
Gratitude board (maybe a Slack channel?) or random acts of kindness
Share Food Connects events
Clarity around staff expectations
There is some clarity in the forthcoming handbook
Invitations to staff events through marketing
Create an accessible repository for DEI resources
Internally for staff to access
Externally, promote these materials on our online platforms
Improve communications about program assessment & evaluations (as it relates to DEI)
Farm To School (FTS): Improve communications about which groups engage in FTS and the make-up of FTS team
Events: Ensure ADA and other accessibility compliance