Executive Director Job Description: Blueprint 15 is seeking a visionary, committed, executive leader to serve as its Executive Director.
The Executive Director will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of Blueprint 15’s effort to achieve transformational outcomes for Syracuse’s East Adams neighborhood through the implementation of the Purpose Built Communities model. The Executive Director will be responsible for:
– Guiding the organization’s vision, strategy development, and implementation;
– Serving as the organization’s ambassador to partners and the community
– Mobilizing resources to support the work
The Executive Director will deliver on these responsibilities by working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders. The Executive Director will manage existing and additional staff that may be hired to support the organization and will engage with the organization’s multi-stakeholder Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and subcommittees on an ongoing basis.
BLUEPRINT 15 OVERVIEW
The 15th ward in the City of Syracuse was once a vibrant, middle class neighborhood. The construction of a major interstate, I-81, destroyed this predominately African American community. This neighborhood is also home to Pioneer Homes, which was built in 1937 and therefore among the first public housing projects in New York State and in the Nation. Since the construction of the Interstate, similar social and economic policy decisions have handicapped this neighborhood’s potential growth to equal its former neighborhood strength and community influence. Despite the challenges it has been the home to generations of families that have produced banking, medical, legal, sports and business professionals to name a few. Recently that sense of community history has been challenged with oppressive poverty and crime rates. The looming decision of the New York State Department of Transportation to replace the current interstate viaduct presents a transformational opportunity for the community in its shadow.
Blueprint 15, a newly formed not for profit organization, in partnership with the Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA), has a bold vision for the holistic revitalization of the neighborhood. Together, the partners are working to create an environment where individuals and families — especially children– thrive and have genuine hope for successful futures and expectations that they will make important contributions to the world around them.
SHA controls the majority of the property in the plan area, approximately 118 square acres on 27 square blocks, and other non-profit and educational institutions control much of the balance. The current property has 1,060 units of public housing, 11 single family homes of LIHTC housing, and scattered privately owned, single family homes or rental units. The East Adams neighborhood is immediately adjacent to Interstate 81, which is subject to an impending decision by the Governor of the State of New York on its demolition and replacement. The neighborhood is the crossroads of the exciting business and residential developments in the downtown area and large institutions in the University Hill area such as Syracuse University, Upstate Medical University, and various hospitals. This project is an exciting opportunity to link Syracuse’s many assets in a dynamic, mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood.
The vision for the neighborhood is likely to include over 1,000 new housing units that will be part of a broader mixed-income neighborhood that holistically addresses the needs of the residents across a spectrum of incomes by providing supportive services, education, and economic development opportunities for all ages, health and wellness programs, transportation access, recreational opportunities and commercial investment.
Blueprint 15 will help lead the holistic revitalization efforts for the East Adams neighborhood by engaging community residents and stakeholders in developing a “big vision”, supporting and strengthening collaborative partnerships, securing funding, and coordinating implementation efforts and initiatives. The Blueprint 15 Board of Directors includes business, government, education, health, and philanthropic leaders as well as community residents. Blueprint 15 will spearhead the development of the cradle to career education pipeline; coordinate neighborhood input and plan of the health and wellness facilities to serve the revitalized community; and work to encourage and support inclusive economic development.
The flagship strategy of Blueprint 15 is the implementation of the Purpose Built Communities model in the East Adams neighborhood. The nationally recognized model is based on the successful holistic revitalization of Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood. The approach requires coordinated implementation of four strategies within a clearly defined neighborhood: (1) high quality mixed-income housing; (2) cradle-to-college-and- career education pipeline; and (3)community wellness.
Because of the complex nature of this cross-sector work, the establishment of a single purpose nonprofit Community Quarterback is the most critical component of a successful Purpose Built Communities revitalization initiative. Blueprint 15 – which is representative of leaders from the City of Syracuse, the Syracuse Housing Authority, Syracuse University, the business community, as well as nonprofit and philanthropic partners – serves as the Community Quarterback. This holistic, community-driven process requires strong, effective leadership working in collaboration and cooperation with diverse interests, and a leader capable of bringing these interests together to work toward a common goal.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The role of the Executive Director is to perform the following functions:
Guide vision, strategy, and implementation.
- Provide strategic leadership, guiding the organization’s vision, strategy, and long-term goals (i.e., stewarding the community revitalization strategy), while providing community leadership and capacity. The ability to recognize patterns and anticipate challenges will be key.
- Ensure effective systems to track and report on progress of the organization against agreed upon success measures and implementation milestones. Regularly evaluate program components to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, community, and other stakeholders.
- Identify information (both qualitative and quantitative) required to make decisions; conduct research, analyze, and create material for appropriate audiences.
- Support Blueprint 15’s governance structure, including the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Communications and Resident Engagement Committee, as well as other councils or committees that might be developed. Serve as ex- officio of each committee.
- Oversee and manage all day-to-day functions of the organization including all operational, legal, financial, and managerial aspects of the organization.
- Manage overall work plan for organization at all levels, including planning and implementation.
- Facilitate regular meetings of the Board and Committees (including preparing agendas and meeting materials), and ensure information flows appropriately across the various groups.
- Provide input and oversight of committee implementation plans.
- Manage the organization’s core infrastructure, including the staff (hiring, training, supervision, evaluation).
- Participate in the Community of Practice in the Purpose Built Communities network. Serve as the organization’s ambassador to partners and the community.
- Serve as the public face of the organization as a neutral and reflective party, in service of a goal that is community-wide rather than organization-specific.
- Utilize strong interpersonal and public speaking skills to effectively communicate the organization’s vision, goals, and strategies, as well as challenges, opportunities, and achievements to all relevant community partners.
- Promote inclusivity, create safe spaces for difficult conversations, and represent the needs of others.
- Develop and oversee a communications and community engagement plan that:
– Creates awareness of the organization;
– Includes community voice / voice of those with lived experience in all facets of the organization; and – Encourages community partners to align their work to the organization’s goals and strategies.
- Develop and manage the organization’s financial sustainability plan by identifying and applying for grant support and establishing ongoing public and private revenue sources.
- Support partner organizations in aligning their resources to the organization’s goals and strategies, including state or federal funding sources.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE, EDUCATION, AND TRAITS
- A minimum of 5-7 years of upper-level organizational management experience
- A proven track record for delivering organizational objectives, mission and vision
- Understanding, control of, and administering financial budgets
- Dedication to improving outcomes for individuals and families who are experiencing poverty
- Comfort with work planning and managing multiple priorities in a context of change andambiguity, and adapting to changing needs or momentum
- Understanding, experience, and success in comprehensive systems change and complex, transformational social impact
- Ability to work independently, exercise appropriate action, and good business judgment
- Ability to navigate comfortably across multiple constituency groups, including neighborhood representatives, individuals from the corporate community, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders, and city officials to effectively execute a strategic organizational plan.
- A history of building and nurturing critical relationships while collaborating with key stakeholders and partners in the community that have produced the intended outcomes
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills; excellent platform skills to sell concepts and ideas
- Passion for the work and a spirit of determination and perseverance
HOW TO APPLY
Please submit a resume and a cover letter addressed to the Blueprint 15 Search Committee via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis from March 30, 2021 through April 30, 2021. The deadline to submit applications is 11:59pm ET on Friday, April 30, 2021. A select number of candidates will be selected to participate in a panel interview. The position is full time with benefits, and salary will be commensurate with experience.