Chief Executive Officer

Overview

Forward Cities is a national nonprofit with a firm belief that every entrepreneur deserves an equitable chance to launch and grow a business that generates wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.  And since more equitable business ownership holds great potential for addressing the racial wealth gap, we are on a mission to catalyze wealth-building opportunities for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous entrepreneurs by transforming the way local communities see, support, and sustain those entrepreneurs.  

We are poised for growth and are currently seeking a visionary and experienced Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead and help shape the future of our organization.

 

Position Summary

The Forward Cities CEO will have primary responsibility for the organization’s continued growth and for ensuring that the organization’s financial, operational, program, and development functions are aligned and effective. 

The CEO will be responsible for providing leadership to the Forward Cities staff, developing and managing resources that enable them to achieve the organization’s goals and priorities, while unlocking the potential that each diverse staff member brings to the organization.

The CEO will also initiate and maintain strategic relationships with funders, stakeholders, and partners to further the organization’s ability to carry out its mission.

 

Functions and Responsibilities

Strategic Direction
  • Work with the Board of Directors and the Chief Program Officer to set and implement strategic priorities and goals that support Forward Cities’ mission and vision
  • Look around corners to develop a 3-5 year plan that prioritizes the organization’s longevity, relevance, and impact
Internal Leadership 
  • Oversee the organization’s marketing, communications, fund development, operations, human resources, and technology functions 
  • Develop long- and short-range financial plans and priorities, track progress, and ensure that appropriate financial controls are in place
  • Ensure the aligned implementation of strategic priorities across the organization
  • Develop and implement an effective staff performance management plan and hold staff accountable for achieving agreed-upon commitments in a timely manner
  • Identify and act on opportunities for operational improvement, solve problems quickly and effectively, and mitigate risks to the organization
  • Foster an internal culture that promotes an inclusive, healthy, collaborative, and productive workplace with a fully informed and engaged staff
  • Cultivate continuous learning and continuous improvement within the organization
  • Ensure and oversee the effective management and security of the organization’s physical and intellectual resources including offices, hardware, and technology
External Relationships
  • Achieve fundraising goals through the cultivation and maintenance of new and existing revenue and partnership opportunities
  • Work with the staff and the Board to develop clear and compelling marketing materials that tell our story, share lessons learned, and attract the attention and interest of funders and potential partners
  • Identify and act on speaking and writing opportunities that increase the organization’s visibility and credibility, and that inform the field

 

Qualifications

The Forward Cities CEO will have a strong commitment to racial equity and to the mission and vision of Forward Cities.  In addition, the ideal candidate will bring:

  • 7+ years of nonprofit leadership experience
  • Lived experience aligned with the mission and work of Forward Cities
  • Experience building and managing high-performing teams
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
  • A demonstrated ability to secure funding and support for mission-driven initiatives
  • Strong strategic thinking skills, with the ability to set a vision, develop comprehensive strategies, and execute plans effectively
  • Demonstrated ability to be creative and flexible, and to adapt quickly to shifting circumstances
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a remote work environment
Work Location & Expectations

This position is full-time and, while the organization is currently based in Durham, North Carolina, we are open to this position being remote. The CEO will report to the Board of Directors.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $140-160K, depending on relevant experience and geographical location. Forward Cities also offers comprehensive health insurance, 403(b) plan matching, paid time off, paid holidays, and a flexible/remote work culture.

 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early submissions are recommended. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2024. Please, no phone calls or emails.

 

Forward Cities provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Overview

The E3 (Equity for Every Entrepreneur) Durham program is designed to increase connectivity, counseling services, and capital access for underrepresented entrepreneurs in Durham/Durham County, NC. The Business Navigator will provide basic business counseling services to clients and connect them with partner organizations to meet their business development needs. This role reports to the E3 Durham Program Director and will be part of a cross-functional team in support of E3 Durham - a 24-month program.

 

Functions and Responsibilities

Business Counseling, Client Navigation, & Community Outreach
  • Thoroughly review incoming intake applications on a daily basis and respond within 2 business days via entrepreneurs' preferred method of contact;
  • Maintaining, tracking, and updating the client relationship management system (SourceLink) within 2 business days of serving clients according to the navigation protocols; 
  • Conducting regular follow-up contact with clients to help them gain access to resources and troubleshoot as needed;
  • Maintaining regular contact with program partners to ensure timely services are provided and records of services provided are submitted;  
  • Maintaining a Calendly account for scheduling and tracking Google meet and phone appointments with entrepreneurs; 
  • Collaborating with Program Director and ecosystem partners to identify key events focused on aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners;
  • Hosting tables at events that are suitable for E3 Durham client recruitment with optimal returns
E3 Durham Event Support
  • Attending and supporting E3 Durham events; 
  • Hosting the E3 Durham info table at events;
  • Enrolling new clients on site 
Navigation Leadership
  • Developing a deep understanding of and familiarity with local, regional, and capital resources for various sectors and stages of business development for the E3 Durham project;
  • Building and maintaining a library of national and local online resources to support clients; 
  • Creating a decision tree-style referral strategy that is informed by both internal and external stakeholders;  
  • Coordinating client assignments and outreach activities with contract or part-time Navigators and Outreach Specialists and ensuring timely record keeping for these members of the team;
  • Supporting additional Navigators and incoming partners with SourceLink training and any additional Navigator-specific training provided by Forward Cities; 
  • Updating Navigation protocols and referral decision tree as needed  
Program Strategy Support
  • Collaborating with the Program Director and the Senior Director of Impact and Assessment to support the E3 Durham Needs Assessment; 
  • Serving as a thought partner on strategy and decisions that impact ecosystem navigation and processes, and service/programming/offerings to entrepreneurs and the organizations serving them;
  • Leading the development capital and procurement readiness tools

 

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 2+ years of providing business support services; 
  • A friendly, approachable demeanor, and stellar interpersonal skills to build trusting relationships with clients and business support providers;
  • A strong understanding of the wide range of specific issues encountered during all stages of business development (i.e., idea → maturity) including access to business capital, procurement processes, and business certifications for MWBE; 
  • Lived experience as an entrepreneur/business owner;
  • A keen attention to detail and commitment to service documentation;
  • Demonstrated experience as a highly collaborative team player; 
  • Existing relationships and trust within the Durham community among predominantly Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and/or immigrant business communities;
  • A history of community involvement in Durham, NC; 
  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission and work of Forward Cities;
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment;
  • Spanish-speaking a plus
Work Location & Expectations

The full-time position is based in Durham, NC with standard work hours from 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday, with flexible work time for attending required events during the evenings and weekends. This position requires in-office presence Tuesday - Thursday in Forward Cities’ Durham office. Mondays and Fridays may generally be worked remotely.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $50,000 - 60,000 annually in addition to benefits including health insurance, 403(b) Plan matching, paid time off, and paid holidays. The anticipated start date for this position is May 2024.

Applications closed April 28th, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.

 

Forward Cities provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.