Lift Jax, a Purpose-Built Community Initiative, Executive Director
Lift Jax is seeking a passionate and entrepreneurial leader to serve as its inaugural Executive Director. The Executive Director will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of Lift Jax’s effort to achieve transformational outcomes for Jacksonville’s Eastside neighborhood through the implementation of the Purpose Built Communities model. The Executive Director will be responsible for:
Guiding the initiative’s vision, strategy development, and implementation
Supporting coordination and alignment among the initiative’s partners
Serving as the initiative’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 any additional staff that may be hired to support the initiative and will engage with the initiative’s multi-stakeholder Board of Directors, Steering Committee, and subcommittees on an ongoing basis.
LIFT JAX OVERVIEW
Lift Jax is an initiative of business and community leaders to eradicate generational poverty in Jacksonville. The seeds for Lift Jax were planted in 2017, when a group of Jacksonville’s business and community leaders convened to plot a path to eliminate poverty in the city.
The flagship strategy of Lift Jax is the implementation of the Purpose Built Communities model in Jacksonville’s Eastside. 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; (3) community wellness; and (4) long-term financial vitality.
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. Lift Jax – which is representative of leaders from the Eastside, 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 visionary 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 initiative’s vision, strategy, and long-term goals (i.e., stewarding the community revitalization strategy), while privileging 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 initiative against agreed upon success measures and implementation milestones. Regularly evaluate program components, so as 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 Lift Jax’s governance structure, including the Board of Directors, Steering Committee, subcommittees, as well as other councils or committees that might be developed. Serve as ex-officio of each committee.
Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and secure resources needed to achieve strategic goals.
Support aligned activities
Manage overall work plan for initiative at all levels, including planning and implementation
Facilitate regular meetings of the Steering Committee and subcommittees (including preparing agendas and meeting materials), and ensure information flows appropriately across the various groups
Provide input and oversight of subcommittee implementation plans
Manage the initiative’s core infrastructure, including the staff (hiring, training, supervision, evaluation), budget, information systems, administrative processes, and other support functions
Serve as the initiative’s ambassador to partners and the community
Serve as the public face of the initiative 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 initiative’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 initiative
Includes community voice / voice of those with lived experience in all facets of the initiative
Encourages community partners to align their work to the initiative’s goals and strategies
Develop and manage the initiative'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 initiative’s goals and strategies, including state or federal funding source
IDEAL EXPERIENCE, EDUCATION, AND TRAITS
A minimum of 5-7 years’ upper level organizational management experience
A proven track record for delivering organizational objectives, mission and vision
Understanding, experience, and success in comprehensive systems change and complex, transformational social impact
Understanding of real estate development
Understanding, control 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 and ambiguity, and adapting to changing needs or momentum
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 addressing the questions below:
Why are you passionate about Lift Jax’s mission to eradicate generational poverty in Jacksonville, and what experience will help you successfully do so?
What do you believe to be the greatest opportunities for achieving transformational outcomes in Jacksonville’s Eastside through implementation of the Purpose Built Communities model?
What do you perceive to be the most significant challenges for this initiative and for the future Executive Director?
Please send applications to the Lift Jax Search Committee at LiftJaxSearch@gmail.com. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis from March 10- March 20, 2020. The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2020. A select number of candidates will be selected to participate in a panel interview in early to mid-April.
 Representative business partners include: Florida Blue, Brightway Insurance, FIS Global, Jacksonville Jaguars, TIAA Bank, Wells Fargo, VyStar Credit Union, Baptist Health, Bank of America. Representative community partners include: Historic Eastside Community Development Corporation, Women’s Giving Alliance, City of Jacksonville, Duval County Public Schools, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, United Way of North East Florida, JAXUSA Partnership, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ability Housing, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, LISC, Jacksonville Urban League, UF Health and Purpose Built Communities.
About Lift Jax, a Purpose-Built Community initiative
Lift Jax is a group of concerned community stakeholders that is committed to the sustained and balanced development of the East Side Neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida. This group formed a steering committee that has been meeting over the past year to identify areas and opportunities for growth and development. As we move from higher level envisioning toward more granular community development initiatives (and eventual implementation), it’s important to transition the steering committee to a more formalized organization to advance the work. To that end, we are seeking a dynamic candidate to lead the organization going forward.