Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) is capitalizing on the industry’s growth and the excitement it creates by hiring its first Executive Director. This leadership position will build on the organization’s herstory of exciting events, and increase membership in order to lead the organization through its next stage of growth and service. Currently IWC is supported by an organizational capacity-building consultant, Gayle Nelson, Esq., who is leading this search. Additionally, IWC relies upon and appreciates the assistance of independent contractors with social media and events. The Executive Director will take the lead role from a strategic, financial and operational perspective, to grow IWC’s capacity, increase its number of members, and expand its impact in the industry and related sectors.
Executive Director Job Description
IWC’s Board of Directors is excited to partner with its first-ever Executive Director to help manage and administer the rapidly growing organization, further expand its bandwidth, increase the number of members and annual revenue, expand member engagement and carry on its tradition of both large and intimate in-person networking and educational events and conferences when again appropriate, but also, more immediately, strategically navigate the many challenges (and also potential opportunities) created by the COVID-19 crisis. The position will start as a part-time (20 hour a week) flexible opportunity, including regular early morning, weekend and evening commitments (largely to accommodate Board meetings and events), with the potential to grow to a full-time position as membership growth and increased revenue is achieved. The Executive Director will build on IWC’s knowledge, visibility and strong financial foundation to grow the organization's capacity and strength in Illinois’ blooming regulated cannabis industry.
Goals and Objectives
Much of the Executive Director’s time will be focused on membership recruitment and engagement, and the planning of events, conferences, and activities. Specifically, the Executive Director will collaborate with the IWC Board to further define and execute a multi-year membership growth and revenue generation strategy, monitor accomplishments, encourage engagement from the Board, members, and sponsors and expand overall impact by, in part:
Strategically navigating challenges (e.g. no in-person events) and opportunities (e.g. enhanced geographic reach) during the COVID-19 crisis; remaining nimble as circumstances evolve; and thoughtfully helping to guide the organization through this changed circumstance, with an eye toward not just treading water but embracing the new "virtual reality" as a platform on which to continue to build.
Planning large and intimate events in Chicago and throughout the State when again appropriate.
Growing and engaging the IWC community through committees and other membership activities. IWC recently launched the following committees, and the Executive Director should anticipate managing and supporting those efforts: Events, Education and Advocacy, Membership, Professional Development and Social Equity.
Networking, including maintaining and building relationships with partner organizations, sponsors, and others.
Reaching out throughout the regulated cannabis, hemp, and related industries.
Increasing IWC visibility - in the regulated cannabis industry as well as connected sectors and industries.
Developing and implementing a communications and social media plan.
Identifying and building revenue streams, which may include IWC’s website and sales of branded merchandise.
The remainder of the Executive Director’s time will be concentrated on organization management and administration, addressing staffing needs, and Board cultivation and development. Subject to the discretion and oversight of the Board, these tasks will compromise day-to-day management and administration of the organization, including:
Monitoring and updating the website (content and functionality, and note: IWC is currently in the process of developing and launching a new website).
Directing, monitoring and coordinating appropriate response re: IWC email accounts and other communications.
Maintaining and updating membership data.
Creating and maintaining/updating contact lists (including members, sponsors, and other regular IWC contacts).
Managing IWC's books and accounts (in partnership with a part-time bookkeeper).
Other activities include:
Liaising with the Board to grow and diversify the Board, including recruiting diverse applicants, leading the interview process, and assisting with onboarding.
Developing meeting agendas, notetaking, and related preparations for:
Biweekly morning Board conference calls.
Quarterly Board meetings.
Hiring and supervising administrative assistants (independent contractors) for social media, events, and other tasks as needed.
Being aware of trends in the regulated cannabis, hemp, and related sectors and ensuring that IWC remains responsive to changing community and industry needs.
The foregoing is illustrative, and of course subject to revisiting and evolution (in particular in light of COVID-19), but essentially the goal is to shift day-to-day administration of the organization from the Board to an Executive Director – to both capitalize on the skills/experience brought to that position by someone better qualified for it, and also allow the Board members to assume a more traditional Board role, undoubtedly remaining active and engaged, but focused more on oversight and guidance.
As IWC’s first Executive Director, you will need to be an entrepreneurial self-starter with a can-do attitude to build on the current opportunity and increase the organization’s impact. You should have a passion for promoting opportunities for women who are exploring, connected to, and/or employed in the regulated cannabis industry.
The ideal candidate will have prior experience reporting to a not-for-profit Board of Directors and prior experience leading an association, and will have relevant experience with core aspects of IWC’s activities, including event planning (large-scale events and smaller events), volunteer engagement, expanding paid memberships and managing member communications, and building revenue streams (through sponsorships, website, merchandise sales, and other). IWC encourages applicants with knowledge of trade associations and not-for-profit administration and fundraising.
We will give strong consideration to candidates with demonstrated success in Strategy, Operations, and/or Development in the non-profit sector, who have the vision, leadership, and work ethic to lead our organization to its next stage. The ideal candidate has experience setting long- and short-term strategy to guide the growth of an organization and the ability to work professionally and effectively with a diverse group of stakeholders and personalities in a fast paced, often non-traditional work environment.
The ideal candidate is highly organized and will also have strong communication skills and presence (both in-person and in writing); proficient computer skills, including familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite products and website oversight; and demonstrable social media proficiency. Experience implementing or utilizing donor/customer relationship management software (CRM) a plus.
In particular, in light of COVID-19, IWC will be focusing on the capacity to be dynamic yet thoughtful when managing anticipated and unanticipated shifts in circumstance, and the proficiency (conceptually and technically) to help IWC establish and maintain a more meaningful and innovative virtual platform for the foreseeable future, but also the experience to manage a transition back to more traditional in-person events and activities down the road. And while cannabis specific work experience is not a prerequisite, the Board will now be prioritizing familiarity and experience with the Illinois cannabis industry, community and IWC, adequate to enable the candidate to meaningfully hit the ground running despite an entirely remote start.
Telecommuting is allowed.
Additional Salary Information: The Executive Director opportunity is a part-time, at-will position (20 hours/week) with a salary commensurate with experience, which is expected to approximate $30,000 annually. There will be potential to increase the salary and the hours in line with revenue growth achieved by the Executive Director and IWC as a whole. IWC has raised the revenue to hire an Executive Director and budgeted to fund the position for at least one year. Going forward, the right Executive Director will not only grow the organization, but understand the need to essentially extend the role as well, creating long-term expansion of, and continued funding for, the position. IWC does not offer benefits. IWC does not have an office so the Executive Director will work from home or a place of their choosing and use their own computer and phone.
About Illinois Women in Cannabis
Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) is the leading cannabis industry networking organization in Illinois. IWC was created in 2014 to serve, support, and advance women connected to Illinois’ regulated cannabis industry. Organized as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, the organization currently has a Board of six professionals working in or connected to the greater regulated cannabis and hemp industry. IWC hosts multiple networking and educational opportunities for women, men, and organizations annually, including large-scale networking events in Chicago with 400-650 attendees, as well as more intimate satellite events throughout the state.