• Executive Director

    Uptown Grand Rapids
    Job Description
    Uptown Grand Rapids Inc.
    Executive Director Job Posting

    Uptown Grand Rapids Inc. 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, Search, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

    Organizational Background
    Since the early 1900’s the Uptown area has been host to four lively neighborhood business districts: East Fulton, East Hills, Wealthy Street and Eastown. Like other major urban areas across the country, Uptown began to show signs of decline in the 1970’s with businesses closing or relocating to the suburbs. In the early 1990’s local stakeholders mobilized to strengthen business and neighborhood associations and breathe life back into these central-city business districts. The South East Economic Development (SEED) was formed to save Wealthy Theatre and to encourage preservation of the buildings along the commercial corridors. At the turn of the new Century, community stakeholders began to work even more closely together, and in 2009, shortly after the State of Michigan passed enabling legislation, the City established Uptown as the first Corridor Improvement District (CID) in Grand Rapids. The Uptown CID captures a portion of district property tax dollars to be reinvested within its boundaries for public benefit. In 2013 following a petition and district-wide vote, the City created a Business Improvement District (BID) in Uptown. The BID allows the city to levy a special assessment on commercial, industrial and government-owned properties and invest those dollars back into the district by way of marketing and branding, enhanced street-scape design and maintenance and economic
    development incentives.

    A new nonprofit organization established in 2018, Uptown Grand Rapids Inc. consists of the same four central-city business districts plus five surrounding neighborhoods (Midtown, Fulton Heights, East Hills, Baxter and Eastown) with a mission to bring together
    people, partnerships, and possibilities to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning, coordinating, and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond. Uptown is currently staffed by a part-time Corridor Manager and part-time Marketing & Events Manager. With a steadily growing budget, increasing property values, expanding community involvement and emerging city-wide support for creative entrepreneurial initiatives, Uptown is now poised to hire a full-time, experienced Executive Director to oversee large-scale, meaningful projects and programs that could have far-reaching impact for residents, businesses and visitors.

    Position Description
    Uptown Grand Rapids Inc. seeks an Executive Director with the drive and initiative to establish a strong foundation for a new nonprofit organization while simultaneously executing multiple community-based projects. The successful candidate is a capable negotiator with demonstrated experience in project management, engaging and collaborating with community groups, working with local government and fiscal responsibility.

    Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Uptown Grand Rapids Inc. staff, programs and execution of its mission. She/he/they will initially develop deep knowledge of corridor and business improvement districts, core programs, operations and strategic plans. The Executive Director is an officer of the Corporation and an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board. The Executive Director is expected to provide their own working space and will spend much of his/her/their time out in the community at local businesses and neighborhood locations.

    Essential Duties
    1. Growth and Development
     Develops and provides leadership for the implementation of economic growth strategies to meet the Board's goals (e.g. facilitates new investment, fosters healthy retail businesses and evaluates progress toward goals).

    2. Communications
     Establishes and maintains an effective system of communications throughout the various Uptown organizations and neighborhoods, with appropriate departments of the City of Grand Rapids and with the community to build productive relationships.
     Manages planning, execution and evaluation of marketing programs.
     Represents Uptown Grand Rapids Inc.. in its relationships with city government, the media, community organizations, suppliers, professional organizations and similar groups.
     Ensures all stakeholders are informed and invited to participate by adhering to the Open Meetings Act, creating and distributing annual reports, practicing transparency and good governance strategies.
     Develops and oversees the implementation of the District’s Strategic Communications & Marketing Plan which includes both internal (business and property owners, employees, residents) and external (visitors, customers) audiences

    3. Board Functions
     Facilitates the work of the Board and its committees by developing resource materials, providing appropriate information and reports and assisting committee chairpersons as necessary.
     Provides advice and counsel to the Board to assist in development of priorities and performance indicators and monitoring the performance of Uptown Grand Rapids Inc. and progress on Strategic Plan goals.
     Recommends new policies, programs, and action plans consistent with the vision of the organization; executes all policies and decisions of the Board.
     When board vacancies occur, works in concert with the Board to identify needed skills and attributes to further the goals of Uptown.

    4. Management Functions
     Oversees the development of budgets for submission to the Boards of Uptown, including the Corridor Improvement District and the Business Improvement District; ensures compliance with approved budgets; proposes revisions as necessary.
     Present budgets to public and local legislative bodies.
     Provides for the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets and other property.
     Protects legal interests and maintains its operations within the law; works with the City of Grand Rapids and retains outside counsel, as appropriate, to obtain opinions and minimize risk.
     Oversees the human resources function to ensure optimum staffing and use of competent staff and contractors, recommending policy changes to benefits, compensation, employment, training and other areas as appropriate.
     Coordinates the recruitment and engagement of volunteers, including development and implementation of procedures, scheduling, and recognition.

     Commitment to the mission and vision of Uptown Grand Rapids Inc.
     Demonstrated experience with leading & managing multiple projects
     Self-starter
     Ability to work collaboratively with many different stakeholders and interest groups
     Strong verbal and written communications skills and understanding of target audiences
     Practical and technical knowledge of nonprofit management, including budget development and fiscal management
     Aptitude for working with municipal government and public funds
     Commitment to ethics and ethical behavior
     Bachelor’s degree and/or 3-5 years of experience in the fields of economic development, community development or public planning

    Salary is commensurate with experience and competitive with industry standards.

    Interested applicants should submit a resume, cover letter and 3-5 page writing sample (e.g. grant proposal, newsletter article, letter to the editor, blog post or academic essay) via email to Christine Helms-Maletic, Uptown Corridor Manager at cmaletic@gmail.com. The posting will remain open until the Search Committee has determined the applicant pool is sufficient to its purposes.

    Questions and comments may be directed to Christine at the email address above or by phone at 616.328.9547.
    Contact Information

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  • Conecta Membership meetings are the third Thursday of every month from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.