The mission of Second Harvest Heartland (SHH) is quite simply to: End Hunger Together. The organization was created in 2001, when Second Harvest Greater Minneapolis and Second Harvest St. Paul joined forces to bring together more than 44 years of combined history and experience to the fight against hunger. Second Harvest Heartland works to end hunger through community partnerships. As one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative hunger relief organizations, the organization leverages its unique position in the emergency food chain to make an impact.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is at the heart of the work performed at Second Harvest Heartland, with equal emphasis on who we are, who we serve, and how we serve our community.
Second Harvest Heartland is a member of Feeding America—the nationwide network of more than 200 food banks serving every state in the United States. This partnership helps to significantly amplify the organization’s impact and reach by providing access to millions of pounds of surplus food and grocery donations.
Second Harvest Heartland procures food from manufacturers, farmers, hotels, restaurants, food drives and more. The organization distributes enough food for more than 100 million meals annually, ensuring food safety throughout the entire process. Food shelves, shelters, meal programs and after-school programs distribute food in the community, so that children, parents and seniors have access to food.
Critical to the success of the organization’s mission is focusing on strong results, innovation and thought leadership to accomplish the following:
Create a sustainable support system that provides access to food.
Find new, more efficient and more effective ways to do more with the food resources in our community.
Tap into new sources of donated food; including fresh, nutritious produce from an ever-expanding network of growers, food manufacturers and processors.
Work to give more people greater access to food as well as improve support.
Additionally, the team at SHH believes in a set of core values that inform the behaviors and practices they focus on every day as they work with fellow employees and partners. These provide the ‘compass’ that guides them so that they can make their mission a reality.
The position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) oversees all end-to-end sourcing and distribution of food to the community including partner relations as well as all programs designed to decrease the number of neighbors experiencing food insecurity. The COO supports excellence and continuous improvement in SHH’s operations and programs and is a strategic and creative thinker who promotes new, better and more efficient ways to achieve the organization's mission. The position has accountability for more than $100 million of the annual budget with 7 direct reports and overall responsibility for 130 employees. This position also is responsible for ensuring appropriate staffing, operational controls, administrative procedures and compliance with all applicable requirements/regulations.
Reports to: Allison O’Toole, CEO
Direct Reports: Director of Food Bank Operations Director of Transportation Director of Programs & Healthcare Partnerships Director of Enterprise Efficiencies & Facilities Management Director of Sourcing & Demand Planning Director of Agency Relations and CSFP Director of Minnesota Central Kitchen
Other key relationships: Chief External Relations Officer Chief Development Officer Chief Financial Officer Chief People Officer
Position Location: Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Operational & Programs Leadership
Support excellence in SHH’s programming, putting its clients’ needs at the center of its work and driving a spirit of customer service among neighbors and partners with diverse needs.
Directly oversee the following departments:
Transportation – including two fleets – food rescue + order delivery – 25 trucks and 31 drivers.
Warehouse management – including two warehouses, inbound and outbound, quality management and food & human safety.
Facilities management – including all offices, two warehouses, equipment – maintenance programs and sanitation.
Enterprise efficiencies – all process improvements, organization-wide.
Demand Planning and Sourcing - including produce, protein, dairy, dry goods, and culturally specific food items to ensure that neighbors have access to the food they need when they need it.
Agency relations – All aspects of service and planning with 350 agency partners.
Minnesota Central Kitchen – Preparation and distribution of 1 million meals / year.
Programs – all initiatives designed to decrease the occurrence of food insecurity in our community, including child hunger, senior hunger, SNAP outreach and health care partnerships.
Oversee multi-food bank collaborations and participate in Food Bank planning.
Oversee the implementation of a safety program for staff and volunteers. Develop a tracking and reporting mechanism for the safety program.
Oversee continuous process improvement for the entire organization.
Oversee demand planning and product sourcing.
Responsible for coordination of all operational activities on preparation of and during disaster or emergency relief and recovery.
Work with CFO to enable coordinated management of financial operations and contracted service relations.
Support effective use of technology in inventory, transportation and programs that will support objectives of better service and lower costs.
Effectively build a leadership team from across the organization. Create a collaborative and energizing team dynamic, leveraging the unique strengths of team members.
Fully engage as a member of the Executive Team to guide the organization’s culture and overall environment.
Work with all departments to shape the systems and processes that create and maintain organizational efficiencies, strong communications, informed decision-making and fiscal and mission accountability.
Manage, motivate and develop staff. Conduct performance appraisals, coach staff in the development and execution of plans. Manage, mentor and develop direct reports including prioritizing work, training and coaching, providing leadership insight to problem solving, performance evaluation, and regularly tracking progress on plans.
Create a positive work environment where two-way, open communications and strong sense of trust is established.
Demonstrate a clear understanding of internal and external customers. Be an outstanding role model for customer service.
Possess and demonstrate the confidence and humility to leverage others’ expertise in tackling SHH’s big goals, from highly connected board members to highly skilled volunteers to SHH’s most sophisticated suppliers and more.
Board Interface & External Relations
Attend board meetings and support the Operations & Programs Committee.
Develop strong and trusting relationships with board members and board committee members.
Provide board summaries of operating performance as directed by CEO.
Act as an effective ambassador for SHH in external communications including representing the Food Bank in community meetings and donor visits, as needed.
Participate in the Feeding America Food Bank Network and other affiliations concerning national, regional and local issues.
Planning & Evaluation Leadership
Assist the CEO and Executive Team in long range planning.
Support and review the efficacy of SHH’s programs, including the cost-effectiveness to best monitor the most efficient ways to pursue SHH’s mission.
Act as a thought leader in SHH’s national network and local community regarding data-driven answers about what really works in hunger relief.
Lead facility planning, design and project management.
Oversee annual organization, department and individual staff goal planning and periodic evaluation processes. Advise staff and CEO on goal achievement.
Ensure compliance with SHH’s organizational policies.
Ensure compliance with Federal, State, County, OSHA laws and Feeding America standards.
Establish and maintain department budgets.
Serve as member of the Executive Leadership Team and participate in Food Bank planning.
Demonstrate self-reflection on how their own identities, experiences, and biases will impact team culture, employee well-being, and the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan.
Supporting and collaborating on organization-wide equity and diversity efforts.
Demonstrate behavior consistent with SHH’s mission, vision, and values daily.
Understand safety policies and actively promote safe practices in the workplace.
Ability to build strong, constructive relationships with a diverse range of individual and organizational partners, where common goals can be discovered, jointly shared and owned for maximum impact.
Strong commitment to equity; ability to work with individuals from different abilities, ethnicities, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds?
Demonstrate the ability to support the work of others. A high level of understanding and respect for the urgency and needs of others. Ability to see how actions impact others. Willingness to put the needs of internal and external customers first.
Support innovation with an openness to new ideas, learning from others and flexibility to support change as needed.
Demonstrate the ability to identify issues or areas of improvement and the willingness to address them.
Maintain confidentiality of personal information of employees, volunteers, clients, donors and others.
Demonstrated enthusiasm and positive attitude.
Ideal Candidate Profile
The ideal candidate will be a bright, engaging general manager/operations executive with a successful track record of leading operations within a complex, multi-faceted business and a proven ability to translate a strategic vision into an operational model. They will have experience leading leaders, working with a board and/or senior executives, managing a network of partnerships and managing a significant P&L. They will be a systems-thinker who can assess and appreciate interdependencies.
The ideal candidate must embrace the mission of the Second Harvest Heartland, be energized by change and thrive in a fast-paced environment. They must model open communication, champion inclusion and equity by effectively engaging people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, foster a collaborative team environment, and place equity at the core of decision making and culture.
Skills, Experiences and Qualifications
15+ years of leadership in multi-location/retail/service-driven environments, especially those in which logistics, transportation and operational issues play an outsized role in success.
Prior experience in both corporate and non-profit (preferred).
Prior experience in food (preferred).
Financial acumen to include strength in P&L management and budgeting as well as financial planning and analysis.
Prior success in complex negotiations/contracting.
Prior experience with programs (preferred).
Prior experience serving on or staffing boards of directors.
Track record of institutionalizing racial equity in supply chain/operations, programs and/or partner relations.
A combination of education and experience generally attained through a bachelor’s degree in a related field(s) (Business, Operations or related field) and a minimum of 15 years of leadership experience.
MBA or graduate degree in a related field preferred.
Ability to travel as required with valid driver’s license with good driving record.
Champions Innovation Constructively challenges the prevailing wisdom or accepted ways of doing things. Pushes the organization to identify new approaches and uncover unconventional ideas that drive value using data and insights. Supports well-reasoned risks and new ideas.
Fosters Collaboration Creates an environment that supports collaboration by facilitating communication and coordination across all parts of the organization. Builds an intentional and cohesive culture that aligns functional agendas and unites the team.
Cultural Competence Models inclusion and champions equity by effectively engaging people of diverse cultures and backgrounds and creating an environment where everyone is welcomed and valued. Invests in building organizational capacity for inclusion and equity by creating systems to mitigate bias and placing equity at the core of decision making and culture.
Builds Talent Develops and maintains high-performing teams and coaches other leaders to develop their own leadership capabilities. Ensures all leaders and team members challenge and support each other while respecting others’ unique roles and contributions.
Sound Decision-Making Possesses strong intellectual curiosity and the ability to analytically, conceptually and critically evaluate information to determine relative strengths and weaknesses of ideas and proposals. Comfortable managing ambiguity and balancing action with the appropriate level of risk.
Drives Results Proactively anticipates future needs and creates mechanisms for overcoming hurdles, setting high standards for the organization and holding others accountable. Ensures organizational strategies are translated into measurable objectives and actionable plans.
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