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Food Equality Initiative fights for nutrition security and health equity for all. The organization, Food Equality Initiative (FEI), originated from the need of one determined mother in Kansas City, Emily Brown, whose daughters were diagnosed with multiple food allergies as toddlers. When school suddenly became an unsafe food place for her girls, she quit her job as a preschool teacher and stayed home. Money was tight for the now single-income family. The incredibly high cost of allergen-free groceries caused Emily to seek food assistance. She waited for hours at the local food pantry, only to find two potatoes and a jar of salsa that were safe for her girls to eat. “In that moment, I felt great despair, but I also knew we weren’t alone,” Emily said. At the time, in 2014, of the 60,000 food pantries nationwide, only four were stocked with free-from foods reserved for people with food allergies and celiac disease.

In 2015, Emily launched the nation’s first allergen-free and gluten-free food pantry, ReNewed Health with New Haven Seventh Day Adventist Church. Since then, with Emily at the helm, FEI has been at the forefront of a movement calling attention to the challenges of living with food allergies and celiac disease. Presenting at national conferences and advocating for the inclusion of more free-from foods in the Special Supplements Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children’s (WIC) Food Package has been central to increased access in all communities.

Since that time, the organization has grown to serve approximately 200 unduplicated clients a year, and has provided more than $1 million worth of free-from foods to the under-served in special-diet communities. In 2020, FEI moved from a pantry-within-a-pantry model in Kansas City to a direct-to-door delivery program that serves clients nationwide. Clients with a doctor’s referral select items through an online portal and their order is shipped to their door at no cost to them. The new model is effective for diet compliance and health because it tackles the stigma and limitations of a physical pantry. This is especially important for equitable access to free-from foods, given that Black children are 7% more likely to have food allergies than white children, and are more likely to experience a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

In 2021, FEI discontinued operating its website and delivery service in-house and partnered with a newly created entity founded by Emily, called Free From Market. This allowed FEI to focus on all 3 of its pillars: access, education, and advocacy. As such, FEI is truly in the business of knowledge and leadership in the special-diet field. FEI is building partnerships with children’s hospitals across the US through its Affiliate Network. In addition, there are active research studies at Stanford and Northwestern and an innovative pilot program with a managed care company. With Emily’s move to Free From Market, she has created an opportunity for someone to step into the foundation she has built and lead FEI into its next evolution, and expansion beyond food allergies and celiac, and into the realm of “Food is Medicine” and partnering with affiliate hospitals to provide diet-specific foods to everyone in need.

Reporting Structure

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to the Board of Directors (currently 11 members) and they support the CEO. The CEO is responsible for keeping the Board and Board Chair fully informed on an ongoing basis of the condition of the organization and any other important factors affecting operations. The CEO oversees and manages organization staff (including, but not limited to, full-time VP of Operations, Creative and Marketing Director, Education Coordinator, Development Director, Grants Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant who all work remotely) as well as any contract and volunteer personnel. In addition, the CEO serves as primary liaison to Board Committees (currently Executive/Finance, Development, Research and Advocacy, Client Advocacy). The CEO also liaises with and supports the activities of FEI’s Medical Advisory Board.

Position Summary

The CEO is the chief strategy officer, providing the direction and plan for the organization. The CEO is responsible for overseeing all administrative, financial, and operational aspects of daily organization management. These include business operations–including contract negotiations and business partner deals, fundraising, communications/public relations/marketing–including contributions to peer-reviewed publications, fiscal resource management, and staff supervision.

Successful relationship building with internal and external audiences is a critical competency to fulfilling objectives. The CEO must establish credibility with the Board, staff, key volunteers, and donors to be an effective leader and developer of solutions to meet challenges and maximize opportunities. This position is full-time and leads a remote team; salary commensurate with experience, $100,000-$110,000 starting annual salary.

Key Responsibilities

CEO primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to

Operational Leadership and Strategic Oversight

  • Develop an annual budget and strategic plan for presentation to the Board to achieve programmatic and fundraising objectives.
  • Drives the organization to make consistent progress; track and report regularly to the Board.
  • Ensure that official records and documents are maintained as well as compliance with federal, state, and local regulations and requirements.
  • Through inspired leadership, create a culture that values teamwork and accountability.

Fundraising and Development

  • Plan, develop, implement, coordinate and supervise a variety of on-going fundraising activities and programs, including but not limited to: annual fundraising events, prospect research, foundation relationships and grant submissions, individual gift solicitation, corporate sponsorships, direct mail, e-philanthropy, and third-party fundraisers.
  • Oversee the recruitment of event chairs, fundraising volunteers, and others to assist with development efforts.
  • Research, identify, cultivate and solicit new donors (corporate/individual/foundation).
  • Build external relationships that result in enhanced revenues.
  • Assure effective stewardship to retain current donors and deepen their level of engagement.
  • Monitor and enhance systems and processes relating to donor and volunteer management, prospect research, gift processing and recognition/acknowledgement; ensure appropriate data entry of donor/gift information into the CRM database to enable meaningful reports.
  • Ensure that fundraising initiatives articulate the mission of FEI in a way that extends the brand, reach, and financial support of the organization.

Governance and Board Relations

  • Assist the Board chair in the development of meeting agendas and ensure timely distribution of materials for meetings including accurate financial statements and reports of activity.
  • Ensure Board engagement with regular and meaningful communication.
  • Liaise with Board committees to provide strategic thought leadership and organizational insights.
  • Develop up-to-date recruitment materials for outreach; assist in the identification of prospects and recruitment efforts.
  • Ensure a process for Board orientation and consistent communication of Board roles/responsibilities.

Communications and Marketing

  • Identify and secure opportunities to make appearances and presentations to organizations, groups, and media to raise awareness, promote FEI, and facilitate fundraising programs.
  • Develop high-quality proposals and solicitation materials to build new and upgrade existing donor/sponsor partnerships.
  • Develop and oversee the cadence of regular communication to donors and other stakeholders, including but not limited to online newsletters, direct mail, annual reports, and social media accounts. Track and report on the status and growth of external audiences.
  • Ensure that the organization website accurately reflects the current status and activities of the organization, including all sponsor recognition.

Experience/Skills/Qualifications

The position of Chief Executive Officer requires an inspirational philanthropic leader with experience as a senior executive possessing a significant track record of partnership building and fundraising. The successful candidate is energetic and enthusiastic, a results-oriented strategic thinker, with an appropriate blend of interpersonal and analytical skills enabling effective communication with a variety of audiences. The CEO is motivated by the mission and brand of Food Equality Initiative to lead the organization to achieve its goals. Specific experience and skills include:

  • A proven track record of results including six-figure gifts, corporate sponsorship, and foundation giving which include supporting donor strategies, solicitation approaches, and donor stewardship.
  • Ability to build consensus and relationships among executives, partners, and the workforce.
  • Research and peer-reviewed publication experience
  • Proven negotiation skills
  • Strong planning and analytical skills, and proven experience in developing and effectively implementing an organization-wide strategic plan.
  • Superior communication skills, both verbal and written, effective across a variety of constituencies including donors, volunteers, corporate, and community partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities and work closely with Board, staff, and volunteers
  • Experience in the development and implementation of budgets and budget management
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree or fundraising certification preferred
  • A minimum 7-10 years post-college work experience, at least 5-7 years in a development/advancement role and 3+ years in a development management position
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, CRM database required; e-communications platforms and graphic experience a plus
  • Ability to work outside standard business hours and to travel occasionally
  • Must have valid driver’s license and auto insurance when the position requires an employee to operate a motor vehicle in connection with executing the position responsibilities, which include driving to/from organization events and meetings

CONTACT INFORMATION

Food Equality Initiative is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants should submit a resume/CV and cover letter to contact@foodequalityinitiative.org. No phone calls, please.

As a Food Writing Intern, you will assist with the planning, researching, and execution of blogs and articles for the Food Equality Initiative website and the award-winning Free-From Magazine. You will be expected to pitch your own ideas for articles and conduct the necessary research and/or interviews to compose the piece. Suitable topics include but are not limited to: recipes, taste tests, tips & tricks, and ingredient experiments. (Food can be provided by FEI to use in the creation/photographing of recipes.) All topics are required to pertain to food allergies and/or celiac disease.

Requirements
  • Strong English language skills
  • Ability to adapt to voice of FEI brand and follow branding guidelines
  • Creative, positive thinker with a passion for food and/or health
  • Have own computer with reliable internet connection

  • Food Photography skills a plus, but not required

Responsibilities
  • Produce original content on a regular schedule (weekly basis for social media and blogs)
  • Attend the following meetings once a week: staff meeting, marketing team meeting, creative planning meeting
  • Produce work at a reliable high quality
  • Be open to critiques and willing to make edits
How to apply

Send a resume, cover letter, and non-fiction writing sample to sofia@foodequalityinitiative.org

As a videography/photography intern, you will get the opportunity to showcase your artistic side through the creation of visual effects to be used in the marketing of FEI’s services. Working with the Creative Director and the Education Coordinator, you will be assigned short videos and/or photography projects in which you will compose a script, direct the shots, and produce the video. You will also have the space to work on an in-depth, long-term project of your choice and be published in an award winning national magazine. Basic knowledge of photography, composition, and editing is required.

Requirements
  • Eye for detail and frame composition
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Premiere Pro & Photoshop
  • Have own computer with reliable internet connection
  • Have own cameras and recording equipment
Responsibilities
  • Produce work at a reliable high quality
  • Be open to critiques and willing to make edits
  • Meet deadlines for projects
  • Attend the following meetings once a week: staff meeting, marketing team meeting, creative planning meeting
How to apply

Send a resume, cover letter, and portfolio to contact@foodequalityinitiative.org

As the Production Artist, you will be working on creating everything from digital content to print collateral. You will be focusing heavily on quality checking, ensuring everything is ready for print and digital distribution. The Graphic Designer / Production Artist will hit the ground running on projects as part of a small but nimble team that operates much like an in-house agency in a fast-paced environment. Primary projects include a producing a bi-monthly magazine and crafting weekly emails. Creativity in both design and layouts is key!

Requirements
  • Strong portfolio showcasing print design and layout work
  • Software: proficient in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop is a must
  • Photography and / or video skills a plus (but not a must)
  • Creative, positive thinker with a passion for food and/or health
Responsibilities
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (Mainly Photoshop, illustrator, Indesign)
  • Have own computer or laptop
  • Design/redesign brochures, logos/icons, brochures, advertisements, email templates, and other internal & external communication materials
  • Comfortable working within brand-specific style guidelines & templates
  • Effectively and proactively communicate with team members as well as outside resources
  • Participate in team brainstorming for internal/external marketing pieces and ideas for upcoming campaigns
  • Perform photography research and photo editing and retouching as needed
  • Ensuring deliverables are proofread for errors
  • Creation, management, and archiving of email templates for the Marketing department
How to apply

Send a resume, cover letter, and portfolio to contact@foodequalityinitiative.org