Job Details

Executive Director

  2022-05-13     Grey Bears     2710 Chanticleer Ave     $120,000 - $160,000 year  

An exciting leadership opportunity of a celebrated community nonprofit organization

The Grey Bears Board of Directors is seeking an experienced executive to lead this high profile beloved nonprofit organization. Local, vital and multifaceted, since 1973 Grey Bears has delivered 110 million pounds of food and served more than 1 million meals to seniors, families, volunteers, veterans and farmworkers. Our thrift store and resource recovery programs have diverted 250,000 tons of household and recycling materials from all waste streams to help address the climate emergency.

The Position

Working closely with the Board of Directors and a dynamic team of 45 staff and 200 weekly volunteers, the Executive Director (“ED”) provides the strategic vision, leadership and direction for the organization, its programs and outreach. Maintaining a highly visible, positive professional profile, the ED manages and oversees the organization’s activities, fundraising, grants, contracts, infrastructure, finances and community partner engagement.

Professional Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership and Vision

  • Understand and be responsive to the needs of Santa Cruz County seniors, both broadly as well as sub-populations disproportionately affected by food insecurity and isolation.
  • Provide the strategic planning for the organization ensuring the ideas of Board, staff, volunteers and the community served are considered.
  • Promote understanding internally for our values of equity, trust, integrity, diversity and compassion to make a measurable difference in our community.
  • Maintain broad support for Grey Bears programs through outreach, promotion, advocacy and education.
  • Perform key liaison role with public officials, customers, other nonprofit agency leaders and the community at large.

Programs and Operations

Ensure day-to-day operations and programs are professionally and effectively organized and administered, including:

  • Facilities management, capital equipment investments and safety.
  • Food warehouse, cooling, commercial kitchen and infrastructure.
  • Nutrition programs and outreach, supply chain and logistics.
  • Assure success of thrift store, donated goods, electronics refurbishing, merchandising, and retail/online sales services.
  • Monitoring local, state, national and international trends in recycling industry.
  • Ability to delegate, set priorities and support policies and procedures to improve operations while also fostering streamlining, innovation and growth.

Board Relations

  • Serve as the primary staff to the Board, providing advice and information regarding policy decisions to support organizational goals.
  • Provide leadership of strategic plans, long-range goals and introduction of new programs and strategies.
  • Lead and manage the organization on behalf of the Board who delegates all management responsibilities to the ED, including providing work direction to departments as high-functioning teams.

Development, Communications and Relationships

  • Establish and implement fundraising strategies including Board development activities, individual and business donors, special events, foundations, grants, public funding and planned giving.
  • Advocate and provide visibility for Grey Bears by serving as a credible, articulate, and effective spokesperson, both in person and in writing.
  • Research and advise staff and Board on emerging trends, public policies and other program related issues.
  • Lead and support organization communications including marketing, public relations, advertising, newsletter content, social media and other community outreach materials to promote programs, fundraising, visibility and reputation.

Organizational, Financial Management and Administration

  • Provide strategic financial input, leadership and decision making on business issues.
  • Oversee preparation of the operating budget, including capital and personnel needs, and monitor the financial and human resources functions.
  • Supervise recruiting, coaching and evaluation of staff in collaboration with organization leaders and encourage staff development to enrich competencies.
  • Ensure succession planning is actively being engaged at all levels of the organization.
  • Ensure all appropriate legal requirements regarding operations including public accountability, compliance, and consistent application of policies and guidelines.


  • Strong business acumen, operational scaling experience, and the ability to set priorities with a results- and data-driven orientation.
  • Ensure effective operation of programs and activities in coordination with department staff, volunteers, board, public officials, and collaborative agencies.
  • Adaptive thinking, initiating and problem-solving.
  • Success in building and retaining an effective team that embraces contemporary practices in today’s workforce, including technology, benefits/pay equity, mentoring and professional development.
  • A strong and energetic work ethic, unquestionable integrity and sense of humor.

Position Requirements

Education: An undergraduate degree or equivalent and 5 to 7 years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience: A well-qualified candidate will bring a demonstrated track record of success in the following areas:

  • Executive or managerial hands-on operational experience in the nonprofit, public, or private sectors; management experience in agriculture/food distribution, recycling and/or retail sector is a plus but not required.
  • Leadership experience in an organization with a significant budget and staff; strong interest in aging-related issues, nutrition education, safety net programs, volunteerism, and resource recovery is important.
  • Outstanding written communication and public speaking skills.
  • Developing operating plans and budgets and achieving positive results.
  • Technical literacy and working knowledge of data management, metrics and dashboards to support decision making, reporting and the delivery of services.
  • Attracting financial support from foundations, businesses and government, and a comfort level with grant writing, fundraising and cultivating and stewarding donors.

Additional requirements include:

  • Access to a motor vehicle as well as valid auto insurance coverage for occasional driving for the position responsibilities.
  • In instances of a federal, state or locally declared emergency, Grey Bears is typically considered an essential service and emergency responder; all employees may be called in to perform regular or emergency duties.

Compensation, Contact Information and to Apply

This is a full-time, exempt position with a salary range of $120,000 - $160,000 per year plus a generous benefits package, including 100% employer paid health, dental and vision plans, safe harbor matching 403b retirement, vacation, sick and holiday pay and more.

To apply, email resume, cover letter and three references to For additional information regarding this opportunity please contact:

Tim Brattan, 831-479-1055 ext 224,, or Pam Goodman, Board Chair, 831-818-5787,

Grey Bears is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage the candidacy of professionals with diverse lived experiences and backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Do not contact this company in solicitation of any product or service.

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