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Executive Director

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2022 8:55 PM
    Message # 12919666
    Maeven Sipes (Administrator)

    Fox Valley Food for Health (FFH) was founded in 2013 by Mary Fremgen and Susan Leigh with the goal of providing nourishing meals and support to individuals and their families experiencing health crises across our community

    The Fox Valley Food for Health Mission:“is to promote a nutrition focused community through educating teens and serving those struggling with a health crisis.”

    Over the years, the FFH mission has expanded to serving clients dealing with a health crisis in Kane County and surrounding areas who lack financial or family support. Currently FFH leases a 1,500 square foot commercial kitchen space at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. In 2021, FFH engaged 100 Teen Chefs and 250 Adult Volunteers to prepare and deliver over 18,000 meals to individuals and families across Kane County.

    FFH accomplishes its mission through 3 Core Programs:

    1. Our Healthy Meals Program provides fresh nutrient-dense meals to people in the community who are struggling with a cancer diagnosis or other health crisis. FFH prepares healthy meals that are delivered to clients and their families for 12 weeks free of charge. The meals FFH provides are primarily plant-based with an emphasis on organic and sustainable ingredients. Each week our clients receive 2 vegetarian entrees, 2 chicken or fish entrees, 2 soups, a hearty salad, and a dessert. Local teen and adult volunteers prepare these meals and learn basic culinary skills. To date, over 100,000 meals have been delivered to individuals and their families.
    1. Our Teen Development Program includes fundamental culinary skills, leadership development, community outreach, fundraising, environmental science, and nutrition education. To date, over 250 high school students have participated in this program.
    1. Our Food for Health Garden Program involves a donated garden space where we teach organic gardening, composting, and sustainable food production. In 2021, these gardens produced over 2,500 lbs. of vegetables to help offset our annual food budget.

    Operating Budget:  The current operating budget is approximately $450,000. FFH does not receive any state or federal funding and raises all its operating dollars through general contributions, special events income, corporate/foundation grants, and 3rd Party Volunteer Fundraising Events, and other sources.

    Reporting Relationships:   There are currently (7) FT/PT staff positions to deliver our programs/services and operate the organization. The Executive Director reports directly to the FFH Board of Directors. S/he has six (6) direct reports including an Executive Chef; Director of Development;  two Client Care Coordinators; a Volunteer & Marketing Coordinator; and a Database Coordinator.

    Our Vision for the Future: FFH Board and Staff decided to pursue the purchase of a 2.5-acre parcel of organically certified land and build an 8,000 square foot building to expand its reach and operations year-round in the Kane and DuPage County area, including expansion into the Elgin and Aurora communities. The new facility would include a custom commercial production kitchen, a presentation kitchen for community education classes, community and teen gathering spaces, a client resource area, and some offices for management staff.

    Adjacent to the kitchen building will be an organic garden where we can grow our own produce and expand our garden education program.

    The Funding Strategy for delivering on our vision is to plan and embark on a major Capital Campaign initiative in 2022 and 2023 aimed at raising $1.5M - $2.0M to accomplish our goals.

    The Position: FFH seeks an experienced and dynamic professional to fill its position of Executive Director (ED). The ED will bring the highest level of integrity and passion for delivering on the vision, mission, and programs/services of the organization. S/he will cultivate and develop relationships necessary to grow and expand FFH’s fundraising programs and performance in local philanthropy.

    The ED helps create the vision for FFH programs and services. S/he also ensures that the highest quality of direct care and services are provided to all individuals and families served by FFH. S/he will also ensure FFH has a strategic long-range plan and annual business plan in place and being worked.

    The ED works closely in supporting the FFH Board of Directors in establishing and maintaining a well-defined and executed board and volunteer leadership development program to support the organization’s mission and delivery of its programs/services, and fundraising initiatives. These efforts include effectively engaging the time, talents, and resources of board members and other volunteer leaders to serve as ambassadors, governors, consultants, and resource developers in support of FFH.

    The ED will be the chief fundraising strategist for FFH, responsible for oversight of all its fundraising and related resource development programs. S/he will develop strategies and pursue contacts to raise major gifts from state grant sources and broad base of individuals, corporations, and foundations across the Kane and DuPage County area, including expansion into the Elgin and Aurora communities. S/he will separately and in tandem with the FFH Board of Directors, its Development Staff and other key volunteer leadership identify, cultivate, and solicit major gifts for Annual Operating and Capital needs of the organization. S/he will also provide input and participate in development of FFH’s major annual fundraising events and campaigns.

    The ED will identify, develop, mentor, and lead the organization’s management team and provide oversight to all areas of operation. S/he will also ensure that internal financial controls are in place to safeguard proper use of the organization’s resources and funds. And s/he will promote a well integrated and professional office environment while building and nurturing an energetic and high performing staff.

    Key Qualifications:

    • Minimum of bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university. An advanced degree would be a plus.
    • A personal and compassionate leader and relationship builder with high integrity able to exemplify and model the FFH mission, vision and its direct programs and services across the broader community.
    • A proven executive with a minimum of 5-7 years progressive executive or senior level management experience with well documented track record of success in a not-for-profit organization with diverse background in financial and business development; fundraising; board, staff, and volunteer leadership development programs; and operational management.
    • Demonstrated ability to successfully cultivate relationships and secure major gifts and sponsorships for Annual Fundraising programs and Capital Campaigns while effectively managing related stewardship and donor care activities.
    • Strategic, visionary, big picture focus and goal oriented with the ability to “take charge, anticipate needs, weigh options, make decisions, delegate, and follow through.”
    • High integrity and exceptional presentation and communication skills with the ability to effectively engage with corporate and community leaders, professionals, state legislators, donors, volunteers, teens, and the general public.
    • Skilled and experienced in leading, empowering, inspiring, and developing highly effective management team.
    • Proven track record of recruiting, nurturing, inspiring and engaging board members, and other volunteer leadership to fully embrace the FFH mission and invest their time, talents, and resources in support of the organization.
    • Firm understanding and comfort with business development and financial budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and management.
    • Experience in leading strategic long-range planning and annual business plan development.
    • Personable, respectful, highly organized, self-motivated, and driven individual able to work independently and juggle multiple demands.
    • Well-connected and informed in the local and broader community.

    Compensation and Benefits:

    Compensation will be commensurate with prior professional experience and record of successful organization and financial development, fundraising, board and volunteer leadership development, and management achievements. Salary range is $80,000 - $95,000.

    Application Process: All inquiries should be directed to Pratapas Associates, LLC, FFH Search Consultant, at Please submit cover letter, resume and salary history.

                Steven Pratapas, President

        Pratapas Associates, LLC.

                1717 N Naper Blvd, Suite 200

                Naperville, IL. 60563

                630-848-9188  (Office) 312-505-6777 (Cell) 

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