The Executive Director is the chief paid executive and administrative officer of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. The primary directive of the Executive Director is to serve the membership by leading the growth and development of the Evanston Chamber as well as the implementation of programs necessary to achieve the Chamber’s mission. The Executive Director is responsible for providing visible leadership in the community and is the key representative of and advocate for business owners in the Evanston area, with the goal of promoting and strengthening the community by building a healthy, strong and diverse business sector.
Duties and Responsibilities
MEMBER DEVELOPMENT / SERVICE
Oversee the direction of all membership efforts, including the recruitment of new members and the retention of current members. Ensures continued and increasing value for members by collaborating with staff, Board of Directors, and members to create innovative programs, member benefits and services, and compelling messaging that maximizes the value of Chamber membership.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND ADVOCACY
Effectively establish and maintain positive relationships in the Evanston and surrounding communities to further the objectives of the Chamber. Develop strategic relationships with leaders in and outside of Evanston and with external organizations to further the objectives of the Chamber. Advocate for policies that advance Evanston business, including representing the Chamber at meetings, and events as needed.
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING
Collaborate with staff, board and partners to develop and execute all Chamber programs, including cornerstone membership events, that promote Evanston businesses and are consistent with the Chamber’s strategic goals and objectives. Lead the branding/identity, and promotion of the Chamber and its programs/events in cooperation with Board and staff support; this includes oversight of digital, media, and marketing related content and initiatives. Work with the team to evaluate and improve programs/services and marketing methods on an ongoing basis.
OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Plan, implement, and oversee the Chamber’s annual budget, including identifying and managing income generation through membership campaigns and programming as well as expense management. Ensure open and transparent budget-related monitoring and communication with the Chamber Executive Committee and Board. Evaluate and identify improvements to internal systems and processes that increase the Chamber’s efficiency and effectiveness.
MANAGEMENT AND STAFF LEADERSHIP
Foster an organization culture that advances the Chamber’s mission and values. Manage and motivate and inspire two-person staff, Board and Board committees in accordance with specific goals, while supporting a positive work environment and creating accountability throughout the organization. Ensure that staff can professionally develop and grow for themselves and the organization. Work cooperatively and effectively with all stakeholders to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance the Chamber’s staff effectiveness.
BOARD/COMMITTEE SUPPORT AND STRATEGIC PLANNING
Work with the Board and staff to develop and implement a strategic plan for the Chamber; establish short- and long-term objectives to execute on the plan and course correct as needed. Participate in all meetings of and serve as the Chief Advisor to the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. Effectively engage, interact, and communicate with the Board of Directors and coordinate/guide designated Board Committees to leverage board/committee member expertise and contributions.
B.A. or equivalent education in business, marketing, communications, or a related field.
7-10+ years’ work experience in relevant related industries including nonprofits and/or successful previous chamber management experience.
Proven ability to manage new initiatives, programs or projects from concept to delivery and evaluation.
Excellent listening and communications skills; strong ability to build productive relationships members, leaders and stakeholders/constituencies throughout the community.
Experience working with or serving on nonprofit and/or business boards.
Understanding of and experience working with small business and/or corporate stakeholders.
Demonstrated business development, relationship management and customer/member service expertise. Able to work with members businesses to uncover, assess and respond to their needs.
Interest in and aptitude for understanding and evolving processes, systems and technology.
Ability to be both a self-starter and engaging leader contributing at both the individual level and inspiring the productivity and excellence of others (staff, volunteers, leaders).
Curiosity and growth mindset in managing for the present and leading into the future of the organization with energy and enthusiasm.
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce is an Equal Opportunity Employer: People of color, women, persons with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, and Veterans are welcomed and encouraged to apply.
Evanston, with its close proximity to Chicago, has been a prime location for business for more than a century. But it takes more than desirable real estate to make business succeed.
As the Evanston Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100 yeas in business, this display looks at Evanston business and its role in our community. Through challenges and opportunities, Evanston’s businessmen and businesswomen have dedicated themselves—along with residents and visitors—to build a thriving community.