GCDC Executive Director Search

It’s been a wild ride starting Georgia Cooperative Development Center. Back in 2017, I had a vision to create an organization that would plant the seeds of a more cooperative Georgia economy; that would make starting a co-op, or converting into one, so much easier, because GCDC would be there as guides on the side through that process. In many ways this vision has already come to pass.

We’ve graduated our first cohort of 6 worker owned cooperatives from our first Georgia Cooperative Academy, in partnership with our longtime friends at Regenerate Atlanta Cooperative Wealth Fund. We’ve been contacted by over 50 different co-op businesses, and help many of them move at least one step closer to realizing their dreams. We’ve reached over 600 newsletter recipients. We’ve received $70,000 from the Rural Co-op Development Grant program of the USDA, and raised over $30,000 of our own between paid workshop revenue, two Co-op Holiday Markets, multiple GoFundMe campaigns, individual and business donations, and some of my own personal backing as well.

But it’s become apparent to me that GCDC’s future requires someone new to bring new life and energy into the organization, and begin to write its following chapters. That is why with a heavy mix of emotions, I am effectively stepping down as of May 31st. I am grateful to our board for stepping in to serve in my stead while this search goes on, and ensuring no obligations of GCDC are not served in that interim period. I have loved my work with GCDC, and I am so excited for the opportunity this hire presents.

Now, onto the fun stuff, who are we looking for, and do you know this person — or is it you?

— Matthew Epperson, Founder

Job Description

About GCDC: Georgia Co-op Development Center is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide assistance to startup and existing cooperative businesses across the state of Georgia with the goal of addressing the social and cultural needs and aspirations of our communities and helping to create a more equitable economy in Georgia. Founded in 2017, GCDC has helped over 50 different co-ops with business planning technical assistance, spanning all ownership types (worker, consumer, producer, multistakeholder) and many industries (farming/fishing, retail, value added food production, child care, home care, information security, video games, cleaning, real estate, investment, and more). GCDC and our partners Regenerate Atlanta Cooperative Wealth Fund are the creators of the Georgia Cooperative Academy, a place-focused 12 week total cooperative business accelerator for startups and conversions, and which has already graduated 6 worker cooperatives as of December 2021. 

Position Description: Executive Director
Reports to: Board of Directors
Status: Part-time to full-time
Pay rate: $35 to $50 per hour, commensurate with experience
Location: Georgia

Purpose of position: Lead and direct GCDC and its staff in the development of new, converting and existing cooperatives, and creation of cooperative economic development projects that work toward profitability and the viability of communities. Facilitate all stakeholders (e.g GCDC staff, board, volunteers and partners), coordinating the best use of professional skills and innovative thinking to achieve the program goals and objectives and successfully managing all grants and program revenues.

Job responsibilities:

  • Work with communities to develop and implement the mission of Georgia Co-op Development Center.
  • Oversee all Center operations, budgets and personnel to maintain and enhance Center operations from year to year. 
  • Facilitate timely reports on activities to the Center board of directors, grantors and other stakeholders in order to maintain and cultivate strong relationships, good communication and information availability. 
  • Oversee the development of technical assistance, training, education and advocacy materials and programs 
  • Soliciting strategic partnerships to assist cooperatives with planning, development and operations 
  • Work with the board to develop employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the Center.
  • Secure and solicit sufficient funding for the Center’s activities in accordance with organizational goals
  • Report to and work closely with the Board of Directors to seek their involvement in communication strategy to increase the overall visibility of the organization.
  • Serve as an active liaison to the Georgia cooperative ecosystem and the broader US cooperative development ecosystem 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors

Suggested Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience with:
    • community organizing and/or cooperative development
    • leading a team towards a shared vision
    • working toward shared goals across diverse Georgia communities (e.g. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disability, age, etc.)
    • using new and/or solidarity economy models to facilitate a more equitable economy
    • cultivating a diverse donor base
    • creative and innovative problem solving
    • being both accountable to communities and minimally supervised
    • self-care strategies to manage challenging workloads without burnout
    • facilitating nonviolent conflict to mutually achieve the ends of the parties involved

Please direct any questions you may have to board@georgiacoopdc.org. No phone calls, please. We may not be able to respond to every application submitted. Your information will only be used for the purpose of evaluating you as a candidate, never sold or used for any other purpose. This position is open until it is filled, and will be updated on our website at such time.

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