Managing Director/COO for Startup Food and Farming Education Center

Background

We are building a center for rural and agrarian learning, agritourism and farm focussed events on a beautiful working farm in the Harlem Valley.  

The property is only one hour and forty-five minutes on Metro North Commuter Rail from Grand Central Station in NYC with the Appalachian Trail on one side and a beautiful river on the other, a sweet old farm house, several homes and big barns, outbuildings and ponds.  On it we will run a model, beautiful and productive farm, growing mixed livestock on pasture and organic vegetables, berries, fruits, flowers, maple syrup, honey, mushrooms, etc.  In the wild spaces we have extraordinary opportunities for traditional bowhunting, fly fishing, hiking and foraging. Our agricultural production will not be a stand-alone business, but rather, its goal will be to support the mission and work of our other endeavors, particularly educational workshops, but also farm stays, retreats and events.  Though in the future we may have a non-profit arm, the intention is for this to be a mission driven, for profit venture.

The project is founded and directed by Josh Viertel.  Josh has been an activist and an educator in the sustainable food movement for 15+ years.  Previously he helped to build the Sustainable Food Project at Yale University, and then ran an organization called Slow Food USA.  Now he is working with friends, neighbors, and investors, to develop this extraordinary farm into a center that can support us all deepening our relationship to place, to each other and to ourselves.

The position

We are looking for someone who can operate as a managing director/COO.  This will be the first hire we make beyond the founder.  As we startup we need a partner in crime who can develop and operate organizational systems, take ownership of large areas of responsibility and develop strategies and lean plans to deliver on them.  At this stage this position will carry a large range of responsibilities and will be responsible for coming up with and implementing plans for resourcing those areas over time.  We need someone who is skilled, focussed, effective, and flexible, creative, practical and a pleasure to work with and for.  

Areas of oversight include:

  • Project Management & Special Projects

  • Financial Planning and Management

  • Risk Management

  • HR/team building

  • Legal

  • Partnerships

  • Marketing

  • Business Development

While we do not expect deep expertise in each of these areas we do expect the person filling this position to have enough general knowledge and experience to be capable of oversight, coordination, team building and management around them.

This position will report to the founder.  As the project evolves it is likely that responsibilities and title will evolve with it.  Compensation commensurate with experience.  

Requirements

  • Minimum 5 years experience in a leadership/management role

  • Familiarity with the sustainable food movement

  • The ideal candidate will be excited to live a good life in the country.  Though at the outset, for a transitional period, we may be open to a portion of the work being done remotely, ultimately, working on site will be necessary and living in this area will be preferred.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter & resume attached and merged as one single document to joshlviertel@gmail.com.  Please include “Managing Director” in subject line.

We will review applicants on a rolling basis.