About Heritage Radio Network
HRN is a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring the world of food through storytelling that informs, nourishes, and connects.
It began in 2009 when an intrepid group of visionary thinkers realized that the public didn’t hear enough serious, thought-provoking stories from people working in the food system. So, they built a recording studio out of two recycled shipping containers in the backyard of Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick and launched an audio revolution.
Podcasts, ubiquitous in today’s world, were new and scarce back then. HRN became a pioneer in both the mechanics and art of delivering “radio” programming that could be saved and accessed 24 hours a day. Today, HRN operates from the same studio and remains dedicated to compelling storytelling that amplifies the voices of farmers, chefs, servers, activists, and entrepreneurs working to improve the food system.
Through podcasts, events, internships, and a growing roster of educational programming, HRN brings people together in celebration of diverse cultures and highlights the food system’s greatest challenges. HRN is committed to educating generations of food activists and growing a community of change makers. For more information please visit the HRN website.
Cultivating a New Strategic Direction
HRN and its Board of Directors have recently completed an extensive—and intensive—strategic planning process to define and chart HRN’s next chapter following the challenges of the COVID pandemic.
When the network launched nearly 15 years ago, it was a pioneer in the food-focused radio and podcast space. Since then, the public’s understanding of, and conversation around, food and agriculture have evolved, and there are countless podcasts and other ways to engage. Historically, HRN has focused on what it can do for listeners. In this next chapter, HRN believes that the organization–and its mission–will be better served by broadening its focus to also include what it can do for emerging storytellers.
By expanding the framing of its content-focused mission to include the development of the storytellers themselves, HRN’s Board believes that the organization can deliver even more focused and resonant programs that drive impact, scale thoughtfully, and attract greater funding opportunities.
Growing the Next Generation of Food Systems Storytellers
In order to deepen impact and to develop a more resilient business model, HRN envisions a staged process of expanded professional education programs and services, including:
- Internships: HRN is currently expanding its roster of internship programs to include high school students and a broader swath of undergraduates, graduate students and those in career transitions. HRN is also seeking funding for stipends to match market trends.
- Bootcamps: HRN is developing a series of pay-for-play Storytelling Bootcamps to engage food entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and other food professionals to help them build their storytelling skills and strengthen their networks.
- The HRN Fellowship Program: Longer term plans include the creation of a one-year fellowship for mid- or higher-level food systems professionals to deepen their storytelling, media, advocacy, and other communications skills.
HRN’s educational and professional media training programs will serve a diverse and inclusive community of stakeholders who want to transform their lived experience into advocacy for food systems change. HRN will train people to tell their authentic stories in such a compelling way that their voices and experiences influence others.
As it looks to the future, HRN believes that its expanded, targeted educational programming will present clear opportunities to drive impact and will have the potential to create a more sustainable financial model for the organization. The new strategic direction maps a path from growing HRN’s annual operating budget from approximately $500,000 to $2.7 million by 2030.
HRN seeks an outstanding, visionary, and strategic leader to shepherd the organization into this new chapter of growth and impact as its new Executive Director.
The Executive Director will report to HRN’s Board of Directors and will be responsible for the overall success of the organization, shaping HRN’s future ambitions and ensuring its financial sustainability.
This individual will be prepared to roll up their sleeves and hit the ground running to launch both the revamped internship program and new bootcamps and to secure funding for HRN’s category-defining evolution. This leader will be excited by the chance to design and build a bold new chapter for HRN. They will enjoy leading a lean team of full and part-time staff, and will embrace the opportunity to expand and build their own reinvigorated team as they go forward.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
PROVEN ABILITIES AS A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER AND SPOKESPERSON
This leader will:
- Develop successful relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including staff, Board members, donors, community members, partners, and other allies.
- Grow revenue through, but not limited to, philanthropy, corporate sponsorships, and fee-for-service initiatives.
- Inspire others to embrace and invest in HRN’s vision for change and impact.
- Represent HRN’s work as a spokesperson and public representative across a broad range of constituencies.
OUTSTANDING OPERATIONAL & BUSINESS ACUMEN
This leader will:
- Possess strong business acumen and the ability to successfully transform small, mission-driven entrepreneurial ventures.
- Balance “big picture” strategic guidance with the ability to execute and operationalize plans.
- Lead fundraising, budgeting, and building of new, sustainable revenue models.
- Ensure the organization functions with maximum accountability, integrity, and effectiveness.
A STRATEGIC, INNOVATIVE MINDSET
This leader will:
- Articulate a clear, compelling, and unifying vision for HRN that attracts and engages a growing audience.
- Embrace the creative process and allow others to try new approaches while also establishing clear benchmarks for success and pivoting when circumstances dictate.
- Identify and capitalize on new, strategic opportunities to drive impact.
- Demonstrate the ability to lead successfully and nimbly in rapidly changing times.
AN INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO PEOPLE LEADERSHIP & CULTURE BUILDING
This leader will:
- Build and strengthen relationships across a diverse array of teams, cultures, and orientations.
- Keep staff, volunteers, Board members, donors, and other internal and external stakeholders informed and engaged in the organization’s activities.
- Recruit, hire, and retain outstanding talent, including creating pathways that encourage continuous learning and professional development.
- Advance the work of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging with emotional intelligence and cultural fluency.
DEMONSTRATED PASSION FOR HRN’S MISSION
This leader will have:
- A passion for the mission of HRN and an enthusiasm for connecting others to the dynamic and diverse world of food and food systems through storytelling, content creation, and education.
- A thirst for learning and a natural hunger to stay abreast of the latest efforts in food, agriculture, nutrition, restaurants, and related fields.
- An awareness of emerging issues and trends that affect HRN’s work and will proactively seek out new information and relationships that can advance HRN’s strategies and impact.
- A deep sense of purpose and a steadfast belief in the possibility of “what could be."
Compensation & Benefits
The salary range for this role is $150,000 to $180,000. HRN is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages expressions of interest from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Steve Edwards and Tenley Bank are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express interest in this role please email email@example.com. All nominations, inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.