Position Opening: Project Implementation Director

December 4, 2018 by Janette Law

Download Job Announcement PDF

Founded in 2003, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit organization that transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. As a thought leader, catalyst, and fundraiser, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is uniquely positioned to bring visionary leadership, philanthropic investment, collaboration, and private sector expertise to the Minneapolis park system.

The Parks Foundation partners with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) in guiding the RiverFirst Initiative and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects. We champion world-class parks through curated events including Next Generation of Parks™ Lectures. We also help donors invest in transformative parks projects. Examples include installing free lending libraries at all Minneapolis recreation centers, supporting construction of the new Northeast Recreation Center, and a new public wash station at Cedar Lake South Beach, among other philanthropic investments.

In 2015, the Parks Foundation launched the Parks Fellow program as a consulting position with the intent to provide implementation expertise for the RiverFirst Initiative and other park development projects. Through this role, the Parks Fellow has been an integral advisor to the MPRB in carrying philanthropically funded projects from vision to implementation. Now, the Parks Foundation wishes to establish a director-level position to provide strategic implementation expertise to philanthropic pursuits including and beyond RiverFirst.

The Project Implementation Director position will report to the Executive Director and will become a key member of Parks Foundation leadership. The Project Implementation Director will help bring signature park projects to completion in partnership with our public agency, nonprofit, and private sector partners.

The Project Implementation Director will be responsible for stewarding processes and partnerships needed to deliver projects supported by the Parks Foundation, bridging community engagement through design to completion. This position will serve as the primary liaison between key partners in the public and private sector and will coordinate with community stakeholders. Because of the importance of designing a park system that is equitable and open to all, it is critical that candidates have experience working within communities of color and understand the diverse tapestry of cultures and backgrounds within Minneapolis.

Position Responsibilities
Project Management

  • Guide transformative park projects and initiatives from vision to implementation, elevating Minneapolis as an international model of park innovation.
  • Provide key project level support to ensure that all Parks Foundation funded projects remain on track and at the highest level of quality.
  • Provide detailed analysis of project budgets and timelines.
  • Serve as primary liaison with MPRB planning and program staff and other public agency partners.
  • Work with architects, landscape architects, and urban planners to deliver innovative new parks in coordination with public partners.
  • Provide input for establishing organizational priority projects based on community input, partner priorities, and philanthropic support.

Public Partner Liaison

  • Draft agreements formalizing project partnerships between the Parks Foundation and our public partners – primarily the MPRB, but also including city, county, and other public agencies as needed.
  • Build, strengthen, and steward the community partnerships necessary for delivering innovative and equitable park and public-space projects with a commitment to racial diversity and equity.
  • Represent the Parks Foundation in the community at public meetings, presentations, and community forums, highlighting the organization’s role of delivering transformative park projects.
  • Develop meaningful engagement and outreach with diverse stakeholders especially communities of color, indigenous people, and immigrants.
  • Lead research and design projects in collaboration with organizational partners, such as the University of Minnesota College of Design.

Organization Operations

  • Assist in the development and management of the organizational and project budget.
  • Expand and oversee Minneapolis Parks Fellow program.
  • Be an integral part of a high-functioning, multi-disciplined team.
  • Work closely with development and communication staff to identify funding opportunities and to effectively communicate mission impact for grants and fundraising.
  • Provide reports and updates to Board and Committee members.

Qualifications, Experience, and Skills
We are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications, experience, and skills:

  • Advanced degree required, preferably in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Public Affairs, or a related field.
  • At least 10 years experience guiding park or public-realm processes.
  • Strong knowledge of Minneapolis governmental structures, especially MPRB but also public funding sources.
  • Strong writing skills for project agreements, grant proposal narratives, and marketing content.
  • Excellent communication and engagement skills, with the ability to work with a wide variety of individuals and diverse communities.
  • Comfortable working with a variety of stakeholders, including Foundation board and staff, donors, partners, consultants and contractors, and community members.
  • An understanding and appreciation of the diverse communities who use Minneapolis parks.
  • Enthusiasm and curiosity about parks and other public spaces.
  • Highest professional standards.
  • Well-organized and self-directed, with great attention to detail.
  • Familiarity with nonprofits and working in a small office atmosphere.
  • Software/computer skills: Microsoft Office and GIS systems.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as necessary.
  • Willingness and ability to travel throughout Minneapolis.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements
The person in this position must be able to:

  • Effectively communicate with others.
  • Work at a desk for extended periods of time.
  • Operate a personal computer (keyboard, mouse, monitor) and other office equipment (phone, printer, copier, scanner).
  • Move throughout the office to conduct various tasks. Bend to file or retrieve documents.
  • On occasion, lift and move items up to 30 pounds unassisted.
  • Travel within the Twin Cites metro area for meetings and events.
  • Independently navigate across uneven ground, hillsides, and other outdoor environments.

Salary and Benefits
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation offers a competitive salary dependent on experience. This is a full-time position with benefits including health and dental insurance, employer-contributed retirement, and vacation.

To Apply
To apply, prepare a cover letter describing your interest, experience, and qualifications for the position; a resume; and 3-5 professional references. Email your application to mkarl@mplsparksfoundation.org. Applications accepted until position is filled.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Parks Foundation does not discriminate against applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or presentation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic status, marital status, familial status, veteran status, status in regard to public assistance, or any other characteristic protected by law. All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check.

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