North Dallas Chamber of Commerce Seeks New President & CEO
The President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the North Dallas Chamber reports to the Chair of the 13-member Executive Committee of the 50 +/- member Board of Directors. The Executive Committee includes the Chair, Chair-Elect, Immediate Past Chair, Legal Counsel, Treasurer, up to three At Large members and Council Chairs for Membership Growth Initiatives; Core Events Initiatives; Business Growth Initiatives; Community Affairs Initiatives; Emerging Sectors Initiatives; and Transportation Initiatives.
The CEO supervises the Chamber staff: Senior Vice President-Public Affairs, Director – Communications, Director – Membership Information, Associate – Events & Membership Data and part-time CPA.
Other important interactions include: executives and employees of Chamber member organizations; City of Dallas, state and national elected officials and their staffs; representatives of other public and private sector partnership organizations; education officials at Dallas ISD, Highland Park ISD and Richardson ISD, University of North Texas, University of Texas – Dallas, SMU, Dallas County Community College District and other local educational institutions; and members of the media.
The President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) is the chief paid executive and administrative officer of the organization. The CEO is responsible for all administrative and management functions and executing the mission of the Chamber. Responsible to the Board of Directors, the CEO’s primary responsibilities include planning, directing and controlling all activities of the Chamber in order to achieve the stated goals, objectives and Program of Action. The CEO is expected to communicate and implement all policies and provide leadership and direction that creates a high level of enthusiasm, expectancy and momentum among the membership, staff and business community.
Major Duties and Responsibilities include:
- Fiscal Management: In concert with the Board’s Executive Committee, develop and administer the Chamber’s annual budget, sufficient to support the programs anticipated for the year ahead; provide regular, accurate and timely financial reports to the Board; lead any capital campaigns as approved by the Board; develop special project funds; and grow/maintain reserves sufficient to protect the organization’s financial integrity in the event of an emergency. Sources of funds include member dues along with non-dues income through sponsored seminars, conferences, and membership breakfast/luncheons and other sources.
- Membership: Oversee activities related to maintaining effective member relations and work with staff, Ambassadors and other volunteers to expand membership base including development of prospect lists, membership brochures and pamphlets that project a professional image, membership retention efforts and new member orientation programs. Establish annual membership goals and grow Chamber membership to a level that will ensure necessary income for the operation of programs and future growth. Maintain outstanding and on-going communication with members through on-site visits, publications and emails and in concert with local media. Membership efforts should include volunteer and commissioned sales activity, timely and accurate dues billing, an effective program for dues re-evaluation and special income systems for the Chamber leadership.
- Policy: Under the direction of the Board of Directors and based on proper research of the needs of the business environment and community, anticipate emerging and long-range opportunities and challenges for the Chamber and the Dallas business community. CEO is responsible for insuring that Chamber policy, both internal management and public affairs, is developed through consultation with the appropriate NDCC committees, the Executive Committee and Board. Initiate policy discussions, make recommendations and collect background information as necessary, prepare plans for implementation and communicate Chamber policy to the membership, staff and community at large.
- Legislative Affairs and Advocacy: Establish and maintain effective relationships with officials of the City, Dallas ISD, Highland Park ISD, Richardson ISD along with County and state government elected officials and their staffs, promoting open communication and cooperation necessary to solving problems, improving quality of life and promoting economic and community development in Dallas while providing information and advocacy on behalf of the Chamber’s members and mission. Review and evaluate legislative issues, pending and proposed, which may have immediate or future impact on Chamber goals or policies, or the business community. Work with the Board of Directors to assure the involvement of Chamber members in advocating on behalf of specific pro-business issues. Attend or delegate attendance to City Council meetings, planning and zoning meeting and any other meetings when agenda relates to items of import to the Chamber. Work with City representatives on directing efforts of the Chamber and City on any joint advocacy efforts in Austin.
- Chamber Staff: Responsible for recruitment, training, supervision, assignment of duties, training and leadership of all Chamber staff along with maintaining current job descriptions and ensuring that each employee has complete understanding of his/her job and expectations. Foster daily working environment that values teamwork and ensure the highest levels of customer service and volunteerism. Responsible for conducting annual performance appraisals and compensation changes along with policy and procedures manual for efficient office operation. In consultation with the chamber’s Legal Counsel and Treasurer, insure that Chamber’s personnel policies and benefits plans are in compliance with relevant state and federal law and competitive within the local marketplace.
- Chamber Operations and Records: Responsible for the internal structure of the Chamber to ensure that the organization is effectively managed to function with maximum efficiency in the anticipation, identification and solution of Chamber/community concerns. Ensure that complete and accurate records are maintained in a timely manner, including: billing, payment of dues, membership information (classification, representatives, committee assignments, and contact information), insurance, building and equipment maintenance, and Board of Directors and Executive Committee minutes. Responsible for management of Chamber offices with a goal of providing for an efficient operation and presenting an attractive “front door” for the use of Chamber members, the community and visitors.
- Communications and Public Relations: Represent the Chamber at all appropriate meetings as necessary in serving at the pleasure of the Chair and Board of Directors. Represent Chamber as spokesperson detailing Chamber’s position at regulatory hearings and local and state government affairs meetings. Oversee the management of all Chamber publications such as meeting and activity notices, mailings, monthly calendar, newsletter, news releases, marketing materials, website, and public policy and other related Chamber publications. Direct the preparation of all articles or fact sheets reflecting the Chamber’s position. Serve as the chief spokesperson for the Chamber and communicate the organization’s position on community, public and political issues to the media. Direct maintenance of a file of all articles published relative to the Chamber. Serve in a liaison capacity to all Chamber member firms.
- Liaison Roles: Responsible for ongoing interaction and liaison with a wide constituency including:
Board of Directors: Earn and maintain the respect and confidence of the Chamber Board. Carry out plans and programs of the Board in accordance with established policies, serving as representative of the Board for all contacts with the Chamber staff, initiating programs for consideration by the Board, and advising the Board on all matters under consideration.
Committees: Staff the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Nominating Committee. Actively seek members who are well suited to positions of leadership within the Chamber and make recommendations to the Nominating Committee for prospective directors and to the Chair for candidates for committee and task force leadership and participation. Assign Chamber staff to act in support positions for Committee Chairs. Assure all records of Committee meetings to ensure effective and efficient communication among all staff, Board and Chamber members while coordinating work of Committees.
Chamber Members: Responsible for motivating members to personally and financially support an aggressive Chamber program, analyzing and interpreting the needs of members and recommending revisions in the program of work to improve service and assistance to make membership more valuable. Personally call on major investors in the Chamber to determine their needs, acknowledge their importance and increase their involvement and support.
Government Officials: Maintain strong communication and relationship with elected officials and their staffs, specifically the City of Dallas, Dallas, Highland Park and Richardson ISDs and Dallas County, along with State and Federal legislators. Play a key role in advocacy on behalf of the Chamber and in line with its objectives.
Community: Through personal contacts with key community leaders, the CEO helps shape the Dallas region, frequently called upon to relate Chamber activities to the activities of all other groups and organizations that impact the quality of life of the City of Dallas and Dallas County (commercial, industrial, educational, cultural, civic and spiritual). The CEO will take a leadership role in local and regional issues, projects or community organizations to assure the presence and involvement of the Chamber that are helpful to the Chamber in accomplishing its mission. The CEO must constantly strive to develop a better public understanding of the purpose and functions of the Chamber.
Regional Relationships: Continue to convene regular meetings with CEOs of the other like-minded organizations in the Dallas area. In addition, work to maintain and/or initiate effective working relationship with related organizations on a broad local, regional, and national basis including the North Texas Commission, Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas Association of Business and other key partners.
Media: Serve as the official spokesperson of the Chamber to the public at large and to print and electronic media.
- Planning: Under a constantly evolving volunteer leadership, the CEO will maintain continuity and consistency of Chamber programming and priorities. This includes anticipating emerging opportunities and challenges and recommending programs to respond to each. Conduct regular formal and informal surveys of the membership to insure the essential relevance of the Chamber to its members. Review and update annually the Chamber’s strategic plan, reflected in committee structure, programs, events and general activities. Periodically form a committee to review the Chamber’s by-laws to insure compliance with Texas non-profit law and with the Chamber’s actual practices.
- Trouble-shooting and Problem-solving: The President should be sufficiently well established within the community and the membership so that he/she can reach decision-makers quickly and thereby resolve issues when others cannot. He/she should also be readily available to the membership and staff for resolving internal issues as well. Also, the President should be prepared to substitute for volunteer leaders when called upon to do so.
- Facilities Management: Oversee the management and maintenance of the Chamber’s physical assets. 2017: oversee and lead the various aspects related to the planning and construction building of the Chamber’s new facility.
- Other Duties: Perform other tasks and duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Board of Directors.
A Bachelor’s degree in business or related discipline is required; an advanced degree in business or a related discipline is preferred. Demonstrated commitment to continued professional development through the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management and/or Certified Chamber Executive designation is desirable.
The ideal candidate must have a proven track record of success and may come from a variety of backgrounds: service as the top executive of a progressive and effective comparably-sized Chamber of Commerce, or related significant business association or economic development-focused organization; experience as a “#2” or other senior-level executive at a larger like enterprise as noted above; or an executive from a complex private or public sector entity.
Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Management experience (strong staff leadership and human resource development; has effectively led a complex organization).
- Fiscal management (demonstrated ability to manage finances of an organization; i.e. develop revenue sources and control expenditures so as to preserve financial stability).
- Planning (has successfully developed and implemented both operational and strategic plans).
- Advocacy/government relations (experience in promoting and advocating for business issues with local, state, regional and national government and government organizations; has developed effective working relationships with elected/appointed officials and their staffs).
- Resource development (experience with varied successful funding activities including programs and special events, capital campaigns, publications and advertising, dues and non-dues revenue campaigns).
- Economic/business development (has worked collaboratively with established public sector delivery systems and private sector resources to effectively promote the business growth of a community or region).
- Membership development (has actively promoted an organization; track record of membership development, retention, increased value and appropriate expansion).
- Board relationships (significant involvement with Board development and recruitment, governance issues and Board of Director interactions).
- Communication (strong communicator with internal and external audiences including Chamber business members and prospects, Board of Directors, government representatives, staff, members of the media and the public. Demonstrates the ability to develop and make effective presentations).
- Collaborative relationships (demonstrated track record of developing effective partnerships among all sectors, from large companies to entrepreneurs, from city to state governments, from related business organizations to higher education).
- Volunteer organization experience (appreciates the value of voluntary organization structure and operating techniques; proven ability to motivate and utilize staff and volunteers).
- Diversity (inclusive; has experience working with diverse groups; promotes diversity programmatically).
- Media/public relations (ability to effectively articulate goals, objectives and policy positions of the Chamber to the media and the community at large).
- Sales orientation (ability to market and promote the Chamber, community and region and work with Chamber sales team).
- Small business (programmatic success of serving small business enterprises and working with entrepreneurs).
- Private industry (prior experience working within private sector prior to moving into chamber or association management is desirable).
Desired personal traits
- Leadership (a take charge individual with vision and the means to get there; can manage, motivate, challenge and delegate to others; proactive versus reactive; looks for and fosters “win-win” results).
- Integrity (possesses honesty and the highest ethical and moral standards; authentic; trustworthy; transparent).
- Vision (able to envision “the big picture” beyond daily operations and lead an organization and community toward strategic goals and ideas).
- Strategic thinker (can plan for the future and also bring “outside the box” ideas).
- Risk taker (willing to take calculated risks based on thought-out action and available information; isn’t afraid to challenge status-quo thinking).
- Organizational skills (results oriented; meets established goals and objectives).
- Consensus-building (able to forge effective working relationships with various parties and encourage them to work together toward common goals).
- Political acumen (demonstrated ability to strategically navigate among local, county, state and federal leaders).
- Collaborative (sees value in working with others to achieve positive results for the community; demonstrates a willingness and ability to work with and through others).
- Communication skills (good listener; excellent written and oral communication skills).
- Interpersonal skills (personable; relates well to all kinds of people; builds constructive and effective relationships; socially adept and a good conversationalist).
- Executive presence (polished; self-confident; has political savvy necessary to maneuver through complex situations effectively and quietly).
- Energetic (genuinely enthusiastic; strong personal work ethic).
- Creative (imaginative; provides ideas and serves as a catalyst for strategic thinking for the community; able to envision nontraditional solutions to issues).
- Teamwork (recognizes that many parties are necessary to accomplish big things; speaks of “we” first, not “I”; relishes in sharing credit with others).
- Management style (empowers staff; inclusive while providing basic direction and allowing staff team to execute; holds staff accountable; serves as a mentor for staff in their own professional development).
- Intelligent (bright; street smarts and natural intelligence).
- Credibility (can command respect of Board, members, staff, business and regional leaders).
- Visibility (highly visible to staff, members and business leaders; active in the region and community).
- Change agent (able to set forth a vision based on collaboration and communication; willing to push the envelope and challenge traditional thinking through information and advocacy).
- Sense of humor (genuinely light-hearted; able to enjoy life and see the humor in sometimes difficult situations).
Interested in applying?
Please contact Bruce Bradford by email.