The Chicago Lights Urban Farm, a program of Chicago Lights, is a program dedicated to cultivating a thoughtful and engaged community for youth and adults through educational and economic opportunities, hands-on learning experiences, and access to fresh, local, and sustainably grown produce. Located in the near West side of Chicago, the program includes community gardening, food security and economic development, youth arts and culture camps, youth workforce development, microenterprise, and year-round food production.
The Director of the Chicago Lights Urban Farm is responsible for the operational success of the program, ensuring seamless program design and delivery, strong team management and development, responsible fiscal oversight, and meaningful quality control and evaluation. The Director will represent the Urban Farm in the community, maintaining positive relationships within and beyond key partners, Chicago Lights, and Fourth Presbyterian Church.
Execute the vision and strategic goals for the Urban Farm.
Oversee the Chicago Lights Urban Farm program operations and services, provide leadership, and build community.
Coordinate community outreach activities including Community Cookouts and Community Gardening.
Assess, engage, and respond to community needs.
Manage all Urban Farm vendors, including the trailer rental, water department, electricity, garbage disposal, etc.
Manage the measurement and continuous improvement plan.
Uphold an organization-wide trauma informed care plan. Ensure that all staff are implementing care regularly and appropriately.
Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performing team members.
Facilitate professional development opportunities and goal development and attainment for staff.
Work with the Executive Programs Director and the Human Resources Department in dealing with all personnel issues.
Internal and External Partnerships
Collaborate with other organizations, collectives, community groups, political leaders, and business to form meaningful partnerships to promote community building, youth development, microenterprise, and healthy, sustainable growing practices.
Maintain regular communication with the Chicago Housing Authority.
Interface with architects, contractors, and city officials, as needed.
Effectively communicate program success, goals, needs, and challenges within Chicago Lights and Fourth Presbyterian Church and externally with funders, donors, and partners.
Development and Fiscal Oversight
Develop accurate and visionary budgets, and manage and adhere to budget.
Work together with the Chicago Lights fund development staff to advance the program’s revenue through collaboration on compelling grant proposals and post-grant activity reports to Foundation and Corporate funders.
Bachelor’s degree or five years experience in the field of agriculture, education, social work, or related field
Strong project management skills in complex, multifaceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
Proven ability to thrive in a diverse, equitable, just, and inclusive environment
Proven ability and experience in nonprofit programming and budget management
Strength in recruiting, managing, developing, and retaining individuals and teams
Experience in working with high-performing, collaborative, and constructive peers
Deep understanding of and commitment to providing trauma informed care
Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to details
Strong work ethic, solid judgment, and apparent leadership skills and personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to for Chicago Lights’ mission
Generally Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. Seasonal programming on Saturdays during summer and autumn
Occasional evening availability will be required (planned in advance)
Additional Salary Information: Robust benefits package including Medical (PPO (90% co-insurance), and HMO $0 ded/$10 office co-pay), and a HDHP w/HSA. Optional dental, vision, FSA, voluntary life and long-term disability and 403b participation. Generous PTO including holidays. Participation in federal transit program (pre-tax transit payroll deductions). Employer paid life insurance short-term disability, life insurance/AD&D 403b employer contributions after one year of employment.
About Chicago Lights at Fourth Presbyterian Church
At Fourth Presbyterian Church, we believe that through mission outreach, we can serve the community in need, sharing in their struggles and hopes and working together for a world of compassion, peace, and justice. With a congregation of over 5,000, the church supports many enriching ministries for members as well as the community at-large.
Fourth Church also hosts Chicago Lights, which seeks to support and meet the needs of children, youth, and adults facing the challenges of poverty in our city. Chicago Lights grew from the commitment of Fourth Presbyterian Church to social justice and compassionate service and offers five signature programs, serving more than 4,000 individuals annually. Our core service areas include one-to-one tutoring and mentoring, arts education, social services, and urban farming.
Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and Chicago Lights are a proud, three-time winner of the Chicago Tribune's Top Workplaces in Chicago.