Hiring: Executive Director -Just Roots

Job Title: Executive Director
Date: 8/2/2021
Created by: Executive Director
Full Time, exempt employee

Compensation: $85,000 annual salary and potential for higher + health and vision insurance and retirement contribution, paid time off (15 days vacation, 10 sick, 2 personal and 13 paid holidays per year) and CSA (June – Dec). Total annual package value estimated at: $105,903


Email with the following three items:

  • cover letter, addressing how you and your life experiences have prepared you to excel at each of the five key responsibilities of this position
  • resume
  • response in any form you’d like (written, video, etc) to the prompt below:

10 years ago, Just Roots was born out of a desire for people to have access to land, and grow their own food. Now, our community farm and focus on local food remains at the soul of the organization, while we concurrently work beyond our local community to institute changes in food access and equity in our work in Food is Medicine. Our Food is Medicine CSA model has generated an immense opportunity for Just Roots to build local farms into the fabric of a more equitable food system in MA and, as a result, has created rapid growth for the organization. Along with that growth, we naturally are experiencing growing pains, such as the need to both overtly examine and define our organizational culture and decision making processes, and meet the needs of both our necessarily place-based community farm work and also our necessarily non-local, systems change work.

Given this history and current state of the organization, describe how your leadership style would thrive.


Just Roots Mission: Create equitable access to healthy local food in Western Massachusetts, and work toward just, vibrant, and sustainable farm and food systems everywhere.

Just Roots Vision: We envision a world in which our food systems are equitable, resilient, sustainable and inclusive of small farms, local businesses and people who are racially and economically diverse, healthy, thriving and empowered. This position reports to: Just Roots Board of Directors

This position supervises: Associate Director, Director of Farm Operations, Grants/Contracts Manager, Executive Assistant and the Financial Advisor (independent contractor)

Who is Just Roots:

Just Roots is a social justice organization that builds equity, connection, health, pride and empowerment in our community and beyond through food-based programs and systems change. Our farm, programming and advocacy efforts connect people to food and one another. We do our work by growing food; connecting people of all ages and life experiences with the land; running an all-income CSA (we’ve got the biggest SNAP-enrolled low-income CSA in the state!); cooking community meals; developing partnerships with schools, health insurance companies, legislators, health clinics and other resource agencies; researching the health outcomes of CSA participation and more. We build direct access, models, momentum and evidence for change in agricultural policy, food policy and social justice. We are a small but mighty farm-based organization with a goal to change the food system and bring more equity to the world.

Key opportunities/challenges:

Just Roots is focused on organizational growth with three key focus areas: program replication/scaling, donor development, and transformative change relative to becoming a more culturally and racially diverse organization. Just Roots has become a leader in food justice and food is medicine in Massachusetts. Its operating budget has more than doubled in the last two years while operating Food Is Medicine pilot programs running in the western and central part of the state. These programs have the potential to grow to have state-wide influence/impact. Therefore, the Executive Director has a unique and unprecedented opportunity to steward the business development of this model to serve as the connection of local, nutritious food with its target population in direct connection with healthcare and local farms. Attention must be paid to avoid boom and bust budgeting. While model expansion takes place, continuing to remain rooted and connected in our home community in Franklin County is a must, requiring a delicate balance of seemingly conflicting priorities. As programming reach expands, so must the donor base. The Executive Director has an incredible opportunity to grow donor giving across the state. Capital investment remains a keen focus area and an important part of the organization’s sustainability for staff safety and efficiency, income potential and program impact. As the organization’s constituency grows increasingly more culturally and racially diverse, it must address diversity, equity and inclusion from the inside out to create transformative change for the whole of the organization.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

Responsibility #1: Fiduciary ResponsibilityEnsure adequate control and accounting of Just Root’s finances, including the creation and monitoring of the annual budget in coordination with financial advisor and key staff 1. Ensure annual audit and ensure annual filing of taxes in coordination with the Financial Consultant 2. Supply monthly financial reports to the Board of Directors in coordination with finance committee and Financial Consultant and serve as ad-hoc member for all Board Committees as needed

  1. Manage the implementation of Just Roots strategic development plan and work with the Board of Directors to ensure continuous review and re-consideration of the development plan goals
  2. Lead all fundraising activities, including the identification, cultivation and stewardship of individual, foundation, and corporate prospects for donation and/or sponsorship and the solicitation of major gifts along with researching and writing grants in coordination with the staff, the Board and the finance and development committees.

Responsibility #2: Organizational Development

  1. Oversee the implementation of Just Roots strategic goals in alignment with our mission and vision. Lead strategic planning initiatives, and work with the Board of Directors to ensure continuous review and re-consideration of the organization’s strategic goals, including incorporating your own visions and dreams into the growth of the organization
  2. Facilitate the assessment and implementation of the Food Is Medicine pilot programs with the vision for a state-wide influence in connecting local food with low income, food insecure populations in connection with healthcare partners
  3. Assist board members with meeting scheduling and coordination. Help identify potential board members and assist in new member recruitment and onboarding

Responsibility #3: Community RelationsServe as Just Root’s primary spokesperson and advocate 1. Cultivate relationships with a broad network of partners and stakeholders in the farm/food/health industries including policy/advocacy. Serve and lead on relevant and existing coalitions, task forces, food council and committees within a local, state, regional and national scope.

  1. Cultivate and maintain positive relationships with funders in coordination with the Grants/Contracts manager 3. Maintain positive media relations

Responsibility #4: Managerial AdministrationReport to the Board of Directors and oversee all facets of the organization, including development, programing, marketing, and finances

  1. Hire, supervise, support, and evaluate Just Roots director staff and support the hiring process of other staff in coordination with the director team
  2. Maintain a climate and culture that attracts, keeps, and motivates a creative and diverse community of staff and volunteers
  3. Conduct regular staff meetings and oversee the administration of payroll and employee benefit programs in coordination with HR support and Financial Advisor
  4. Delegate work appropriately to ensure efficacy and efficiency and the development of leadership skills 5. Produce an organizational annual report in coordination with staff

Responsibility # 5: Champion the core values of Just Roots Uphold the core values of the organization including Joy, Accountability and Community with a commitment to working with, following the lead of, and elevating the voices of oppressed people and recognizing/stewarding the connectivity between soil health and human/animal health and planetary health


  • Ability to project a strong vision of the organization to the wider community
  • Ability to secure funding for programming, capital and general operations
  • Non-profit accounting and budget management
  • Program development and execution (particularly in scaling/replicating models)
  • Human centered supervisory and personnel management, approachable
  • Enthusiasm/aptitude for working with diverse populations
  • Excellent verbal, written and spoken communication
  • Well-organized and deadline oriented
  • Inclusive leadership and decision-making
  • Optimistic and flexible with a good sense of humor
  • Fluency for policy/advocacy
  • Creativity and entrepreneurial talent, out of the box thinking
  • Participatory, confident and goal-oriented, problem solver
  • High energy, self-motivated and team oriented
  • Able to work constructively under high stress

Qualifications include:

  • Interest in, knowledge of, and enthusiasm for local food access and food is medicine as a mechanism for improving health for people, agriculture and climate
  • Non-profit administration
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Fiscal management
  • Personnel supervision and management
  • Fundraising including donor development and grant writing
  • Program development (vision to fruition)

LOCATION + EQUIPMENT: Most of the day-to-day responsibilities of this position may be completed remotely, however the role exists to meet the needs of communities in which we serve with a strong connection to staff, volunteers, partners and funders and therefore a commitment to in-person leadership in balance with remote work is necessary. In person events primarily in Greenfield, but also across MA will take place. You will need reliable transportation. If working remotely, you will also need access to reliable phone service and wifi. Just Roots provides a computer.

Just Roots is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at Just Roots will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Just Roots does not discriminate in hiring, promotion, or any other aspect of your employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, height, weight, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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