Executive Director (South Orange Village Center Alliance)

The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA), a non-profit located in South Orange, NJ, seeks a dynamic and visionary Executive Director (ED) with strong administrative and leadership experience to ensure that downtown South Orange is a vibrant place to live, work and enjoy.

SOVCA’s mission is to strengthen the vitality of the downtown business district by supporting existing businesses and attracting new ones to improve the Village’s retail mix; raising funds for improvements and placemaking projects such as public art; producing events that complement existing stores and services; maintaining a clean, safe, and pedestrian-friendly downtown; and helping our governing body manage new development while preserving the attractive architectural legacy of the downtown area.

SOVCA serves as the District Management Corporation for the municipally-created Improvement District that encompasses South Orange’s downtown or village center. SOVCA, formerly known as Main Street South Orange, has also been a designated Main Street New Jersey organization since 1991, the longest continuously-operating MSNJ program in the state.

About the Position:
The ED is responsible for setting the vision for SOVCA, and for executing the day-to-day functions of the organization. Reporting to the Board Chair and Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, the ED will engage the board and the community to ensure that SOVCA:

  • Is responsive to the needs of organizational stakeholders – business owners, property owners, government, and downtown residents.
  • Manages beautification and capital improvement efforts to ensure that the downtown area is attractive, clean, and welcoming.
  • Actively attracts residents and visitors to the area via traditional marketing, social media and community engagements.
  • And, continues to build organizational capacity via strategic partnerships, community involvement, planning and visioning.


Developing Strategic Plan and Leading Key Initiatives: Initiate the development of high-quality, multi-faceted business strategies including SOVCA programming, capital improvements, stakeholder initiatives and comprehensive resource planning. Ensure the Board is involved in the direction of key projects and priorities. Align large-scale initiatives with public and private
interests and the evolving nature of commercial district development in South Orange. Balance the needs of multiple stakeholders while effectively pursuing the mission of SOVCA.

Stakeholder Engagement: Build and improve upon relationships with business, community, government, and institutional partners to carry out organizational mission and objectives. Cultivate and maintain relationships with Village and State agencies and elected officials. Represent SOVCA at public events, including community meetings, committee meetings, and
government hearings. Maintain an active database of businesses, property owners, and residents located in the boundaries SOVCA. Provide open and transparent communication across stakeholder lines.

Fundraising: Identify and secure public and private funding opportunities that align with SOVCA’s mission, goals, and priorities. Develop materials for fundraising including grant templates and sponsorship packages, submissions and outcomes tracking. Set and meet appropriate fundraising goals as determined by budget objectives and in concert with the Board of Directors.

Operation Management: Develop and manage SOVCA’s annual action plan/strategy, budget, staff, and associated activities, providing continuous updates to Board of Directors.

Manage/oversee all administrative aspects of SOVCA including office management, purchases, record keeping, budget development and accounting, and prepare all necessary reports as directed by the Board of Directors. Manage and provide professional development support to two full-time and one part-time staff. Serve as the point person for working with the Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) program for the following: Managing on-site technical assistance and training provided to SOVCA and/or its district by MSNJ; managing grants provided to SOVCA and/or its district by MSNJ; participating in off-site MSNJ training as required, including the initial Executive Director Orientation; providing information for required MSNJ monthly reports and occasional program or Executive Director surveys; attending the National Main Street Conference at a minimum once every two years.

Business Support and Expansion: Serve as SOVCA’s chief community representative, cultivating relationships with community, business, and Village leaders. Develop and execute a high-quality, multi-faceted business development strategy aimed at attracting new businesses
to South Orange and retaining existing businesses.
Communication and Outreach: Develop and execute a marketing and communications plan, generating awareness of SOVCA’s events, businesses, and place-making efforts. Meet often with business and property owners to help build and maintain SOVCA’s brand. Leverage SOVCA’s brand to create new public interactions via website, newsletter, social media, and press. Develop and maintain and active database of stakeholders and supporters in the District and community and manage communications and outreach with this database.

Beautification: Ensure the South Orange Village Center is attractive, clean, and welcoming by managing SOVCA’s essential cleaning services and capital improvements.

Experience and qualifications requested:

  • At least 5 years’ experience working as a senior manager in some combination of the following areas: economic development, non-profit management, government/public policy, small-business assistance, or urban planning. An understanding of business improvement districts and their role within the community.
  • Proven track record in downtown planning, preservation, economic development, volunteer and community organizing, marketing or related fields.
  • Ability to balance strong day-to-day management needs with visionary thinking.
  • Energetic self-starter who is open-minded, creative and able to make connections with a diverse and passionate group of stakeholders.
  • Passion for urban place-making and retail development. Enthusiastic about South Orange Village Center and ability to lead with a keen sense of style; interest in on-trend fashion, shopping, design and dining.
  • Proven ability to garner support from and successfully engage with community stakeholders.
  • Excellent written, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational skills, including financial oversight and planning capability, and ability to troubleshoot, multitask and manage several projects at once.
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, QuickBooks and email marketing software.
  • Experience leading strong teams and managing staff, consultants, and contractors.
  • Track record of successful fundraising preferred.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required, and a Master’s degree in a related field is preferred.

Additional information about the candidate:
The ideal candidate would be comfortable working independently a majority of the time, responsive to the Board of Directors’, stakeholders’ and organization’s needs, and be enthusiastic and proactive. The position requires producing and tracking desired results and
outcomes by using acquired skills and appropriate action. The ED would be passionate about South Orange, its neighborhoods and people, and know the South Orange community landscape and be aware of and address its diverse constituency, or have proven ability to
quickly assimilate.

This is a full-time position with flexibility. Occasional nights and weekends required.

How to Apply

To apply, please email .pdf resume, cover letter with salary expectations to:
EDsearch@sovillagecenter.org. No phone calls please.

Learn More

Deadline – 05/15/2019