Executive Director, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Reports to: Board of Directors

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) is building a just, green, and thriving economy. We empower the region’s diverse independent businesses to do well by doing good; we advance industries critical to a vibrant, local, equitable, and climate resilient economy; and we advocate for an economic ecosystem that centers localism, serves community needs, shares wealth, and protects our environment.

SBN’s members are local independent businesses that practice—and measure success by—the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Our programming educates business owners about financially, socially, and environmentally responsible best practices; facilitates honest and supportive discussions among peers; and provides important opportunities for civic dialogue. Our advocacy focuses on solutions that advance a just, green, and thriving economy.

Since our founding in 2001, SBN has remained the region’s only membership and advocacy organization playing the important role of serving Greater Philadelphia’s diverse independent values-driven business community.

About the Position:

SBN is at an exciting inflection point. After 9 years in the organization and 5 years as ED, the incumbent is transitioning out, creating an opportunity for a bold, strategic, and visionary leader to take the organization to the next level. SBN’s Board of Directors are leading the search for an Executive Director (ED) who, as the Chief Executive Officer of SBN, will refine, strengthen, and advance a shared vision and strategy for the organization and the network to deliver a just, green, and thriving economy in Greater Philadelphia.

Essential Responsibilities:

As the leader of a community of entrepreneurs, SBN requires a dynamic and entrepreneurial ED, leading a growing team of 4 full-time staff with an annual budget of $760,000.

The core of the ED’s job entails ensuring that SBN has a clear and compelling vision and plan for its future direction and the external and internal support to deliver on that plan. Key elements of the work include delivering value to network members, harnessing the collective power of the network, and building respect for the organization as an influential voice for policy and systems change. One of the early high priorities will be hiring a Director of Development to ensure the organization has the necessary financial resources to support our current operations as well as our strategic response to an increasing need for our services.

More specifically, the ED’s work will include the following:

Refine the Organization’s Strategic Vision
  • Work closely with staff and the Board of Directors to refine the recently approved 3-5 year Strategic Plan in order to maximize the impact of SBN in the years ahead
Programmatic, Operational, and Fiscal Leadership
  • Supervise, guide and lead staff in developing and implementing high-quality programs and strategic partnerships that engage and inspire members and partners, helping them become advocates for the vision and mission of the SBN community
  • Provide fiscal oversight of budget, revenue goals, and reporting
  • Work with the Board and staff to ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work
  • Support staff development through equitable leadership and professional training
Revenue Generation
  • Lead the creation and implementation of a Development Plan for diverse and novel forms of long-term revenue generation to increase funding, and capacity to achieve mission impact
  • Represent the needs of SBN to funding and regulatory bodies
Advance Racial and Gender Equity
  • Ensure that SBN continues its journey, as an organization and a network, to advance racial and gender equity centering the needs and priorities of individuals and groups that are economically marginalized
  • Work with staff to develop and oversee effective and compelling communications to members, the media, and the community at large
  • Ensure an active media presence in a way that galvanizes targeted audiences to take action to advance the building of a just, green, and thriving economy
  • Support the expansion of SBN’s regional and statewide profile through public, professional, and personal contacts
Board Relationship
  • Establish and maintain a positive and effective working relationship with the Board
  • Provide timely and accurate financial and compliance reports to the Board and appropriate Board committees
  • Engage with the Board about policies, programs, and partnerships

Ideal Experience and Qualifications:

While SBN’s next Executive Director may come from any number of personal and professional backgrounds, they should have at least 10 years professional experience, including executive experience managing a nonprofit budget of $500,000+ in a social and/or economic justice organization.

Additional key attributes and experiences that the ED should have to help ensure a successful leadership transition include:

Passion for SBN’s Mission and Vision
  • Deeply committed to the mission, vision, and values of SBN: https://www.sbnphiladelphia.org/who-we-are/mission-vision-values/
  • An excellent communicator with highly developed written and verbal skills
  • Substantial experience writing a range of documents (e.g., reports, op-eds, proposals) and public speaking is highly desirable
Management and Leadership Experience
  • A strong track record of excellence in organizational and project management, with the proven ability to coach senior-level staff, develop and manage a high-performing team, and develop and execute program strategies
  • Significant experience successfully stewarding and growing an organization’s financial resources and stability
  • Excellent strategic and analytical capabilities and decision-making skills, along with the ability to prioritize goals and communicate to staff key objectives, and the requirements necessary to achieve organizational goals
  • Capable of building and sustaining trusting, transparent, and accountable relationships across lines of identity, internally and externally
  • Leadership experience in building a thriving membership or sustainability-related organization is a strong advantage
  • Entrepreneurial with a proven track record of raising at least $1M in revenue, ideally through a combination of earned income and grants
  • Experience working with, or in, the for-profit sector, and understanding of the challenges that face small business owners
  • Experience in advancing public policy
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, advancing growth industries such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, green stormwater infrastructure, or local food systems
  • Executive experience working effectively with a nonprofit board of directors
Leadership on Racial and Gender Equity
  • Brings highly developed racial and gender equity competencies and practices, as well as insight into how organizations’ pursuit of racial and gender justice deepens their impact
  • Committed to creating a workplace culture that embraces inclusion and belonging
  • Able to listen deeply, engage in difficult conversations, constructively offer, and receive criticism, and apply a racial equity lens to make decisions that impact equity

Salary and Benefits:

The salary for the ED position is in the range $75,000 – $95,000 commensurate with experience. Benefits include a contribution to medical, vision and dental insurance, and a contributory 401(k) plan.

It should be noted that salaries and benefits supporting talent attraction and retention are named as a goal in SBN’s 2021 strategic plan. It will be a charge for the incoming ED to work with the Board to set and meet clear goals in this area.


Please provide an up-to-date resumé, a cover letter explaining your reason(s) for wanting the job and the attributes you would bring to the position, and a statement of approximately 350 words explaining why you believe a just, green, and thriving economy is so important, and how independent businesses contribute to that. Email to SBN.EDSearch@gmail.com

We are looking for an immediate hire, so applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  No phone calls or emails please. Prior to making an offer to the chosen candidate, 4 references will be selected by the SBN Search Task Force representing a 360 degree view of that person.

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