Salary Range: $90,000-$100,000
Please send a cover letter and resume (or nominations) to:
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership (“the Partnership”) seeks its next Executive Director to continue the implementation of an ambitious Strategic Plan by serving as the unofficial “Champion of Franklin Street”. Reporting to a fifteen-member Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead a small team of dedicated professionals and affiliates to ensure downtown Chapel Hill remains welcoming, attractive and safe; plan, oversee, and coordinate events that bring more people downtown; and provide support for area businesses.
Founded in 2005, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is “to be a champion and advocate for downtown Chapel Hill through programming, marketing, business support, and community building.” The Partnership’s vision is to “make downtown Chapel Hill welcoming to all–inclusive, unique, and magnetic for visitors, students, and residents by creating a vibrant and walkable downtown, filled with experiences which honor the rich traditions and evolving future of our community.” The Partnership is funded by a Municipal Service District (“the District”) tax that is assessed to the businesses on Franklin and Rosemary Streets between Henderson St. (to the east) and Merritt Mill Rd. (to the west). The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also provides financial support for the Partnership. In addition, the Partnership serves as a fiscal agent for the Campus and Community Coalition (“the Coalition”), an organization focused on addressing issues related to and stemming from unhealthy consumption of alcohol. The Partnership’s fifteen-member Board of Directors includes representatives from the Town of Chapel Hill, the University, and business and property owners within the District. The 2022-23 operating budget is in excess of $550,000, excluding a $120,000 appropriation for the Coalition.
The Partnership’s impact can be measured in many ways. In 2022, the District welcomed over one million people, translating into 7.3 million individual visits. This represented an increase of over ten percent from the prior year. And in the first quarter of 2023, the District welcomed nearly a half-million individual visitors, an eight percent increase from 2022.
Home of the oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill is a perennial leader in national “best of” lists. Money Magazine identified Chapel Hill among their top fifty places to live for 2022-23, while the Milken Institute recently listed the Chapel Hill-Durham metro area as among the top performers for economic resiliency and opportunity in the country. Chapel Hill is recognized for great dining, outstanding cultural events, and an inclusive, welcoming environment. The town enjoys a strong and active relationship with the University, as evidenced by the recent establishment of a new Innovation District. This district (the only one in the nation directly adjacent to a top-five public research university) will add nearly one million square feet of new development to downtown, attracting life science and technology firms and bringing job opportunities for residents, and increasing foot traffic for area merchants.
The “Triangle” area of North Carolina is home to more than two million people and ten colleges and universities. The Research Triangle Park is home to hundreds of companies and is the largest research park in the United States. The Triangle is located midway between the coast and the Appalachian Mountains, with the highest peaks east of the Rockies.
The Position Highlights
The successful candidate will be energized by building consensus among the town, University, and business leaders in creating and sustaining a downtown environment that is appealing to a diverse community. They will understand the importance of balancing the interests and needs of existing businesses with the opportunities presented by new business development and will be adept at building and sustaining relationships with parties with competing interests. They will engage and energize the Partnership’s Board of Directors by calling upon the unique talents of each director and focusing those talents on the Partnership’s common good.
● Collaborate with the Board of Directors and other partners in establishing and realizing a unified vision for downtown and the Partnership.
● Effectively execute deliverables identified in the current strategic plan and by the Board of Directors.
● Identify clear evaluation metrics and outcomes to measure the success of the Partnership.
● Generate and seize unique opportunities to ensure downtown is thriving; bring new ideas and resources to the table; act upon great ideas.
● Assist in designing initiatives and public policy practices that are inclusive and equitable and serve the interests of the entire community.
● Demonstrate authentic and reflective leadership with confidence and courage.
● Understand and engage the strengths of the Board of Directors resulting in increased networks, opportunities, and vision for the organization.
Cultivating and Fostering Relationships
● Maintain and strengthen productive relationships with the town, university leaders, downtown businesses, and community leaders.
● Create and sustain processes that invite feedback from community members and evaluate the effectiveness of Partnership activities and events.
● Navigate complex relationships and competing objectives with discernment, sound judgment, and diplomacy; solve problems through coalition building.
● Ensure the Partnership is adequately funded by maximizing grant opportunities and seeking new sources of private revenue.
Internal Operations and Oversight
● Provide clear direction and expectations to staff; offers support, resources, and encouragement for the team to be successful in meeting outcomes.
● Manage and monitor internal operations, administration, and financial logistics.
● Prepare and recommend an annual plan and operating budget for approval from the Board of Directors.
● Envision and execute promotional opportunities and special events that stimulate energy and activity downtown.
● Solicit new and existing vendors that represent the full scope of diversity within the town and University to participate in special events.
● Work closely and effectively with community partners in the coordination and execution of all events.
Qualifications and Experience
● 5-7 years of significant experience in events management, sustaining public/private partnerships, public administration, economic development, hospitality management, or nonprofit experience.
● Detail oriented, with an established track record of setting and prioritizing goals, meeting deadlines, and delivering and evaluating tangible results.
● Exceptional event planning and execution skills.
● Proven success in coalition building, networking, and navigating complex partnerships.
● An outgoing and accomplished champion of downtown vitality and economic activity achieved through adept engagement with “town and gown” partnerships and environments.
● Strong social and cultural competency; experience in alliance building through creating inclusive and equitable forums and solutions.
● Acutely observant and intuitive; a responsive and nimble problem solver.
● Seasoned organizational leader with a reputation for integrity and a track record in creating effective and cohesive environments built on transparency, trust, and accountability.
● Excellent oral and written communicator; persuasive and inspiring.
Compensation: Salary in the range of $90,000-$100,000 with competitive benefits.
In one document, please submit a cover letter (including how you learned about this opportunity) and your resume. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
The anticipated start date is early to mid-July, 2023.
Send applications via email to:
Mimi Hock, Chair, Board of Directors
The executive search firm of moss+ross (www.mossandross.com) has been retained to
assist with the search.
Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workforce.