Who We Are
Food for Thought Ojai (FFTO) emerged from the vision of a group of Ojai parents, educators and growers who were committed to improving the quality of school food and nutritional awareness for students and their families in the Ojai Unified School District (OUSD). Launched in 2003, FFTO’s comprehensive program has served as a model for many other school districts. It was one of the first farm-to-school programs in California, and one of the first to be recognized nationally by Slow Food USA’s “Slow Food in Schools” program. Since 2003 FFTO has developed and maintained five interrelated program components that integrate with California State Academic Standards. These components include:
School Food – FFTO works with OUSD Food Services to enhance school meals with seasonal, fresh and local produce and eliminate highly processed foods. We helped develop a comprehensive Wellness Policy, adopted by the OUSD School Board to promote a healthy environment and provide healthy choices for our students.
Garden Based Learning – FFTO established and maintains organic gardens and seed libraries in all OUSD elementary schools and teaches garden clubs and garden-based curriculum encouraging students to grow delicious food and reconnect to the land and environment that sustains them.
Nutrition Education – FFTO teaches a classroom-based nutrition curriculum emphasizing the importance of making healthy choices as well as providing hands-on experience building balanced meals and reading product labels.
Green and Healthy Schools (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot and Rethink!) – We partner with students, teachers and staff on reducing OUSDs ecological footprint by minimizing landfill waste, revitalizing soil thru composting and vermiculture and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals, while nurturing environmental stewardship.
Agricultural Literacy – FFTO organizes annual class field trips to local organic farms to help children develop an understanding of how food is grown and an appreciation of their local farmers and farms.
What We’re Looking For:
FFTO seeks an energetic, hands-on Executive Director who is a passionate advocate and supporter of healthy food, healthy kids, and public education to guide the organization through its next stage of evolution and growth. The Executive Director will manage a small, seasoned part-time staff and a portfolio of well-established, thriving programs, while working with the FFTO Board and community partners to map out and execute a vision and plan for the next 5+ years. Reporting to the Board, the Executive Director oversees all aspects of the organization and works closely with the Board president, executive committee and committee chairs to meet the organization’s fundraising, budget and program goals.
Who You Are
You are highly organized and efficient, with previous experience in managing people and projects, building programs, and raising funds from a variety of sources. You are able to communicate clearly and impactfully to different audiences. You are a proactive and creative problem-solver with a keen eye for detail. You are comfortable balancing multiple projects and personalities and respond quickly to support your colleagues. You recognize when you don’t have all the answers and you ask questions and seek input and guidance when you need it. You have a strong internal motivation and work ethic, and when you see something that needs doing, you get it done.
Salary and Terms
This is a year-round, half-time salaried position. Hours are flexible and may vary from week to week and season to season. Annual salary range $26,000 – $33,000 depending on experience, with two weeks paid vacation. FFTO maintains an office at Nordhoff High School which is available for use by the ED and staff subject to all applicable OUSD, local, state and CDC safety regulations and protocols.
Specific duties of the Executive Director include:
Program Oversight: Oversee the delivery of FFTO’s core programs. Collaborate with FFT Board and staff and OUSD superintendent and staff and our community partners to identify and develop new program offerings.
Strategic Partnerships: Serve as the primary liaison with Ojai Unified School District, meeting regularly with the Nutrition Services Director and coordinating with the Ventura County Farm to School Collaborative on multi-school district goals and projects. Build and maintain relationships with local farmers, farmers markets, community organizations and other strategic partners as opportunities arise.
Team Management: Hire and supervise FFTO staff, currently consisting of a part-time program coordinator and three part-time environmental educators.
Fundraising and Donor Relations: Lead fundraising activities in collaboration with the Board, including researching and writing grant proposals, coordinating annual community fund appeals, and managing donor events, communications and reporting.
PR and Communication: Assure that the organization and its programs are consistently presented in strong, positive images to relevant stakeholders. Maintain the organization’s mailing list and coordinate website updates, social media, community presentations, and outreach events.
Board Administration and Support: Work with the Board president to recruit and develop Board members, draft Board agendas and manage monthly Board meetings, and support Board engagement in strategic planning, budgeting and fiscal oversight, fundraising, and program oversight.
How to Apply
Submit a concise cover letter and resume via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received by May 1, 2022 will receive priority consideration. Expected position start date is July 1, 2022.