Executive Director

Job Title: Executive Director, Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MnCEF)

Reports To: Midwest Regional Director, Conservative Energy Network (CEN)

FLSA Status: Exempt

Summary:  Responsible for executive, day-to-day operation, communications, and programming instrumental in advancing conservative, market-based clean energy solutions in Minnesota. Working in concert with the CEN Regional Director and the in-state Board of Directors and consulting team, the Executive Director will be responsible for the execution of the comprehensive strategic plan for the organization. In addition, the Executive Director will plan and execute various programs throughout the year, manage communications including content creation, government and media relations, manage MnCEF’s digital presence, and perform administrative functions for day-to-day operations and manage the employee team.

The Executive Director will be the keystone piece of a small team, enabling this individual to have singular impact on the direction and vision of the organization. Ideal candidates for this position will be highly organized, self-motivating, and excel in an always-evolving work environment that may involve little-to-no direct supervision. The Executive Director must have outstanding verbal and interpersonal communications skills and have exceptional and demonstrated writing and editing skills. 

Duties and Responsibilities:  The following are essential functions of the position. Other duties may be assigned. 

Executive Functions:

  • Collaborate with wide-ranging stakeholders to execute the comprehensive strategic plan for the organization.
  • Serve as the primary voice and face for the organization in the media, among fellow stakeholders, third-party groups and in front of policy makers.
  • Direct all day-to-day functions of the dynamic statewide organization with an emphasis on growth in order to advance a conservative clean energy agenda.
  • Maintain relationships with donors, funders, program partners, and partner organizations and develop and acquire new donors, funding relationships, and program partner proposals to increase revenues.

Communications:

  • Create and execute a comprehensive proactive and reactive media strategy for the organization, including digital, paid, and earned media.
  • Develop and execute authentic conservative messages that resonate with core and growth audiences while incorporating market research techniques and data.
  • Keep website and social media accounts up to date with recent news, blog posts, press releases, etc. Monitor site activity and respond to comments as needed. 
  • Post latest energy-dated news stories to Facebook and Twitter as well as photos and videos from MnCEF events or events MnCEF is attending.
  • Draft press releases, op-eds, LTEs or other pieces of content and pitch to relevant media sources as needed. Create and maintain an organizational media list. 

Programming:

  • Continue to develop the organization’s Leadership Council, including the recruitment of new members and engagement of existing members.
  • Conduct a biennial candidate education program, including the development of a questionnaire and such materials to educate policy makers on organizational priorities. Conduct in-person candidate education meetings working in concert with allies and other stakeholders.
  • Continue to develop and build upon relationships with core constituencies and coalitions within the conservative movement.
  • Attend in-state, regional, and national energy conferences to increase knowledge base, network, and increase MnCEF brand awareness.

Policy:

  • In consultation with CEN, in-state consultants, and other relevant stakeholders, create an actionable policy agenda aimed at advancing the conservative clean energy cause in Minnesota at the local and state levels. Continually evaluate policy agenda and regularly provide progress updates to CEN or interested parties, making changes as needed. 
  • Cultivate durable relationships with key local and state policymakers with an emphasis on pertinent individuals within the Minnesota executive and legislative branches with the goal of developing them as renewable energy advocates.
  • Cultivate and educate potential candidates on conservative clean energy policy.
  • Cultivate and educate potential executive, legislative and administrative staff (state, county, and city level, as well as multi-jurisdictional groups like the Metropolitan Council) on conservative clean energy policy.
  • Develop and execute educational opportunities for policymakers and stakeholders on conservative clean and renewable energy ideas which may involve events and/or the creation of digital or tangible collateral materials.

Administration:

  • Manage all administrative functions of MnCEF, including paying all invoices, rent, taxes, etc.
  • Successfully maintain the organization’s financial records, including a bank account, tax filing requirements, legal compliance requirements and IRS code requirements.
  • Create an annual budget and track all spending of the organization, providing periodic updates to CEN staff, board members and other interested parties.

Other:

  • Attend bi-annual Conservative Energy Network conferences, collaborating with all CEN state organizations.
  • Participate in regional and national CEN calls on a monthly basis.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. 

Language Ability: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex documents. Ability to prepare and deliver effective speeches and presentations on complex topics to diverse audiences including elected officials and public groups. 

Computer Skills: Working knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. Experience with Adobe Suite, which includes InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, Canva, and/or similar design applications is preferred. Experience with Squarespace, Constant Contact, MailChimp or other email marketing platforms, as well as familiarity with QuickBooks online is preferred. 

Education/Experience: Bachelor’s Degree (B.A/B.S.) from four-year college or university in a relevant field and at least three to five years of communications, marketing, administration, project management experience. Experience in the energy industry, policymaking, or political arenas a significant plus.

Specialized Training:

  • Experience working for issue advocacy nonprofits, public affairs firms, political campaigns, or government is preferred.
  • Experience working in energy is a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Other Abilities:

  • Existing relationships in the Minnesota state government that can be leveraged to advance organizational goals.
  • Excellent verbal and interpersonal communications skills.
  • Exceptional writing/editing skills, experience distilling complicated issue in memos, reports, press releases and digital communication platforms.
  • Prior program management experience with demonstrated ability to meet deliverables on time and on budget.
  • Outstanding time management and organizational skills, with the ability to manage and meet deadlines and balance multiple priorities at once.
  • Ability to manage budget data, track spending and create financial reports.
  • Rapid retention and comprehension of organization’s prior successes and initiatives.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, interest in learning new skills and eagerness to advance the goals of MnCEF.
  • Role requires ability to work some evenings and/or weekends for special events. Role requires some travel, including overnight travel.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands, and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move 5 to 20-pound boxes for events, as needed.

Work Environment:

  • Fast-paced, dynamic work environment sometimes faced with high-pressure deadlines.
  • A supportive and collegial team that encourages creativity and initiative.
  • Plenty of opportunities to grow and expand your skillset.
  • Nonstandard and unusual hours sometimes required, including nights and weekends, but flexibility and control over time-management within traditional work hours is also offered.
  • CEN headquarters is based in Lansing, Michigan but this position will be domiciled in Minnesota. Employee will be provided with an office and parking spot, but CEN may accommodate telecommuting as needed.
  • Role requires ability to work some evenings and/or weekends for special events.
  • Role requires some travel, including overnight travel.

Compensation and Benefits: CEN offers a competitive salary and benefits package that includes a generous health insurance plan, 403(b) retirement plan, and ample paid time off, among other benefits. Salary will be commensurate with applicant’s experience.

Application Process & Requirements: Please email a resume, one page cover letter, writing sample(s), and three references to MnCEF Board Member Mike Franklin at mike@weberjohnsonpa.com for consideration for this position. The cover letter should address your interest in contributing to MnCEF’s mission, how your past experiences make you a good fit for our team, the date/timeframe you are available to start, and salary requirements.

We look to fill this position as soon as possible and will be considering applications on a rolling basis until about mid-July 2021. If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to email. We’re excited to hear from you!

About Conservative Energy Network: The Conservative Energy Network (CEN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2016 that educates policymakers and the public about the strong economic, conservation, and national security benefits of clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. CEN works with partners and members across the country to advance conservative market-based solutions to the serious energy problems facing our states. We serve to advance energy liberty for property owners and empower ratepayers, seeking free-market options with less government intervention and more rights for states.

Since its founding in January 2016, CEN has had a profound impact on clean energy advocacy and the politics of energy at state and federal levels. CEN was launched by and for conservatives to support and connect state-based conservative clean energy organizations throughout the nation. Starting with only seven teams, CEN now comprises organizations in 21 states in four regions: the Midwest, Mountain West, Southeast, and Texas—and we’re looking for new team members to help us continue this momentum.

CEN is a small but quickly expanding team of individuals fighting for commonsense, market-based clean energy solutions. We are building a national conservative clean energy movement that champions innovation, competition, energy independence, and promotes a diversified energy portfolio that is good for the economy, environment, and our national and grid security. If you agree with our mission and share our commitment to improving how we power our nation’s energy future, we invite you to apply to join our team today.

Visit CEN on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more.

CEN is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form, and we are dedicated to engaging and developing a diverse workplace environment. All applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status, or other characteristics protected by federal, state, or local laws.