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Co-Executive Directors

The Louisville Association for Community Economics (LACE) is seeking two Co-Executive Directors (Co-EDs) to lead the organization as it navigates the transition from a scrappy, all volunteer, start-up to a thriving staffed organization bringing new models for economic development and community leadership to Louisville and the region.

LACE is a non-profit developer committed to fostering an ecosystem of cooperative social enterprises built on racial and economic equity. We believe that community-owned and governed businesses are a pathway to bring wealth and power to neighborhoods and people that have faced systemic exclusion.

Our first major initiative is bringing the Louisville Community Grocery (LCG) vision to life. We are building the LCG as a cooperatively-owned grocery store that supports neighborhoods abandoned by large supermarket chains. Our locally owned grocery will provide fresh, healthy, affordable food through just and equitable practices, employment, and ownership.

We envision the responsibilities described here to be divided and shared between two leaders who may have complementary skill sets, working styles, experiences and/or backgrounds. If you meet some of the qualifications described here, or if you are especially interested in portions of this work, we encourage you to apply.

Together these two individuals will be responsible for the priorities below. The hiring and onboarding process will determine how they share these responsibilities, and it is likely to evolve as needs and context change.

LACE is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to promote diversity and inclusion and ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, socioeconomic status, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

LACE is committed to affirmatively promoting diversity and inclusion in all of our work and our internal policies and practices. LACE does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, partnering with other organizations, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, project development and decision-making, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.


Strategy and Culture

The leadership team is responsible for building LACE’s capacity to meet its near and long-term objectives and, in partnership with the LACE board of directors, developing a strategic plan so it can successfully fulfill its mission into the future – through and beyond the opening of the Louisville Community Grocery .

Through intentional design and action the Co-EDs will continue to foster an organizational culture based on respect, collaboration, and learning, rooted in the principles of community organizing and cooperative governance.


Board Development and Governance

LACE’s executive leadership works in close partnership with the LACE and LCG Boards of Directors to ensure they have the understanding, skill, and resources necessary to be committed, successful, stewards of the mission.

  • Support LACE Board and LACE committee meetings; hold a seat on LCG board meetings and participate on select LCG board committees.
  • In partnership with LACE and LCG board leadership, evolve board development practices consistent with a shift from a volunteer-led organization to a staff-led organization.
  • Develop strategies to educate and engage the Boards of Directors in community building, fundraising, and policy decisions, and increase the organization’s overall visibility.
  • Work with LACE and LCG board members to put cooperative values into practice in governance and operations.


Financial Management and Business Operations

In collaboration with the board of directors, the leadership team will ensure financial sustainability through responsible fiscal management and efficient, agile, operations.

  • Develop and maintain sound financial practices and internal controls per all applicable laws
  • Work with the staff and board to prepare, and adhere to, an annual budget.
  • Ensure all necessary administrative systems are in place to support operations
  • Manage all administrative and operational relationships
  • Execute notes, agreements, and other instruments entered into and on behalf of the organization.


Fund Development

In collaboration with board leadership, the Co-EDs will develop a diverse, long-term development strategy appealing to a wide range of donor groups, from individual grassroots efforts to major donors, foundations, and corporations.

  • Play the primary role of developing and stewarding relationships with key funders
  • Build a culture of donor engagement and ongoing stewardship
  • Ensure appropriate, accurate donor data management and reporting practices


Louisville Community Grocery Project Management

The Co-EDs lead the ongoing development of the Louisville Community Grocery cooperative, from business plan refinement through store opening. In collaboration with board leadership and committees, organize and manage all remaining stages of the project. Activities include:

  • Business and organizational planning
  • Engaging and organizing grocery owners, community members, and any other project stakeholders
  • Raising start-up capital through a variety of funding mechanisms, including individual and foundation giving
  • Hiring and managing staff, consultants, architects, and contractors
  • Developing and negotiating partnerships


Community Engagement, Network Development, and Communications

The leadership team is active and visible in the communities that LACE aims to serve, developing a deep understanding of and relationships with the people and organizations in those communities, drawing them into the organization’s work.

In addition, they work closely with other community, professional, and private organizations whose mission and approach align with ours, seeking opportunities to collaborate.

The Co-ED’s are responsible for developing and executing a coherent communication strategy that aligns with our mission and goals, resonates with our community, and authentically represents our voice.


New Initiative Development

New leadership will be responsible for identifying opportunities for new or transitioning cooperatively owned businesses and designing services to help them grow and succeed.


Other Duties

As defined by the board in response to changing conditions


The Co-EDs will report directly to the LACE Board of Directors and have accountability to the Louisville Community Grocery Board of Directors on matters related to that project.


  • Deep commitment to racial and economic justice
  • Demonstrated transparent and high-integrity leadership
  • Desire to lead in a challenging start-up environment
  • High-level strategic thinking and planning with an ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers, and donors.
  • Solid organizational skills, including: planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.
  • Able to build collaborative, effective teams and create efficient and transparent workflows to achieve deliverables within defined timelines
  • Strong financial management skills, including: budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including public speaking and meeting facilitation
  • Flexible; able to identify and resolve problems and develop alternative solutions promptly
  • Strong self-motivation and a sense of personal accountability; eager to learn
  • Willingness to commit energy, heart, and irregular hours


  • Experience with community and economic development organizations and enterprises, including cooperatives, community land trusts, labor unions, or other democratic organizations
  • Experience working in and with communities of color or economic disenfranchisement
  • Progressive leadership success in coalition building, leading teams, or project/program management; demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff.
  • A history of successfully generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
  • Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence, including funders, partner agencies, and volunteers.
  • Experience working or living in West and Central Louisville neighborhoods preferred
  • At least three years of complex project management preferred
  • Preferred experience with non-profits or social enterprise programs either directly or in partnership
  • A Bachelor’s degree and preference for a Master’s degree in such fields as urban planning, real estate development, public or nonprofit  administration, or business administration

Compensation and Benefits

The annualized salary range for each Co-ED position is $65,000 – $72,000. The LACE benefit package includes health coverage and immediate eligibility for a retirement plan with an employer match program. Employees have 12 paid holidays and 15 days of paid time off to cover vacation and sick time.

How to Apply

Email cover letter & resume to Application deadline is January 31, 2022.