New York City Metro
Urbane is a community development venture and certified MBE. Founded in 2008, Urbane builds the infrastructure that catalyzes community wealth. Our approach centers on strengthening community anchors through a multi-disciplinary approach - research and analytics, business and development advisory services, and place-based investing in mixed-use real estate, small businesses, and other non-traditional assets aimed at generating long term prosperity and community wealth creation. We envision neighborhoods that are defined by their strengths and experienced as places of opportunity and innovation, building bridges toward an equitable distribution of wealth and power by fostering community-led solutions and centering the wisdom and local innovation that already exists to facilitate a future of prosperity and shared wealth.
Urbane’s client base includes municipalities, economic development agencies, foundations, financial institutions, real estate developers, community-based organizations, and small businesses throughout the US.
With a brand refresh and new website, along with a forthcoming nonprofit arm and impact investing funds, let alone exciting projects in the pipeline – 2021 and beyond has us excited about the possibilities – and those possibilities necessarily include fresh new, diverse perspectives!
Status: Full-Time preferred
Location(s): New York, NY
The Executive Director of the Mangrove is responsible for guiding the components of the Mangrove’s community wealth building mission: Community Wealth Management and Advisory Services, Management of Mangrove Asset Building Facilities (NYC and Philadelphia Metros), Business Incubation and Accelerator Services, Access to Capital Partnerships, including strategic partnership with Urbane’s 215 and 718 Community Investment Trusts, respectively, in order to successfully achieve the aim of transforming lives through collective investment in community assets.
The Executive Director will provide direct leadership on the planning, implementation, evaluation, and evolution of the Mangrove platform. This includes responsibility for organizing, staffing, managing, and administering program activities.
This position reports directly to Urbane’s CEO upon hiring. This position will eventually report to the Board of Directors of the Mangrove.
Plan the platform
- Plan the delivery of the components of the Mangrove and its activities in accordance with the mission and the goals of the organization
- Develop new initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization
- Develop and implement long-term goals and objectives to achieve the successful outcome of the platform
- Develop an annual budget and operating plan to support the platform
- Develop an evaluation framework to assess the strengths of the platform and to identify areas for improvement
- Work with Urbane’s senior management and administrative teams to create funding proposals for the platform to ensure the continuous delivery of services
Staff the platform
- In consultation with the Urbane’s senior management, recruit, interview and select well-qualified staff, consultants, advisors, and network partners
- Establish and implement a performance management process for all Mangrove staff
- Engage volunteers for appropriate program activities using established volunteer management practices
- Ensure that all Mangrove staff receive an appropriate orientation to the organization and the programs
Lead the platform
- Ensure all staff members receive orientation and appropriate training in accordance with organizational standards
- Supervise program staff by providing direction, input, and feedback
- Communicate with relevant stakeholders to gain community support for the platform and to solicit input to improve the program
- Liaise with other organizational leaders to ensure effective and efficient program delivery
- Coordinate the delivery of services among different program activities to increase effectiveness and efficiency
Administer the platform
- Write reports on the program for management and for funders
- Communicate with funders as outlined in funding agreements
- Ensure that the program operates within the approved budget
- Monitor and approve all budgeted program expenditures
- Monitor cash flow projections and report actual cash flow and variance to the COO on a regular basis (monthly/bimonthly)
- Manage all project funds according to established accounting policies and procedures
- Ensure that all financial records for the program are up to date
- Ensure financial reports and supporting documentation for funders are prepared as outlined in funding agreements
- Provide required information to have invoices generated and submitted to funders according to the established timelines
- Identify and evaluate the risks associated with program activities and take appropriate action to control the risks
- Monitor the program activities on a regular basis and conduct an annual evaluation according to the program evaluation framework
- Report evaluation findings to the COO and recommend changes to enhance the program, as appropriate
Connect the platform
- Connect Mangrove initiatives, programming, and facility infrastructure to connected initiatives in the Urbane sphere, beginning with Flatbush Central’s (formerly Flatbush Caton Market) newly built marketplace, food hall, and test kitchen spaces; and to the 215 and 718 place-based community REITs.
- Oversee the integration of technology investments in case management, facility management, CRM, and other IT tools needed to deliver core services, implement digital initiatives, evaluate platform and service efficacy, et al.
- Work with Urbane’s Place-Based Development and Investment teams to identify opportunites to integrate Mangrove services and infrastructure into Urbane’s development pipeline in the Northeast.
- Nurture the development of a network of strategic organizational partners to amplify the thought and action leadership of the Mangrove as a community wealth building platform
- Minimum of 7 years of relevant, related experience in management, business operations and/or coaching preferably with small business development, marketing, community outreach, and/or nonprofit management organization. Experience designing and delivering adult education a plus
- Experience as a business owner/entrepreneur strongly preferred
- Requires dynamic leadership skills to include a passion for Urbane and the Mangrove’s mission and programs and the ability to promote the organization to diverse audiences, including potential program participants
- Demonstrated managerial, project and program management experience
- Familiarity with local communities and community leaders
- Proven ability to be self-starting, highly organized, and detail-oriented—comfortable with unstructured assignments, multi-tasking, and quick deadlines
- Demonstrated highly effective interpersonal, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills to include previous experience in a supervisory/management capacity
- Proficiency in the use of computers for: Word processing, Simple accounting, Databases, Spreadsheets, Email
The Mangrove Initiative strives to be a multilingual, multicultural, multiracial organization. The founding Executive Director will need to bring an ease in communicating with people from all backgrounds where English may be a second (or third or fourth) language. Proficiency in Spanish and/or Haitian Kreyol in particular is highly preferred, but not required.
The starting salary range for this role begins at a minimum of $125,000.00 and is commensurate with experience. Urbane believes great benefits make great work possible. Benefits include medical, dental and vision insurance, 401(k), and generous vacation/PTO offerings. Urbane invests up to $1500/employee/year in professional development and personal growth.
Urbane understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color, immigrants, parents, caregivers, and essential workers (among others). While this is a full-time position, Urbane will work with final candidates to develop a schedule that is manageable for them and their family during the pandemic, including flexible hours, paid leave, and remote work until conditions improve. Urbane recognizes these are unprecedented times and wants to remove any barriers that would prevent anyone disproportionately affected by the pandemic from applying.
- To apply, please email email@example.com with “Mangrove Executive Director” in the subject line along with your current resume, a brief cover letter/email, and individual example(s) of past work product that is deemed shareable and demonstrates professional and technical competencies. Please note any additional language abilities and level of proficiency/fluency if not readily apparent from your resume.
- Please name all files sent to Urbane beginning with your first and last name (or preferred naming conventions) for easy identification.
- The application is a multi-step process, inclusive of 3 to 4 rounds of interviews with multiple Urbane team members, community stakeholders, and subject matter experts.
- Due to the volume of applications and a small (but mighty!) Team, we are unable to respond to all inquiries.
Employment is contingent upon successfully passing a background check which includes references from previous employers. Urbane Development Group LTD, is an equal opportunity employer which recruits, hires, trains, and promotes personnel for all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status protected under local, state, or federal laws.
Community Anchors as agents of change
The lynchpin to Urbane’s model is to identify, support, and strengthen community anchors – storefront business, artisan producers and manufacturers, community- and faith-based organizations – that have earned the trust and confidence in a community and act as key hubs of activity in a neighborhood.
Their placement as community anchors offers unparalleled market insight and influence coupled with their unique positioning in underserved markets as powerful, positive agents for change. These anchors operate in the communities that are the hardest to engage if you are not a member of those communities. We believe community anchors are the natural conduit to provide opportunities for wealth creation and personal prosperity for residents and businesses alike.
Community Anchors create stronger asset value
For over a decade, Urbane has initiated place-based pilots with communities across North America with the goal of elevating community anchors as a catalyst for community wealth. One of the most crucial learnings has been the multiplier effect of community anchors – in asset building, in job creation, and in the preservation and amplification of culture in a place. Preserving and building the infrastructure for local, community anchors to flourish in place creates stronger asset value and deeper social impact over time than more traditional real estate and economic development strategies. Creating pathways for local residents to become community investors completes the circle of holistic and generative local economies we seek to foster.
Building on those insights, Urbane has initiated our Mangrove Initiative – part Community Anchor Space, Part Wealth Management Platform, designed to leverage trusted spaces in community with outreach, messaging, advising, coaching, and access to community investment vehicles leading to generational wealth.
Financial Empowerment and Community Wealth Education and Advisory
The Mangrove platform combines traditional financial capability goals tied to savings, credit building, personal budgeting, debt relief, and other personal finance basics with a dedicated focus on building wealth through the acquisition of and appreciation strategies tied to assets of all types. The Mangrove will specifically focus on four broad asset types:
- Traditional Asset Classes: Land, Real Property, Small Business, and Securities
- Traditional Accredited Investment Opportunities: Private Equity, Angel Investment, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds, et al.
- Alternative and Novel Assets: Art, Data, Cryptocurrency, Comic Books, Trading Cards, Time, et al
- Community Assets: Power, Water, Digital Infrastructure/Telecommunication, Transportation, et al.
Wealth is accrued through myriad strategies and assets; the monetarily wealth leverage any and all opportunities to build wealth through diversified investment strategies from the traditional to the novel. The promise of the Mangrove is to empower community residents in the recognition of individual and shared assets that sit within their communities, the knowledge of and access to the full spectrum of asset types, and the confidence to act upon a wealth building strategy that centers their lived experience, talent, and community.
Asset Building Facilities and Infrastructure
The Mangrove platform will focus on the development of facilities that create and enhance community asset value. Mangrove locations will be part of a larger place-based, physical infrastructure that intrinsically builds wealth – e.g., housed/co-locates in incubator/accelerators, shared office, educational institutions, houses of faith, or other spaces of trust in community.
Access to Capital and Strategic Partnership w/ 215 & 718 Community Investment Trusts
Urbane is a member of an 11-region, national set of emerging fund managers developing the financial rigor and multi-stakeholder engagement processes to structure, raise and manage a blended capital fund. The purpose of these funds is to build sustainable, inclusive, and equitable local economies that enhance the productive capacity of communities of color while address systemic inequities contributing to the racial wealth gap. Urbane will launch community investment trusts targeting communities of color in Philadelphia (215) and New York City (718), respectively, in 2022. We see the Mangrove platform as critical to the community engagement, education, and advisory to community members and other non-accredited investors interested in a way to invest directly in their places.
Mangrove Proof of Concept – Flatbush Central
Urbane’s premier development project is the reimagined Flatbush Caton Market (FCM) in the heart of Flatbush, Brooklyn. FCM is a Caribbean-themed marketplace featuring 30+ vendors of food, fashion, home goods, crafts and more. The market was established in 2000 as a haven for local street vendors to operate their micro enterprises in a supportive space. Since its founding, FCM has served as a key commercial and cultural institution in Flatbush, connecting entrepreneurs to financial and technical resources needed to formalize and grow their businesses. In 2015, Urbane was selected to redevelop FCM, preserving the market’s cultural roots and ensuring the continuity of legacy businesses. The resulting project, Flatbush Central, includes a rebuilt market space for legacy vendors; new food hall, bars and test kitchen; the Mangrove Business Incubator, a comprehensive business incubator and accelerator with a commercial kitchen, a natural body care production lab and design studio; and a public plaza – all co-located with 255 new affordable apartments. This combined infrastructure will serve as a small business development hub and a connector to the broader ecosystem of business supports and market opportunities across NYC.
Flatbush Central will be the home of the first Mangrove facility and serves as a template for future spaces for our Mangrove concept.