New Opportunity: CEO at Organically Grown Company

About the Company

Founded in 1978 by a few gardeners, small-scale farmers, hippies, environmental activists and dreamers living near Eugene, OR, today Organically Grown Company (OGC) buys, aggregates and distributes fresh, organically grown produce to retailers and eaters across the Pacific Northwest region.

The organic produce industry is not for the faint of heart but will steal yours if you aren’t careful. We work really hard each and every day to bring the best organic produce to market from hundreds of awesome farms. Our aspirations are simple: To actively cultivate a diverse, sustainable and engaged organic trade from farm to marketplace. It’s through this mission that we continue to pursue our vision of an equitable and regenerative organic agricultural system for global health.

In 2018, we transitioned our ownership to a Perpetual Purpose Trust (PPT), whose main purpose is not to extract a profit, but rather to help us and other like-minded businesses fulfill our mission to serve sustainable food and agriculture communities. We look for people who share our passion for organic agriculture and sustainable business practices; who value teamwork, candor, transparency and an egalitarian workplace; and who engage others with joy and gratitude.

Our products are “just in time,” need careful handling and change by the season. Our coworkers embrace that challenge and strive to provide exceptional customer experiences while in pursuit of operational excellence.  We do all this with gratitude, integrity, collaboration, resiliency and grit.  We believe in doing things a little differently here at OGC and living our values authentically.

About the Position

Reporting to the Board of Directors of OGC, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will lead an organization that has experienced long-term success and is preparing for the next phase of its evolution.  The CEO will possess passion and commitment to the organic food movement and to sustainability as well as embrace OGC’s innovative PPT structure to build upon the organization’s record of innovation, expansion, and excellence to drive continued success.  The CEO will lead the Mission Team that includes leaders of Finance, People, Operations, Information Technology, Stakeholder Strategy, and Sales & Marketing to execute a collaboratively developed strategic plan.

Skills & Traits

To be the CEO of Organically Grown, prospective candidates will need to possess skills/attributes in the following areas:

Mission & Culture

  • Shares the passion of OGC and its commitment to organic food and sustainability. 
  • Skilled at driving a financially successful business while fostering the core mission and values of the organization.
  • Works successfully within a collaborative organization where versatility and resourcefulness are required across the organization.
  • Demonstrated experience evolving and stewarding company culture.
  • Experience leading business growth in a way that aligns with core organizational values.
  • Commitment to supporting and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at an organization.

Strategic Planning

  • An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the organization and push the boundaries within the industry.
  • The ability to develop an inspiring vision for the organization with broad organizational input and by considering market trends, evaluating risk, and identifying opportunities.
  • Identifies and aligns company resources to execute the strategic plan.
  • The ability to effectively balance the desire/need for broad change with an understanding of how much change the organization is capable of handling, to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.

Leadership

  • Promotes a collaborative environment where team members are encouraged to communicate and work across the organization.
  • Creates trust and confidence at all levels, while inspiring and uniting diverse stakeholders around a common vision.
  • Possesses the ability to be decisive for the betterment of the organization.
  • One who places team success above personal success.
  • Leverage strengths of existing leadership team members; seeks out and develops talent for future leadership.
  • Must be flexible and agile to support OGC business needs and mission.

Team Development & Management

  • Experience in collaboratively aligning and developing teams to the vision and strategic direction of the organization.
  • Ability to retain, coach, and attract top talent while developing succession planning for the company.
  • Strong ability to develop team members into business leaders through delegation, goal setting, accountability, and shared responsibility.
  • Develops a strong leadership team to maximize operations and future growth while maintaining a culture of shared responsibility and stewardship.

Financial & Business Acumen

  • Proven ability to prioritize and align company resources (cash, equipment, people) to execute business initiatives and to achieve business goals.
  • Experience leveraging standard business practices (planning, metrics, P&L management) to manage the daily and long-term activities of a business.
  • Strong overall financial acumen and working knowledge of other functional business areas.

Relationship Buildling

  • Demonstrated ability to build trusting and genuine relationships over time.
  • The CEO serves as the face of OGC and will build and maintains relationships with suppliers, customers, and employees.
  • Engages with customers, coworkers, investors, growers, and other partners in the community to help advance the mission of OGC and generate awareness of its unique business model.
  • Seeks out and forms collaborative partnerships with other organizations and companies that are beneficial to OGC’s interests.

Board / Governance Relations

  • Cultivates a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and other Governance bodies to ensure open communication and the measurement of OGC’s performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • Informs the Board on appropriate trends, issues, problems and activities in order to deepen the Board’s understanding of the operations and culture of OGC and to facilitate decision making.
  • Partners with the Board to articulate its own role and accountabilities and that of its committees and members.
  • Provides guidance and support to the Board to identify long range strategic issues.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred, or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
  • Knowledge of and interest in agriculture and farming, preferably organics.
  • Experience as a business leader with full P&L responsibility, preferably related to the produce or food industry of relevant size to OGC.
  • Experience working effectively with a board/governance model on key decisions.
  • Previous experience working for an organization with aspirational sustainability goals.
  • Experience in a wholesale, distribution, or logistics environment preferred.
  • A breadth of functional experience in a company is preferred.

Interested in learning more?

180one is a retained search firm and has been engaged by Organically Grown Company to manage this search. If interested in learning more about the opportunity, please contact Tom Haley at 180one.


Head on over to our Opportunities & Placements page to see what else we’ve been working on!