Vice President, Sustainable Markets
The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Based in New York City, with offices throughout the United States and worldwide, the Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers.
The Vice President, Sustainable Markets will be responsible for increasing the market share of Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and verified products and services. S/he will manage the integration of the different market facing teams (Agriculture, Forestry, Climate and Tourism) across the organization and lead the newly created unit. S/he will set the strategies and oversee implementation of stakeholder outreach and management of relationships with companies buying Rainforest Alliance and FSC certified goods. This work will involve ongoing review of services offered to companies and potential development of new value offerings. This position will lead a global team of professionals responsible for cultivating and engaging new businesses as well as nurturing and managing relationships with existing businesses to facilitate the sourcing of increasing amounts of Rainforest Alliance and FSC certified or verified products.
In addition to specific responsibilities related to the VP, Sustainable Markets role, this individual will also be the senior representative within the London office and serve as the Head of Office (HOO), responsible for governance, administration, and cross-programmatic representation for the London office.
- Manage and oversee the integration of the Agriculture, Forestry, Climate and Tourism market facing teams into one unit, known as Sustainable Markets;
- Consolidate and strengthen existing teams within the newly created Sustainable Markets group; define new structure, roles and responsibilities in coordination with program leaders and support teams;
- Provide strategic leadership for defining the path towards increased market share of Rainforest Alliance and FSC certified or verified goods and services and for the establishment of outstanding service offers to companies;
- Develop and oversee implementation of Rainforest Alliance’s ten year vision and five year plan for the Sustainable Markets group;
- Drive product differentiation strategy and execution and support teams to continuously adjust and improve our value proposition; and
- In conjunction with the Vice President of Agriculture, Executive Vice President, President and Development team, identify new earned and raised revenue opportunities.
- Prioritize work with industries, companies and products that will most effectively contribute to the advancement of Rainforest Alliance’s mission;
- Ensure market development goals are properly set and targets achieved using classic and innovative management approaches developed in conjunction with the Sustainable Markets and Sustainable Landscapes teams;
- Explore market extension into new geographic segments for existing product categories;
- Seek innovative cross-sector business opportunities and carefully assess new product and service offerings against current portfolios; and
- Assist with the preparation of market related fundraising proposals and in the negotiation and development of service agreements with companies financially supporting the work of the Rainforest Alliance.
Company Relationship Management
- Oversee the implementation of industry and individual company strategies to ensure Rainforest Alliance meets or exceeds its supply commitments;
- Develop, upgrade and encourage the complete adoption of CRM tools and processes;
- Develop resource deployment activities correlated to high priority and high potential clients;
- Establish, maintain and grow specifically-assigned client relationships that require more senior level attention; and
- Set up effective systems and processes to facilitate communication and exemplary collaboration between Sustainable Markets, Sustainable Landscapes, Communications and Marketing, Development, Legal, Finance and all other Rainforest Alliance teams.
Industry and Stakeholder Management
- Establish and maintain credibility and expertise in sustainable consumption and markets by being actively involved in industry pursuits and events, including speaking engagements, publications and other opportunities;
- Bring external insights to Rainforest Alliance through effective business connections and networks;
- Serve as a spokesperson for the Rainforest Alliance engaging key opinion leaders and stakeholder communities globally and cultivate change agents within industries of our interest;
- Work with Rainforest Alliance colleagues to respond to threats and opportunities in this rapidly evolving environment;
- Facilitate the sharing of new ideas and best (and worst) practices across the eco labelling business; and
- Provide strong external insights on macro market trends.
Trademarks and Market Support
- Lead Trademarks Review team to ensure integrity and adequate use of the Rainforest Alliance family of trademarks by companies;
- Ensure formal signing and collection of License Agreements and Participation Agreements from trademark using companies;
- Engage businesses to promote Rainforest Alliance on their marketing materials;
- Support development and management of the Rainforest Alliance policies, systems and manuals that formalize external procedures for companies; and
- Working with Rainforest Alliance’s Communications and Marketing team, identify and evaluate opportunities to raise awareness and understanding of the value of the RAC, FSC and RA verified marks.
- Create an environment of success and teamwork that motivates the performance of all team members;
- Create opportunities for growth and development of staff, especially the high performers within the Sustainable Markets group;
- Monitor and review results versus planned performance and take quick, decisive actions, in concert with teams, when there is clear variance to plan; and
- Identify and enable cross business forums to drive increased internal collaboration.
Head of Office
- Where needed, administer and support local Board of Directors; and
- Serve as legal representative and holder of powers of attorney, as required.
- Hold signing authority on bank accounts and designate alternative signatories, as needed; and
- Have dotted line supervisory responsibility, as needed, for local administrative staff.
Cross programmatic representation
- Serve as senior-level in-country program person;
- Provide cross-programmatic coordinating support to program operations;
- Ensure effective communications among programs and between local staff and the broader organization;
- Serve as development liaison on large multi-program proposals which impact field offices, as needed; and
- Represent RA as needed with local donors, government representatives, visiting dignitaries, and other outside parties.
- Bachelor’s Degree in business, economics or related discipline; MBA, masters or European equivalent degree preferred;
- 15 years of senior management experience in business/market development, international sales or supply chain management, eco labelling and/or campaign development and outreach, global account management in consumer goods, retail or travel;
- Strong commercial skills, multiple product knowledge across varied lines of business; demonstrated success in high-value, business-to-business, solution selling;
- Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills;
- Written and verbal proficiency in Spanish, French or other relevant foreign language preferred;
- Impeccable interpersonal skills and an excellent team player;
- Solid understanding of social and environmental certification systems preferred and knowledge of the latest trends related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability; extensive knowledge of local business culture and markets;
- High degree of organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple priorities efficiently and effectively; a high degree of self-motivation, discipline and flexibility is required;
- Strong leadership skills; executive maturity and experience to manage and broker complex internal and external business discussions; experienced at managing diverse and distant teams in a matrix reporting environment;
- Ability to travel domestically and internationally at a minimum of 30% of the time; and
- Knowledge of and commitment to environmental issues and sustainability practices.
Commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package provided.
Only candidates authorized to work in the United Kingdom will be considered for this position.
RA has retained Korn/Ferry Futurestep, an executive search firm for the recruitment of this position. Interested candidates should contact the firm directly at Korn/Ferry Futurestep, Ryder Court, 14 Ryder Street, London SW1Y 6QB; +4420 7024 9483; http://www.kornferry.com/Futurestep
The Rainforest Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.