Director of Operations

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Full Time, Exempt

Reports to:

Chief Executive Officer


Four to six direct reports

Primary Office:

Aptos office or hybrid


$100,000 - $120,000 commensurate with experience

Job Summary

Join California FarmLink to support the prosperity of California farmers and ranchers, ensure equitable access to economic opportunity, and support environmental stewardship and vibrant local food systems. Our Lending Program provides access to credit. Our three Land and Business programs provide technical assistance and business education. The Equity on Conservation and Working Lands program provides technical assistance to farm, ranch and fish business owners and operators with at least two years of experience. We also work closely with institutional landholders including land trusts, and open space districts to expand land access opportunities. The Resilience and Wealth Building program provides cohort-based business education in English and Spanish. The Business and Innovations program provides direct support to Lending by facilitating one on one technical assistance for loan readiness and ongoing compliance with loan conditions. This program area also includes technical training for business service providers outside of FarmLink, as well as policy work and special projects.

The Director of Operations will lead the work of the Land and Business Programs and the various administrative functions of the organization (accounting, human resources, information technology, development and communications) in partnership with the Director of Lending. The Director of Operations will also serve as a strategic thought partner to senior managers on strategy, operational effectiveness, change management, and other elements to maximize our impact as an organization.

In line with the 3As - accountability, alignment, and allocation of resources – this position will help ensure operations and all departments are strategically aligned, impact and evidence-driven, and appropriately structured to deliver appropriate services and support to all teams.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Land and Business (LAB) Programs

Supervise and provide strategic support to the three LAB Senior Program Managers.

Define, develop, and implement methods for measuring effectiveness of LAB programs.

LAB and Administrative Functions

Information-sharing and Decision-making:

  • Collaborate with management to aggregate and analyze operational information and share it with relevant leaders so it is used to prioritize and make informed decisions.
  • Work closely with the leadership teams across the organization to develop a robust and consistent framework for teams to communicate and work efficiently within and across programs.

Organizational Efficiency:

  • Streamline, and where necessary, develop procedures and systems to drive efficiencies across the organization.
  • Develop a roadmap to drive optimization of cost, quality, and efficiency for delivering operational and administrative support to programs.
  • Explore opportunities to consolidate work processes, better leverage technology, and improve service delivery.

Accountability and Effectiveness:

  • Develop/enhance governance structures for program and organizational management by coordinating programs and service departments to ensure policies and procedures are efficient and effective and enhance rather than impede operations.
  • Work closely with program and service departments to lead them in developing appropriate structures, processes, operating models, and metrics to track progress.
  • Define, develop, and implement methods for measuring effectiveness of programs and administrative support functions.
  • Track and manage implementation progress and reporting of various initiatives and advise managers on any needed course-corrections.

Risk Management:

  • Lead the organization in identifying critical internal controls and ensuring a common framework for identifying, reviewing, and mitigating operational and organizational risks.
  • Collaborate with relevant teams to ensure business continuity plans are developed, updated periodically, and staff are trained on how to implement if necessary.


  • Support development of materials for Board presentations.

Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

At least ten years experience in supervising and management roles with at least five years experience in nonprofits and at least five years experience in organizations with more than 100 employees.

Bachelor's degree in any subject.

Education and work experience related to agriculture, community development, environmental studies, or other related fields

Desired Qualifications

Spanish language skills sufficient for basic conversations, higher skills and fluency preferred.

Familiarity with Mexican and Latin cultures.

International experience or experience working domestically with persistent poverty communities.

Knowledge of agricultural business models, particularly for produce.

Familiarity with federal and state agricultural programs, contract negotiation and conflict mediation, agricultural/small business lending, conservation strategies and emerging issues.

Knowledge and experience using MS Word, Excel and Google Suite tools. Knowledge and experience using CRM software (i.e. Salesforce).

Flexible, creative, and interested in innovating new solutions and demonstrating collaborative leadership to engage diverse stakeholders.

Ability to work under pressure of many priorities and deadlines and to manage short term and long term projects simultaneously.

Excellent interpersonal skills, comfortable working with people of varied cultural backgrounds.

Excellent organizational skills, well disciplined, able to meet deadlines, self-starter.

How to Apply

Please use subject line “Director of Operations” to email a thoughtful cover letter explaining your interest in the position and organization, along with your resume to: No phone calls please.

Posted April 6 2023; with an anticipated start date of June 1, 2023.

California FarmLink offers a generous benefits plan, including health insurance after 30-60 days (depending on start date), employer contribution to 403b retirement plan, paid vacation, and a family-friendly and flexible work environment. California FarmLink maintains a drug-free workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. We seek candidates that represent the diversity of the communities we serve, and strongly encourage you to apply.

Who We Are

The mission of California FarmLink is to invest in the prosperity of farmers and ranchers through lending, education, and access to land. We value equitable access to opportunity, resilient working landscapes, fairness and accountability, and learning from diverse farmers and ranchers. For more info, and to learn about FarmLink’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) visit our DEI Principles.

Lisha Gray
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