President and Chief Executive Officer

BACKGROUND AND OPPORTUNITY

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push the Baton Rouge Area beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC represents Louisiana’s nine-parish Capital Region of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana Parishes, working with local and state entities to advance economic development, for everyone. Today, some 1,500 businesses and organizations invest in BRAC as members and funders of its mission.

Since transitioning from a traditional chamber of commerce to an economic development organization in 2006, BRAC has been a force for good in the Capital Region, committing to solving the big problems, facilitating the tough conversations, and leading the business community to increasingly greater heights. Driven by investor feedback, BRAC tackles lofty goals in five-year, regional strategic plans. BRING IT!, BRAC’s current, five-year, regional strategic plan, is founded in the belief that the business community is ready to tackle challenges head-on, together, to accelerate growth. Rooted firmly in data, the plan identifies opportunities and charts a path to put Baton Rouge among the leading economies in the country. The plan centers on four interwoven focus areas that work to create a virtuous cycle for economic growth: bolstering our talent pipeline, diversifying our industry base and job opportunities, creating a more inclusive economy, and enhancing our region’s livability.

BRAC is a 501(c)6 economic development organization with deep roots in the region. Today, the organization, governed by a Board of Directors representing 60 businesses and a 25-member Executive Committee, serves as the regional voice for advocacy, economic development, talent attraction, and quality of life—all critical to strengthening the competitiveness of the Baton Rouge Area’s business climate. BRAC is also affiliated with The Greater Baton Rouge Economic Partnership, a 501(c)(3) entity, and FuturePAC, the only political action committee solely focused on economic development issues for the Louisiana Capital Region.

The incoming President and CEO will play a pivotal role in leveraging the region’s significant assets and steering BRAC through the dynamic political landscape. This leadership position demands exceptional relationship-building skills to collaborate with regional leaders, promote a unified vision, and ensure that BRAC remains a leading voice on issues related to economic growth, job creation, talent attraction and workforce development, infrastructure and quality of place, business climate, and quality of life.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The President and CEO has authority over the business and all facets of BRAC, subject to the direction of the Board of Directors. The President and CEO will lead a team of 8 direct reports and have an operating budget of ~$8M. BRAC houses six business units comprised of 30 staff members. The areas over which the direct reports manage are Executive Administration/Finance; Business/Economic Development; Business Intelligence (Research); Investor Development and Relations; Marketing and Communications; and Public Policy/Governmental Affairs.

The President and CEO will be expected to work collaboratively with the business community, government, nonprofit organizations, academia, and other key regional stakeholders to stimulate inclusive economic development and growth in the Baton Rouge region. The successful candidate will also be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization internally, including strategic planning and execution, board and member relations, external affairs and communications, staff leadership and fiscal management, and general administration. The President and CEO will foster an innovative and inclusive culture, where staff is empowered and accountable for achieving the Chamber’s goals and objectives.

Strategic Vision

• Provide executive leadership for the Chamber strategy, communications, public affairs and government relations, business development, capitalization and fundraising, business operations, hiring and personnel decisions, and the delivery of financial products and services.

• Develop and execute a visionary strategic plan, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, to focus the organization on the key priorities that are critical to advancing a diverse, inclusive, and prosperous economy for all in the region.

• Foster an entrepreneurial and agile culture that anticipates trends and proactively develops strategies to capitalize on opportunities and overcome challenges, amidst the backdrop of rapidly changing economic and social dynamics.

Operational Leadership

• Develop and improve processes and systems to enhance operational excellence.

• Manage and develop the professional and administrative staff and ensure an organizational structure with clear roles and accountabilities.

• Facilitate the organization’s commitment to economic inclusion.

Advocacy

• Forge relationships with a wide range of diverse constituencies across the region, building coalitions and alliances to identify mutual goals and solutions to pressing opportunities and challenges.

• Serve as an influential advocate to advance the Chamber’s robust public policy agenda before government, business, media, and other key external stakeholders.

• Collaborate effectively with elected officials and other regional leaders to influence outcomes with the goal of advancing priority economic development initiatives for the region.

• Support the development and adoption of public policies that address the most critical opportunities and challenges facing the region.

External Relations and Strategic Partnerships

• Represent BRAC to external audiences, foster strong relationships and image, and communicate the BRAC mission in a compelling and clear way.

• Participate and drive government relations and public policy initiatives on behalf of BRAC, including outreach and engagement with city, State, and Federal legislators as necessary.

• Initiate and build strong relationships with clients, investors, stakeholders, and other external constituencies around job growth and development throughout the nine-parish region.

• Engage with staff and stakeholders to identify new business opportunities, structures, and policies that promote inclusive growth and development.

Board Relations

• Work with the Board of Directors to fulfill the mission and strategic goals of the organization.

• Serve as principal liaison to the Board and key committees and councils.

• Communicate effectively with the Board, providing timely and accurate information necessary for the Board to make informed decisions.

• Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board and related committees and councils, representing the most influential thought leaders and investors in the region.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE / QUALIFICATIONS

The successful candidate will be a charismatic, collaborative, and entrepreneurial thought leader with at least 10 years of proven relevant executive level leadership with an organization of similar scale and complexity within a dynamic and evolving environment. The candidate must be an innovative strategic thinker with proven transformational change leadership, strategic communications, relationship building, and advocacy skills. The candidate must possess strong executive gravitas, essential for garnering credibility and inspiring positive momentum on priorities and initiatives to advance the region. Other required functions include the following:

• Be an inclusive leader with a record for effectively convening and working with diverse stakeholders to forge a consensus on a strategic vision and execute upon that vision with appropriate urgency, timeliness, and responsiveness against established metrics and benchmarks.

• Possess business and financial acumen.

• Demonstrate knowledge and experience implementing current and innovative economic and community development practices.

• Possess experience working effectively with a diverse executive-level Board of Directors to forge a trusting relationship, set the strategic direction of an organization, and ensure continuous engagement.

• Demonstrate the ability to attract, inspire, and engage a results-oriented, entrepreneurial staff and ensure accountability for execution of the strategic plan.

• Possess interpersonal savvy; superior interpersonal and organizational communication skills; and project management skills.

• Be diplomatic and influential, with political savvy.

• Possess unquestionable integrity, authenticity, and ethical behavior.

• Demonstrate the ability to build and support an effective, results-oriented staff.

• Possess strong public speaking skills, which may be leveraged to inform, persuade, and inspire stakeholders.

• Possess knowledge of the dynamics and potential of the Baton Rouge region or a demonstrated ability to rapidly acquire such knowledge within a relatively short timeframe.

• Exhibit emotional intelligence, authenticity, and a broad perspective.

• Possess the ability to deal calmly, rationally, and tactfully in a creative, demanding environment.

• Possess strong investor development and relations skills, with a proven track record of fundraising and developing a board of directors which represents the most influential thought leaders in the region.

EDUCATION

Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

APPLY HERE.

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