Soulsville Foundation Seeks Chief Operating Officer

The Soulsville Foundation Chief Operating Officer (COO) will help lead the organization in honoring and building on the powerful history of Stax Records to develop young people for lifelong success. This experienced leader will report to the President & Chief Executive Officer and work with Soulsville Foundation leadership to advance the three entities of Soulsville Foundation: Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School.

JOB: Chief Operating Officer

LOCATION: Memphis, TN

DEPARTMENT: Soulsville Foundation

REPORTS TO: Soulsville Foundation President & CEO

SALARY: $100,000-$120,000

The Soulsville Foundation has been growing steadily and is now seeking to dramatically accelerate growth. The COO of the Soulsville Foundation will be a mission-focused, seasoned, strategic, and process-minded leader with experience growing an organization, leading a team, and developing a performance-culture among a group of diverse and talented individuals.

The COO of the Soulsville Foundation must be a leader who is able to help others at the Soulsville Foundation deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the vision a reality. Importantly, the successful person in this role will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to this mission. While it is essential that the COO bring efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, is it also critical that the team retain the creative spark that drives the Soulsville Foundation.

ORGANIZATION

The Soulsville Foundation (soulsvillefoundation.org) was created in Memphis, Tennessee, in the late 1990s by a group of local business leaders, philanthropists, and former employees of Stax Records to carry forward the rich legacy of the Soulsville USA community, home to Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. The mission of Soulsville Foundation is to uplift and invigorate the music and heritage of Stax Records to develop young people for lifelong success, and continue to inspire and transform the world through the power of soul music. In service to this mission, Soulsville Foundation funds and operates three subsidiary organizations on its campus at the original site of Stax:

  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music (staxmuseum.com) opened its doors as the first and only soul music museum on the original Stax Records site in 2003. Since then, the Stax Museum has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, sharing the story of American soul music – and especially the “Memphis Sound” – through special exhibits, events and various community outreach programs. An exact replica of the original Stax Records home, the Museum has more than 2,000 cultural artifacts, music exhibits, video footage, and items of memorabilia, all assembled to preserve and promote the legacy of American soul music.
  • Stax Music Academy (staxmusicacademy.org) has been mentoring youth since 2000, initially from the surrounding Soulsville USA neighborhood and increasingly from across Memphis, using music as a connector. A highly regarded after-school program housed in a state-of-the-art facility, the Academy personifies the spirit of harmony, respect, and cooperation that defined the legendary Stax Records. The Stax Music Academy annually serves approximately 120 high school and middle school students in its after School program during the school year and approximately 100 high school students during its 5- week Summer Music Experience.
  • The Soulsville Charter School (soulsvillecharterschool.org) is a tuition-free public charter school whose mission is to prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment. Launched in 2005 with 60 students, the school’s current enrollment is 600+ students serving grades 6-12 with an emphasis on college and post-secondary success. The Soulsville Charter School is a force rising up against ordinary expectations and the status quo of public education in Memphis. 

THE OPPORTUNITY

The COO will collaborate with the President & CEO and staff to build on Soulsville Foundation’s history, further the organization as a global leader in soul music, enhance its youth development offerings, and deepen its impact in the local community. 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES 

COO will lead all internal operations and will have the following responsibilities and attributes:

Strategy:  Working in partnership with the President & CEO, further develop the strategy, master campus, and operations plans and implement new processes and approaches to achieve their successful implementation   

Administrative

  • Champion and advance the strategy and vision for the organization, execute on the vision and

align stakeholders to bring Soulsville to its next stage of impact.

  • Support the President & CEO  and Development Director with the implementation and logistics of Soulsville Foundation fundraising including donor stewardship and cultivation.
  • Participate in long range planning and annual budgeting.

Safety and Security 

● Create, maintain, and update Emergency Response Plan  and safety drills for SMA and Stax Museum and communicate updates to stakeholders, including, but not limited to, school staff, families, campus staff, safety officials (Memphis Police Department, Memphis Fire Department, etc.). 

● Assess, advocate, and manage security needs with the security service providers. 

● Oversee systems related to security and the review, revision and implementation of security policy, initiating crucial conversations and calls to action around campus safety. 

● Manage current systems and the efficiency of those systems including campus ID badges and visitor check in. 

● Serve as first contact for the alarm system and emergency services for campus e.g., in the event that an alarm is triggered at 2:00A.M or someone crashes into the building at 3:00A.M.

 ● Research, implement, and update campus communications channels for urgent and emergency situations 

● Initiate, secure, and communicate the decisions regarding all urgent and emergency situations regarding safety, including closings and lockdowns. Alert campus personnel of urgent and emergency situations regarding students, staff and guests. 

● Work with facilities manager to ensure that the building is safe and properly outfitted (e.g., entryway mats and lockdown shades) 

Human Resources and Internal Operations

  • Ensure and oversee the implementation of the strategic plan
  • Coordinate the annual operations plan 
  • Lead the performance management process that measures and evaluates progress against goals for the organization
  • Oversee and direct human resources matters including new hire process, benefits programs, background checks, employee departure process, FMLA, and ACA reporting. 
  • Appropriately maintain personnel files. 
  • Develop and assist with the implementation of policies and procedures for Soulsville Foundation. 
  • Provide advice to supervisory staff and employees on the interpretation and application of human resources policy and procedures, disciplinary matters and management issues 
  • Review, revise and implement a uniform mid-year and annual performance evaluation system for appropriate personnel (Main Office, IT, Vendors). 
  • Provide critical leadership and evaluation of the Stax Music Academy & Stax Museum of American Soul Music
  • Work with the teams in SMA and SMASM to meet their goals, especially around collaborations 
  • Provide program assessment in the areas of organizational structure, programming and campus integration
  • Marketing and Relationship-Building
  • Excellent communication skills as a public speaker and writer

Vendor Management 

  • Work with vendors to establish and maintain expectation of vendor performance.
  • Oversee all vendor relationships and renewals.Ensure that vendors appropriately prepare the facility for the new school year, i.e., the facility is clean, paint is touched up, and furniture is removed and replaced in an orderly way. Ensure that the building is properly maintained during the year.  

Information Technology 

● Oversee IT solutions and management services for Soulsville Foundation. 

● Ensure the smooth operation of workroom machines and telephones. 

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

The successful candidate will have:

  • Vision and the ability to lead as well as influence and collaborate with the ED of the SMASM & the Chief Financial Officer, the Board of Directors, and key leaders and Soulsville Foundation staff, exhibit transparency and openness to all staff, and take decisive action when consensus cannot be reached
  • Ability to pivot and adapt successfully alongside President & CEO, staff, and stakeholders
  • Dedication and passion for the mission of Soulsville Foundation, the history of Stax Records, and the community of Memphis
  • Knowledge of soul music, youth development, and education 
  • Dynamic and inspiring communication skills:
    • Excellent communicator with ability to communicate passion for mission to funders, partners, and stakeholders
    • Ability to effectively build buy-in internally through engaging staff in vision and strategy-setting
  • Natural ability to understand what motivates others, how to find collaborative opportunities, and how to foster a positive culture
  • Emotional intelligence with demonstrated self-awareness, self-regulation, social rapport, passion, and motivation
  • Cultural sensitivity and adept at connecting with diverse communities
  • Communicates with transparency, openness, and integrity
  • Commitment to the mission and legacy of Soulsville Foundation and the community of Memphis
  • Experience working with education, arts or community foundations preferred

EDUCATION, SKILLS, AND ABILITY

  • Master’s degree preferred or equivalent experience in a relevant field
  • Four years leadership experience
  • Desire and ability to work with multicultural youth, as well as a demonstrated commitment to the mission, traditions, and expectations of an urban learning environment
  • A proven track record of strategic leadership in providing academic and social support for urban youth
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple complex tasks within a deadline and with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to bring a creative and entrepreneurial approach to problem solving
  • A strong sense of protocol, tact, and diplomacy
  • Ability to work well with a variety of people, especially creative personalities, and a willingness to take and utilize constructive feedback
  • Personal characteristics of maturity, honesty, consistency, and integrity with the ability to serve as a role model to students, alumni and  staff 
  • Enthusiastic self-motivation, the ability to motivate others, and little need for direct supervision
  • Demonstrated ability to function as a “team player”
  • Ability to make timely and difficult decisions
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Availability to work flexible hours, including some weekends and holidays
  • Knowledge of computers and software programs (i.e. MS Word, Excel and others) and aptitude and willingness to learn new software programs through hands-on use and self-study

The successful candidate will be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Must possess a valid driver’s license and show proof of liability insurance coverage as required by the laws of the State of Tennessee.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

Physical requirements include ability to sit for extended periods at a desk and at meetings on airplanes and automobiles, standing, climbing stairs, walking, mental pressure; lifting files, boxes, suitcases, etc., weighing up to 25 pounds. Ability to work flexible hours, including some weekends and holidays.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Fast paced office environment and travel to meetings and community events, (and potential travel out of state or abroad) etc.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send cover letter and resume to info@soulsvillefoundation.org.

Soulsville Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that embraces a diverse, multicultural work environment. People of all ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.

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