The CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association is a nationally recognized and respected role. As the largest state restaurant association in the country in a large, growing and politically active state, the CEO position is highly visible and influential. The primary responsibilities are to the association membership, to serve and support the needs of the foodservice industry in the state of Texas. Meeting these needs requires the ability to interact, build strong relationships with and influence community and political leaders around the state, in other trade associations and in Washington, D.C. It also requires the ability and presence to speak as the face of the industry in a variety of settings and with the media. As the foodservice industry is one of the largest employers in the state, many look to this role for perspective, advice and support when addressing a wide array of statewide industry related issues.
Today, the foodservice industry faces unique challenges and opportunities. As debates on issues regarding nutrition, taxes, labor laws, and a wide range of other policies and ideas occur, it is more important than ever that organizations like TRA are able to ask good questions of members, listen to the insights provided, and then advocate on behalf of the industry. Even though membership in trade associations across the nation has been slightly declining, the need for help and support by members has never been higher.
This requires the heart and mind of a collaborative, natural leader who has already excelled in past roles creating followership across functions, disciplines and disparate audiences. The role is part advocate, part ambassador, part coach and part host, with a heart for service and a nimble mind.
The daily life of the CEO in this role is ever-changing, and often includes evenings or weekends in order to attend events, meet with restaurant owners or speak at engagements. This will be particularly true in the first year, when forming new relationships and learning the turf. The new CEO will be expected to participate in many industry specific boards, committees, conferences and initiatives. During the first few months, the new CEO will work side-by-side with the incumbent, traveling to meet politicians, key partners and to other state associations as part of the transition plan. Overall, travel in the first year may be as much as 35-40% with most of it being within the state from a home base in Austin, Texas.
The role reports to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and is accountable to a large Board with more than 100 members, as well as to more than 1600 association members. The staff is about 50 with four direct reports and indirect leadership of the 23 local chapters including the three large Metro offices in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
The CEO will work across the state in a hands-on way and be able to create and communicate a long-term vision that resonates with the industry to retain and attract new members. The role requires a dynamic personality and willingness to reach out to legislators, members, potential members and partners across the state to build awareness, connection and support. The right leader will possess political savvy, strategic thinking, and passion for the organization mission.
TRA is looking for a leader with the ability to:
Grow the financial strength and resources of an already fiscally sound organization
Develop and grow a team of dedicated professionals and culture to be among the “best places to work” of all trade associations in the state of Texas, and named a “Great Place To Work”
Advocate effectively on behalf of members and the industry
Engage members and expand membership to all industry segments in all parts of the state
Develop programs and support to meet the evolving needs of the industry
Empower and develop the organization to become a clearly recognized national leader
Specific Responsibilities Include:
Inspire, lead, hire, retain and develop the staff to achieve or exceed all goals and objective, and in a way aligned with the principles and values of being a great place to work
Lead the overall operation of the TRA and TRAEF and bring the focus, energy and values to build a “Great Places to Work” organization
Provide appropriate and timely information to the Executive Committee of the Board, and to the Board of Directors to make informed and effective decisions; serve as the liaison between the Board of Directors and staff; be responsible for the recruitment and identification of new board members
Ensure elements of member satisfaction are inspected and measured in a way that aligns with TRA goals, meets member needs and leads to an overall increase in membership
Provide oversight and management of the organization’s resources (human, material, financial) in accordance with the organization’s mission, values and consistency with board policy
Establish vision, formulate the organization’s mission, strategic plan, goals, objectives and related policies and ensure effective implementation
Lead the development and execution of highly effective marketing and communications strategies that resonate with a wide variety of audiences
Demonstrate a sense of priority in defining, undertaking and completing projects; assuming responsibility and taking initiative
Execute, in the name of TRA/TRAEF, contracts, documents and other instruments authorized by the Board of Directors
Create an environment in which staff members experience trust, commitment, excellence, respect, collegiality with enjoyment and opportunities for professional development, clarity, and purpose; ensure resources are allocated to inspect and measure for success and ensure that the environment is maintained
Travel throughout the state to expand and drive both membership recruitment and satisfaction through planned and focused efforts
Communicate to members on major industry trends and issues impacting their business
Work to expand TRA’s political and policy effectiveness; monitor the political and public policy environment; provide direction to TRA members, committees, and the Board of Directors regarding the public policy issues; participate in the bi-annual legislative sessions
Understand and advocate for key policies and actions, playing a significant external role in TRA’s interaction with local, state, and national governmental entities
Participate in key roles outside of the organization to gain further influence for TRA
Represent TRA and TRAEF at various functions, and when required, makes speeches, presentations and address the media
Bachelor’s degree in chosen field; MBA or other advanced education is a plus
Experience in the foodservice or hospitality industry showing a demonstrated connection to and passion for the industry, in some capacity, is required
20+ years of professional/leadership experience
Experience working in a “Great Places to Work” company, or one aspiring to be is a plus
Past experience leading in public facing roles that may include public or private sector positions
Exceptional ability to lead and inspire others is essential and required; experience should include an organization of at least similar size and complexity; including experience supervising staff and working with a Board of Directors
Demonstrated success generating revenues and finding new revenue streams
Great teambuilding skills; collaborative, naturally seeks others thoughts and actively listens; not afraid to address issues and conflict head on and with respect
A courageous and proven decision maker with the ability to set priorities, manage and implement them
Demonstrated success as an effective communicator; highly skilled in strategic and operational writing and public speaking
Proven service/employee/constituent orientation with a high level of satisfaction combined with a business acumen
Politically savvy and able to communicate effectively with political leaders from both parties and at all levels of government
An energetic self-starter, flexible and able to prioritize multiple tasks
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Additional Salary Information: •Excellent base salary and performance based bonus plan aligned within the organization
•Vacation, holidays, healthcare benefits, 401k matched savings plan
•The opportunity to lead one of the nation’s largest and most successful trade associations
•You have the real opportunity to make a significant impact on thousands of young people building careers in the second largest employer in the United States
•Being able to work with creative, energizing, and hardworking people who are deeply passionate about the work they do, and people they serve, every day
•Being in a place where you can really have fun and love your job
Internal Number: TRA17001
About Texas Restaurant Association
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