Forward to a friend Tweet this Share this on Facebook Share:

Home | Job Postings | Local Food Jobs


Position: Executive Director
Organization: The Organic Council of Ontario
Location: Remote - from anywhere in Ontario; must be able to travel to Guelph or the GTA with monthly frequency

OCO Executive Director 2024

About the Role: our Ideal Candidate

A visionary and strategic leader with knowledge of the Ontario agrifood sector, you believe in systemic change and have the patience and determination to make it happen. You are an inclusive, consultative, and empowering individual with experience hiring and motivating small and dynamic teams. You are both a thinker and a doer, able to review and analyze complex regulatory issues one moment and lead a farm tour the next. Conscientious of our diverse membership, you are always ready to listen, learn, respectfully debate, and incorporate dissenting views while maintaining a trajectory towards a goal. You are a savvy communicator with political acumen: you have the ability to identify the most important audiences and deliver messages to achieve your goals.

You are an excellent judge of character, able to find the skills and abilities in others that allow OCO to punch above its weight! You have the courage to try new approaches, structures, and processes that are well-informed and well-reasoned, while understanding the historical and legal context in which you work. You are a systems builder, striking a balance between creating organizational structure and staying nimble and action-oriented.

You have experience and confidence in managing complex, nuanced relationships across a broad spectrum of interests. You have a proven track record of successfully developing effective, lasting relationships with staff, members, funders, national and provincial partners, governments, and policy and change-makers. You are entrepreneurial by nature and can juggle multiple projects and grants with a close eye on cash flow, while seeking new opportunities to achieve the organization’s mandate and build financial resilience.

As Executive Director of the Organic Council of Ontario, and with support from our skilled board and staff, you will improve organizational effectiveness, build on our funding base and capacity, and support Ontario’s local organic food leaders to grow and thrive.

Position Details

  • Job Title: Executive Director
  • Job Type: Full time permanent
  • Location: Home Office (anywhere in Ontario with some travel to Guelph and the GTA)
  • Hours: 30 to 37.5 hours per week (negotiable)
  • Schedule: Monday-Friday with occasional evening and weekend work as required
  • Reports to: OCO’s Board of Directors/ Executive Committee
  • Salary: $70,000 to $78,000
  • Benefits: We offer a flexible work environment, generous paid vacation, and a health savings account, but no health insurance plan.We have a Bring Your Own Device policy, including cell phone and laptop; a small allowance is provided as a taxable benefit.
  • Requirements: Proven experience in financial management, fundraising and human resources. Applicants must be able to legally work in Canada and located within Ontario.
  • Assets: Knowledge of Ontario agrifood landscape and the organic industry. Fluency in French
  • Application Deadline: June 21st, 2024 (8am)
  • Start Date: July 2024

OCO is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. OCO actively encourages applications from equity-deserving groups such as BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ people. We invite you to inform us should you have any accessibility or accommodation needs.


We encourage all participants who meet or have experience in at least 80% of the below criteria to apply.

To apply, send your resume and cover letter in a single PDF format to:  We are accepting applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Please indicate you saw this posting at



Reporting directly to OCO’s Board of Directors, the Executive Director (“the ED”) is responsible for the leadership and management of the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO)


1. Organizational management

  • a) Oversee all programs, services, activities and facilities; ensure that all program objectives are met and delivered
  • b) Work collaboratively with the Board of Directors and staff to accomplish OCOs’ mandate and annual goals
  • c) Provide overall organizational and staff development, supervision and support
  • d) Facilitate on-going strategic planning with appropriate staff and Board involvement
  • e) Work with staff and Board to develop clear program goals and guidelines
  • f) Ensure appropriate program reporting and evaluation
  • g) Be alert to potential issues and opportunities (internal or external) that may affect the organization and ensure that proactive positions are taken.

2. Financial Administration

  • a) Ensure responsible management of OCO funding, accountability and sustainability
  • b) Work with Board Finance Committee to develop effective financial planning and oversight
  • c) Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
  • d) Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization
  • e) Provide the Board with comprehensive, monthly reports on the revenues and expenditures
  • f) Ensure that the organization complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments
  • g) Develop and pursue business planning and revenue generation, including the expansion of the Guelph Organic Conference

3. Partnership and collaboration

  • a) Develop and grow relationships with key government decision makers, national partners, and ally organizations to strengthen OCO’s effectiveness and reach
  • b) Pursue and respond to potential partnership and collaborative arrangements
  • c) Understand partners and develop complementary working relationships
  • d) Provide support and capacity for important community and sector partners

4. Membership development

  • a) Support the retention and growth of membership
  • b) Ensure regular outreach, communications, and polling of membership
  • c) Represent membership interests through principled advocacy

5. Events and Conference

  • a) Support the successful planning and execution of the Guelph Organic Conference, held annually in January
  • b) Support the successful planning and execution of OCO’s Queens’ Park Event, held annually in the fall
  • c) Plan for and execute OCO’s Annual General Meeting held annually in the early April

6. Board support and leadership

  • a) Liaise with and manage effective communication and reporting to Board
  • b) Bring all appropriate issues and policy decisions to the Board in a timely manner
  • c) Support Board Chair in coordinating and planning Board meetings
  • d) Assist Board Chair and nominating committee to identify and integrate new members and provide for ongoing leadership development
  • e) Provide and facilitate effective Board training, development and operational culture where possible
  • f) Develop and facilitate Board Committees, organizational policies and procedures, and provide with competent staff support
  • g) Help to maintain Board interest and enthusiasm

7. Fundraising

  • a) Source prospective funding and develop relationships with funders
  • b) Develop and submit funding proposals according to deadlines and program and budget requirements; report to Board on outcomes
  • c) Make presentations when required
  • d) Ensure grant administration and complete and professional funding reports
  • e) Continue to expand on partnership and sponsorship opportunities with commodity organizations and organic businesses
  • f) Explore and develop opportunities for revenue generating programs

8. Human resource management

  • a) Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery
  • b) Recruit, interview and hire competent staff to help further the organization's mission
  • c) Ensure appropriate training, supervision and evaluation of all staff and consultants
  • d) Determine appropriate human resource policies and procedures
  • e) Develop and ensure a healthy, safe and inclusive work environment
  • f) Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to encourage excellence and innovation
  • g) Discipline staff when necessary using appropriate techniques; release staff when necessary using appropriate and legally defensible procedures
  • h) Facilitate and mediate any staffing and HR issues and communicate to the Board when appropriate

9. Communication

  • a) Oversee the development of communications materials and strategy to ensure that the organization has a visible and effective public image
  • b) Manage public relations
  • c) Attend and present at various conferences and events
  • d) Develop media strategy and respond to media inquiries
  • e) Ensure that all staff and volunteers who interact with the public do so in an informed and effective manner
  • f) Communicate with members and stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of the organization and to identify needs and opportunities as they arise
  • g) Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with members, funders, decision makers, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the organization

10. Risk management

  • a) Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization's people (clients, staff, cash, management, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill, and image and implement measures to control risks
  • b) Ensure that the Board of Directors and the organization carries appropriate and adequate insurance coverage and understand its terms and conditions
  • c) Ensure the organization is in compliance with all laws and regulations

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Minimum 3-5 years leadership experience in a non-profit or association
  • Relevant project management and fundraising experience in a small non-profit or start-up
  • Strong knowledge of the Ontario agriculture and food landscape
  • Knowledge of Ontario political and policy environment or experience in government relations
  • Knowledge of organic sector and/or regulatory system
  • Grant writing and reporting experience
  • Experience managing a small, passionate and dynamic team of young professionals
  • French language skills an asset

About OCO

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) is the Voice for Organics in Ontario. We represent over 1400 certified organic operators across the value chain, as well as the businesses, organizations, and individuals that help bring food from farm to plate. We work to catalyze sector growth, support research, improve training, increase data collection, encourage market development, protect the integrity of organic claims, and inform the public of the benefits and requirements of organic agriculture.

Read more about our Mission and Vision and Values.


Share this on Facebook   Tweet This!  Email this to a friend   Share this on LinkedIn   Add this to Google Bookmarks   Print this page

Note: The above is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "GoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: May 23 2024    ID: 71002