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Programs & Operations Director

Job Description
American Cheese Society
Organization Type: 
Job Location: 
Denver Metro
Type of Job: 
Job Category: 
Job Description: 

The Programs & Operations Director:

Ensures the smooth overall management of the association’s business operations while establishing its leadership position as the premier provider of industry programs including Annual Conference programming, year-round targeted education, professional certifications, and the most respected cheese Judging & Competition.

Assists the Executive Director by providing strategic planning, executive oversight, and daily management support of operational, human resources, programming, administrative, and accounting areas. Serves as top-ranking staff member in Executive Director’s absence.

Is responsible for the management and supervision of two direct reports, providing direction, setting goals, giving feedback and coaching, and identifying appropriate professional development and training.

Works in close collaboration with ACS directors and staff overseeing the operations of the Education Committee, and Certification Committee; and serves as Staff Liaison to the Judging & Competition Committee.

Areas of Responsibility


Oversees operational, human resources, administrative, and accounting areas in conjunction with Executive Director. Serves as top-ranking staff member in ACS Executive Director’s absence.

Administration and Operations

  • Serves as a strategic advisor to the Executive Director, suggesting short- and long-term actions, decisions, or positions.
  • Creates strategies for the association, both internal and external, to meet overall organizational goals and objectives including but not limited to:
    • Ensuring that office procedures, projects, and plans function smoothly
    • Monitoring, streamlining, and ensuring office efficiencies
    • Proactively identifying and implementing cost- and time-saving measures
    • Researching, advising, and guideing decision-making for office systems, procedures, protocols, and key contractors/vendors

Human Resources (HR)

  • Works closely with Executive Director to ensure compliance with HR protocols, best practices, and adherence to regulations
  • Oversees hiring and onboarding process as well as staff separation
  • Monitors, approves, and ensures staff adherence to:
    • Core Hours schedule
    • Work from Home days
    • Vacation Time
    • Health & Wellness Days
    • Compensatory Time (Comp Time)
  • Confers with Directors, HR consultant, and/or legal advisors to determine appropriate decision/action with discipline and/or grievance matters
  • Assists Executive Director in managing employee benefits by annually assessing benefits, making recommendations s; and administering employee benefits election process
  • Management and leadership of Program Manager and Program Coordinator
    • Sets direction and goals
    • Provides feedback and coaching on performance
    • Conducts annual performance evaluations and determines merit-based increases and bonuses for direct reports per annual Board guidelines
    • Ensures appropriate professional development and training in line with each year’s budget parameters

Finance and Accounting 

  • Oversees contract management across all departments, including consultants
  • Maintains schedule of payments for all vendors/contracts to ensure timely payments and to align with cash flow
  • Trains staff on ACS accounting procedures and budgeting protocols
  • Works with contracted accountant to maintain current and accurate Chart of Accounts and Class/Project structure; ensure alignment with database (MemberSuite), oversee accurate and timely review and coding of Accounts Payable

Buildings and Equipment

  • Reviews and assesses current lease and proactively researches alternative options for recommendation to Executive Director
  • Monitors office equipment status to ensure security and stay ahead of potential expenses for new and/or replacement equipment
  • Monitors onsite and offsite storage and condition of equipment/assets; maintains, repairs, and/or replaces as needed

Information Technology (IT)

  • Manages outside IT consultant with an eye to efficiencies, security, and budget management.
  • Oversees Program Coordinator in performing ongoing basic maintenance tasks pertaining to IT, servers, software, and databases.

Annual Cheese Judging & Competition

As Staff Liaison to Judging & Competition (J&C) Committee, plans, coordinates, and manages all Committee work to ensure smooth operation and sustainability to ensure a successful, on-budget annual event. Seeks smart, sustainable growth by proactively and strategically implementing changes.

  • MINIMUM: Bachelor’s degree. PREFERRED: • Graduate degree in Business, Operations, Non-Profit Management, or Certified Association Executive (CAE)
  • Minimum of five (5) years of non-profit, association, foundation, business, or government experience or equivalent.
  • Effective written, verbal, and presentation skills
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Excellent organizational, problem solving, and administration skills
  • Ability to travel each year to Annual Conference and as needed for training, education, or for other programming purposes
  • Strong management skills; Excellent analytical and decision-making skills
  • REQUIRED: Experience working with volunteers/committees in an association context. PREFERRED: • Experience with the complex logistics of conferences or large events
  • Strong interpersonal skills and diplomacy
  • Experience balancing priorities and setting project timelines; Ability to work overtime, under time constraints, and in an environment in which priorities and deadlines change frequently.
  • PREFERRED: Knowledge of the specialty foods market and/or interest in gourmet foods; Passion for the mission of ACS; Specialty food/cheese production, distribution, retail, or marketing experience a plus

Full-time, Exempt: $75,000 - $80,000 annual salary. 

Health insurance, Optional Vision/Dental Insurance, Simple IRA, Cafeteria 125 Flex Spending Account, Professional Development, Paid Vacation Time, Paid Health & Wellness Time, 12 Annual Paid Holidays.

Normal work/business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Extended work hours for program and event dates throughout year, including 11 days of travel each year to Annual Conference (late July/early August). Additional travel may also be required.

Some weekend/evening hours as needed. Compensatory time provided.

How To Apply

Please submit the following via email to and include the subject line “ACS Programs & Operations Director”:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Three professional or academic references

No phone calls please. Due to the volume of applicants, only candidates of interest will be contacted.

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