Executive Director

Website Fresh Roots

About This Opportunity 

2023 marks the 10 year anniversary of the inaugural Fresh Roots, first of its kind in Canada, schoolyard farm. This is an exciting and unique opportunity to lead an entrepreneurial non-profit as it continues to mature, hone its unique contribution, and be part of an interconnected community of organizations who are re-imagining food education and working towards a comprehensive, universal, farm-to-cafeteria approach to school food programs. Fresh Roots is an operational organization, farming 3 small scale urban farms and facilitating a suite of outdoor educational programming.

The growing season (April through October) is intense as the year-round solid staff team of 7 onboards and trains the summer team of, on average, 25, to help grow food, run markets, and welcome, support and educate kids and youth through field trips, youth leadership programs and summer camp.

The ideal candidate has passion for and experience with the work, is a strategic thinker, a natural connector and comfortable communicator. They thrive with a flexible work environment and happily adapt to the different rhythms and work requirements that come with the seasonality of a farming organization. They are confident in leading the administrative and governance aspects while also capable and willing to support and lead an operational team.

Position Type: Full time (37.5 hours a week), with some evenings and weekends as required; flexible schedule with a mix of ~50% in-person (on sites and in office) and ~50% home office/remote work. Work sites in East and South Vancouver and Coquitlam and office in East Vancouver.

About Fresh Roots

Fresh Roots cultivates schoolyard farms and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration. Operating 4 sites on 8.5 acres across Metro Vancouver, the schoolyard farms are experiential learning spaces providing youth with education, leadership development, and job-skills training. In 2022, Fresh Roots worked with over 4,500 youth, engaging in over 26,000 learning hours, ran 4 weekly farm markets and grew over 200 different crop varieties.  We take pride in creating spaces where an incredibly diverse group of young people can come together to learn, grow, and develop relationships with peers from different backgrounds and with different abilities.


Good Food For All, which is realized when youth have the skills, capacity, and will to act as food citizens and land stewards, to grow and share healthy food for themselves, their families, and the planet!


We cultivate engaging gardens and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration.

Our Core Values

  • We believe that good, healthy food is a right for all people.
  • We believe that food is an inspiring and mobilizing force for good.
  • We believe that education is the first step towards positive personal and systems change.
  • We believe that healthy food systems are dependent upon a healthy environment and empowered communities.
  • We believe that how we work together is as important as the work we do.
  • We believe that collective action is imperative to food systems change.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Decolonization

Fresh Roots is committed to an ongoing learning journey to better foster an anti-oppression and anti-racist lens throughout our work internally and externally. As settlers, as farmers, and as educators, we acknowledge the harm that farming and schooling has done to Indigenous Peoples and the land across this region. We work towards ongoing reconciliation as listeners, food sharers, and land stewards.

One of our current strategic goals is to ensure Fresh Roots and its programs are both diverse and inclusive. We are doing this in the following ways:

  • Developing accessible spaces and increasing on-site participation through engaging and inclusive signage and site management
  • Growing and showcasing culturally diverse and relevant foods
  • Ensure hiring and staffing practices are respectful and inclusive. We recruit and hire staff who are representative of our participants, including gender diverse, 2SLGBTQIA+, neurodivergent, immigrant, Indigenous and BPOC people. We continually look for ways to make employment opportunities accessible to as diverse a population as possible.
  • Staff Training. New staff receive training in working with neurodivergent youth and youth with mental health challenges and all staff participate in ongoing training and reflection on issues related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Financial Accessibility. We strive for financial accessibility while offering high quality programming using tools such as sliding scales, subsidies, and stipends.
    Position Summary

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall success of Fresh Roots. They provide effective leadership and oversee development and implementation of strategic and operational plans, finance, fundraising, risk management, stakeholder relations and administration. This position leads the team to deliver on the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the organization and is the lead staff-person for organizational governance.


  • Develop and ensure implementation of the strategic plan alongside the Board and staff team
  • People and culture with a focus on fostering a diverse and inclusive learning organization
  • Lead effective and efficient programs and operations
  • Develop and manage the organization’s budget
  • Ensure financial success through fundraising, donor prospecting, cultivation, and engagement
  • Communications and community engagement
  • Act as the spokesperson and public face of the organization


Organizational Governance

  • Foster effective teamwork and communications with the Board and staff.
  • In collaboration with the Board Chair and committees, coordinate, prepare documents for, and attend Board meetings; provide experience and advice.
  • Work with the Board and staff in leading implementation of the current strategic plan as well as the annual process to review or renew the plan. We have recently completed a strategic planning process that will serve for the next 3 years.
  • Lead the implementation of the strategic plan, prepare and monitor annual operational plans, direct human and financial resources to achieve plans, and update the Board on progress.
  • Champion the Fresh Roots mission: farm to school, food security, food literacy, food systems, agriculture, health and nutrition, experiential education, local farm networks.
    Stay abreast of emerging issues and trends related to the mission and maintain awareness and connection to issues emerging in food literacy, food justice, and the non-profit sector.
  • Lead the organization through a conscious decolonizing process, ensuring appropriate resources and community experts to support Board and staff through the process.

Organizational Leadership and Communications

  • Build and maintain a positive, supportive, healthy, engaging, and safe environment for all staff, volunteers, and program participants and develop and maintain a culture aligned with the organization’s vision and core values.
  • Foster a culture of ongoing learning and development through professional development and performance assessment.
  • Drive and develop effective communication of mission and impact, including stewarding partnerships and stakeholder engagement and overseeing creation of communications and marketing collateral.
  • Develop and implement human resources policies, procedures, and practices related to communications, engagement, and general operations including the development of job descriptions and employment agreements for staff.

Fund Development and Operations

  • Lead the development of the organizational budget, monitor financial resources, direct financial and human resources to support organizational plans and provide regular updates to the Board.
  • Foster an understanding of philanthropy within the organization.
  • Develop and implement a strategic fundraising plan that will provide revenues to support the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Develop operational fundraising goals, plans, and timelines to meet the strategic fundraising plan. Ensure that critical fundraising processes and activities are carried out in a timely manner and all fundraising goals are being achieved.
  • Develop foundations for strong and positive relationships with donors and potential funders to realize increased revenue for the organization into the future.
  • Ensure ongoing compliance with remittance requirements of the CRA and other regulatory authorities.


  • Proven leadership skills and demonstrated ability to manage people, budgets, and operations. Comfortable rolling up sleeves and digging in wherever needed to get things done.
  • Strategic thinker with a demonstrated ability to create and execute plans to realize operational goals.
  • A keen understanding of, and demonstrated ability to recognize and action diversity, equity, inclusion, and reconciliation considerations and initiatives as they relate to internal operations and external relations.
  • Experience with grant writing, fund development, and donor stewardship.
  • Experience recruiting, leading, mentoring, and motivating high-performing staff (and volunteer teams).
  • Compelling verbal and written communication skills and the ability to galvanize people (staff, funders, volunteers, sponsors) around the vision, mission, and strategy.
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Experience in the non-profit sector, board governance, and community engagement.
  • Demonstrated experience building and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders in government, industry, and the non-profit sector.
  • Preferred: Experience or background in one of our focus areas (agriculture, food systems, experiential education).


  • Highly effective interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • A values-based leader who demonstrates courage, compassion, collaboration, and inclusiveness
  • A natural networker, connector, and collaborator
  • Innovative and creative problem-solver
  • Effective conflict resolution, mediation, critical thinking, and decision-making skills
  • Able to lead and manage change


We offer a comprehensive benefits program, which includes:

  • Immediate enrollment in extended benefits plan upon hiring
  • 100% contribution towards an Extended Benefit Plan for eligible permanent employees and spouses/dependents
  • 15 days of paid vacation annual
  • 10 days of paid sick / personal time per calendar year
  • 10 days winter office closure in December
  • 11 paid statutory holidays, including Easter Monday with an option to substitute up to 2 statutory holidays for alternative dates more aligned with cultural or religious days of importance

To apply for this job please visit charityvillage.com.