Conan Smith's Profile

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President and CEO at @michenvcouncil; lover of the great outdoors and the healthy human city

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  • published Job Posting: Chief Administrative Officer in Careers 2019-11-06 15:48:36 -0500

    Chief Administrative Officer

    Download a PDF of this Posting

    About MEC

    Michiganders love our two peninsulas and the Great Lakes that define them. We share a pride in our state’s natural splendor and a devotion to protecting it as the cornerstone of Michigan’s long-term prosperity and our world-class quality of life.

    That ethos transcends political boundaries, and it’s stronger today than ever. You see it on T-shirts and bumper stickers. You feel it downtown, along the trail, at the farmers market, on the beach.

    There it is, this beautiful, precious place: Michigan. 

    It is our job to protect it. 

    Michigan’s environmental movement depends on the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) to keep it strong, vibrant and connected. Together we focus energy and attention on the policies and cultural systems that are essential to make Michigan a more sustainable and equitable place. 

    We are a coalition of more than 60 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit. Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement. MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connections to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. We are a financially strong organization with $4.7M in annual net assets including endowment investments of $2.2M. We manage a $2.5M annual budget, serving a fiduciary role for several programs, collaboratives and nascent organizations.

    Our team – member organizations, board leadership and professional staff – are among the most passionate, visionary and hard-working advocates you’ll ever work with. High standards and deep commitment are our bywords. If you want to devote yourself to the most meaningful work protecting Michigan’s natural resources and public health, consider joining us at the Michigan Environmental Council. 

     

    Position

    Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Administrative Officer is a high-level leadership position responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing the core financial and operational systems  of a dynamic, influential and collegial organization. Charged with helping to develop, implement and convey the CEO’s vision and strategic direction, the CAO has high levels of responsibility in both the finance and general operational realms and has accountability for most internal and external policies and procedures.  The CAO has four direct reports: the Policy Director, the Communications Director, the Engagement Director and the DIrector of Operations. This is a leadership opportunity for an emerging executive to gain finance and operational experience in preparation for a future CEO or Executive Director position. 

    Responsibilities

    Strategy, Vision and Leadership

    • Oversee, direct, and organize the work of MEC’s operations, policy, communications and engagement teams.
    • Partner with the CEO in essential internal firm leadership activities (human resources, administration, and organizational planning).
    • Provide support to the CEO and maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the CEO informed of all critical issues.
    • Represent the organization externally, as necessary.

    Finance and Budgeting

    Managerial

    • Conduct or oversee all organizational financial management responsibilities and systems.
    • Monitor and track all organizational income and expenditures and create accurate forecasts to ensure organizational sustainability.
    • Manage all grant monitoring and reporting.
    • Oversee organizational investment accounts.
    • Coordinate audits and proper filing of tax returns.

    Financial Strategy

    • Develop and monitor organizational, program and project budgets.
    • Upgrade and implement an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures.
    • Improve administrative and operational accounting services such as auditing, 403-B plan, payment processing, payroll, accounts payable, and purchasing.
    • Engage the finance, audit and investment committees of the Board in the general financial management of the organization.
    • Represent the organization to financial partners, including financial institutions, investors and investment advisors, foundation executives.

    Financial Innovation

    • Design, launch and monitor new revenue-generating programs.
    • Lead the diversification of revenue streams to include new foundation grants; government grants and contracts; and corporate partnerships.

    Organizational Development 

    • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.
    • Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.
    • Develop and oversee systems for monitoring and reporting on grants.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • An undergraduate business,  accounting or finance degree or significant organizational experience in a senior management role, ideally with both external audit and financial management experience.
    • Dedication to the methodical development, implementation and improvement of vital internal operational and financial systems.
    • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives.
    • Self reliance and creative problem-solving skills.
    • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively communicate in group settings and one-on-one.
    • Ability to operate as an effective tactical and strategic thinker.
    • Passion for MEC's partners, members and mission.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • A master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in sustainability, nonprofit management, finance, accounting or similar focus.
    • Experience either as an employee or board member of a nonprofit. organization; familiarity with nonprofit finance and accounting regulations.
    • Interest in facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a dynamic and evolving organization.
    • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers.
    • Comfort level dealing with senior management, MEC’s board of directors, and staff experts.

    Other Position Notes

    • Although based in Lansing, this position requires frequent work days in Detroit and occasional travel to other locations. Some telecommuting is possible.
    • This position requires occasional work outside normal hours, including evenings and weekends.

    Compensation Package

    MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. The CAO position includes a salary of $65,000 - $91,000 commensurate with experience; full medical, dental and vision benefits; organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off. 

    Application Process

    Submit a single PDF with  1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume and 3) at least three references (minimum two professional) to  jobs@environmentalcouncil.org. Include “CAO” in the subject line. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Please direct questions about the job description to CEO Conan Smith at conan@environmentalcouncil.org. Application review will begin December 3 and continue until the position is filled. 

     


  • published Job Posting: Policy Specialist in Careers 2019-11-06 15:47:56 -0500

    Policy Specialist

    Download a PDF of this Job Posting

    About MEC

    Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement, the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is a coalition of more than 60 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit. MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connections to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. 

    Position

    Michigan Environmental Council seeks a Policy Specialist to coordinate and support MEC efforts to defend Michigan’s environment by shaping policy decisions made in the State Capitol. With a primary focus on energy policy, the Policy Specialist will also assist other MEC policy areas and initiatives in a limited fashion as needed. Reporting directly to the Policy Director and working under daily supervision of the Program Director for energy, the Policy Specialist will support advocacy campaigns to advance MEC’s priorities around climate change, clean energy, and zero emission transportation. ,  

    This position conducts research, analyzes policy proposals, educates decision makers  on policy priorities and organizational positions, and leads projects to develop and advocate for MEC priority policies. An ideal candidate will utilize a range of skills and relationships to strengthen Michigan’s economic resilience in the face of climate change, fuel price uncertainty, pollution-related health impacts, and other challenges linked to our energy system. This position will be based in MEC’s Lansing, Michigan, headquarters and a significant portion of this position involves directly interfacing with elected officials and government staff. 

    This is an entry level position where the employee will learn skills and gather experience in issue advocacy and clean energy and transportation policy expertise leading to career options such as Engagement Director, Program Director and Policy Director. 

    Responsibilities

    General Duties

    • Support MEC programs and projects related to state policy development.
    • Analyze environmental policy proposals (both legislative and executive branch) and monitor their progress through state decision-making processes.
    • Educate policymakers and staff about environmental concerns and priorities. 
    • Work with external consultants and partners to align strategies and goals.
    • Generate research and advocacy reports.

    Energy Program

    • Support the Program Director for energy and assist in the effort to advance policies that mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from the transportation sector and accelerating Michigan’s transition to clean energy. 
    • Assist with MEC’s engagement in stakeholder efforts at the Michigan Public Service Commission and in utility cases. 
    • Promote strong administrative action on renewables, efficiency, climate change, and electric vehicles.
    • Inform state policy in the areas of climate change mitigation, electric vehicles, small-scale solar, data access, and renewable siting.
    • Educate current and future leaders about the economic and environmental importance of clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. 
    • Work with communications team to generate and provide content on clean energy and other policy topics for MEC’s newsletter, website and other publications.

     Minimum Qualifications

    • A bachelor's degree in public policy, political science, natural resources or similar field.
    • Strong communications, interpersonal relationship and teamwork skills.
    • A proven strong work-ethic and willingness to go the extra mile.
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google (GSuite)
    • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team; meet deadlines; and balance multiple tasks.
    • Experience or aptitude working in diverse coalitions, alliances or other groups.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • One to three  years’ experience in legislative analysis, policy or political advocacy or other nonprofit work.
    • Aptitude for and interest in politics and environmental public policy.
    • Professional demeanor, sense of humor and positive attitude.
    • Solid grasp of current issues related to energy and familiarity with environmental issues and expertise in one or more of MEC’s core program areas.

    Other Position Notes

    • The successful candidate for this position will become a registered lobbyist.
    • This position is based in Lansing and requires occasional travel to other locations in Michigan and nationally. Some telecommuting is possible.
    • This position requires occasional work outside normal hours, including evenings and weekends.

    Compensation Package

    MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. The Policy Specialist position includes a salary of $30,000 - $39,000 commensurate with experience; full medical, dental and vision benefits; organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off. 

    Application Process

    Submit a single PDF with  1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume, and 3) at least three references to  jobs@environmentalcouncil.org. Include “Policy Specialist” in the subject line. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Please direct questions about the job description to Policy Director Sean Hammond at sean@environmentalcouncil.org. Application review will begin December 3 and continue until the position is filled. 

     


  • published Internships in Careers 2019-10-19 20:56:55 -0400

    Internships

    Policy Internship Program

    Michigan Environmental Council’s policy internship program is designed to identify the next generation of leaders working for Michigan’s people and environment, cultivate their talents and shape their future. We seek highly motivated interns who are looking to expand their knowledge of public policy and environmental issues while building a base of contacts in the environmental community and beyond.

    Every spring, summer and fall we give several talented college students direct experience in environmental policy research and advocacy. They give us the fresh energy and ideas we need to rebuild Michigan’s economy while protecting our natural resources and enhancing our quality of life.

    We tailor our internships to match each person’s skills, expertise and goals, and offer a variety of experiences to make an intern’s time here as valuable as possible. Interns typically undertake short- and long-term policy research projects, and have opportunities to meet with state policymakers, take part in special events and field trips, and attend committee meetings and sessions of the Legislature. They work closely with our policy experts in energy, transportation, environmental health, water, agriculture, environmental justice, and natural resources.

    Internships at MEC are unpaid, but college credit can be arranged. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Lansing, three blocks from the Capitol. Schedules are flexible; 15 hours per week is preferred.

    Ideal applicants will:

    • Be a junior, senior or graduate student, or have graduated the previous semester.
    • Have knowledge of research methods to collect and analyze relevant information.
    • Have a basic understanding of current environmental policy issues and the public policy process.
    • Be self-motivated and self-directed, seeking guidance when appropriate.
    • Have a good sense of humor and a strong ability to collaborate with others.

    How to Apply

    To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé and a short writing sample -- as one PDF -- to internships@environmentalcouncil.org

    Deadlines

    June 25 for fall internships

    November 5 for spring internships

    March 19 for summer internships

     


  • published Job Posting: Communications Specialist in Careers 2019-10-15 13:19:38 -0400

    Communications Specialist

    Download a PDF of this Job Posting

    About MEC

    Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is a coalition of more than 60 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit. Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement. MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connections to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. 

    Position

    Reporting to the Communications Director, the Communications Specialist supports creative and tactical storytelling on behalf of the organization. The position requires excellent writing and time management skills. The Communications Specialist will write and edit for our web and print publications; coordinate with program staff and leadership on communications strategies; develop and deliver compelling messages that drive news coverage and shape discussions in the State Capitol; and help implement a digital program that grows MEC's base of support and financial capacity. This is an early career opportunity for an emerging professional to gain experience  and build contacts and relationships leading to industry career options such as social media coordinator, public information officer and communications director.. 

    Responsibilities

    Strategy, Vision and Leadership

    • Work with MEC staff to develop talking points and key messages on priority issues.
    • Stay on top of news coverage of environmental and public policy issues in Michigan and changes in the state’s media landscape.
    • Monitor public opinion research related to MEC’s work and incorporate polling insights into the organization’s communications.
    • Support communications efforts for issue-based coalitions in which MEC participates.

    Communications Asset Management and Development

    • Write press releases, media advisories and on-deadline statements to drive news coverage of MEC initiatives.
    • Work with engagement staff to publicize member and partner events.
    • Respond quickly and reliably to media inquiries and connect journalists with MEC staff based on their issue expertise.
    • Pitch stories about MEC’s priority issues to journalists around—and occasionally beyond—Michigan.

    Technology 

    • Manage and grow MEC’s presence on social media.
    • Assist with the management of MEC's website, supporter database, and email program.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • Bachelor's degree or three-years’ professional experience in journalism, communications, public relations or a related field.
    • Proven outstanding writing skills
    • Social media savvy
    • Strong attention to detail, including firm grasp of AP style.
    • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
    • Passion for MEC's mission, members, and partners.  

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Successful deployment of brand development, message and strategic communications
    • Expertise in issue-based advocacy; including online, digital organizing
    • Experience designing email advocacy programs, evaluating and monitoring success
    • Graphic design experience and/or experience using Adobe Creative Suite
    • Experience using NationBuilder or similar CMS platforms

    Other Position Notes

    • This position is based in Lansing. Some telecommuting is possible. 
    • The candidate must be available to respond to media inquiries outside normal work hours as needed and for in-state travel [Driver’s license required].
    • May be required to work non-standard hours and to be available for occasional evening and weekend activities and events.

    Compensation Package

    MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. The Communications Specialist position includes a salary of $30,000 - $39,000 commensurate with experience; full medical, dental and vision benefits; organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off. 

    Application Process

    Submit a single PDF with 1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume, 3) at least three references, and 4) two work samples to  jobs@environmentalcouncil.org. Include “Communications Specialist” in the subject line. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Please direct questions about the job description to Communications Director Elizabeth Fedorchuk at elizabeth@environmentalcouncil.org. Application review will begin December 3 and continue until the position is filled.   


  • published Job Posting: Engagement Specialist - Detroit in Careers 2019-10-15 13:18:44 -0400

    Detroit Engagement Specialist

    Download a PDF of this Job Posting

    About MEC

    Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is a coalition of more than 60 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit. Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement. MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connections to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. 

    Position

    Reporting to the Engagement Director, our Engagement Specialist for Detroit is a critical resource to help MEC connect with Michigan’s people and environmental organizations, and to improve the accessibility, relevance and impact of MEC’s policy expertise and strategy. 

    This position coordinates the Zero Waste Detroit coalition, staffing its advisory committee and executing its strategy plan which includes advocacy for recycling and composting programs, improving public awareness of sustainable solid waste practices and encouraging participation in recycling programs. This position also supports MEC’s Detroit engagement work including efforts in the Denby neighborhood focused on community service and leadership for high schoolers. Based in Detroit, a significant part of this role is providing direct assistance to the Engagement Director on a variety of organizational projects and priorities.

    This is an entry level position where the employee will learn skills and gather experience in coalition management, leading to industry career options such as Engagement Director, Program Director and Policy Director. 

    Responsibilities

    Strategy, Vision and Leadership

    • Coordinate the Zero Waste Detroit coalition, including development and implementation of its strategic plan and management of coalition meetings.
    • Develop and strengthen creative partnerships, research and communications projects to advance MEC initiatives.
    • Plan, develop and implement engagement strategies and tactics.  
    • Provide support to MEC’s functional and program staff, including event coordination, outreach, and communications.

    Tactical Engagement Work

    • Coordinate and manage relationships with the coalitions led by MEC, and related networks and projects including  setting up meetings, creating agendas, taking minutes, and engaging with members. 
    • Assemble meetings agendas, background materials and schedule meetings and phone calls.
    • Represent MEC and ZWD at select meetings and events, including through tabling, community forums, and small group and one-on-one meetings..
    • Communicate with public officials, program partners, and other audiences. 
    • Assist in the coordination and development of programs to reinforce the connection of MEC’s programs through strategic outreach and partnerships. 

    Minimum Qualifications

    • Two years’ experience in community organizing or other nonprofit work.
    • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including public speaking, social media, and writing.
    • Familiarity with Detroit’s neighborhoods.
    • Strong interpersonal relationship and teamwork skills.
    • A proven strong work-ethic and willingness to go the extra mile.
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google (GSuite)

    Preferred Qualifications

    • A degree in social work, cultural studies, communications or similar field.
    • Some measure of Spanish language skills.
    • Familiarity with recycling, environmental protection and environmental justice.
    • Experience working with the professional media.
    • Attention to detail and ability to manage and prioritize  tasks from multiple administrators
    • A network of friends and community leaders in the city of Detroit.
    • Aptitude for and interest in community organizing, politics and/or public policy
    • Professional demeanor, sense of humor and positive attitude.

    Other Position Notes

    • This position is based in Detroit and requires regular travel to Lansing.. Some telecommuting is possible. 
    • This position requires regular work outside normal hours, including evenings and weekends
    • This position requires access to a vehicle and a clean driving record 

    Compensation Package

    MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. The Engagement Specialist position includes a salary of $30,000 - $39,000 commensurate with experience; full medical, dental and vision benefits; organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off. This position is also eligible for monthly performance bonuses to maximum of $13,000 annually.

    Application Process

    Submit a single PDF with 1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume, and 3) at least three references to jobs@environmentalcouncil.org. Include “Detroit Engagement Specialist” in the subject line. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Please direct questions about the job description to Engagement Director Sandra Turner-Handy at sandra@environmentalcouncil.org. Application review will begin December 3 and continue until the position is filled. 




  • Engagement Specialist - Coalition Manager

    Download a PDF of this Job Posting

    About MEC

    Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is a coalition of more than 60 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit. Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement. MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connections to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. 

    Position

    Reporting to the Engagement Director and working under daily supervision of  several other senior staff , the Engagement Specialist is a critical resource to help MEC connect with Michigan’s people and environmental organizations, and to improve the accessibility, relevance and impact of MEC’s policy expertise and strategy. 

    This position provides general support for all of MEC’s programs and projects, facilitating member group engagement and expanding our partnerships to new organizations and institutions.  

    This is an entry level position where the employee will learn skills and gather experience in coalition management, leading to career options such as Engagement Director, Program Director and Policy Director.. 

    Responsibilities

    General Duties

    • Develop and strengthen creative partnerships, research and communications projects to advance MEC initiatives.
    • Develop and manage policy coalitions.
    • Provide support to MEC’s functional and program staff, including event coordination, outreach, and communications.
    • Coordinate and manage relationships with the coalitions led by MEC, and related networks and projects including  setting up meetings, creating agendas, taking minutes, and engaging with members. 
    • Assemble meetings agendas, background materials and schedule meetings and phone calls.
    • Represent MEC at select state, local and business meetings and events.

    Coalition Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    • Support the CEO to expand and diversify MEC’s coalition. 
    • Assess the racial diversity of Michigan’s environmental community and build pipelines for people of color into nonprofit boards and staffs.
    • Research, catalog and publicize MEC members’ issue and work priorities and network partnerships.
    • Design and implement programming to improve MEC and its members’ support for environmental justice and disruption of issue racialization.

    Agriculture, Ground Water and Surface Water

    • Support the Program Director for agriculture, groundwater and surface water to create novel partnerships and build awareness of progressive resource management and protection strategies.

    Environmental Health

    • Support the Program Director for environmental health to improve recognition of environmental determinants of health among health practitioners, hospitals and insurance providers.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • A degree in social work, organizational studies, management or similar field.
    • Strong interpersonal relationship and teamwork skills.
    • A proven strong work-ethic and willingness to go the extra mile.
    • Comfort communicating on the phone, instant messenger, email
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google (GSuite)

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Two years’ experience in community organizing or other nonprofit work.
    • Attention to detail and ability to manage and prioritize  tasks from multiple administrators
    • Aptitude for and interest in community organizing, politics and/or public policy
    • Professional demeanor, sense of humor and positive attitude.

    Other Position Notes

    • This position is based in Lansing and requires occasional work days in Detroit and other locations. Some telecommuting is possible.
    • This position requires occasional work outside normal hours, including evenings and weekends.
    • This position requires access to a vehicle and regular travel statewide. 

    Compensation Package

    MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. The Engagement Specialist position includes a salary of $30,000 - $39,000 commensurate with experience; full medical, dental and vision benefits; organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off. 

    Application Process

    Submit a single PDF with 1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume, and 3) at least three references to jobs@environmentalcouncil.org. Include “Coalition  Engagement Specialist” in the subject line. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Please direct questions about the job description to CEO Conan Smith at conan@environmentalcouncil.org. Application review will begin December 3 and continue until the position is filled.