Beverly Gray Executive Director

Department: Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center
Location: Buffalo, NY
Job Code: 131
# of Openings: 1


Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center
The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center (The Exchange) is the first-of-its-kind, brick and mortar small business technical resource center that will be located in Buffalo’s Eastside neighborhood. It is a comprehensive, one-stop small business technical resource center developed to support entrepreneurship and innovation for Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises (M/WBE), Service-Disabled Veteran–Owned Businesses (SDVOB), and small businesses in the City of Buffalo and WNY region. The purpose of The Exchange is to serve as an information clearinghouse for small businesses, and, by extension, a hub of entrepreneurship and community wealth generation on the Eastside. Initially, The Exchange is scheduled to open in September 2017, and will initially provide the following services:

Startup & Launch –connecting entrepreneurs and early stage business owners to business planning education and advice as well as pro-bono legal, accounting, and professional services that will enable them to start and launch their business
    » business planning – connection to a provider that will provide education or one-on-one support to help an entrepreneur develop a business plan
    » legal assistance – connection to pro-bono legal services
    » accounting – connection to pro-bono accounting services

M/WBE Certification –providing eligible business owners with the assistance they need to submit a complete application to become M/WBE certified and be better positioned to do business with the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and State of New York

Financing Assistance – helping start-up and operating businesses become educated on the range of funding options available, and receive assistance packaging and submitting loan applications

Position Summary:
Next Street and the City of Buffalo are seeking a dynamic and entrepreneurial leader to serve as Executive Director of the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center. This is an exciting opportunity for a strategic leader to manage all day-to-day strategy, operations, and partnership development for the Center, as well as provide ongoing leadership, vision, and support for all Center staff as they strive to develop and grow the impact of the services they deliver.

The Executive Director of the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center will be responsible for leading the Center towards its goal of providing high-quality services which help Buffalo’s small businesses to start, operate, and expand. Specifically, the Executive Director will develop and execute the Center’s service delivery strategy, drive business development, oversee ongoing operations, develop the team, as well as cultivate and manage key Center partnerships. The Executive Director will combine a strategic mindset with practical know-how in order to deliver impactful solutions for small businesses of various stages, sectors, and needs.

Specific Duties:

  • Lead all day-to-day operations of the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center to ensure team regularly exceeds service delivery goals set by City of Buffalo and Firm leadership
  • Ensure that all customers receive best-in-class level of service
  • Direct The Exchange’s performance management, marketing, business development, reporting, and project coordination functions
  • Provide verbal and written performance updates to Next Street management, City of Buffalo, and the Exchange’s Advisory Council
  • Monitor and measure The Exchange’s performance and spending, provide regular reports/updates to Firm Leadership, and the City of Buffalo
  • Provide primary oversight and management of The Exchange’s outcomes, identify areas of improvement, spearhead corrective action plans, and manage staff to results
  • Hire, onboard, coach, and develop a highly motivated team of Account Managers that specializes in relationship-oriented direct service delivery to small businesses
  • Develop business requirements, workflows, vendor and partner assessments, training programs, and/or other deliverables based on customer need and firm expertise
  • Support the development of training curricula and determine instructional methodology; manage training requirements in support of program goals, objectives and schedules
  • Oversee business development efforts, provide key insights and strategy around new business development, and generate qualified leads for all service areas
  • Use a relationship driven approach to maintaining long-term relationships with high potential, scaling small business clients
  • Engage community-based organizations, anchor institutions, corporations, and other relevant stakeholders in the interest of enhancing small businesses’ access to support services
  • Attend morning, evening, and weekend events, as necessary, in the interest of strengthening partnerships and business development efforts

Preferred Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required; advanced degree preferred
  • 5 – 7 years of providing technical assistance and/or advisory services to urban small businesses or managing economic development initiatives
  • A strong belief in the potential of small businesses and an understanding of their needs
  • A desire to build a clear strategy and vision for a team and an appetite to take entrepreneurial initiative
  • Experience in operations and people management in a fast-paced work environment, as well as experience working with diverse populations in low to moderate income neighborhoods
  • Flexible, adaptable, customer-focused, and goal-oriented with a commitment to high standards of excellence
  • Excellent leadership skills and a demonstrated ability to thrive in environments with multiple stakeholders and priorities
  • Experience working with Advisory Boards, Boards of Directors, and/or Leadership Councils
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with staff across a variety of positions and levels of seniority including Next Street Senior Leadership, government officials, private sector leaders, and community leaders
  • Experience providing direct technical assistance to small businesses, including lending
  • Demonstrated ability guiding a team towards achieving performance goals/metrics
  • Demonstrated success leading business development and direct sales campaigns
  • Strong writing, analytical, interpersonal, time-management, and communication skills
  • The ability to leverage data to translate insights into action
  • Familiarity with Buffalo’s political and economic development landscape
  • Prior experience (or a willingness to) engaging philanthropic donors in support of economic development initiatives
  • Strong work ethic and high level of professional integrity
  • A willingness to challenge and be challenged, regardless of seniority


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