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Chief Operating Officer

Washington, DC · Volunteering/Non-Profit

Chief Operating Officer
Sixth & I 

Status:       Full-time, exempt employee
Location:    Washington, DC
Deadline:    Early February. Resume reviews begin immediately.

About Sixth & I
Founded in 2004, Sixth & I is a center for arts, entertainment, ideas, and Jewish life in Washington, DC. We inspire more meaningful and fulfilling lives through an unexpected mix of experiences that embrace the multi-faceted identities of those we serve. Sixth & I’s unique model uses wide-ranging, thought-provoking, and accessible experiences to celebrate unexpected intersections between culture and spirituality. We are committed to developing programming that embraces audiences from all walks of life and religions, while still holding true to our core beliefs and values. Learn more by visiting www.sixthandi.org.

As a premier cultural resource for the Nation’s Capital, Sixth & I presents a range of secular arts and entertainment programming against the stunning backdrop of a historic synagogue that dates back to 1908. Our talks, concerts, comedy shows, and live podcast recordings fuel local residents’ curiosity, while offering new perspectives from preeminent thought leaders, renowned performers, and culture influencers. 

As a multi-denominational and non-membership spiritual home, Sixth & I creates space for Jewish people in their twenties and thirties to find community with one another. Dedicated programming—including education, holiday celebrations, and social justice work—offers dynamic ways to engage with Jewish values, ideas, and traditions.

In 2021, the Sixth & I Board of Directors approved a new three-year strategic plan that refined its mission, identity, and audiences, outlined strategic goals and initiatives, and elevated a new approach to social justice as an extension of its mission and Jewish values. With an explicit commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution, Sixth & I has embarked on a social justice journey with dedicated staff, organization-wide training, and public programming that fosters respectful dialogue and different perspectives on social issues. 

Position Overview
Sixth & I seeks its first Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead an effective growth strategy to scale internal operations. The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial leader who can align the organization’s inspirational vision and innovation programs with operational excellence and strategic financial planning. As a new leadership position for Sixth & I, this role requires high emotional intelligence and experience managing change. 

The COO oversees the day-to-day administration of a $4.5 million organization that offers a wide variety of public programming in a historic synagogue that is important to the history and cultural fabric of Washington, DC. They will be responsible for finance, operations, human resources, technology, facility management, and patron services. 

The COO will deliver on the organization’s strategic goals through aligned decision-making, strong communication, and operational efficiency. The COO is a trusted partner to the CEO on setting strategic vision, maximizing the revenue potential of Sixth & I’s brand, history, and location. The COO is a member of the Sixth & I leadership team responsible for balancing existing operational priorities with future short- and long-term financial projections and risks.

The COO’s leadership style will be one that is deeply invested in building an inclusive team culture, developing internal talent, fostering cross-collaboration and systems of accountability. They will lead a 9-person team across finance, human resources, security and operations, and patron services. They have three direct reports: Senior Director of Operations and Security, Director of Accounting & Administration, and the Director of Entertainment, who oversees patron services. The COO, and/or members of their team, liaise with the Board of Directors’ executive and finance committees. 

Specific areas of responsibilities include:

Business Operations and Administration 

  • Standardize and establish organization-wide policies, procedures, operation and communication protocols, that promote organization culture and vision; streamline processes to reduce redundancy and increase staff productivity. 
  • Set annual organization-wide planning calendar and timeline. With leadership team, contribute to the identification and prioritization of organizational improvements. 
  • Maintain relationships with professional service providers, including concessions, building maintenance and security, legal counsel, and insurance broker, among others.
  • Review contracts and oversee insurance policies to mitigate institutional risk; coordinate with pro bono legal counsel to manage exposure.
  • With support from outside consultants, including contracted technology services provider, ensure technology systems, software, and databases are cost-efficient, integrated, appropriately secure, and enable productivity. Lead the full team to adopt protocols and policies that ensure operational systems reflect the organization’s maturity.
  • Support the development of a strategic approach to data collection and analysis, including systems and infrastructure to set departmental goals and performance objectives. Assess current customer relationship management (CRM) tools to determine needed upgrades. 
  • With the support of the Senior Director of Operations and Security, ensure facility’s functionality, safety, maintenance, and sustainability.  
  • Oversee planning for capital improvements, including renovation, construction, and capital expense management. Manage associated relationships with developers and city agencies.

Financial Management & Forecasting

  • Lead finance team to conduct financial analysis, manage cash flow, assess investment priorities, and policy matters to inform timely executive-level decision-making.  
  • With the CEO and Director of Accounting and Administration, direct an enterprise-wide process to develop annual operating budgets. Oversee departmental forecasting and reporting, including training and support for senior leaders with budget responsibility.
  • Serve as the liaison to the Board’s Finance Committee by providing accurate and current financial updates, risk analysis, and forecasts. Present budget and analysis to the Board.
  • Monitor overall financial functions to ensure that accounting, reconciliations, billing and collection, internal controls and taxes are organized, accurate, and audit-ready. 
  • Ensure internal policies, systems, and controls are properly documented and implemented. 
  • With the CEO and other members of the leadership team, forecast and manage earned and contributed revenue to inform long-term strategies and multi-year budget projections.  
  • Manage finance-related relationships, such as auditors and banking professionals.

Human Resources Management

  • With the Director of Community Impact and Organizational Culture, oversee HR management systems and policies, including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, performance evaluations, staff retention, total compensation system, and professional development. 
  • Provide oversight and accountability for core HR operations, including employment policies, compliance, payroll, benefits administration, and separations.
  • With the CEO and Director of Community Impact and Organizational Culture, ensure employee relations and organizational culture align with Sixth & I’s values and diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities. Embed an equity lens in all aspects of operations.
  • Cultivate a culture of collaboration; support the development of systems and protocols that create equitable and consistent work schedules across all departments.

Patron Services

  • With the Director of Entertainment, ensure the highest quality of customer service for every public event reflects Sixth & I’s values and brand. 
  • Standardize training and oversight for managers responsible for front of house, security, maintenance, and other departments that interface with the public.
  • Direct the development of policies and procedures that establish and maintain excellent quality and standards for staff and volunteers, including scheduling policies.
  • Define, implement, and monitor performance tracking and service delivery.
  • Encourage design and implementation of inclusion and accessibility policies through ADA compliance and audience development initiatives. 

Requirements and Qualifications
This position is a challenging and rewarding opportunity that requires a diverse set of skills and experiences. While we understand that no single applicant can possess every skill listed below, qualified candidates will likely possess many of the following:

  • 10+ years of progressive leadership experience overseeing operations, finances, and strategic planning, preferably in a nonprofit or other mission-oriented setting.
  • Demonstrable supervisory experience and ability to build managerial capacity among direct reports and other team members. 
  • Advanced business acumen, including strategy-level experience in finance and accounting, administration, and talent management. 
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills. Takes an entrepreneurial approach to organizational development.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. Able to distill complex information for multiple audiences with clarity, discretion, and high emotional intelligence.
  • Experience operationalizing social justice and DEI initiatives.
  • Demonstrated experience in change management, including leading and implementing strategic and operational plans with the ability to build consensus, make tough decisions, and ensure clarity around organizational goals and performance expectations. 
  • A strong orientation toward developing and maintaining systems, standard operating procedures, management processes, and office policies. Demonstrated success guiding process improvements and change management strategies. 
  • A high level of emotional intelligence, integrity, cultural sensitivity, and interpersonal skills; effectively engages and influences key stakeholders and decision-makers.
  • Experience with facilities management (e.g., maintenance, security, capital improvement, and/or historic preservation) is not required but is considered a major plus.

Sixth & I is based in Washington, DC’s Chinatown neighborhood. The COO will have an opportunity to work a hybrid schedule, but must be located in the Washington, DC region to supervise an events-driven team and facilitate on-site work.

Compensation & Benefits
Sixth & I has recently conducted a comprehensive pay equity philosophy and has budgeted the salary range for this role starting at $159,500. Sixth & I offers a generous benefits package that includes health, vision, and dental insurance, flexible scheduling, paid time off, paid holidays, pre-tax transit benefits, and a matched retirement savings plan. In addition to regular vacation time and federal holidays, Sixth & I’s offices are closed the week of July 4th, between Christmas and New Year’s, as well as for select Jewish holidays. All Sixth & I employees have access to complimentary tickets for any talks, entertainment, and Jewish Life programming.

Application Process
Sixth & I has retained Good Insight, a national executive search firm serving nonprofits, to conduct this search. Interested applicants should submit a resume and a detailed cover letter to www.good-insight.org/careers. Send confidential inquiries to SixthandI@good-insight.org.

We encourage applicants from all walks of life and/or faith backgrounds. This role is secular in nature and does not require knowledge or affiliation with Judaism. 

Resume reviews begin immediately. For best consideration, please apply by early February, 2023. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search.

Equal Employment Opportunity
Sixth & I is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity, and it complies with all applicable laws which prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Sixth & I recruits, hires, trains, and promotes individuals, as well as administer any and all personnel actions, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), age, disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, political affiliation, gender identity or expression, credit information or any other characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law. 

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