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Director of Food Innovation

$70,000 – $80,000 yearly

Corporation for Findlay Market

Last Updated: 6/10/24

Job Description

Director of Food Innovation

Corporation for Findlay Market (CFFM)

Position Description

May 2024


The Director is responsible for all Findlay Market Food Innovation programs and the development of future Food Innovation initiatives to support independent food entrepreneurs to start, grow, and scale. Current programs and initiatives include Findlay Kitchen, Findlay Launch, and Findlay Learn.

The Director will be responsible for casting a vision for future programs and identifying the best approach to leveraging and integrating existing resources and developing new resources, furthering our focus on Findlay Market serving as an anchor for a diverse community and continuing growth as a leader in education and support of the independent food industry ecosystem.

The Director supervises the Associate Director of Findlay Kitchen, Associate Director of Entrepreneur Support, and Entrepreneurship Project Manager and is responsible for oversight of the Findlay Kitchen, Findlay Launch, and Findlay Learn teams. The Director serves on the leadership team of the Corporation for Findlay Market, and reports directly to the CEO.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities

Findlay Kitchen

  • Operational Oversight - Establish goals and objectives of staff, facility, and programming in collaboration with Associate Director.
  • Financial Performance - Lead strategy for the development and maintenance of a detailed set of metrics and progress indicators to move towards sustainable and profitable operations for Findlay Kitchen. Additionally, focus on increasing awareness and exploring further fundraising opportunities to support the ongoing growth of the program.
  • Program Development - Oversight of development of programming, partnership and external relations for Findlay Kitchen.


Findlay Launch

  • Project Oversight - Establish vision, goals, and objectives in collaboration with the Associate Director.
  • Financial Performance - Identify strategic growth of earned revenue opportunities. Additionally, focus on increasing awareness and exploring further fundraising opportunities to support the ongoing growth of the program.
  • Program Development - Oversight of program reviews, partnerships, and implementation.

Findlay Learn

  • Program Oversight – Establish the visions, goals, and objectives of programs and initiatives in collaboration with the Associate Director.
  • Financial Performance – Identify strategic growth of earned revenue. Additionally, focus on increasing awareness and exploring further fundraising opportunities to support the ongoing growth of the program.
  • Project Development – Identification of industry trends, assessment of program impacts, and determination of education and support needs for program and initiative development.
  • Fundraising – Set budget targets, and support Development team efforts to connect with potential funders and secure funding to advance the goals of the program.

Food Innovation Initiatives

  • Vision Casting – Drive the vision for Food Innovation programs and initiatives as a whole. Leverage the community of Findlay Market businesses to pilot solutions for systematic industry issues.
  • Consulting - Establish parameters for consulting support with external partners, with the goal of growing paid consulting opportunities.
  • Large-Scale Events - Drive partnerships and responsible for overall execution of large-scale events including Taste of Cincinnati, Asian Food Fest)
  • Evaluation – Determine gaps in the Food Innovation offerings to support food entrepreneurs and their ability to start, grow and scale. Lead feasibility studies to determine partners or new programs to fill those gaps.
  • Network and Promotion - Leverage exposure opportunities to understand the state of local, regional, state and national industry conditions and build awareness of our programs.
  • Advocacy and Systems Support - Participate in public policy and outreach work to grow community recognition and resources for local food entrepreneurs. Explore avenues for businesses associated with Findlay Market to play a constructive role in advancing placemaking efforts and contributing to the ongoing development of Over-the-Rhine as a hub for successful food enterprises.

More about the role

Findlay Market is Ohio’s longest-running public market and a historic landmark. Key to its current and future success is the support of a robust environment for food-related businesses to start, grow, and scale.

With Findlay Kitchen, Findlay Launch, Findlay Learn and future initiatives, Findlay Market has established its role as the region’s only entrepreneurial support ecosystem for independent food-related businesses and has a growing role as a national leader in this field of interest. Our Food Innovation programs create a pipeline of emerging and growing businesses both for Findlay Market and for the greater Cincinnati region.

A commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion is a core organizational value for the CFFM, and our Food Innovation work has been a key driver in increasing engagement with diverse business owners and community partners. These programs place special emphasis on cultivating women, immigrant, and minority-owned businesses, which currently comprise 83% of our Findlay Kitchen member community, 95% of Findlay Learn participants, and 100% of our Findlay Launch participants. It is important to our Food Innovation programs, and Findlay Market, that we continue to play a positive role in growing a dynamic and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that is truly representative of our changing community. By partnering with like-minded organizations and donors, we are able to lower barriers to entry and provide scholarships and business-building growth opportunities.

Findlay Kitchen must continue progress toward financial sustainability through strategic member growth and management, effective and efficient team and facility management, and impactful fundraising efforts. Findlay Kitchen's growth focus is on strengthening entrepreneur support services including facilitating growth opportunities for members and further development of support and educational programming and facility functionality.

Findlay Learn programs and initiatives must continue to create sustainable, accessible, and actionable education and support programs and initiatives of CFFM. Current growth focus areas include collaboration with Findlay Kitchen, support of Findlay Market House vendors and outdoor market vendors, and establishing an educational system that can expand impact and outreach beyond Findlay Market and the immediate region.

Findlay Launch is poised for strategic assessment of program impact and potential growth. The current focus is assessing program objectives, strengthening program implementation, and partnership development.

Integral to all Food Innovation programs is the need to understand the system challenges and trends of the food industry as well as the individual needs of the independent food entrepreneurs with whom we work. The Director must be proactive in networking and communication efforts to build recognition of the Corporation for Findlay Market and our Food Innovation programs’ growing impact on the independent food industry ecosystem.

Growing awareness, fundraising expansion, and movement towards national impact for our programs and initiatives are all necessary for success.

Values, Skills, Knowledge and Abilities

  • Knowledge of organizational & management practices and budgeting & accounting principles.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, train, manage, supervise, and lead a staff team.
  • Continual investment in the independent food ecosystem through education, networking, leadership.
  • Skill and experience in program development and execution, coordinating activities, evaluating data, and establishing priorities.
  • Previous involvement in food-related businesses is not required, but understanding the needs, pain points and requirements to be successful is necessary.
  • A commitment to supporting diversity and demonstrated ability to work in a proactively diverse and inclusive organization.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset with an eye towards expanding earned revenue opportunities.
  • Understand and thrive in the mission of a public market and the community it serves.
  • Excellent, proven interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective problem-solving and mediation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to share skills and knowledge with others.
  • Proficiency with office computer equipment and software.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced, demanding environment.
  • Proven ability to cope with conflict, stress, and crises.
  • Continual on-the-job learning is required.
  • Must be able to work some non-traditional hours, including evenings and weekends.

Application Information

  • To apply, please visit
  • Applicants are asked to submit the following: resume, cover letter and one deliverable that showcases their experience relevant to this position
  • Deadline: Jun 14, 2024
  • Salary: $70,000 - $80,000
  • This is a year-round, full-time position with an attractive benefits package that includes: 4 weeks of PTO (5 weeks after 2 years; 6 weeks after 10 years), 9 paid holidays, paid parental leave, health insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, short-term disability, long-term disability), CFFM pays 85-90% of health insurance premiums for the staff member and all qualifying dependents, CFFM HSA contribution for those enrolled in medical insurance, partial cell phone reimbursement or work phone, work computer, discounted parking pass, Sabbatical Program after 5 years of service.

CFFM is an equal opportunity employer.

Company Details

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States