INCS’ events establish our organizational identity, build community, and foster culture for all who participate. We are looking for an event manager to be a key driver of our efforts to change the narrative around public education, specifically as it relates to charter public schools, and to build energy inside our organization and beyond around our vision that all children in Illinois have access to a high-quality public education that prepares them for a successful future.
Our calendar currently includes the following events:
- An annual conference or gala with 500-800 attendees,
- An annual lobby day with 500-600 parents, students, and staff,
- An annual teacher job fair with 300 candidates and 35 school operators,
- Biannual gatherings of leaders of 60 charter public school operators,
- Monthly meetings of single-site school operators,
- Convenings of school staff focused on operations, finance, and special education,
- Regular visits to schools across the state.
The INCS board meets quarterly, and our staff collaborates, learns, and celebrates in a variety of events.
Twenty 20 years ago, when educators and community members started the charter school movement, people questioned whether students in low income communities could succeed at the highest levels. That debate is now over. They can, and they do, as evidenced by the high school graduation rates and post-secondary success of thousands of Illinois charter school students. The only remaining question is whether we have the will to make this happen for more families. That is the work we are committed to.
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) advocates for the improvement of public education by leveraging the charter school model as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. INCS works to ensure that charter public schools have adequate and equitable resources, the autonomy to find innovative approaches to meet student needs, and a fair and transparent policy landscape that allows high-quality options to thrive.
In 2017, years of concerted effort led to a change in Illinois’ education funding law that resulted in a statewide increase of $55 million in new charter school funding. Ensuring that the increased funding flows to charter public schools and that additional schools are authorized and open will take additional, creative efforts in the next year. We’re thrilled by the progress that occurred in 2017 and will continue to work with policy-makers, school leaders, parents, and community members to secure high quality educational options for underserved communities and students in 2018.
As the voice of Illinois charter schools, INCS engages a diverse coalition of policy-makers, school leaders, parents, and community members to create systemic change and secure high-quality schools for underserved communities. INCS makes its impact through several program teams: Government Affairs, Charter Growth and Support, and Communications. These teams are supported by our Development and Operations teams. The organization is based in Chicago, where most Illinois charter schools are located.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Event Manager, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, ensures events run smoothly, adhere to INCS’ brand and standards of excellence, are completed on budget, and meet predetermined goals outlined by program managers and leadership. The Event Manager will:
- Create event protocols that maximize customer experience, achieve program goals, and meet internal deadlines for communication and logistical planning.
- Train and hold staff accountable for adhering to those protocols.
- Serve as a project manager for INCS events such as annual conferences or galas, teacher job fairs, lobby days at the State Capitol, practice-sharing workshops, and team-building events.
- Consult with program team as they develop program goals, create workplans with staff assignments and deadlines.
- Organize, prepare for, and facilitate kick off meetings and cross-team, check-in meetings related to event planning; assign next steps and follow-up with task owners from meeting to meeting or as deadlines arise.
- Maintain sustainable and intuitive organizational systems for event files.
- Problem solve with teammates to meet deadlines and goals.
- Act as onsite point person for all INCS events.
- Consult with program managers and leadership team to ensure all INCS events have approved budgets. Track all event related spending to ensure adherence to budget, and update subsequent event budgets based on savings and learnings.
- Maintain and develop relationships with INCS event vendors, including AV, catering, hotel/space rental, transportation, and materials vendors.
- Leverage INCS’ customer relationship management system for event planning and manage registration systems (invitations, attendee lists) as well as feedback platforms for measuring participant satisfaction.
- Evaluate success of events through analysis and reflection based on data from systems and feedback from staff and participants. Share conclusions and planned improvements with staff in cycle of continuous improvement.
- As needed, in partnership with program teams, write content and/or create visual materials for participants and attendees at events and programs (e.g. collateral materials, web and social media content, logistical instructions).
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
First and foremost, the Event Manager must believe that every child, regardless of socioeconomic factors or their academic starting point has the potential to succeed in school, career, and life. In addition, candidates should have an awareness of how public education systems have historically and disproportionately disadvantaged vulnerable communities and must believe that charter schools have the power to transform public education and the lives of students. Ideal candidates will possess the following characteristics:
- An understanding of how mission-driven organizations accomplish their work through events
- Two or more years of experience in hospitality or event management, including experience working and negotiating with vendors and service providers
- Ability to work with purpose, creativity, and accuracy in a deadline-driven environment, balancing various short-term and ongoing projects
- Highly organized project manager with excellent attention to detail
- Confident, mature outlook and presence, sense of humor, relentless optimism, a spirit of problem-solving, and calm under pressure
- A commitment to embracing diversity and fostering an environment of inclusion and cultural competency (see our definition below)
- Collaborative team player, proficient in managing up and across, engaging staff, vendors, and event participants
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Understanding of customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Eventbrite, Little Green Light, Salesforce, and their use in managing events
CULTURAL COMPETENCY AT INCS
Cultural competency is a lifelong process of building the knowledge, mindset, and skills necessary to engage fully and effectively with students, colleagues, and stakeholders of different backgrounds. This process requires us to deeply understand our nation’s history of injustice and its link to the persistent opportunity gaps that INCS and its member schools are focused on closing. It also requires us to strengthen our cultural competency by better understanding our own implicit and explicit biases and by reflecting on our words and actions through open dialogue.
INCS invests in building greater cultural competence and responsiveness across our team by supporting ongoing reflection, learning, skill-building, and positive actions. We know that culturally competent teams, especially when inclusive of individuals who share the racial, socioeconomic, and/or academic backgrounds (e.g., first generation college goers) of member schools’ student populations, are best equipped to act to ensure fairness inside and outside of INCS. To that end, we believe in building a richly diverse and inclusive organization, including a mission-critical imperative for all staff to both model and contribute to the vision we hope to achieve.
We believe it is critical for leaders to reflect the communities that they serve and that diversity across multiple dimensions enables us to achieve our mission of transforming lives and communities through public education. We don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our staff, member schools, and the broader community. INCS is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. INCS provides a suite of competitive benefits.
As soon as possible.
INCS will review candidates and their qualifications until the position is filled.
To apply, please submit a current resume to Rich Haglund at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply for the position