Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

Four Directions Development Corporation Seeks Executive Director

Friday, February 5, 2021

The board of directors of Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC) has launched the search for a new executive director to lead the nonprofit organization in Orono, Maine, starting this fall. FDDC’s mission is to improve the social and economic conditions of the four Native American tribes in Maine — the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot — through education and investment in affordable housing, tribal business ventures and Native entrepreneurship.

Working with a tightknit, dedicated staff and a deeply committed board, the next executive director will build on the legacy of founding director Susan Hammond to increase the organization’s impact by further broadening access to capital for tribes throughout the State of Maine.

Organization overview

Founded in 2001, by an inspired group of tribal members, FDDC is recognized today as one of the nation’s most successful Native American Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Structured as a nonprofit revolving loan pool and service provider, FDDC responds to the particular credit and information needs of tribal members, who often face systemic barriers to asset building. FDDC provides, either directly or in partnership with other Maine agencies, specifically designed programs to ensure that members of all four Maine tribes are able to access and use capital resources effectively and efficiently. Four Directions advocates for Native people and continues to create new paths to achieve economic and housing security and community development.

Over two decades, FDDC has closed $17.7 million in home, consumer, small business and community development loans to 234 Wabanaki families, 31 Native businesses and three tribal communities; served more than 1,000 individuals with credit coaching, financial capability training, and homeownership education; co-developed or financed the construction or rehabilitation of 84 affordable residences for tribal elders and low-income families; and helped 749 Wabanaki tax filers access $433,509 in Earned Income Tax Credits.

Four Directions is a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency and a Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection supervised lender. The organization has an annual operating budget of approximately $1 million and a staff of seven full-time employees and three contracted positions.

The following values are at the core of FDDC’s work:

• We focus on Native communities, serving with humility and respect
• We act with integrity, honesty and transparency
• We extend opportunity, opening doors and eliminating barriers
• We honor Native culture
• We collaborate with all stakeholders
• We create an environment of mutual support

More information about FDDC can be found at http://www.fourdirectionsmaine.org/.

Role and responsibilities

The executive director partners with the board of directors to provide strategic direction and leadership, directly oversees FDDC’s programs and operations, and is responsible for the organization’s financial health. As the primary face of Four Directions, this individual represents FDDC across Maine and beyond, promoting its goals and services, and advancing opportunities for Maine tribes in collaboration with investors, funders, community leaders and other mission-aligned partners. FDDC’s executive director plays a prominent role in negotiating and structuring financing solutions, closing transactions, and monitoring investments and portfolio performance. The director also drives fundraising efforts to ensure organizational sustainability and support strategic growth, which includes seeking and cultivating relationships with funders, and grant-writing.

The executive director reports directly to the board of directors, which is composed of tribal members and representatives from key sectors of the banking, small business, community development, and housing community.

Qualifications

This position requires a special blend of financial management experience, credit expertise, nonprofit leadership experience, and deep knowledge of Maine’s Native communities. The executive director must have financial acumen and strong public relations, management and planning skills; and be able to navigate Maine’s rural landscape as comfortably and effectively as the financial marketplace.

The board expects the successful candidate to bring to the role:

• Passion for FDDC’s mission and commitment to its values
• Understanding of the history of Maine tribes and remaining systemic obstacles to economic opportunity
• Experience in credit analysis, structured finance or intermediary lending
• A collaborative management style that leverages individual and team strengths
• A track record as a skilled communicator, a good listener, and a proven relationship-builder who can successfully engage with business and community leaders to advance shared goals and to unite people across multiple areas of expertise and diverse cultures
• Demonstrated strength in developing and executing a multifaceted fundraising strategy
• The ability to identify obstacles and create solutions
• Readiness to advocate at the state and federal levels on behalf of Maine tribes
• An entrepreneurial spirit
• Persistence
• Sharp attention to detail

Previous experience with CDFIs is strongly preferred, and the knowledge and cultural sensitivity that come with tribal affiliation will be considered a significant plus.

Though the position is headquartered in Orono, considerable travel is required both in and out of state.

Compensation

FDDC’s executive director will earn a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after the initial six months, and an annual review thereafter.

Nondiscrimination

Four Directions Development Corporation does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, national origin, ancestry, public assistance, ethnic background, religion, marital status, economic class, age, disability or handicap (mental or physical), sex, creed, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and any other legally protected characteristics in admission or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment. The project complies with all applicable national, state and local laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following address: search4@starboardleadership.com.

Paper copies may be sent to Taylor Rouillard, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401, but electronic submissions of material are preferred. No phone inquiries, please. The application deadline is March 7, 2021, and review of all submissions will begin immediately thereafter.

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