ACEnet is Hiring

ACEnet is Hiring



Title: Food Partners Access Coordinator
Reports To: Administration: Leslie Schaller; Work plan: Food Partners Management Team (Leslie Schaller, Tom Redfern, Mary Nally)
Supervises: N/A
FLSA Status: Exempt
Hours of Work: 40 hours per week
Pay Range: Salary commensurate with experience

Job Summary

Through generous support from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, three organizations: The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet,) Community Food Initiatives (CFI), and Rural Action are implementing a dynamic project to accelerate healthy, local food access to underserved communities in Appalachia Ohio. The Food Access Network partners are announcing a position to expand healthy food access to schools, rural food deserts and emergency food networks.

This position is funded for two years, with a goal of securing ongoing funding. ACEnet, Community Food Initiatives, and Rural Action have a two decade history of collaborating around local food system and food access development. The Food Partners Access Coordinator will build upon current distribution infrastructure, partnerships and ongoing programs in a directed way so as to maximize positive outcomes for all stakeholders from farmer, to producer to consumer.

As demand for local food that is healthy and accessible grows throughout southeastern Ohio, food hubs and distribution networks are emerging to ensure better food choices for all. In Southeast Ohio, food hubs and distribution networks range from established organizations— such as the ACEnet Food Ventures Center, ACEnet’s Nelsonville Food Hub, the Community Food initiatives-Donation Station— to wholesale community markets—like the Chesterhill Produce Auction.

The Food Partners Access Coordinator will focus on the three “demand networks” or systems designed to make fresh local food available to populations at risk for food insecurity. These demand networks are the Donation Station, a farmer to food pantry distribution model; Farm to School (K-12) school districts in multiple southeastern Ohio counties, and; Country Fresh Stops, local food in convenience and small retail stores in underserved villages and townships.

The Food Partners Access Coordinator will act as the primary connector to manage the collaborative work plan, communication platforms and systems, assist with project activities, organize and facilitate inter-partner meetings, and assist with the management of the food hub systems. The coordinated distribution networks include the Nelsonville Food Hub, the CFI Donation Station, Farm to School initiatives with Hocking College, local k-12 schools, the Food Ventures Center, the Chesterhill Produce Auction and Country Fresh Stops retail partners Athens, Morgan and Vinton counties.

The coordinator is paid through ACEnet, but is responsible to a management team made up of the food systems leadership in the three organizations. The coordinator facilitates and manages the collaborative local food access partnership of the three groups, brings stakeholders together, undertakes planning, research, and fundraising for program strategies, and helps fill gaps in managing and implementing collaborative projects already underway.


Essential Functions

  • Facilitate, manage, and support the implementation of specific pieces of the partners’ collaborative food systems projects including:
    1. A food partners coordinated expansion into Vinton County;
    2. Expansion of Country Fresh Stops;
    3. Expansion of the Nelsonville Food Incubator as an aggregation and distribution site;
    4. Develop strategies to increase supply for the CFI Donation Station
    5. Attend SEO FOODLINK Nourishing Networks Workshops to assist each county in developing and implementing action plans to increase food access while integrating existing RA and ACEnet programming.
    6. Expansion of Farm to School partnerships in designated counties
  • Coordinate and facilitate Food Partners team meetings and maintain meeting minutes;
  • Organize and ensure the successful completion of any stakeholders events required through this process;
  • Assist with or lead on research and planning for new programs and grants
  • Develop and manage any communications and media activities including press releases and PSAs as needed that relate to joint projects within the OHF grant
  • Assist with or lead any needed writing projects including funder reports, grants, and concept papers for internal use;
  • Develop presentations and power points as needed;
  • Provide presentations about the Food Access Partners collaboration when requested;
  • Provide meeting facilitation and process planning and support as needed;
  • Monitor and update the joint work plan and calendar for the partnership;
  • Maintain program files and resources;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Knowledge, Core Skills, and Abilities

  • A passion for a values-based local food system;
  • Writing competency for reports, press releases, assist in grant reporting;
  • Experience in presentations and outreach communications;
  • Track record of project management and collective meetings;
  • Experience managing collaborative processes and partnerships;
  • Experience planning and facilitating meetings;
  • Understanding of and a strong commitment to food systems;
  • A commitment to sustainable development and building healthy communities and strong local economies;
  • Outgoing, well-organized, attentive to detail, creative and able to work successfully on a team of diverse members as well as independently;
  • Detail oriented and consistent follow-through with minimal supervision;
  • Able to work on multiple projects at once.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Four year college degree or equivalent from a combination of formal education and relevant experience;
  • Valid driver’s license and vehicle;
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs;
  • Ability to walk through farm fields and food processing facilities;
  • Ability to work weekends and evenings when needed.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills;
  • Experience with all MS Office programs;
  • Basic graphic design and social media skills


The Food Partners Access Coordinator application and interview process is coordinated by ACEnet, Community Food Initiatives, and Rural Action members of the leadership team. Salary will be commensurate with food system and management experience.

NOTE: The above job description is not intended to describe, in detail, the multitude of tasks that may be assigned but rather to give the associate a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of his/her position. As the nature of business demands change so, too, may the essential functions of this position. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


2017-2018 Work Plan for OHF Implementation


  • Attend Staff Meetings at all three Organizations and submit written report to all
  • Connect with partners to increase local food supply and production
  • Speaker’s Bureau: develop a network of speakers to promote and generate donations for all related projects in all counties served
  • Communicate and clarify each organization’s brands and distinct programs and how they fit together
  • Share calendar of events/tours and ensure all partners are included
  • Manage tour requests and project inquiries


  • Work at CPA: re-design intern/volunteer recruitment, coordination and training—individual will need to be cross-trained to assist where needed
  • Work with ACEnet kitchen and facilities manager to create systems and strategies to improve use of space and improve tenant relations
  • Work Force participants cross-training exploration: how can we get them trained and placed at local food businesses and partner organizations—especially to assist Rural Action at Hocking College
  • Work with Rural Action and Hocking College to develop certification related to Farm to School food preparation to incentivize and formalize participation

Project Market Channel Implementation

  • Work to increase growers at the CPA
  • Address and analyze systems to meet the need for more food to serve Farm to School, Country Fresh Stops and Donation Station
  • Assist in developing strategies and implementation of increasing pounds for the Donation Station to support food pantries in the five counties being served
    • Increasing buying power through increased financial donations
    • Increasing growers at CPA
    • Increasing participation in Harvest Hotline and Grow-A-Row campaigns