EXECUTIVE SEARCH: Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf

Strategic Consulting & Coaching, LLC, is conducting a retained search for EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, on behalf of our client, Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf.


Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS) was established in 1983, and up until 2018 was hosted at Woodbury Lutheran Church. In 2018, a new 6,000 square-foot building opened on the grounds of Guardian Angels Church in Oakdale.   

In 2016, CCEFS introduced a mobile food shelf program, which is focused specifically on serving the senior population and those with limited mobility. With a grant from Hunger Solutions, CCEFS purchased a delivery truck, to support pop-up food shelf sites.

CCEFS served 5,277 households – totaling 19,751 individuals – in 2018 with 584,456 pounds of food through its portfolio of programs. This is a 48 percent increase in households served versus 2017 and a 24 percent increase in the amount of food distributed. 

Mission: Our unrelenting focus is to provide nutritious food to our neighbors in a respectful manner while engaging our community in the fight against hunger.

Vision: We envision a community in which everyone has sufficient nutritious food. 

Values: We believe that access to nutritious food is a basic human right. We are committed to responding to the needs of our community by providing food distribution and support services with dignity and respect.


Food Shelf

The CCEFS food shelf is open three days a week and serves over 460 households each month. Using a customer choice model of operation, CCEFS has expanded both the amount and variety of food provided (especially dairy, proteins, and produce) through its expanded food rescue program as well as its investment in ethnic food options. 

Produce Fair

First launched in 2015 at an off-site location, seasonal (growing season) bulk produce distributions have continued to grow. With CCEFS’s move to the new facility in 2018, CCEFS relocated the produce fairs to the new facility and expanded them by starting a month earlier. The produce fairs take place year round on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. In 2018, 40% of participating households resided outside the 55125, 55128, and 55129 zip codes. 

Mobile Food Shelf

The Mobile Food Shelf, launched in 2016, provides food assistance to four senior citizen, independent living residencies in Oakdale and Woodbury. Statewide, seniors are the fastest growing group of food shelf users, growing 39 percent since 2012 (Source: Hunger Solutions MN). The CCEFS community is no different. Using Census data, it is estimated that 2,100 senior citizens need food support in the CCEFS service area. The CCEFS mobile program has allowed us to double the number of seniors we assist each month. 

Wildcard Wednesday

In the Oakdale – Woodbury community there is approximately 2 to 2.5 tons of food at grocers available for “rescue.” This food will not be sold. Working with Second Harvest Heartland (which prefers to minimize the handling and keep the food in the community), we built a program that brings in those 2 tons of food, sorts it, and redistributes it to 120 households every Wednesday. Specific items are not guaranteed, but generally, our customers leave with 30 pounds of food, half of that produce. The service is open to anyone. On average, 40% of the households served are outside of our service area.


Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf is seeking an Executive Director (ED) who will provide strategic vision, leadership, fundraising, and general management for the food shelf. The ED is the face of CCEFS to the communities we serve, inspiring others to join our mission and the realization of our vision. The ED must have business acumen and be able to utilize the synergies of a strong team of staff and volunteers to support growth initiatives such as implementing new partnerships, revenue streams, new programming, and community initiatives. 

The ED reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for CCEFS consistently achieving its mission and financial objectives. The ED provides leadership to the Board in the areas of public policy, planning, and new program initiatives. The ED is the organization’s chief fundraiser and spokesperson, and is responsible for cultivating partnerships with faith community, government, corporate, and foundation leaders, and individual donors. The ED leads and directs CCEFS staff and provides support and assistance to volunteers, including the Board of Directors and committees. The ED will oversee a $1.3 million annual operating budget.

The ideal candidate will build on CCEFS’s past successes, expand its reach and influence throughout the community, and find creative ways to implement best practice models for eliminating barriers and ending hunger. 

The position requires an entrepreneurial, business, and results-oriented approach. The successful candidate must be able to embrace a big picture perspective while ensuring that the attention to detail required is fully addressed. In addition, the candidate will bring energy, passion, intellectual curiosity, creativity, flexibility, and humility to their work. 

Primary Responsibilities

The successful candidate will:

·   Embody the mission, vision, and core values of CCEFS and will exhibit passion about the work of CCEFS both inside and outside the food shelf;

·  Demonstrate leadership in, and knowledge of, basic needs and industry trends;

·   Have the ability to build strong relationships and engage faith community, government, and community leaders and partners who support the mission of CCEFS;

·   Be a strong strategic thinker who can enhance and refine CCEFS’s strategic vision, priorities, goals, and measures to meet program outcomes; engage staff, volunteers, and partners; and deliver sustainable results;

·    Assure a workplace that demonstrates a high degree of support for diversity, equity, respect for clients, volunteers, staff, and the Board and attracts and retains talented and dedicated volunteers and staff with the qualifications and experience needed for all positions in the food shelf;

·  Demonstrate success in building and sustaining a comprehensive fundraising team, ideally with experience across a full range of funding sources including individuals, corporations, foundations, local government and events;

·   Assure a sustainable business model and develop new resources and partnerships at scale, including public and private funding, contracts for services, and program partnerships;

·  Understand and be able to provide oversight regarding nonprofit finances, investment strategies, depreciation, and other components of financial planning;

·   Have the ability to review and explain balance sheets and income statements with the board of directors;

·  Be skilled in recognizing financial opportunities and threats and analyzing impact of current or new ventures;

·   Be able to make program and financial adjustments as needed for financial stability, program and services impact and safety, and effectively communicate these issues to the Board in a timely and clear fashion;

·  Have the ability to work and make judgments independently and take initiative; 

·  Be an innovative leader who focuses on taking risks, spurring volunteer and staff ingenuity and autonomous thought, where knowledge is valued, and challenges are viewed as learning opportunities;

·  Have a high level of comfort with public relations and public speaking as well as communicating information to a wide range of audiences – from congregations, policy makers, donors, public officials, the press, and the general public;

· Have experience with reporting to, and supporting, a governing Board;

·  Continuously monitor, evaluate, and enhance service delivery models to best meet client/customer/stakeholder needs;

·  Strive to continuously meet the highest service standards and ensure continued service excellence.

 Personal Attributes

The successful candidate will:

·        Possess a deep commitment and passion for CCEFS mission and work;

·        Have a visionary and entrepreneurial spirit to meet the needs of CCEFS and be willing to propose, strategize, and execute new ways to end hunger;

·        Be comfortable and assertive in many different social and professional circles including industry leaders, faith leaders, donors, public officials, funders, and government;

·        Possess a high degree of energy, integrity, and creativity as well as the intellectual, organizational, and personal qualities necessary to earn respect and cooperation from all stakeholders;

·        Be comfortable with public appearances, presentations, and working with media, stakeholders, funders, and government entities, and donors to increase visibility of the organization and those who will partner with and invest in the food shelf mission and services;

·        Demonstrate cultural competence with a focus on diversity and inclusion related to persons of other racial, cultural, religious, gender, ability, and sexual orientation backgrounds;

·        Have superb communications skills, both oral and written; 

·        Be creative, with the ability to think outside the box;

·        Be approachable and a good listener;

·        Be an authentic leader who serves as a role model for moral and fair behavior, with a transparent approach to earning the esteem and confidence of employees, volunteers, board members, donors, and public officials;

·        And, be a leader who can effectively mentor and support employee and volunteer growth and nurture them toward achieving their highest levels of performance. 


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree with equivalent work experience in an appropriate discipline (e.g., education, social sciences, public administration, business administration);

  • And, have 3-5 years executive/senior management experience in social services, business, or a related organization. Management experience at a food shelf is highly desirable.



Cheryl Jensen, M.S., PCC, RLC

Managing Partner, Strategic Consulting & Coaching, LLC 612-203-4662


Jennifer Hipple