President & Executive Director

VertueLabPortland, OR or Seattle, WA

About VertueLab

Rooted in the Pacific Northwest, VertueLab is a nonprofit fighting climate change by providing funding and holistic entrepreneurial support to climate tech startups. With the acceleration of climate change, there is an urgent need for innovative solutions. VertueLab’s mission is to unleash innovation and entrepreneurship that will solve environmental challenges and catalyze shared economic prosperity. With over a decade of work, they have built a strong reputation for integrity and partnership and proven that their model can accelerate climate solutions that are key to reversing the climate crisis.

Key initiatives include:

As VertueLab embarks on a new, ambitious 3-year strategic plan, it envisions the Pacific Northwest region as a hub for developing and deploying innovative and equitable solutions to the climate crisis.

The 2022-2025 strategic plan centers equity across three pillars of action:

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship – climate innovation is thriving in the Pacific Northwest; VertueLab has a range of initiatives that will make it easier for climate innovators and entrepreneurs in the region to achieve success and deliver meaningful impact.
  • Catalytic Capital – expanding the suite of impact investing tools available to promising and underserved climate tech startups to assist them when they are most at risk.     
  • Catalyzing Frontline Impact – improving access to climate technologies in the communities that need them most to increase the positive, long-term benefits of climate innovation.

Core Values

Bold, Wise Leadership – We take informed action, inspiring others, using our expertise as a trusted navigator with respect and humility, and driving to results.

Collaboration – We take a systems view of the world to leverage our network for powerful collaborations beyond what we can achieve alone. We recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and that relationships require time to build.

DEI is Mission-Critical – We recognize the root causes of climate change and racism were cultivated in extractive economies and inequitable practices. Climate change impacts and opportunities to be part of the solution are not evenly distributed. Our mission puts us in a position to change that.

Lab = Experimentation – We are always learning. We embrace uncertainty as a given. We are strategic and flexible. We have the knowledge to recognize opportunities, the tools to help ensure they are seized, and the patience and adaptability to see them through to the end.

Caring Deeply – We care about the work, each other, and our community. We laugh together and have each other’s back. We work hard, and value one another’s well-being.

The Opportunity

VertueLab is an established and respected leader in the national climate technology innovation and capital arena with ambitious goals to drive impactful progress for the climate in the decade ahead. Its mission sits at the intersection of business, experimentation, and scale, with social justice and equity. The organization has built deep relationships and is a trusted ally, connector, and convener for its partners.  

As the current political climate has passed the most forward-looking climate legislation of our time, and creating new opportunities for this work, this is a perfect moment to bring new perspectives and energy to VertueLab.  

The organization has been on an intentional journey to center racial equity and environmental justice in its work. Its next leader has the opportunity to bring their enthusiasm and experience in moving a team forward in these areas.  The collaborative nature of the work means the new leader will truly walk alongside VertueLab’s innovation and entrepreneurship partners as well as engage directly with frontline community-based organizations. 

VertueLab’s President and Executive Director must be strategic in thought, committed to equity, and focused on the intersection of climate, technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and impact investing to lead this remarkable organization.  

The President and Executive Director will oversee a growing organization, which currently stands at a $4M annual budget and a staff of 16. Reporting to a Board of Directors, the new leader will steer an organization-wide strategy, including implementation of the organization’s 3-year strategic plan; build external relationships in support of fulfilling VertueLab’s mission; and ensure financial resources are secured and responsibly managed through fundraising efforts and sound financial stewardship.  

VertueLab has a strong, knowledgeable, and highly experienced leadership team that will support the new President and Executive Director. Consistent with an organizational culture defined by collaboration, innovation, and respect for one another, a diverse and aware staff holds one another and leadership accountable. They welcome bold, thoughtful leadership that embodies these qualities.  

Responsibilities

Organizational Strategy and Leadership

  • Lead VertueLab in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors
  • Drive execution of the 2022-2025 strategic plan
  • Guide the organization’s future with a strategic mindset that considers how VertueLab fits into the Pacific Northwest ecosystem with investors and players who support similar approaches here and around the country
  • Exemplify commitment to VertueLab’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals

External Relations and Thought Leadership

  • Elevate VertueLab’s position as a thought leader and create opportunities for greater impact
  • Bring a credible voice to continued engagement with regional and national partners, political leaders, the media, and other key players in the climate tech, impact investing, government funding, and innovation ecosystems
  • Collaborate with the organization’s Marketing Lead to speak at key events and create content for publication in the media and VertueLab’s newsletter

Team Leadership and Management

  • Steer the organization with spirit, inclusivity, and vision for what is possible; build excitement on the team for seeking out those opportunities
  • Build on the enthusiasm and cohesion around VirtueLab’s mission and equity-centered approach
  • Cultivate a work culture built on experimentation, collaboration, high performance, effective supervision, and professional development of an excellent team to keep them engaged and supported
  • Manage change as the team and culture grow in a manner consistent with the organization’s values

Fundraising

  • Serve as the lead fundraiser, for both general operating resources and the Climate Impact Fund
  • Approve strategy and support the execution of fundraising efforts in collaboration with the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Director of Impact Investments
  • Maintain relationships with anchor funders and emerging funders

Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Oversight

  • Ensure the financial health and fiscal integrity of the organization and its funds
  • Operate within the Board-approved budget

Board Governance

  • Activate board engagement with effective deployment of their skills; communicate timely and accurate information necessary for the Board to function well, understand the workings of the organization, and make informed decisions
  • Coordinate closely with the Board Chair to plan Board meetings that address the strategic needs of the organization;  develop and support Board committees and task forces
  • Support Board recruitment efforts across the Pacific Northwest region

Ideal Candidate

First and foremost, we seek candidates who are true believers in solving the climate crisis with a commitment to equity and funding innovative, technology-based solutions. We seek a respected leader with credibility in the entrepreneurial, climate tech ecosystems where we operate.

Familiarity with the Pacific Northwest culture and climate environment or a desire to bring their national reputation to the region is important.

Candidates should have a strong partnering orientation, and a ‘can do’, ‘let’s experiment’ attitude. They push for excellence and understand that integrity and following through will be critical in establishing credibility and trust with other partners, communities, and entrepreneurs.

We seek candidates with a desire to continue to push VertueLab on its diversity, equity, and inclusion journey and to be active participants in a just economic transition through existing and/or new VertueLab programs and community work.

This is a visionary and outward-facing role.  The President and Executive Director is the key spokesperson for VertueLab and needs the ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to partners and funders. Regional, national and/or international visibility and thought leadership in climate technology and/or established relationships in the philanthropic and investor community would set candidates up for success.

With the understanding that no one person will offer every desired skill and characteristic outlined below, compelling candidates will offer much of the following:

  • Substantial knowledge and experience in one or more of the following:
    • Climate tech or environmentally sustainable technologies
    • Climate science
    • Climate justice
    • The Pacific Northwest region
  • Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following: 
    • Innovation and commercialization processes  
    • Entrepreneurship, life cycle of incubators and accelerators 
    • Early-stage investing  
    • Impact investing 
  • Demonstrated skills in:
    • Nonprofit leadership and knowledge of state and federal funding sources 
    • High degree of financial literacy and management of multi-million-dollar budgets 
    • Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty and the adaptability required to thrive in a dynamic environment 
    • Effective verbal and written communication 
    • Exceptional time management and organizational skills 
  • Defining characteristics may include: 
    • Inspiring 
    • Unifying 
    • Connector 
    • Good listener 
    • Integrity 
    • Decisive 
    • Credible  
    • Positive  
    • Persuasive 
    • Humble 

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this full-time position is an annual salary of $182,000 – $210,000, accompanied by a competitive benefits package including:  

  • 20 days of paid vacation per year 
  • 10 days of sick/bereavement leave per year 
  • 4 days of volunteer leave per year 
  • 11 paid holidays 
  • Medical and dental insurance 
  • 401k with a 100% match up for the first 3% of employee’s compensation contribution and an additional 50% match for the next 2% of an employee’s compensation contribution 
  • Mostly remote work and some flexibility in work schedule 

Location and Travel

Given VertueLab’s focus on the Pacific Northwest, this role is based in Oregon or Washington, preferably Portland or Seattle. Expectations for travel include overnight travel within the Pacific Northwest 3-4 times per quarter, plus national travel about 1-2 times per quarter.  

VertueLab’s EEO Statement 

VertueLab provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, source of income, mental or physical disability, military or veteran status, or other protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. 

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate button” on the position profile. Letters may be addressed to Melissa Merritt.

Applicants applying by January 30, 2023, will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

President & Executive DirectorVertueLabPortland, OR or Seattle, WA

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by VertueLab to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director
Direct: 206.792.4300 
melissa@goodcitizen.com

Celene Haque Tanner
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6189
celene@goodcitizen.com

Gabe Sapuay
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.792.4221
gabe@goodcitizen.com