Executive Director

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Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES) is a social enterprise commercial property manager and community economic developer based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. CIRES contributes to the building of an inclusive local economy by using the space in its portfolio to provide affordable goods, services, social support, and employment opportunities in the communities within which it works.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is accountable for the overall strategic and operational success of CIRES. In partnership with the Board, the Executive Director assures CIRES relevance to the community, the accomplishment of the organization’s vision and strategic goals, and the accountability of CIRES to its diverse stakeholders and constituents. The Executive Director oversees a portfolio of 53 commercial properties and annual revenues of $1.5 million that, in turn, support the growth and development of social enterprises in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.


  • Works in partnership with the Board to determine and implement CIRES’ values, mission, vision, and strategic goals;
  • Leads the planning and implementation of significant strategic and capital projects in consultation with the Board;
  • Assists the Board in monitoring and evaluating CIRES’ relevance and impact in the community and with its diverse constituents;
  • Identifies trends, issues, challenges, and opportunities affecting the strategic direction of the organization to facilitate effective policymaking; and
  • Keeps the Board fully informed on all aspects matters affecting CIRES’ strategy, mission, and goals, such as developments in social enterprise, social impact real estate, and other relevant areas.
  • Identifies and catalyzes the development of employment opportunities that reflect and recognize the barriers and assets of low-income communities;
  • Leads and contributes to the development of a vibrant social enterprise supply chain and ecosystem in the Downtown Eastside; leads by example by aligning CIRES’ internal purchasing behaviour and proactively encourages private and non-profit community organizations to adopt social purchasing policies;
  • Leverages the City of Vancouver’s Community Benefit Agreement to create public policy and procurement opportunities;
  • In partnership with the Board, leads the development and oversight of an investment strategy for CIRES’ annual operating surpluses into strategic program activities, including the financing, development, and growth of social enterprises in the Downtown Eastside;
  • Builds and works with a network of social impact investment partners to maximize the potential impact and benefit of CIRES’ social enterprise development initiatives.
  • Acts as an advocate for issues relevant to CIRES’ programs and diverse constituencies;
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships with key stakeholders and partners, such as private owners, property managers, the City of Vancouver, BC Housing, and business owners, to advance CIRES’ mission and strategic goals;
  • Serves as the chief spokesperson for CIRES, ensuring the organization’s message is wellarticulated in the community; and
  • Works with public officials, regulatory agencies, non-profits, local businesses, and leaders in the social impact and social enterprise sectors to promote a policy environment that addresses CIRES’ mission, strategic goals, and the needs of its diverse constituencies.
  • Manages a blended value portfolio, achieving both financial and social value through a mixed use, financial variable property leasing practice;
  • Oversees the provision of affordable and appropriate spaces for social enterprises and non-profits, meeting the social, employment, and cultural needs of low-income communities;
  • Manages, inspires, and leads the CIRES team to achieve the organizational mission and deliver on the strategic plan in an effective manner;
  • Ensures program quality and organizational stability through the development and implementation of standards, systems, processes, and continuous monitoring and evaluation;
  • Recommends staffing and financing to the Board of Directors, and recruits staff in accordance with Board-approved policies and budgets;
  • Builds and leads a high-performing team and a mission-centred organizational culture; and
  • Specifies accountabilities for staff and evaluates their performance regularly.
  • Ensures programs and services are delivered in a cost-effective manner, while maintaining a highlevel of quality;
  • Works with the Board to develop budgets and to ensure budgets support the organization’s short and long-term goals;
  • Oversees the financial activities of the organization, including budgeting, reporting, and preparation of the annual audit;
  • Ensures that organizational practices follow all regulatory and legal standards; and
  • Develops, recommends, and manages a strategic risk management policy and organizational risk register.
  • Works with the Board Chair to enable the Board to fulfill its governance functions and facilitates the optimum performance of the Board and of individual Board members;
  • Works with the Board to identify and address long-range strategic issues; and
  • Fulfills all required statutory and regulatory compliance responsibilities and informs the Board accordingly.


The ED has at least 10 years’ entrepreneurial leadership and strategic management experience in community economic development or a role closely related to the requirements of this unique and fulfilling executive position. Their experience is complimented by a degree in community economic development, business administration, social enterprise management, or in a related field.

The ED is motivated by creating social change and can build innovative, inclusive pathways to achieve it. Relationship-building and impact-driven strategic leadership are critical to the overall success of this position. This role requires a seasoned, mission-driven entrepreneurial leader with demonstrated knowledge of community economic development, social enterprise management, and social impact.

The ED brings the following experience and skills to the role:

  • Strong ability to identify relevant information and transform it into concrete action that enhances CIRES’ ability to deliver on its mission, vision, and values;
  • Strong experience or familiarity with the politics, dynamics, and communities of the Vancouver DTES that allow the ED to address challenging questions and foster collaboration;
  • Solid track record of effective leadership and hands-on operational management in all facets of an organization, including: contract negotiations, finance, human resources, planning and evaluation, systems, communications, and non-profit governance;
  • Accomplished at delivering a compelling message to stakeholders, media, business owners, public officials, and the broader community;
  • Ability to effectively lead, influence, and motivate a team to accomplish goals and create change;
  • Ability to work with and relate to individuals from all walks of life, from the sidewalk to the boardroom;
  • Innovative and unafraid to take reasonable risks to achieve desired strategic outcomes, and able to anticipate challenges and take advantage of opportunities;
  • Strong people skills: Demonstrated experience in building efficient, effective and mission-driven teams, as well as exceptional stakeholder relations that contribute to CIRES reputation, growth, and impact on its clients and communities; and
  • Demonstrated experience in or knowledge of commercial leasing is considered an asset.


The Executive Director is a full-time permanent position. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and oversees a small but potentially growing staff team.

The standard work week is 40 hours and additional evening, weekends, and overtime hours as needed to accommodate activities such as Board meetings and representing the organization at public events.

How to Apply

This search is conducted by Realize Strategies. To apply, please submit your cover letter and resume in one PDF document.


For more information about this position, contact John Kay or Gillian Harper at 604.718.8292.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Early applications are encouraged.

All applications will be kept in strict confidence.

The Community Impact Real Estate Society strives for meaningful employment from all communities and for its team to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves. First Nations, people of colour, and people across spectrums of gender, sexuality, age, and abilities are encouraged to apply.

The Community Impact Real Estate Society thanks all applicants for their interest in this position.

Website: https://realize.coop

8 Mar 2019
Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES)
Vancouver  British Columbia
Housing & Real Estate
Local economy
Social Economy & Social Enterprise