Director of Arkansas Food Innovation Center at the Market Center of Ozarks (AFIC @ MCO)
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Type: Full Time
Salary: Commensurate with qualificatio
Internal Number: R0033912
The Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture manages the Arkansas Food Innovation Center (AFIC, https://afic.uada.edu/). AFIC will extend its operations (fruits & vegetable processing plant and commercial kitchen portions) at the Market Center of the Ozarks (MCO), a 45,000-square-foot facility set to open in early 2024 in downtown Springdale, AR. This facility is a part of Northwest Arkansas Food Systems, an initiative focused on improving access to local food. We are seeking a highly motivated and creative individual to provide leadership for the AFIC @ MCO. The director will be an experienced food professional in food product and process development with preference being given to an individual having experience in the food industry or food entrepreneurship. The director will be the primary point of contact for the entity.
The director will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of the UADA MCO operations and report to the Department Head of Food Science within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The director will have responsibility and authority for all AFIC @ MCO activities, budget, facilities, and personnel. Specific responsibilities will include:
Lead start-up planning and development activities for AFIC @ MCO, including developing and executing early-stage fundraising, participating in meetings with construction, property management and funder teams, complete required facility operations preparation (e.g. acquiring appropriate food safety licenses, ensuring proper installation of equipment, etc.), and hire staff to support operations.
Develop strategic partnerships with regional food system entities to generate interest in the MCO.
Provide innovative leadership in engagement of food entrepreneurs and networks within the state and the region with the purpose of generating activities aligned with the center’s overall goal of stimulating local and regional food systems. This includes close collaboration with relevant research and extension programs at the University of Arkansas.
Coordinate and manage the day-to-day operations, budget, personnel, and activities of the AFIC @ MCO.
Provide exemplary and inspiring leadership for AFIC @ MCO and represent it locally, regionally, and nationally to make the MCO a premier center of excellence in local and regional food systems.
Develop and execute a business plan linked to fee-for-service aimed to generate sufficient revenue through contracts, workshops, and other activities including grants to support personnel and future growth of the center.
Develop and manage a committee of stakeholders, experts, and colleagues who will provide advice and guidance to MCO leadership on its activities.
Work with industry partners, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to effectively utilize the center’s facilities and equipment in creating and manufacturing new food products and processes.
Other duties of this position will involve working with the MCO food hub entity (co-located in the MCO facility), MCO advisory committee, collaboratively working with other centers in the state, and finding suitable partners.
S. in food science, chemical/bioprocess engineering, chemistry, microbiology, or closely related fields. An MBA degree with an undergraduate degree in food science, chemical/bioprocess engineering, chemistry, microbiology, or closely related fields. Minimum of 10 years of professional experience, including four (4) years in a supervisory or managerial capacity is required. A proven background in food and agricultural industry and/or research and extension in academia is required.
S. in food science, chemical/bioprocess engineering, chemistry, microbiology, or closely related fields is acceptable. A Bachelor’s degree and either a pertinent professional license or four (4) years of directly related experience may be substituted for the Master’s degree. Substitution for a Master’s degree does not waive the other requirements, which are in addition to the substitution requirements.
Evidence of leadership and supervisory experience with technical/professional staff.
Experience in product and process development, entrepreneurship, and/or managing processing plants.
Experience in successful grant?writing
Strong written and oral communication and interpersonal skills.
Demonstrated ability to work effectively with other researchers and clientele groups.
D. in food science, chemical/bioprocess engineering, chemistry, microbiology, or closely related fields. A minimum of seven years of professional experience, including 4 years in a supervisory or managerial capacity would be required.
About University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Founded in 1871 as a land grant institution, the University of Arkansas is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the top two percent of universities in the nation with the highest level of research activity. Ten colleges and schools serve more than 26,700 students with more than 200 academic programs. University of Arkansas students earn nationally competitive awards at an impressive rate and represent 50 states and more than 120 countries.
Located in the stunning Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas campus, known for its spectacular views and ample green spaces. Fayetteville is considered one of the country’s finest college towns, and the surrounding northwest Arkansas region is regularly ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S. Some of the nation’s best outdoor amenities and most spectacular hiking trails are within a short drive of campus.
As an employer, the University of Arkansas offers a vibrant work environment and a workplace culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance. The benefits package includes university contributions to health, dental, life and disability insurance, tuition waivers for empl...oyees and their families, 12 official holidays, immediate leave accrual, and a choice of retirement programs with university contributions ranging from 5 to 10% of employee salary.