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REI Director, Corporate Development and Racial Equity Accelerator in Seattle, Washington

Director, Corporate Development and Racial Equity Accelerator

Posted Date:Apr- 8-2021

Job ID:19791

Job Type:Full Time

Job Function:Merchandising



Store:Seattle HQ

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What's cool about this job

As the Director of Corporate Development and Racial Equity Accelerator you will lead the design, development, launch and operation of REI’s first-ever accelerator/incubator program aimed at investing in and partnering with outdoor industry businesses owned and led by the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community. This position is an exciting opportunity to build and lead a team that will support our mission of making the outdoors /for everyone/ by increasing the number of BIPOC owned and led brands in the industry. The Director will report to and partner with the SVP of Corporate Development and Investment to create program processes, curriculums, governances, agreements and budgets and will collaborate across the co-op to engage resources.

At REI Co-op, we believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived...for all. To deliver on that promise, we are working with our 15,000 employees, 19M members and the broader outdoor community toward a reality where everyone has the opportunity to be themselves, to access opportunities, and to find their place in the outdoors. For us, that means:

  • Investing in work that removes the barriers people and communities face to getting outside.

  • Delivering relevant products, experiences, and expertise to equip and inspire a new generation of outdoor stewards.

  • Cultivating a workforce that reflects the demographics of the markets we serve.

  • Leading the industry’s efforts to welcome people and communities historically underrepresented into outdoor media and culture.

The Director of Corporate Development and Racial Equity Accelerator should bring a contemporary point of view of equity and inclusion that understands both foundational barriers to social and economic equity and generates new paradigms for addressing them. The right candidate takes a learning-oriented and co-creative approach to designing and implementing bold strategies to address systemic and structural issues that show up in the outdoor industry specifically.

The successful candidate will do this by:

  • Leading the creation, development, and implementation of program with multi-year strategies to discover, cultivate and accelerate a brand pipeline.

  • Assessing current opportunity, market landscape and customer/vendor need states.

  • Developing a governance structure and overall business plan against the Co-op’s priorities for the program, including the creation of the application methodology and process, recommendation for the initial seed budget and creation of the public launch plan.

  • Building a pipeline of BIPOC-owned businesses, to support the Co-op in delivering REI’s REDI (Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion) commitments to increase BIPOC-owned brands and diverse suppliers in our assortment and industry.

  • Owning the assessment of business strategic alignment, capabilities, and readiness to ensure success with both the brand and REI.

  • Contributing perspective, insights, and knowledge to support the organization’s broader REDI strategy; taking a balanced consultative and systemic approach to enable the organization to advance work through strategic and tactical/operational execution.

  • Proactively connecting the dots between our approach to incubating BIPOC entrepreneurs/brands and the policies/practices we take in merchandising more broadly/working with BIPOC & underrepresented brands in our broader assortment.

  • Being well-informed, championing antiracist policies, and dismantling practices across the Co-op that inhibit opportunity for BIPOC entrepreneurs and creatives.

  • Identifying and communicating key responsibilities and practices to ensure the organization promotes a successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve business results.

  • Overseeing training and development of employees directly and indirectly managed and making effective staffing decisions.

  • Providing coaching, direction and leadership support to employees in order to achieve department, company and customer results.

  • Challenging and inspiring employees to achieve business results.

  • Supporting the implementation of company programs, procedures, methods and practices to promote REI key messages.

Bring your passion and expertise

  • 7+ years of leadership experience, with increasing levels of responsibility, ideally within the retail, consumer or technology sectors.

  • Relevant experience in accelerator program, venture fund, M&A, corporate development, and/or startup consulting.

  • Strategic, big picture, quick thinking and intellectually curious problem solver with proven experience in establishing thought leadership, vision and goals, as well as developing strategic and annual plans.

  • Understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion with a focus on systemic racism, structural inequality and antiracism, plus experience applying related practices within organizations through strategic and tactical/operational execution.

  • Demonstrated ability to partner and collaborate across organizations to create & manage against outcomes.

  • Ability to lead adaptively through complex and ambiguous problems and situations.

  • Proven ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment, and effectively manage and meet multiple, simultaneous deadlines with minimum assistance.

At REI we offer an enviable work environment that Fortune Magazine has recognized on the "100 Best Places to Work" list since the award's inception – 23 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.

With more than 160 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 15,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.

REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer