CAREER MONDAY: FMO Director of Industry Relations

With this lengthy and detailed job posting the Arlington, Virginia based trade association the Food Marketing Institute looks to hire a new Director of Industry Relations. Notably the responsibilities will include the FMI Private Brands Group and Annual Summit.

Job Description:

The job responsibilities and duties of the Director, Industry Relations are focused in three key mission critical areas:

1. Development of the FMI Private Brands Group Initiatives

2. Manage the Development of FMI Reverse Logistics Initiatives

3. New Collaboration Initiatives: Strategies for Growth Initiative

  • Manages and facilitates effective engagement with the FMI Private Brands Group, the FMI/GMA Trading Partner Alliance, GS1 US, industry trade associations to ensure alignment and effective resource allocation on key industry initiatives and projects.
  • Works with the FMI Wholesaler Committee and FMI Independent Operator Committee to ensure industry collaboration issues/projects, education and research requirements are identified and executed.
  • Works proactively with FMI Marketing and Business Development Department to ensure programs, services and initiatives are effectively communicated, marketed and revenue targets are accomplished.
  • Provides support to the FMI membership department and other FMI functions to ensure the overall mission of the association is realized.
  • Identifies new value creation and revenue generation opportunities to enhance the mission of the association.

FMI Private Brands Group

Actively build, develop and maintain professional and effective working relationships with FMI members, associate members, prospective members and service providers to ensure they have access to engage with FMI on key industry issues and projects so they can leverage the value of FMI membership.

  1. The job responsibilities and duties of the Director, Industry Relations will be focused and prioritized in four critical areas: Development, management and recruitment of the private brands community initially focused in United States and North America in all classes of retail trade to include private brand manufacturers and industry service providers. Future expansion will include recruitment of companies on a global basis and will include the food service sector.
  2. Development and management of an annual Private Brands Leadership Summit, which will include strategic education, strategic business-to-business meetings and relevant networking events, focused on the strategic development of the FMI Private Brands Initiative.
  3. Development and management of an annual Private Brands Business Conference which will be a collaborative business-planning event focused on company to company business meetings similar to the FMI Annual Business Conference.
  4. Identification on an annual basis of cutting edge strategic research that adds value and is relevant to the private brands community.

Other key responsibilities include:

  • Management and coordination of the Private Brands Steering Committee and designated workgroups focused on the accomplishment of the long range strategic plan, annual operating budget and private brands mission.
  • Develop a supportive working relationship with private brand sales agencies and brokers to expand the breath of the FMI private brand manufacturer community.
  • Develop and recruit relevant service providers to add value to the private brands initiative.
  • Engage FMI members and non-FMI retail and wholesale members to join in the private brands initiative.

FMI Reverse Logistics Initiatives

Direct FMI reverse logistics initiatives in the following areas:

  1. Development, management and oversight of Rapid Recall Exchange B2B portal in conjunction with GS1 US and other industry associations to include technology enhancements and community development efforts.
  2. Management of FMI and GMA Unsaleables Leadership Committee to include project management and conference education support where appropriate.

Strategies for Growth Initiatives

  • Directs FMI’s Strategies for Growth Initiatives and New Ways of Working Together initiatives to ensure FMI, its members and associate members engage and recognize opportunities to grow sales and profitability through innovation sales, marketing and merchandising efforts.

Primary Purpose:

  • Develop, manage, align and coordinate the Food Marketing Institute’s efforts and initiatives in private brands. Direct the development of the FMI private brands community with all key industry stakeholders to include retailers, wholesalers, distributors, private brand manufacturers and service providers in all classes of retail trade on a global basis. Identify, manage and build relationships with key industry stakeholders and future partners with the best potential to jointly create value for the private brands trading partner community.
  • Provide leadership and advocacy for private brands as the industry innovates to meet the needs of changing consumers. Develop, manage and execute programs, policies and forums in the following mission critical areas: industry collaboration, education and research, government relations, food safety and defense and public/consumer information.
  • Direct the formulation the FMI private brands strategic plan and annual operating budget focused in three primary areas: membership development/community management, collaborative business planning and educational forums, and innovative research. Work collaboratively with FMI division management and subject matters experts to create value-added and industry relevant programs and services. Manage and coordinate all activities of the FMI Private Brands Executive Committee, Council and Sub-Committees. Drive innovation, community engagement and revenue growth.
  • Manages, develops, and executes FMI’s reverse logistics activities to include the management and development of Rapid Recall Exchange B2B portal and the FMI/GMA Reverse Logistics/Unsaleables Committee.
  • Develops and manages FMI Strategies for Growth Initiatives and program development.
  • Primary focus is to stay abreast of current and emerging industry trends and issues to ensure member and industry stakeholder needs are addressed in the areas of collaborative industry projects, education programming where appropriate and actionable industry relations research projects.
  • Engage industry leaders and trade associations to ensure cooperation is realized on joint industry efforts that require effective communication, coordination and execution.
  • Manages, develops and executes industry relations initiatives to ensure the FMI mission, objectives, priorities and financial plans are achieved. Develops and builds a culture of collaboration, innovation, fiscal responsibility, listening, responding to member needs in an environment that eliminates duplication of industry efforts on key initiatives.
  • Works collaboratively with Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Education and Research as well as Vice President, Industry Relations and FMI staff to ensure effective communication, alignment and execution are realized on key association priorities.

Other Job Functions:

Identify staff training needs and make arrangements through internal and/or external resources to address needs. Provide advice and guidance to managers as they undertake the same activities.

Serve as public speaker representing FMI at industry events.

Other duties and projects as assigned or directed.

Physical Requirements:

Normal office environment requiring use of typical business equipment (e.g., computer, telephone, fax, copier, security system). Must be able to travel extensively including weekends to meetings, conferences and conventions.

Position requires minimum of 37.5 – 40 hours per week to accomplish key goals and objectives.

  • Normal office environment requiring use of typical business equipment (e.g., computer, telephone, fax and copier machines). Must be proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Education, Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or food/consumer products related fields.
  • Minimum 10 years professional management experience, including project management and business planning.
  • Prefer minimum of 3 years of management experience in food retailing and fast moving consumer goods industry to include expertise in marketing, sales, customer & business development, merchandising, supply chain management and technology.
  • Opportunity spotter, idea generator, concept creator and revenue developer.
  • Solid thinker with strong analytical skills.
  • Confident, communicative and reliable. Ability to inspire, lead and execute.
  • Ability to positively influence partner departments.
  • Exceptional problem-solving, prioritization, communication and organizational skills.
  • Ability to represent the association professionally to members, industry partners and FMI staff.
  • Personal qualities must include drive, determination, flexibility, open mindedness, and teamwork.
  • Excellent interpersonal and negotiating skills designed to develop and establish relationships with a wide range of people, customers and organizations.
  • Strong customer service, facilitation and team building skills.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and execute multiple tasks with attention to detail.
  • Must be highly adaptable and able to respond to business circumstances as they arise.

FMI is an equal opportunity employer.


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.