There’s nothing more appealingly primal than the crackle of a warm fire or the succulence of smoky, grilled food. Maybe this is why more than 80 percent of U.S. households own an outdoor grill, barbecue, or smoker and more than 50 percent have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove (hearth products). Grilling is an integral part of how Americans celebrate national holidays like Independence Day, Labor Day, and even Thanksgiving, and we all have warm memories of sitting with family and friends around a fire.
As leader of the $5.9 million Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), you will oversee a team of 23 and cultivate collaborative relationships with members and affiliates across North America. You will evaluate our member structure and value proposition to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our members, from our largest manufacturing corporations to our smallest family businesses. You will listen to, and fairly consider, a variety of perspectives when making strategic decisions, and rally disparate groups into a community with a shared sense of purpose, driving member engagement and ensuring HPBA’s continued success.
Although manufacturing members generate most of the revenue for HPBA, our 12 regional affiliates are integral to the success of the entire community, with a pulse on the local needs of retailers, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, and service companies. Effective government relations (at the federal, state, and local levels) is paramount to our industry’s future sustainability. As CEO, you will oversee the government affairs team in tackling emerging issues and leveraging grassroots strategies to engage members in every community.
As CEO, you will explore ways to diversify funding and add additional revenue streams. You will oversee our exhibitions/events team in finding ways to innovate our primary source of revenue—the HPBExpo—to attract a broader audience and increase participation. You will also guide the strategic direction of educational offerings in the National Fireplace Institute®, the professional certification division of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF).
As we explore new opportunities to fuel HPBA’s growth, you will work closely with the board of directors to facilitate strategic planning and collaborate with HPBA staff to prioritize time and resources for the greatest impact. The board welcomes your guidance on what issues we should be attentive to, and your fresh ideas to blaze our path forward. Your ability to gather input, communicate effectively, build consensus, and drive action will be key to your success in this role.
Key Focus Areas
Business model innovation. Manage the annual budget and existing revenue streams, while actively exploring new diversified funding sources to ensure the future viability of the organization. Innovate the trade show to attract a broader audience and/or increase value for participants. Explore potential expansion of membership into new categories.
Membership satisfaction. Engage with members to ensure that HPBA is maximizing member value and evaluate the membership structure to ensure it is meeting the needs of all members. Increase participation from members who are not as engaged and create initiatives to improve membership retention. Be able to clearly articulate the member value proposition to retain existing members and attract new members; serve as a spokesperson for the association and the industry.
Government relations. Bring together different membership segments, creating a strong collective industry voice in the development of sound regulations. Monitor issues, ensuring that the government affairs team is responsive and supportive of work in North America, including at the affiliate level.
Affiliate relationships. Ensure that affiliate relationships are properly structured and managed to the benefit of both the affiliates and the national office, maintaining the affiliates’ ability to be the “heartbeat” of the local markets and ensuring that the service-level/retail businesses are well-served.
Staff leadership. Lead a high-performing team, adding additional staffing and resources where needed. Work with the team to make strategic decisions and carry plans forward. Prioritize key initiatives when resources are limited. Evaluate the organizational structure— including board, staff, programs, and committees—to ensure all systems and processes are productive and value-added.
10+ years in a leadership role managing all aspects of operations, including communications, finance, education, events, government affairs, human resources, and membership. Experience transforming an organization to ensure long-term growth and sustainability.
Experience working in a highly regulated industry with an understanding of federal, state, and local government relations/government affairs. Experience working in a nonprofit trade association or industry experience in a relatable industry—such as consumer goods, manufacturing, or retail—is preferred.
Experience working in an affiliate or federation structure, or comparable experience such as coalitions or other membership models.
Ability to understand complex scientific concepts related to legal, government affairs, and market research.
Business-minded. You have organizational leadership skills and an entrepreneurial spirit to think creatively about ways to expand revenue, reengage members, and make pragmatic choices that achieve impact while limiting organizational expenses.
Courageous and decisive. You raise tough issues with courage, gather the facts, consider the implications of various paths forward, and drive decisions to resolution. You are willing to take a position on an issue and will confidently articulate that position—using data—to get buy-in for the good of the industry.
Firm but fair leader. You are cognizant of the needs of all stakeholders—including staff and members—and you fairly consider all viewpoints, demonstrating a sincere appreciation for the expertise everyone brings to the table. You have strong emotional intelligence and know how to “read a room.”
Mentor. You enjoy leading and building teams—and you are good at it. You are an excellent mentor and are known for developing great people.
Persuasive. You communicate effectively with all groups of people and present factual information in a way that facilitates thoughtful decision-making.
Relationship-focused. You demonstrate profound respect for the expertise of others and you know how to pull together diverging viewpoints and find consensus. You can balance the varying needs of a diverse membership and relate equally well with all.
What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?
Our members range from large corporations to small family businesses that have been in the industry for many years and are passionate about what they do and about HPBA. Members are hardworking, down-to-earth, and a pleasure to be around. There is a lot of camaraderie in this small industry and folks genuinely enjoy working together.
We sell fun. As manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of leisure and lifestyle products, this is an exciting industry to be a part of because our members make and sell an entire spectrum of products that make your home your home.
We have a strong track record of dedicated volunteer leaders devoted to HPBA’s success. (Our members measure their tenure in decades.) There is a lot of historical knowledge within the organization with experts who will support you as you come up to speed. We have a framework in place to work on the issues that are facing our industry.
Our education foundation is well-respected for our high-quality training programs, and yet we know we have an opportunity to further expand.
The HPBA staff is collaborative, long tenured, and well-respected by the membership. Employees are currently working a flexible hybrid schedule working primarily from their home offices, with the occasional attendance at our office in Arlington, Virginia.
We offer a generous employee benefits program that includes health and dental insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, 401(k), and more.
We encourage you to apply even if your experience is not a 100% match with the position description; we will consider people from a variety of backgrounds and career experiences.
Job responsibilities are similar to the following positions: CEO, President, Executive Director.
Please note: our practice is to not disclose the salary ranges our clients would consider. Any salary information included in this posting was estimated without our input.
Staffing Advisors is committed to reducing bias in every aspect of the hiring process. We have long recommended an evidence-based approach to hiring. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.