Chief Executive Officer – Eat REAL 1575 views16 applications

The Role

Reporting to the new board of directors, the CEO will have responsibility for the management of the organization including strategic, programmatic, fiscal, and operational accountability. This person will work to grow the Eat REAL® and REAL Certified® brands and build a culture that can achieve the goals of the merged organization to be the trusted, nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.

The CEO will work with the founders and a dynamic board of directors and advisers comprised of leading health authorities and accomplished Silicon Valley executives to drive the long-term strategy and achieve ambitious goals of changing the food industry. As the public face, the CEO will represent the organization’s mission and programs amongst a wide array of stakeholders and partners and will be the driving force behind building the organization, enhancing programs and services, and, in turn, building increased financial support for the organization. The CEO should have a strong appetite for fundraising and revenue generation and a clear understanding of cost control for improved operational efficiency.

The right leader for Eat REAL at their core will understand how to build a trusted brand and have a deep commitment to purpose. The ideal candidate will be an executive leader with some brand management experience, either at a nonprofit, consumer packaged goods (CPG) company or foodservice provider, combined with a track record of successfully growing an early-stage entity, ideally with a socially-oriented enterprise. This executive should have practical experience from the nonprofit, philanthropic, and/or business sectors and the ability to build effective partnerships among board leadership, staff, and external constituents. S/he should be comfortable and adept at conveying scientific information.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Drive the growth of the REAL Certified® trust mark, which includes brand building, P&L management, food industry and other strategic relations.
  • Build upon the legacy of financial support for the organization through additional earned income streams, grants, corporate sponsorships and donations from high net worth individuals.
  • Develop relationships and partnerships locally, nationally and internationally within the ecosystem in the nutrition science and environmental communities.
  • Expand the highly effective work culture that embodies REAL values.


The Eat REAL CEO should be detail-oriented, and not above doing any task in the company while building a world-class organization. S/he is entrepreneurial, has excellent judgement, and is results-oriented, always willing to forge ahead on a clear strategic path in the absence of perfect information.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

  • The ideal candidate will be a strategic builder and a leader. S/he will work comfortably with highly motivated professionals with a diverse set of skills and perspectives.
  • Prefers to buck convention and find novel approaches that are both disruptive and effective at achieving goals, and has a demonstrated track record of success developing and executing unique solutions to problems.
  • Experience working cooperatively with a team to achieve ambitious goals in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to represent the organization and its mission effectively to a diverse array of audiences.
  • Proven success in the development and execution of go-to-market strategies.
  • Lead annual goal setting process across all functional areas.
  • Enthusiasm and a positive, get-things-done attitude
  • A measure of self-awareness and a sense of humor

Helpful Experience

  • Executive leadership in either a nonprofit or CPG or foodservice industry experience.
  • Passion for building trusted sustainable, values-driven brands
  • Experience owning and implementing strategic vision for an emerging brand,  trust mark, certification or other similar program.
  • MBA or other advanced degree preferred, but experience and track record matter most.
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Organization Overview

The nonprofit United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) and Institute for Responsible Nutrition (IRN) were both created five years ago with a similar mission: transform our food environment and reverse the epidemics of diet-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart-disease. Founded on different coasts, but with complementary programs, the organizations decided to merge in the summer of 2016 to create "Eat REAL".

The new Board of Eat REAL views the merger as a compelling opportunity to transform the future of the food industry and has launched a search to recruit a new Chief Executive Officer to lead the merged organizations into its next phase of growth. The new headquarters of the Eat REAL is opening February 2017 in downtown San Francisco, with staff spread between Washington DC, Chicago and Nashville, and supplemented by a nationwide network of registered dietitians that work under contract.

Recognizing the major impact that our food environment has on our food choices, as well as the growing influence of the food industry, the primary program of Eat REAL has been designed to alter the food industry’s incentives to help increase the production and consumption of healthier, more sustainable food. The Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) certification program, or  REAL Certified® is a points-based nutrition and environmental sustainability best practices certification program, which has been used to certify over 400 restaurants and foodservice establishments across 32 states and Canada. 

We believe voluntary, third party certification programs such as LEED, the non-GMO Project, and the Rainforest Alliance have proven to be an effective way to leverage the power and efficiency of the marketplace for social impact. And like LEED is changing the value of green building, the REAL trust mark is quickly emerging as the beacon for consumers seeking healthful and sustainable food choices. By combining the entrepreneurial, revenue generating, and business-friendly approach, of USHFC with the IRN’s nutrition science and medical expertise, Eat REAL is uniquely positioned to collaborate with the food industry to make the healthful and sustainable choices necessary for  children and their families’ lives not cut short by the epidemics of diet-related diseases.
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