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The Marygrove Conservancy is seeking a Chief Operating Officer


The Marygrove Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that manages operations and stewards the 53-acre Marygrove College campus in northwest Detroit, is seeking a Chief Operating Officer (COO). The mission of the Conservancy is to stabilize and preserve the historic campus – which has served as an educational anchor in Detroit for more than 90 years – while identifying high-quality uses in the community. A major initiative of the conservancy is managing a landmark partnership to create a cradle-to-career (P-20) educational campus on the site. The P-20 campus is being designed to be an educational, economic and civic anchor in the revitalization efforts of the Livernois-McNichols community. The campus will integrate academic experiences from early childhood to college and career with community-driven services, so that students are empowered and equipped to define their own future and that of their communities.

The COO will be responsible for addressing the day-to-day activities on the campus, planning and coordinating future projects and initiatives, and monitoring income and expenditures for the non-profit organization. The COO will be employed by U3 Advisors, a strategic partner to the Conservancy, as a salaried employee with full benefits, while reporting to an executive committee representing the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.

Primary Responsibilities

Campus Operations

  • Monitor day-to-day campus activity and identify potential conflicts in use and conditions of space.
  • Work closely with campus tenants and partners to address campus needs and issues, i.e. security, traffic, future space planning, and other logistics.
  • Direct and manage property managers and other outside contractors, and ensure their decision-making and maintenance standards comply with agreed-upon vision.
  • Work closely with property managers to market properties, identify appropriate uses, and solicit and evaluate proposals and potential tenants.
  • Manage Conservancy budget and reconcile against actual income and expenditures.
  • Track current and anticipated revenue streams from: short-term events, long-term leasing, and potentially future development.
  • Coordinate short-term and deferred maintenance needs.
  • Provide oversight on construction and renovation process, including contractors and partners campus logistics.

Strategic Planning & Physical Campus Planning

  • Coordinate campus master planning process.
  • Work with Board to ensure campus plans adhere to overall campus mission.
  • Develop and manage a campus operations plan, with the aim of financial sustainability.
  • Communicate with the City and local CDO’s on planning initiatives and implementation.

External Engagement Strategy

  • Assist the Conservancy in community engagement processes with P-20 partners and neighborhood partners like Live6 and DCDC.
  • Address community questions or concerns around campus use, access, etc.
  • Reflect community engagement findings in campus design and planning processes.
  • Participate in public communications process.

Qualifications and Qualities

Candidates should have a minimum of either 5 years of experience in a similar C.O.O. role or 10 years of other relevant experience. The successful candidate will have a track record in leading significant operations and/or facilities management roles:

Leadership and Experience

  • Experience leading and managing teams and personnel
  • Experience working in politically-charged environments and navigating and bridging political dynamics and actors with conflicting priorities and interests.
  • Experience bringing multiple parties to the table and resolving complex needs and interests.

Operations and Systems Management

  • Deep expertise managing large, multi-use campus, plant, or other facilities projects
  • Experience maintaining facilities to a high standard
  • Skilled at managing complex, large operating and capital budgets
  • Experience managing large, public projects involving multiple sectors and partners, including government, financial institutions, academic institutions, community organizations etc.
  • Experience in successful grant writing and fundraising campaigns

Community Engagement and Equity

  • A commitment to a planning process that is guided by community needs, goals, and priorities;
  • A belief that community residents know what is best for their communities, and are best positioned to lead change; that change must originate from and be led by residents;
  • A belief that our partners that implement the work are the experts in how to serve children and families, working with humility to collaborate with, but not dictate, the work of the P-20 partners

To apply: Please email a resume and cover letter to


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