Director of Operations

East Palo Alto, California
Depends on Qualifications
Nov 29, 2018
Dec 29, 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level





Organizational Overview

The EPACENTER mission is to increase opportunities for East Palo Alto youth to amplify their talents, realize their potential, and impact their world through the arts. We offer an array of classes and programs in the visual, digital, and performing arts for youth ages 12-25 that highlight the cultural heritage of our community’s Latino, African American and Pacific Islander populations. The organization is in an operational start-up phase and is creating a new curriculum of classes in partnership with local youth serving organizations while building a 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that will open in East Palo Alto in 2020 and that will serve up to 1500 youth per year.

Position Overview

The Director of Operations is a strategic thought partner with the Executive Director of EPACENTER and serves as a key member of EPACENTER’s leadership team. The Director of Operations is chiefly responsible for operationalizing EPACENTER’s programmatic, aesthetic and cultural vision. The Director of Operations thrives in a start-up atmosphere, drives innovation across the organization, ensures the rigorous application of operational excellence, proactively solves problems, builds operational systems, and creates a culture of teamwork, inclusivity, and mutual respect.

The Director of Operations will manage a team of three direct reports, as well as a number of operational vendors.

Key Responsibilities

The Director of Operations is responsible for quickly operationalizing all aspects of EPACENTER’s multi-phased start-up as a non-profit and the grand opening of its new facilities in 2020, and for supervising the day-to-day implementation of all operational functions. This work includes (but is not limited to):

Operational Leadership

  • Identifying, acquiring, and managing the systems and resources necessary for building and sustaining EPACENTER’s vision and mission
  • Scaling EPACENTER’s operational capacity upwards and building systems to sustain growth
  • Building and actively shaping the organization’s operational culture
  • Communicating complex operational guidelines and practices, training staff and vendors, and ensuring operational compliance
  • Continuing EPACENTER’s successful launch as an independent 501(c)3 organization, and creating its operational plan, standards, and systems in collaboration with the Executive Director
  • Guiding operational growth and development as the organization scales upwards
  • Selecting, hiring, managing and coaching operations staff and vendors
  • Conducting hands-on startup work until all systems, policies, procedures and staff are in place

Construction Project Management & Facility Grand Opening

  • Working with the construction team on achieving construction goals, the procurement and installation of furniture, equipment, campus signage, and building signage, and a smooth opening of the EPACENTER campus
  • Working in partnership with the Executive Director to select vendors for the new facilities
  • Developing goals for the physical plant, the operating budget, and overall building operations

Human Resources Administration

  • Designing and supervising the implementation of processes for employee recruitment, onboarding, management, evaluation, retention and offboarding 
  • Developing classification, compensation, payroll, benefits, training evaluation, and visa procurement systems
  • Ensuring personnel compliance with applicable federal, state laws, policies and guidelines, including FERPA, COPPA, and CANRA, as well as federal and state labor laws and regulations regarding employment, payroll, and benefits administration
  • Creating HR policies and procedures, as well as handbooks, manuals, procedural letters and HR policy bulletins
  • Overseeing the resolution of complaints and grievance procedures

Risk Management & Compliance

  • Pro-actively mitigating organizational and operational risk by developing campus safety and risk management policies, procedures and standards and ensuring full compliance with campus safety standards, local, state and federal codes and regulations, and insurance requirements
  • Overseeing the development of campus emergency plans and the training of staff on emergency plans

Facilities Management

  • Setting standards for facility management, ensuring compliance, and supervising facility operations, including maintenance, custodial, engineering, and campus safety
  • Managing all aspects of food service, including café and concessions, vendors and suppliers, food quality and sales, and health code compliance
  • Guiding visitor services and ensuring a positive experience for students, parents, and visitors, and overseeing front desk and class registration processes

Event Management 

  • Overseeing the coordination of special events, including musical, dance and theatrical productions, exhibitions, screenings and readings, festivals, conferences and farmers’ markets, as well as facility rentals
  • Guiding event operations, including artist/producer relations, technical production, front-of house services, concession services, and ticketing services
  • Supervising event rentals and the achievement of revenue goals

Technology & Equipment Management

  • Developing technology and equipment acquisition and management plans
  • Overseeing management of websites and organizational software, equipment,
  • production systems, and student data and registration systems
  • Identifying and recommending new and emerging technologies to enhance operations


  • Master’s degree required


  • Minimum 8 years of leadership experience in operations and project management
  • Minimum of 6 years of experience in Human Relations
  • Past experience in creating new systems and bringing them to scale
  • Past experience in managing teams of 3 or more direct reports
  • Past experience in working with legal counsel
  • Past experience in managing facilities or capital projects
  • Past experience working with underserved communities, families and/or students
  • Computer literacy with Macs and Microsoft Office

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