Chief Operating Officer

Cooperative Energy Futures

Date: July 2023 or until filled
FLSA status: Regular full time, non-exempt   
Salary: $90,000-$120,000 annual salary based on experience
Benefits: 2 weeks PTO, option to participate in organizational health and dental insurance, 9 holidays per year. See details in Personnel Policies.
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF) is a member-owned cooperative business focused on advancing energy democracy through community controlled renewable energy and energy efficiency. CEF is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer and sees unique and diverse perspectives as essential to be able to achieve our mission and live our values. Cooperative Energy Futures develops and operates community solar gardens, currently with 8 projects across Minnesota offsetting the electricity needs of 700 member households at an immediate net savings to our members. CEF has a particular focus on economic and racial justice, working to ensure that all projects are developed using an economic model that is deeply accessible to members regardless of income or credit and including options available at no upfront cost with net monthly savings, as well as prioritizing workforce equity in the solar industry. CEF uses member participation in these projects to build community wealth and unite and activate members from many different communities around a vision for our energy future that is rooted in community-controlled clean energy.

Primary Purpose:

This person is responsible for understanding CEF’s mission and implementing the current strategic direction of the organization, as guided by the CEO.  This person will work with the CEO on adjusting and shaping the future strategic direction, so it continues to support the mission.   This person will manage the staff in effectively performing their specific work goals to advance that strategic direction, and for garnering the resources and expertise needed to support the organization’s direction.  Depending on candidate interest and qualifications, this person may assume other roles in coordination with the CEO, including organizing new business model development efforts and/or representing the co-op in public venues and other external activities.  

Job Responsibilities:

Organizational Direction:

  • Exemplifies leadership
  • Manages the staff. Mentors and empowers other managers, encourages risk taking, builds on intrinsic motivation, builds around the mission, focuses on people and results.
  • Engenders commitment to clear strategic plans, drives immediate change, and drives decision making that sustains organizational change.
  • Articulates and inspires a shared vision and communicates that vision to the members of the management team, the Board of Directors and throughout the organization.
  • Collaborates with the CEO to:
    • assess organizational capacities, opportunities, and risks
    • safeguard and grow CEF assets, talent, and capabilities
    • identify and develop strategic priorities, partnerships, and focus
    • develop and execute budget
    • allocate staff and financial resources

Staff Management:

  • Serves as the primary manager and coordinator for:
    • The Solar Projects Manager (focused on new site acquisition)
    • The Solar Development Manager (focused on site development)
    • The Subscriptions and Outreach Manager (focused on member/subscriber engagement)
    • The Operations Manager focused on operations and customer support
    • Other primary managers or staff leads on new areas of work as the organization evolves
  • Review staff priorities and progress towards priorities and guide staff action
  • Perform regular support and review meetings with all organizational staff to ensure staff activities are proceeding as expected
  • Perform periodic reviews of staff performance and work with staff to improve performance.
  • Address needs that staff express and/or help staff address their own needs towards completion of their priority activities
  • Manage hiring, firing, and evaluation with the HR committee

Board Support and Coordination:

  • Ensures that an annual work plan and budget are prepared, presented to, and approved by the board and that an annual review of strategic plan and work plans are completed.
  • Collaborates with the CEO to:
    • Frame key decisions, provide decision options, and recommended courses of action to the Board on key decisions.
    • Attends monthly Board meetings, providing written reports to all board meetings, and serves on committees as needed.

Other Potential Roles (to be discussed with CEO based on candidate interest and experience):

  • Representing the organization to the public through coalitions, strategy meetings, and media/public events
  • Development of new business activities and programs
  • Assessment of movement, policy, economic, and technological landscape to identify and assess new opportunities.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 5 years experience managing staff and volunteers, including demonstrated ability to delegate scopes of work and maintain accountability amongst the team.
  • Minimum of 2 years in energy democracy policy advocacy, movement building, clean energy finance, and/or community-owned clean energy business development
  • Commitment to the environment and social justice and to working with community-based organizations and culturally diverse communities.
  • Must be reliable, self-motivated individual who can be trusted to work independently
  • Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and juggle multiple time-sensitive tasks on deadline, including efficiently sequencing work to address interlocking risks and dependencies.
  • Excellent communication skills, able to represent the organization well among our employees and with our community partners.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field, or combined background and experience in organizational or business development, community organizing, and renewable energy/ energy efficiency fields
  • A team player with strong ability to inspire confidence and coordination in a collaborative environment.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 5+ years managing a paid staff team
  • Masters degree or similar experience in Organizational Management, Business Management, or Entrepreneurship
  • 5+ years experience in managing a profitable business
  • 5+ years experience in renewable energy/ energy efficiency policy advocacy, program development, movement building, clean energy finance, and/or community-owned clean energy business development
  • 5+ years experience in community organizing around energy or climate issues

Working Conditions:

Working conditions are normal for an office environment with some local, regional, and national travel. Work will require some weekend and/or evening work. Work conditions will frequently require rapid response and problem-solving around potentially unforeseen risks.


CEF will not discriminate against or harass any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, familial status, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, or status with regard to public assistance. While not yet mandated by federal of state law, CEF is committed to providing the same protection against discrimination for any employee or applicant because of gender identity. We will take affirmative steps to ensure that all of our company’s employment practices are free of discrimination. Such employment practices include, but are not limited to, the following: hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, selection, layoff, disciplinary action, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, including apprenticeship. We will provide reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees with disabilities whenever possible.

To Apply:

Submit a Resume and a Written Statement explaining why you are interested in this position to We will send additional follow up questions and interview scheduling to candidates we wish to interview. This position will remain open until filled.