Innovation Project Manager

Innovation Project Manager

Northern Illinois Food Bank is dedicated to building community awareness and creating a human-centered design based, efficient food distribution network to eliminate hunger. Staff is committed to embodying these values in all activities. Relationships are based on collaboration and respect. Resources are leveraged in a manner that is focused on neighbors’ needs, in line with the Food Bank’s strategic plan, and cost effective in order to achieve the Food Bank’s mission and goals.

The Innovation Project Manager is responsible for leading and implementing components of innovation initiatives that have the potential of accelerating Northern Illinois Food Bank’s progress toward the vision of everyone in Northern Illinois having the food they need to thrive. This role implements the cross-cutting, transformational ideas and opportunities at the organizational level that can increase the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of Northern Illinois Food Bank’s programs and services.
The Innovation Project Manager will report to the Senior Director of Innovation and will provide cross-functional collaboration and support to other functional areas including our Operations, Marketing, Fundraising, Finance, IT, Agency and Programs teams.

End date
Opportunity type
Programs / Agency Relations / Clients
Job responsibilities

Technology and Design leadership:
• Provide technology and design leadership and implementation of projects that serve the organization’s strategic priorities and the organization’s innovation agenda.
• Provide technical guidance in program-led discussions and business analysis to determine the appropriate workflow and areas for automation including possibilities and limitations of tech solutions.
• Take program workflow and business analysis information from programs to develop tech requirements and RFPs for new applications.
• Provide user-experience design expertise.

Project Management:
• Manages projects from planning through implementation of field work, prototype experiments and pilot tests and ensures that all activities result in value deliverables.
• Manages consultants and other stakeholders effectively.
• Effectively communicates results of project work via a range of media – written summary articles or reports, evocative and inspiring presentations, verbal presentations, social media posts, etc.
• Coordinate and implement projects alongside food bank members in a co-design process to ensure relevant solutions are informed by food bank capacities and perspectives.
• Work closely with other members of the innovation team and collaborating departments to test new solutions quickly and hand-off proven offerings to departments.

Application qualifications

-BA/BS or relevant experience or equivalent work experience.
-4 years design consulting or corporate design experience.
-3+ years implementing and configuring Navision and interfacing applications a plus.
-5 years experience overseeing software implementations on a local environment and cloud based.
-Understanding of server and network structure and requirements.
-Experience in project management including coordination of resources from multiple departments and programs.
-High level of analytical skills with a propensity to make concepts tangible through prototyping.
-Ability to provide direction, solve a diverse range of issues and problems and meet real deadlines.
-Ability see the big picture and understand the perspectives and orthodoxies of multiple functions.
-Ability to negotiate and persuade other leaders to adopt ideas.
-Ability to manage up and down within the organization.
-Professionalism, emotional maturity and the ability to use diplomacy in working relationships to deal with conflict and to arbitrate solutions successfully.
-Demonstrated proficiency in facilitating teams and diverse groups.
-Ability to prioritize and manage work against critical project timelines in a fast-paced environment
-Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing across all levels of the organization


Northern Illinois Food Bank has an extensive benefit package including medical, dental, vision, short & long-term disability, etc. We also offer a matching 401k plan.

How to apply
About the organization

Our vision at Northern Illinois Food Bank is for everyone in Northern Illinois to have the food they need to thrive. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and proud member of Feeding America, we serve our neighbors in 13 counties with dignity, equity and convenience, providing 250,000 meals a day. We bring together manufacturers, local and corporate grocers, area farmers, corporations, foundations, and individuals who donate food and funding, and each week nearly 1,000 volunteers help us evaluate, repack, and distribute food. We also proudly partner with more than 900 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior feeding programs to provide nutritious food and resources. Our distribution centers are located in Geneva, Park City, Rockford and Joliet.