Downtown Lakeland Partnership Seeks Executive Director Applicants

The Downtown Lakeland Partnership is soliciting applications for the executive director position being vacated by Ellen Simms, whose retirement is effective May 31.

Interested applicants are asked to email a resume to the organization by June 2 at 5 p.m.:

The DLP’s mission is to advocate for and promote Downtown Lakeland as an ideal location to shop, dine, work and play. It hosts monthly First Friday events, as well as Thursday Squared food truck rallies on the second Thursday of each month. The DLP is a membership-based organization that draws its strength from a diverse group of businesses and individuals.

A seven-member Search Committee will review applicants’ resumes and forward recommendations to the Board of Directors, who will make the final decision on filling this vacant position.

Job Description

Position Title


Reports to Board of Directors

Summary of primary job functions

This position is responsible for establishing and executing major goals and objectives for the organization in accordance with direction from the Board of Directors (BOD).

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Implementing policies established by the BOD.
  • Building positive relationships with existing and prospective members, the City of Lakeland, the LDDA, the LEDC, the CRA, existing and prospective sponsors, and vendors.
  • Providing leadership, direction and guidance for the DLP’s activities and events.
  • Analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of all DLP operations.
  • Coordinating major activities through contracted personnel.
  • Representing the DLP to the community, governmental agencies, downtown merchant community, and the general public.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Acts as the spokesperson for the DLP BOD and organization.
  • Directs and oversees implementation of short- and long-term strategic plans and board-approved policies.
  • Fosters a vision of shared ownership among all DLP members that preserves the beauty and ambiance of Downtown Lakeland while helping to embrace new ideas that promote and grow the Downtown vision.
  • Actively engages and positively energizes DLP members, vendors, and volunteers.
  • Oversees and attends all events sponsored by the DLP.
  • Attends all BOD, general membership, and marketing committee meetings.
  • Communicates effectively with the BOD, members, and the general public using a variety of methods including social media.
  • Prepares agendas for all BOD, general membership, and marketing committee meetings with direction from the president and notifies appropriate parties in advance of meetings.
  • Coordinates with the LDDA to plan and execute the monthly update meetings.
  • Recruit new members.
  • Develop, and implement with BOD approval, strategies for member retention.
  • Maintain all records and develop procedural manuals.
  • Formulates and recommends to the BOD any corrective action, as needed.
  • Any and all other duties as assigned by the BOD.


  • Works with the BOD on governance policy issues by providing support and by initiating approved recommendations or actions.
  • Develops and implements operational plans, policies, and goals that further strategic objectives as agreed upon by the BOD.
  • Recommends to the Board changes to policies and procedures that would improve the organization.
  • Receives and responds to all USPS mail and emails, as appropriate, on behalf of the BOD.
  • Deposits all monies received into the DLP bank account on a timely basis.
  • Reviews and updates the DLP website regularly ensuring it is accurate and up to date.
  • Ensures organizational compliance to minimum standards in accordance with all government legislation, regulations and guidelines.
  • Submits all information, reports, and records as requested or required by law to appropriate government officials or the BOD.


  • Provides all appropriate information to bookkeeper.
  • Ensures DLP financial obligations are paid on a timely basis by printing and mailing checks after ensuring they are signed by authorized individuals.
  • Produces and mails invoices for membership dues.
  • Oversees all existing sponsorships and procure new ones.
  • Manages the Downtown Dollar program with strict financial controls and recordkeeping.
  • Maintains full awareness of the complete financial, statistical, and accounting records of the organization.
  • Ensures that operating results established in the annual budget are achieved and the operating expenses are within budget, reporting any concerns to the BOD.
  • Ensures the accuracy, integrity, and timeliness of all financial accounting and reporting.
  • Works with the BOD to draft and implement the annual budget.


The Executive Director must be thoroughly committed to the DLP mission. Successful candidates will have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Proven successful experience in working with a Board of Directors. References will be required.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

Other desired qualities include:

  • A college degree. A graduate degree, especially an MBA, would be a great advantage.
  • At least ten years of senior management experience with a track record of effectively leading an outcome-based organization.

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