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Associate Director, Community Relations & Events

Date: April, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Senior Director, Community Relations & Events
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Community Relations & Events Specialist (2)
Department: University Relations, Community Relations & Events

Location:

Main Campus

Grade:

USG 12
35 hr/wk


Primary Purpose

The Associate Director, Community Relations & Events organizes and manages high calibre institution-level events for both internal and external audiences. Such events promote the public profile and reputation of the University, increase campus and community stakeholder engagement, and encourage positive community relations in Waterloo Region and beyond.

 

Events include: internal recognition events, Canada Day, convocation, community outreach (i.e., public lectures), VIP visits, seasonal celebrations, and other special events.  Note: convocation event planning is being transferred to Community Relations & Events, fully effective October 2017.  However, this transition is already in progress with the team providing increasing support to the Registrar’s office for fall 2016 and spring 2017 convocations.

 

The position works on behalf of the President and senior administration, interacting with cross-functional teams within numerous departments of the University, vendors and community partners to stage these events.  The position is responsible for implementing proper protocol and procedures associated with such.

 

Working closely with the Senior Director, Community Relations & Events, the Associate Director identifies and leverages opportunities to enhance branding, provide forums for University interactions with the public, government, donors, industry and others, and facilitates ways for students, faculty and staff to be engaged in their community.

Key Accountabilities:

1.

Events & Protocol

  • manages and evaluates key high level events for the Office of the President and senior administration that support profile and reputation
  • prepares event briefs and post-event analysis, assesses opportunities and makes recommendations for improving service to internal and external stakeholders
  • identifies and coordinates university support services as needed for events
  • drafts program and briefing notes for the President, senior administration and all program participants for formal special events
  • develops and ensures the use of project management strategies to prepare detailed schedules and budgets, identifying critical dates and deadlines to ensure that events are managed on time and within an approved budget
  • assesses and recommends new events that promote a culture of innovation and generate maximum exposure for the University
  • supports government relations initiatives, as appropriate
  • advises President and senior administration on matters of protocol

2. 

Administrative        

  • responsible for leadership, performance and development of Community Relations & Events specialists, contract employees and co-op students
  • develops and manages annual budget for events portfolio
  • maintains positive, collaborative relationships with campus and community partners
  • maintains comprehensive event toolkit to aid university departments in the organization of events
  • acts as a resource person and consultant for campus stakeholders on matters of event management

3. 

Convocation

  • responsible for all aspects of planning, coordination and implementation of convocation and events associated with such (i.e., luncheons, honorary doctorate events)
  • manages relationships with Registrar’s Office, Office of the President, Communications, Plant Operations, Bookstore, Alumni Relations, individual Faculties and others to ensure the smooth delivery of convocation ceremonies
  • builds and supports a network of student, faculty and staff volunteers; provides appropriate training and follow-up

 

Note: convocation event planning is being transferred to Community Relations & Events, fully effective October 2017.  However, this transition is already in progress with the team providing increasing support to the Registrar’s office for fall 2016 and spring 2017 convocations

4. 

Canada Day

  • responsible for all aspects of planning, coordination and implementation of Canada Day, including communications, stage, field, and sponsorship
  • manages Canada Day budget
  • manages relationships with Federation of Students and campus partners to ensure optimal internal engagement and
  • manages relationships with vendors
  • manages relationships with community partners to ensure positive community relations
  • coordinates with campus partners on Canada Day safety plan
  • recruits and trains a network of student volunteers

5. 

Internal recognition events

  • responsible for all aspects of planning, coordination and implementation of annual internal recognition events including but not limited to:  Years of Loyal Service reception, 25/35/45 Year Club, International Women’s Day, Teaching & Research Awards
  • manages relationships with campus and community partners to ensure exceptional engagement, customer service and collaboration

6. 

Community outreach

  • responsible for all aspects of planning, coordination and implementation of annual and unplanned  events, most notably public lectures and signature volunteer/ philanthropy initiatives
  • manages relationships with vendors, and campus and community partners to ensure exceptional engagement, customer service and collaboration
  • represents the University at community meetings and events and ensures senior leadership representation at such

Position Requirements

Education:

Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in events, public relations or communications-related field or equivalent education and experience.

Experience:

Five to seven years of event management experience with a proven track record of achievement and success.  Managerial experience leading an events team.  Experience leading high-impact events with budgets over $100,000.  Proven ability to thrive in a complex, fast-paced environment,   Experience working in the post-secondary education sector is preferred, including demonstrated experience working with university ceremonies such as convocation.  Experience working with VIP audiences, including government and business leaders.  Demonstrated customer service orientation. Proven ability to manage complex, high risk events.

Competencies will include excellent written and verbal communication skills, critical thinking, excellent analytical skills, strong organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple tasks, prioritize and manage a variety of projects, and meet deadlines.  A service mindset and a team approach to working with colleagues and partners.

Technical:

MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Basic Basic Not required Not required

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with all employees in all groups and departments and at all levels to deal with, influence and motivate others, often with different perspectives and concerns.  Able to succeed in high profile, pressure situations with significant campus and public scrutiny and potential for impact on the university. Required to work closely with external as well as internal partners to ensure consistency in institutional messaging and management of the university’s image and reputation through community relations initiatives and events. 

Level of Responsibility:

The incumbent will possess proven ability, extensive experience and strong working knowledge and understanding of community based organizations and events and the role of community relations programs in supporting the university’s profile and strategy, as well as strong relationship building and management  skills so as to build support for and motivate staff, faculty and students within the university community in support of community relations and outreach initiatives. 

Decision-Making Authority:

Responsible and accountable for managing the University’s events platform, working closely with the Senior Director of Community Relations and Events, as appropriate.  The incumbent must be a strategic thinker, analytical and insightful, able to assess and interpret the various factors affecting the university, its communities and its stakeholders and experienced in developing strategies that promote and address these.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of a senior executive position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of a position exposed to stress and pressure associated with management responsibilities.