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Sonoma Valley Collaborative Assistant Director

Classification: Non-exempt, hourly
Commitment: ~20 hours/week, potentially increasing to full time over several months
Reports to: Sonoma Valley Collaborative Project Director
Compensation: $33-$36 per hour


SVC is a forum of community leaders from a wide range of sectors across Sonoma Valley, finding solutions and taking action to address our community’s biggest challenges. Please read about our values, members, and activities at, including a summary of accomplishments here.

SVC’s core functions are as follows, with a focus on different functions at different times:

  • We identify and tackle complex community problems with an explicit value of sustainability, finding solutions that have the greatest buy-in and also promote balance among: economy, environment, and equity.
  • We help facilitate diplomacy across key sectors within the community, linking together organizations and leaders to solve complex community problems.
  • We work to build a shared understanding of complex community problems and shift public opinion toward agreed-upon solutions.
  • We develop tools that inform member decisions on new projects, policies and proposed actions. 
  • We link funding with new projects or programs that align with our explicit values and identified solutions.

SVC’s topic since 2019 has been housing affordability. Until early 2024, we focused on several planning documents from the City and County of Sonoma with enormous long-term impacts on housing affordability in Sonoma Valley. Now we are focused on researching the partners, programs, and costs that can most move the needle in Sonoma Valley in affordable housing production, subsidized housing preservation, and renter protections.

SVC’s governance body is a Steering Committee, operating from a Charter, ultimately overseen by the Board of Directors of Sonoma Ecology Center, which hosts SVC as a project. SVC may spin off as an independent nonprofit or to a fiscal sponsor that is not an SVC member. Applicants are urged to read SVC’s Charter.

SVC has an annual budget of ~$100,000, staffed by a half-time project director and a half-time coordinator. We seek to transition SVC’s staff, over time, to either a full-time director with part-time support staff, or to a half-time director and another half-time person focused on community member engagement and communications support. In either configuration, we seek bilingual, multicultural competency on SVC’s staff, in order to better serve Sonoma Valley’s entire community. 


To give a flavor for this position, the Assistant Director will, among other things, facilitate delicate conversations between unlike SVC members to seek consensus positions that SVC can advocate for; write and supervise communications that keep the Sonoma Valley community engaged in what SVC is doing and can do; talk with youth, business leaders, health leaders, and environment leaders in ways that show them how their own needs and goals are advanced through the efforts of SVC; get help from topic experts to thread the needle finding positions that satisfy SVC’s members’ needs; speak at government public meetings to represent SVC’s platform; learn how to protect SVC members’ “lines in the sand” while still advancing the coalition’s larger interests.

The position will be mentored by, and potentially eventually replace, the current Project Director (PD). We anticipate that the current PD will work alongside the new hire for at least 6 months, to create a gradual transition.

The position takes on some of the communications, negotiation, facilitation, and consensus-building overseen by the PD. 


  • Support the PD to recruit, educate, and retain a diverse SVC Council of civil, credible representatives of Sonoma Valley’s many interests and sub-communities.
  • Co-design, facilitate, and host effective meetings, in person and virtually, of 2 to 50 people. These may be with individual SVC Council members, to understand or influence their views on an SVC policy stance; with several organizations to explore the feasibility of a prioritized services program; with the SVC Council, currently meeting every other month; with partner organizations on a project; or with the general public to celebrate or explore SVC’s work. 
  • Support the PD in fundraising. Write appeals, conceptualize and write grant proposals, contact donors. This position is funded for 6-9 months, with the expectation that SVC and SEC will bring in funding to make the position permanent.
  • Research policies, programs, and projects that can further SVC’s consensus positions.
  • Conduct diplomacy, negotiation, and conflict resolution among unlike members of SVC and others outside SVC, spanning business, tourism, environment, social justice, health, faith, government, and more.
  • Faithfully and vigorously represent Sonoma Valley and SVC in coalitions and groups at the county, region, or state scale.
  • Write and speak to communicate about SVC: social media, newspapers, radio, eblasts, blog posts, other org’s gatherings, government public meetings, etc.
  • Support the PD in working with SVC’s steering committee and potentially SVC’s new fiscal sponsor.
  • Be in person in Sonoma Valley up to three times per week (most weeks will not require this), including some evening meetings.


  • Create inclusion and parity for underrepresented groups such as people of color, undocumented immigrants, Spanish speakers, people with disabilities, and lower-income people. Create multiple modes of engagement, not just conventional formal meetings. Design and facilitate events and conversations of up to 30 people representing different mandates and agendas.  
  • Speak and write effectively across multiple social, economic, generational, and cultural settings.
  • Speak in public to small or large groups.
  • Use knowledge of how local governments and nonprofits work.
  • Advance and defend positions that may not match your own.
  • Conflict resolution and consensus-finding among unlike participants.
  • Be self-motivated and proactive. 
  • Demonstrate excellent communication and people skills, including negotiation.
  • Use word processing, presentation, scheduling, and spreadsheet applications. Our main tools are GoogleDrive apps, Google Calendar, Zoom, Word, MailChimp, and Canva.
  • Think critically, take responsibility, and problem solve. 
  • Understand and commit to the values and mission of SVC.


  • Written and spoken Spanish competency
  • Latinx and BIPOC cultural competency


  • Recruitment and retention of SVC Council Members, including diverse and underrepresented members across economy, environmental, and equity sectors. 
  • Meeting facilitation that increases understanding and areas of consensus that are clear and actionable.
  • Successful grant proposals, appeals, and donor cultivation that sustain SVC operations
  • Success in designing and launching new or improved policies, programs, and projects that improve housing affordability, whether by SVC or by SVC members.
  • Effective ambassadorship, public relations and public engagement that increases awareness, buy-in and support for SVC, its goals and mission.
  • Research and diplomacy that ensures SVC positions and actions are solidly grounded in fact and member buy-in.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience involving communications, policy, or related field.
  • Experience building consensus.
  • Experience communicating verbally and in writing as a representative of a group.
  • Lived experience that helps connect with Latinx, lower-income, and/or immigrant people in Sonoma Valley (preferred).
  • Experience securing funding and completing successful projects with coalitions and partnerships (preferred).


Most of the job can be done from home, with prolonged periods of sitting or standing. You must be able to see, hear, and speak in order to use a computer, establish and participate in video conferences, and use office equipment. In-person meetings and site visits are part of the job, occurring 2 to 6 times per month. In-person meetings generally require driving a car and having a license. Lifting up to 30 pounds may occasionally be required. Some physical agility, balance, and strength is needed for occasional set-up and take-down of in-person gatherings. Site visits may rarely involve walking over rough terrain in high temperatures for short periods.


On the first of the month after hire, employees who average 20 hours or more per week, are offered the following: Eligibility to enroll in one of two Kaiser Permanente health insurance plans, of which SEC pays 80% of the employee’s premium (not that of dependents). Other benefits include, paid holidays, paid floating holidays, vacation accrual, and sick accrual. SEC provides an optional self-funded TIAA 403(b) plan and an optional free cell phone plan.

All qualified applicants will be given equal consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, veteran, military status, genetic information, marital status, familial status, or other protected classes of people. Sonoma Ecology Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Equal access to programs, services, and employment is available to all persons. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should notify our Human Resources Department.


The easiest way to apply is by clicking on this link:

Alternatively, you may submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references, preferably in one document, to Celina Briggs, Human Resources Manager, at, with “Assistant Director SVC” in the header. No phone calls, please. For more information about Sonoma Valley Collaborative, please visit