ICBA Senior Director of Programs & Services

Illinois, United States
Salary Not specified
May 03, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time




Are you ready to put your talents and your experience in the collegiate retail industry to work and make a positive difference by joining the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA) team to support 215+ college store Members and 100+ Vendor Partners in the fast-paced and dynamic collegiate retail industry?


ICBA (www.ICBAinc.com) is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1927, that is very successful and plays an important and influential role in our industry, despite the fact that we are a team of just seven (“small, but mighty”). The ICBA office is located in “The Loop” section of the City of Chicago, however, this position does have the option to work remotely with periodic visits to the Chicago office.


The ICBA Senior Director of Programs & Services (SDPS) reports directly to the ICBA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is primarily responsible for ensuring the successful development, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of ICBA programs and services with an emphasis on those that involve Vendor Partners. The SDPS will develop processes, strategies, and tactics to ensure programs and services meet financial targets, run efficiently and effectively, and to regularly analyze results and modify program performance. Working closely with the CEO and the Vice President of Membership & Operations, the SDPS will play an active role in managing existing external Vendor Partner relationships and will be tasked with helping to identify, evaluate, and develop new partner and program opportunities that support ICBA’s Strategic and Financial Plans, as well as identified Member needs. The SDPS supervises and is supported by the ICBA Vendor Programs Manager.


The SDPS works closely with the CEO to define objectives and tracking metrics for programs and services and has the primary responsibility to provide reporting and analysis to the CEO on all Vendor Partner programs and services. The SDPS will have specific financial accountability for goals and performance of programs and services. The SDPS also will be tasked with building an ongoing “pipeline” of new program and service opportunities and regularly providing concepts and recommendations to the CEO.


The SDPS will be the primary day-to-day tactical contact for program and service partners, ensuring high partner satisfaction with clear mutual expectations. The SDPS will be an active and visible ICBA team Member and must be an expert in the collegiate retail market to effectively represent ICBA at educational conferences and industry events, which is why prior college store retail experience is a requirement. The SDPS will have significant responsibility to develop key parts of the ICBA Annual Conference Program and to ensure a high level of program and service partner participation.


The SDPS will perform all common administrative functions as required in a not-for-profit, cost-conscious organization.


As an organization, ICBA is committed to vigorous and appropriate action to ensure that all decisions are made without discrimination, harassment, or prejudicial treatment because of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability, or protected veteran's status. Click here: ICBA's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Statement & Commitment






  • Work with CEO to develop the ICBA strategies for current and future programs and services to enhance ICBA’s Value Proposition to Members & Partners
  • Have accountability for budgeted financial goals and overall performance of Vendor Partner programs and services.
  • Develop new sources of revenue for ICBA that support Member & Partner needs
  • Develop processes to monitor and analyze ICBA programs and services and provide regular reporting on performance of programs and services.
  • As a resource to ICBA Members and Vendor Partners, have a high level of awareness and interest, and perform active research to identify and become knowledgeable in collegiate and overall market trends relative to a broad array of products, services, emerging brands, and growth opportunities that are relevant to the ICBA Membership and that support ICBA’s Strategic Plan.
  • Provide support for marketing and communications messaging as needed (print, online, etc.)
  • Develop educational content to support Member and Vendor Partner needs.
  • Provide all common business administrative functions as needed.
  • The Vendor Programs Manager is a direct report to this position.


Vendor & Partner Programs and Services

  • Support the CEO in the development, marketing, implementation, and management of programs and services
  • Develop and present to the CEO an ongoing list/pipeline of prospective high-potential and high-value ICBA programs, services, products, and partnerships
    • Manage the renewal of Annual Vendor Partner programs and monitor the accuracy and consistency of data in the CRM.
  • Recruit & Retain Partners who align with ICBA’s strategies
  • Coordinate details and help with negotiations of programs with vendor partners, including management and oversight of The SOURCE commodity commitment program.
  • Support the CEO in ensuring responsive and clear communication channels with all program and service providers.
    • Serve as primary day-to-day tactical contact for program/service partners.
    • Have primary strategic responsibility for selected program/service partners.


Member Engagement

  • Coordinate with the VP of Membership & Operations on the tracking of Member participation in vendor programs and assess trends
  • Maintain an open line of communication with Members to gauge satisfaction with existing programs and identify opportunities for new programs and services, including participation and facilitation of Buyer2Buyer and Smartest Thing Networking events.
  • Provide information and recommendations to the Director of Marketing & Communications (DMC) to support the effective communication of program details and benefits to both Members and Vendor Partners


Annual Conference

  • Contribute to the development and coordination of conference programs and events to ensure effective delivery to both Members and Vendors
  • Develop financial modeling for all exhibitor participation options
  • Recruit vendors as exhibitors with targeted marketing to achieve specific financial goals
  • Assist with development of sponsorship opportunities to provide value to Vendors and help ICBA realize new sources of Conference revenue
  • Manage the scheduling processes for PRIMEtime appointments and Business Encounters
  • For onsite events, manage, and coordinate exhibitor logistics with hotel and exhibitor services
  • Work closely with CEO and Director of Marketing & Communications to help plan educational programs
  • Review and recommend educational content that can be implemented by the broadest possible array of ICBA Members
  • Work with CEO to plan, coordinate, and evaluate vendor sponsored activities


ICBA Representation

  • Represent ICBA at retail, higher education, and industry conferences and tradeshows to promote ICBA’s visibility and accomplish its mission
  • Present strategies and program offerings to groups of Members and Partners as needed




  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, preferably in sales, marketing, communications, supply-chain management, or related field
  • 6+ years of relevant experience including working in the college store industry as a college store, as a supplier to college stores, or preferably both
    • Additional retail experience outside the college market is a major “plus”
  • 3+ of supervisory experience, demonstrating the ability to help direct reports grow and succeed
  • Proven negotiating and analytical skills with senior-level contacts
  • Expertise in retailing, marketing, and sales: familiar with various techniques and able to adapt to individual situations “on the fly”
  • Proven ability to develop and deliver educational/consultative presentations to groups from 5-200
  • Excellent written and verbal communication/presentation skills
  • Proficiency in data/trend analytics along with database management
  • Ability to travel for business purposes 12-15 times per year (ranging from 3-5 days for most trips, up to 10 days in certain cases)
  • Strong customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to effectively work under pressure, set priorities, and manage concurrent projects
  • Willingness to accept responsibility for the complete life cycle of projects
  • A self-starter with high standards of performance
  • Ability to deliver results on time and on budget


Interested parties should provide a resume and cover letter and email Careers@ICBAinc.com


About the Independent College Bookstore Association

The Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA; www.ICBAinc.com) is a not-for-profit trade association with an office in “The Loop” section of the City of Chicago, providing programs and services to 215+ college store Members and 100+ Vendor Partners in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1927, ICBA provides educational programs, industry benchmarking and trend data, collaborative networking forums, and negotiates “preferred terms” with Vendor Partners to help Member Stores achieve success and effectively compete with individual and chain retailers and e-tailers. Currently, the ICBA team consists of 7 full time team members, supported by 3rd party contractors as needed. This ensures a high level of autonomy, innovative idea-sharing, and team-oriented creativity, plus the ability to make fast decisions to support our initiatives and truly make a difference.


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