Executive Assistant to the CEO
Sequoia Farm Foundation - Decatur, IL

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Sequoia Farm Foundation operates research farms in Illinois and Arizona. Sequoia is a subsidiary of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation but its application for independent 501(c)3 status as a private operating foundation is in process with the Internal Revenue Service. Sequoia partners with a number of U.S. agricultural universities on research to improve global food security. Sequoia’s current research partners include: Penn State; Purdue; Southern Illinois University; and Texas A&M. In addition to its research, Sequoia manages working farms that produce primarily corn and soybean with proceeds from crop sales funding operations and research costs.

Responsibilities:

The Executive Assistant to the CEO is responsible for providing administrative support for the Sequoia Farm Foundation and its CEO. Specifically, this includes:
Supporting the CEO by:

  • Managing travel logistics for the CEO;
  • Reconfirming all travel details in advance of trips;
  • Coordinating logistical details for Sequoia Farm Foundation events and meetings;
  • Providing general office support, including preparing correspondence, filing, mailing and shipping, and other administrative support tasks as necessary and as time allows;
  • Managing a handful of key special projects / programs as needed;
  • Coordinating with Sequoia’s Agriculture Research Specialist and Financial Manager to maintain accurate account records and farm expenses;
  • Assisting Sequoia’s Agriculture Research Specialist and Financial Manager with production of farm/acre productivity analyses;
  • Traveling with the CEO to farms in Arizona (estimated at 2-3 trips per year) and South Africa (estimated 1-2 trips per year) as needed;
  • Providing on-site support commensurate with home office support while traveling;
  • Trouble-shooting and problem-solving issues that arise in a constantly changing environment, without direct oversight from the CEO, and ability to think ahead;

Support Sequoia’s Financial Manager by:

  • Assisting with coordination of cash rent payments from lessees and activities with lessees;
  • Monitoring grain prices and executing the sale of grain as directed;
  • Maintaining and updating the asset register for insurance and other purposes;
  • Maintaining records of all input expenses by farm, such as seed, chemical, and fertilizer purchases; and creating farm and production maps as needed;
  • Assisting with farm equipment purchases and pending purchases, actual and projected income, grain contracts and proceeds, etc.;

Qualifications:

  • Experience working for an operating farm, including family farm operations, and a familiarity with farm equipment;
  • During peak farm seasons (spring and fall) must be willing to work weekends;
  • A bachelor’s level education with a focus and/or background in agriculture preferred;
  • Prefer some experience providing administrative support;
  • Outstanding organizational and time management skills;
  • Ability to successfully multi-task and deliver in a timely manner, with outstanding attention to detail and sense of urgency;
  • Superior oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to take ownership of problems and use good judgment in decision-making;
  • Computer proficiency with Microsoft Office suite required; experience with Quickbooks a plus; will be trained on Apex farm management software and Google Earth Pro;
  • Willingness to travel to Arizona research farm 3x per year for up to 3 weeks per trip as necessary; travel domestically 25% of time; travel internationally 15% of time;
  • Ability to manage confidential information and situations with efficiency, flexibility, accuracy, and diplomacy;
  • Intellectual curiosity and a passion for the Foundation’s mission.

Additional Restrictions:
Preference given to applicants who currently reside in the greater Central Illinois area (including Decatur; Chicago; Champaign-Urbana; Bloomington, IL; Springfield; St. Louis, MO; Bloomington, IN; West Lafayette, IN; Indianapolis). Only candidates who are willing/able to be based in the Decatur, IL area full-time will be considered.


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