Chief Operating Officer

Company: Greater Minnesota Housing Fund

Location: St. Paul, MN

Job Function: Administrative/Operations/IT


Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit financial intermediary established 1996 by The McKnight Foundation and Blandin Foundation to address affordable housing needs in Minnesota. To date, GMHF has provided total financing for over 18,113housing units, providing over $774 million in low-cost capital. Annually, GMHF provides over $100 million in financing for affordable housing in Minnesota and other states through three primary functions.

  • The Development Loan Fund: GMHF operates a $140M Development Loan Fund to support the financing needs of non-profit and for-profit developers. Financing activities include loans for pre-development, acquisition, construction, bridge, mezzanine and first mortgage financing. Annually, GMHF’s loan fund provides financing of $50M – $80M and raises additional debt and equity to meet the growing need for low-cost capital.
  • Minnesota Equity Fund: GMHF owns and operates the Minnesota Equity Fund (MEF), a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing vehicle. Minnesota Equity Fund typically invests $30M annually to address current demand and will expand to deliver $50M annually in 2021-2025.
  • NOAH Impact Fund: GMHF operates and manages the NOAH Impact Fund as well as its subsidiaries NOAH Pool I & NOAH Pool II , for the acquisition and preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) in the Twin Cities metro area. The NOAH Impact Fund provides financing of $10M – $15M per year and is now fully invested in NOAH properties with over 700 units under ownership and management.

GMHF is certified by the US Department of Treasury as Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), holds a high Aeris rating of “4-Stars, AA, Policy Plus”, and is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines. GMHF utilizes FHLB capital to manage its lending needs. Greater Minnesota Housing Fund values an organizational culture built on collaboration and mutual accountability and works in close partnership with other housing and community organizations and public officials throughout Minnesota.

Equity and Inclusion

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund believes racial equity in housing is needed to correct historical racial disparities. Access to affordable housing improves life outcomes of individuals and families in areas of health, employment, educational attainment, income, and intergenerational wealth. We believe equitable access to safe and affordable housing is critical to moving to greater opportunity in  housing, health, employment, and income. GMHF is committed investing in emerging market communities to create a more equitable access to ownership of housing and other property.


The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a management team member who works closely with and reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The COO provides a critical link among management team members and staff and facilitates effective internal communication, teamwork and a climate of mutual accountability and respect. The COO manages the organization’s day-to-day operations and project priorities, facilitates internal coordination, maintains accountability, and aligns human and financial resources to achieve organizational goals. The COO ensures that effective operating systems are implemented, critical management data are maintained, organized and accessible, information technology is optimized, and key management data and reports are produced to guide decision making and support board governance.

The COO maintains general oversight of organization work plans, ensures that programs and projects are implemented on deadline, and provides needed structure to personnel and workflow to ensure effective operations. The COO assists the CEO with board relations and management, community relations, interagency relations and manages internal staff dynamics to affect outcomes and strong working relationships. The COO helps to envision the future of the organization by setting near term and long-term goals, and/or identifying strategic opportunities, inspiring and taking action to achieve goals, and providing a strong day-to-day leadership presence that bridges all projects and all teams. In partnership with the CEO and management team, the COO leads the planning and implementation of new processes and systems to achieve strategic plan goals and manages the growth and operations of lending activities, Minnesota Equity Fund (MEF), NOAH Impact Fund, key programs, emerging opportunities, and other initiatives.


Organizational Leadership and Strategy

Working in partnership with the CEO, the COO leads the planning and implementation of new processes and systems to achieve strategic plan goals and manages the growth and operations of lending activities, Minnesota Equity Fund (MEF), NOAH Impact Fund, key programs, emerging opportunities, and other initiatives. The COO:

  • Maintains accountability among staff leadership, identifies resource needs, and facilitates changes to plans and assignments where needed.
  • Manages deadlines, evaluates and monitors program performance against annual goals, and prioritizes activities accordingly.
  • Leads weekly management team meetings, sets agendas, and manages follow-up activities.
  • Leads special projects directly as assigned and conducts other duties as assigned.


The COO ensures effective operations in a remote and hybrid work environment to optimize communication within staff teams and at management level utilizing technology effectively. The COO is responsible for:

  • Ensuring effective information technology including hardware, software systems, internet, and phones, coordination of outsourced vendors, ensuring optimal IT disaster recovery plans and cyber security in a remote and hybrid environment.
  • Office management including administrative functions, office space management, and general facilities.
  • Internal audit functions, determines audit areas, facilitates internal audits, and manages mitigating actions on audit findings.
  • Proper corporate board and staff liability, crime, and other insurance.
  • Effective communication and organizes, convenes, and facilitates key internal management, project, and program meetings as needed.
  • Development of annual operating and project budgets in line with the annual workplan, working in partnership with the CEO and management team.
  • Development and implementation of critical new and standard operating procedures to ensure effective systems and work process.
  • Management of fiscal sponsor services and ensuring coordination for fiscal sponsor organizational functions, such as fiscal sponsor agreements, budgets, employment, grant income, grantmaking and financial reporting. GMHF is the fiscal sponsor for the Heading Home Minnesota Funder’s Collaborative (HHMFC).

Human Resources

The COO is responsible for all aspects of human resources including hiring, employment policies, compensation model, employee health and retirement benefits, payroll, and training. Additionally, the COO:

  • Assists in defining the organizational structure, optimal staff roles, effective team composition, and proper distribution of assignments.
  • Assists with performance appraisals, promotions, discipline, hiring, and termination.

Programmatic Oversight

The COO is responsible for successful implementation and cross organization coordination of GMHF programs, initiatives, and special projects, including:

  • Emerging Developer of Color Program staff supervision
  • GMHF grantmaking activities to support the funding needs of non-profit housing organizations
  • Staff and board Policy and Program Review Committee agendas, reports and action items

Fundraising and Communications Functions

The COO works closely with key staff to oversee GMHF grant writing and related planning functions and GMHF communications priorities and staffing. The positions that report to the COO in these operating areas include:

  • Director of Capital Development and Fundraising
  • Housing Justice Communications Coordinator

Board Governance

  • The COO is responsible for the overall planning and coordination of quarterly board meetings and monthly staff and board committee meetings including drafting agendas, identifying strategic discussion topics, facilitating preparation of board reports and resolutions and other materials to ensure corporate hygiene and governance protocols.
  • The COO plans and facilitates the annual board member term renewals and member recruitment in consultation with the CEO and board leadership.
  • The COO reviews organizational governance documents (e.g. Articles and Bylaws) to ensure they are current and relevant and that GMHF is in compliance.


Ideal Candidate

  • The ideal COO candidate will have demonstrated operational management and leadership experience, strong business management skills and will have successfully helped lead organizations through periods of growth. The ideal candidate will also possess:
  • Exceptional capacity for managing and leading other professionals, and effectively facilitating CEO and management priorities by navigating competing demands and organizational dynamics.
  • Proven interpersonal management skills, strong emotional intelligence, and positive and effective communication skills.
  • Motivated to work in a dynamic hard-working environment, able to effectively meet new challenges and evolving priorities.
  • Able to connect and communicate with individual staff and the larger team, be adept at ensuring accountability, and develop and empower top-notch leadership and entrepreneurship.
  • Able to clearly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team, make appropriate assignments, and put employees in a position to succeed.
  • Possess a high degree of business acumen, balance delivery of programs and initiatives against budget and coordinate P&L management with team leaders and the CFO.
  • The candidate will have a strong understanding of and experience in affordable housing and community development lending.

Required Experience

  • 10 years organizational management and operations experience of complex and multi-faceted organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage, organize and coordinate a high functioning executive management team and building and sustaining high trust working relationships.
  • Experience managing leadership teams composed of diverse internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and build organizational components to address dynamic circumstances.
  • Proven track record of problem-solving, adapting to changing circumstances, managing evolving priorities, and exceeding goals.
  • Evidence of making sound business decisions and drawing on analysis, good judgment, and life experience.
  • History of successfully managing business growth and aligning operations to support strategic priorities.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and facilitate evolving demands among a professional team.
  • Proven track record in project management, administration, and financial management.
  • Broad experience with business functions, including development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, and information systems.
  • Knowledge and experience in banking and/or real estate development and finance.
  • Able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available.
  • A thorough understanding of finance, operating systems, and HR.
  • Excellent time management and organizational management skills.
  • Strong social justice values; mission driven.
  • Competent in latest office software; ability to learn additional core programs.
  • Excellent oral and written skills, meeting facilitation, and business negotiation skills.

Compensation and Benefits

GMHF offers extremely competitive wages and benefits.

How to Apply

Email your resume and cover to letter Alexis Lancaster