I have big news to share with you!
It feels surreal to write this. I’m honestly a bit shocked and pleasantly amazed that our organization has reached the point where it is today and I’m thrilled to see what comes from today’s announcement.
Four and a half years ago a group of co-workers and I launched Iron & Earth with a press conference in Edmonton. I still remember how nervous and excited I was that morning.
At the time, our public goal was to train 1000 electricians into solar energy. Since then, our vision, mission and initiatives have evolved significantly thanks to the contributions of so many of you: passionate and wonderful people that have supported the organization to grow since that day.
Today marks another big milestone in our organization's history.
I agree with the commonly held sentiment that the strength of any organization is first and foremost the collective strengths of the people that support it, and the relationships therewithin. This has certainly been the case at Iron & Earth as many heroic individuals have put legendary efforts towards ensuring the survival and success of Iron & Earth. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey.
During our first four years, Iron & Earth operated on a shoestring budget when measured against the scale of our ambitions. Today, we are excited to say that in the past six months we have scaled our funding to the extent that, for the first time in our history, we can afford to hire three new people for three top leadership positions! This represents a doubling of our current core team capacity, and we are going to require every bit as we head towards a whole new phase of growth and program implementation starting in early 2021.
Our small, power-house team is currently leading the development of regional chapters, running advocacy campaigns, developing and delivering training programs and climate mitigation projects, among many other initiatives. To say the least, we are thrilled to be announcing that we are hiring for these three top leadership positions to join our team Iron & Earth!!
1 - We are hiring a new Executive Director
This is the most life-changing news for me personally—we are hiring a new Executive Director to take over my position.
It’s incredible what we have been able to achieve together and there have been so many people who have been an essential part of leading the organization to where it is today. I feel proud to have been able to survive the extreme learning curve during the startup phase of Iron & Earth. These past few years have stretched me far beyond my comfort level more times than I can count and I couldn’t be more grateful for each of these opportunities, as they have been some of the richest moments of my life.
My goal since day one, has been to ensure the organization far outgrew my leadership capacity and I’m confident that we are now at that point. There are so many opportunities in front of us right now. Though I could continue to learn on the go and continue growing our organization, this moment calls for so much more. We need a new Executive Director that can take the reins and scale our organization into a major force in each of the niche areas we have begun to develop expertise.
2 - We are hiring a CEO
Canada’s energy mix is changing fast. Fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers have the skills to build the new net-zero emissions economy. The largest need, in most cases, is short-term hands-on training tailored for workers to learn how to apply our skills in new energy contexts. We plan to be at the forefront of a new wave of training for workers to power the new economy.
We have already developed our first three training programs: two in solar and one in wind energy. The courses are designed for in-person, hands-on learning and are grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and learning. A fourth course on transforming inactive wells into solar projects is in development.
During our organization’s first few years, we have done all of our work as a not-for-profit. We now face a challenge—the demand for our services is outgrowing our capacity. That’s why, in order to meet this demand, we are creating a social enterprise to scale up our ability to deliver rapid upskilling programs and complementary career support.
This is why we are hiring a CEO, to lead the founding of this new enterprise.
3 - We are hiring a National Chapter Director
While the new Executive Director and CEO take the organization's programming to the next level, we also require a core team member to help strengthen and scale our chapter model, while ensuring we have a strong and active voice in the development of net-zero policy.
This is why we are hiring for a third new position, a National Chapter Director! This position will support the critical work of building community between workers and supporters on the ground. We have also recently launched our Prosperous Transition Campaign to ensure that the federal government implements a robust Green Recovery and creates over one million new climate jobs.
If you are interested in helping us to scale our chapter model and campaign work, please visit this job posting to learn more.
This is not goodbye!
March 21st is our organization’s five-year anniversary and also my last day in a formal position at Iron & Earth for a while, but I hope to support Iron & Earth as an advisor in whatever ways that I can for the rest of my life.
I’m not sure what my next steps will be. I might take a few months off to process everything that’s happened over the past few years, go on some adventures, and then take a look at options for my next steps. I do know that I want to leverage my experience at Iron & Earth to help catalyze and accelerate other critical initiatives. I will likely pursue an MBA program in the next year or two and I look forward to crossing paths with many of you again wherever I do find myself.
First things first though.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s of core importance that we bring the right people into these new positions. Please, consider joining our team if you think you would be a good fit, or otherwise, please forward this email to a friend who you think might be a good candidate for one of the positions.
I’m confident that this is the time for this move. And the main thing giving me this confidence is my faith in the all-star core team currently leading Iron & Earth, because I know they will do everything it takes to ensure this is a smooth transition and support this new leadership team as they find their footing. I feel very grateful that we are at this stage, with such a positive team culture and so much forward momentum.
In hope, action and gratitude,