Farewell letter from Meredith Miller, Director of Eco Centro

Greetings Colleagues and Friends, 

I am writing to let you know that I am sadly leaving Eco Centro and Alamo Colleges next month. There is so much good work left to do, and while I’m not ready to leave, I am being pulled toward a new adventure. I’m not sure where I will land, but I am headed to the east coast to spend more time with my family. I’m writing to ask you to continue to support the mission of Eco Centro and Garcia Street Farm. We are currently recruiting a new Director and will be posting other positions in the near future – we will keep you updated. The new Director will lead the center and the farm into the next stages of growth and work with a fantastic team to create spaces for education, inspiration, urban land conservation and the incubation of farmers and community members working to further sustainability, food security and ecologic resilience.

Please see the link to the Director application here. The application will remain open through June 4 but I encourage submissions as soon as possible. (Academic Program Director – SAC – req8604) 

The description in the application announcement is very broad and general (all content related to the position was inadvertently left out), so I’ve also included a position description below. 

Director of Eco Centro

The Center Director also serves as the Director of Operations for the Garcia Street Urban Farm, as well as a resource for the SAC campus. Day-to-day duties include oversight of the center and farm operations, purchasing, reporting, staff management, liaising with the college leadership and faculty and overseeing sustainability and food production-related projects. Alongside a dedicated and talented team, the Director will revise and implement components of the strategic plan, grow programming, re-engage an advisory committee and dozens of community partners to help realize the mission of the center and farm. Further, the ideal Director will: 

I. have a background in

  • Urban food systems, farming
  • Regenerative, sustainable agriculture
  • Academic/educational institution and/or nonprofit and community organizations
  • Native and regional landscapes and ecosystems

II. have an advanced degree coursework and/or significant experience in

  • Regionally and culturally appropriate food production and distribution
  • Natural resources management
  • Community development
  • Agriculture/Natural Resources Management
  • Community-based, informal and/or formal education, especially around agriculture, sustainability, natural resource conservation and/or health and nutrition

III. have demonstrated history of

  • Successful executive leadership, program and operations management
  • Effective management and development of diverse, equitable teams
  • Developing and administering informal/formal agriculture, environmental, public health educational programs, courses
  • Supporting multi-disciplinary educational efforts
  • Writing and securing grants and foundational funding
  • Producing and distributing food and/or community sustainability, wellness and health

IV. have outstanding capabilities to

  • Bridge operational activities and priorities for the center, farm, college and district
  • Oversee strategic planning, program planning and site master planning
  • Supervise negotiations and agreements with contractors, partners and donors
  • Facilitate a generative, robust workplace culture characterized by a deep set of lived values, including land stewardship, curiosity, diversity, inclusivity, creativity, connectivity, and professional development
  • Oversee Master Planning, Phasing, and Implementation of the Eco Centro and Garcia Street Farm property-wide vision
  • Manage finances, including budgeting, business planning, and data management

Both the college and center are in a period of transition (and I hope growth) and while change is hard, I believe that amazing things lie ahead. At some point soon, the center will also be recruiting for a Center Manager/Coordinator, as Dyhanara Rios, our Community Relations Coordinator and Center Manager is leaving to pursue a graduate degree. Please read her farewell letter here. Our current strategic plan also calls for a Campus Liaison to integrate our programming and efforts with faculty, students and the administration at San Antonio College, but that position will depend on the new Director and College leadership. The farm is growing by leaps and bounds and is developing a series of certificate and degree programs. The center is reimagining itself as a more lean and focused organization with a vision to lead the community and the college in efforts to support sustainable urban landscapes.

At the bottom of this page are a few documents about the center, the farm and our strategic planning that may be helpful, as well as a sample from a recent grant proposal. Please also visit our websites: ecocentrosatx.org and garciastreetfarm.org. I am grateful to each of you for your continued support of the work of the Eco Centro and Garcia Street Urban Farm teams and I am excited to see the continued progress. I hope to stay engaged in the future as a contractor or as a member of an advisory council. My personal email is below and I would love to stay in touch. Please encourage qualified candidates to apply before June 4 or to contact me with questions.

Humbly in service, 

Meredith Miller
Director, Eco Centro
Director of Operations, Garcia Street Urban Farm
MMiller280@alamo.edu | Blountmiller@gmail.com

Attachments (.docx format)