Local First Program Manager

Local First leads the development of an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of people, builds local wealth and social capital, functions in harmony with our ecosystem, and encourages joyful community. The organization is currently redefining its three key programming areas: the “Local First” program, a “People-Centered” economy program, and the “Sustainable Business” program. These three program areas make up the whole organization known as Local First of West Michigan. The “Local First” program exists to promote local business and encourage people to shop locally. The Local First Program Manager primarily works with the business members of the organization.

Reporting to the President, the Local First Program Manager will be responsible for the direction, leadership and implementation of the Local First program. Along with a team of Membership Coordinators, he/she/they will work to build relationships with the business community and provide value and benefit through businesses’ involvement with the Local First program. Local First is seeking a hard-working, personable, and engaging individual who will lead this program and brand as Local First grows and changes. This person will be the “face of” the Local First program. This will require attendance of community events as well as Local First events some of which will be after hours or on weekends. Local First’s programming also extends to the Lakeshore which may require travel to evening events in that area.


  • Strategically grow the organization’s efforts in this program area
  • Effectively grow business participation and revenue goals
  • Manage Local First members and membership base which includes meeting with new and existing members
  • Manage Local First membership team and lead weekly team meetings
  • Effectively create and communicate Local First membership value
  • Coordinate Membership Steering Committee
  • Achieve targeted growth in membership as well as member retention
  • Oversee yearly renewal process
  • Make decisions with a lens of inclusiveness
  • Work with other Local First staff to achieve broad organization goals
  • Work with Marketing Manager on timeline for printed directory which will include assisting in editing and distribution plan of directory
  • Work with Operations Manager with invoicing for membership dues, ads, sponsorships
  • Collect of accurate and current data in our CRM software (Salesforce)
  • Provide content for e-newsletters, mailings, social media posts
  • Integrate new and existing members into Local First programming
  • Update payment information
  • Solicit sponsorship agreements, annual agreements and ad sales
  • Plan and schedule member mixers
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Be comfortable as the Local First program’s voice and presence in various community settings
  • Ability to keep up on national and local trends and ideas that pertain to local business ownership
  • Any additional functions not included in this list as needed


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Two years’ experience in program management
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient in the Microsoft Office suite
  • Reliable transportation
  • Ability to interact with people from all backgrounds
  • Proficient knowledge and ability using social media platforms
  • Experience using Salesforce a plus
  • Experience as a business owner is a plus
  • Bilingual (Spanish) is a plus

Personal Qualifications:

  • Strong interest and passion for entrepreneurship and sustainability
  • Strong passion for the West Michigan community
  • Understanding of interplay between business, government and community organizations
  • Understanding and interest in national and local issues effecting the local business community
  • Ability to meet people where they are at
  • Strong desire to learn and grow
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and we strive to reflect the diverse community in which we serve. Applicants who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $38,000.00 to $40,000.00 /year


  • program management: 2 years (Required)


  • Bachelor's (Required)

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