Director of Operations
Director of Operations – Center for Innovation
LOCATION: WASCO, CALIFORNIA
Sun World International is a California-based agriculture and technology firm engaged in fruit variety development, technology, intellectual property, and licensing. Technology and IP pursuits include one of the world’s leading fruit breeding/genetics programs, a broad-based portfolio of plant patents and trademarks and investments in agriculture technology start-ups benefiting its global licensees. Licensing consists of sharing new proprietary stone fruit and table grape varieties, and the IP they comprise, with like-minded fruit growers and marketers in more than 15 countries around the world. The Company prizes creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Its people strive for excellence by demonstrating leadership, passion, kindness, authenticity, courage, initiative, and curiosity.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT
At the heart of Sun World’s business is a commitment to developing new fruit varieties that can be grown in a sustainable way and optimized for yield, flavor, and appearance. The Breeding and R&D program focuses on fast-moving technology and developing the next generation of fruit genetics to meet grower challenges and consumer expectations. The program is located at the Sun World Center for Innovation in Wasco, California -in the heart of San Joaquin Valley agriculture production. At Sun World you are part of a team that values passion, respect, and leadership to envision and create the future.
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY
Sun World seeks a dynamic Director of Operations to lead implementation of a next generation breeding and operations program to create innovative products within an industry leading pipeline. The Director of Operations is responsible for leading program operations and implementation of new processes, technologies, and increased operational excellence. The position will work closely with the Chief Science Officer, scientific and operations staff to develop implementation plans and priorities that incorporate state-of-the art technologies to deliver the breeding pipeline, in an accelerated timeline. The Director of Operations will oversee the day-to-day activities of the operations at the Sun World Center for Innovation, ensuring that the organization is well-managed and performing efficiently and effectively.
Personnel Supervised: Key operations staff including permanent and seasonal employees.
Reports To: Chief Science Officer
Works With: Primarily internal R&D, Marketing, and Global Technical Services agronomists.
Hours Worked: Full time, 40 hours/week, Monday-Friday, nights and weekends as needed.
- Participates in the hiring and training of operations staff.
- Organizes and oversees the work and schedules of key operations personnel.
- Conducts performance evaluations that are timely and constructive.
- Handles discipline and termination of employees as needed and in accordance with company policy.
- Ensures a culture of development and personal growth for team members.
- Practices servant leadership to aid team development.
- Establishes quantitative and qualitative metrics, guidelines, and standards by which the company’s efficiency and effectiveness can be evaluated and improved.
- Uses a proactive approach in identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Reviews, analyzes, and evaluates business processes, documents gaps.
- Implements policies and procedures that will improve day-to-day operations.
- Plans and implements an effective safety program, ensuring team members and work environments are adequate and safe.
- Plans, directs, controls, implements, evaluates, monitors, and forecasts budgets for Breeding operations for both capital and operational budgets.
- Communicates and explains new directives, policies, or procedures; for major changes, meets with entire operations staff to explain changes, answer questions, and maintain morale.
- Leads coordination and integration of efforts among operations, engineering, technology, field, and research labs to produce smoother workflows and more cost-effective business processes.
- Projects a positive image of the organization to employees, customers, industry, and community.
- Sets strategic operational goals and KPIs.
- Evaluates and monitors the efficiency of business procedures and uses Lean and Six Sigma to improve operational efficiencies.
- Oversees customer support processes and stakeholder visits.
- Manages relationships with external partners and vendors.
- Performs other related duties as assigned.
REQUIRED SKILLS & CAPABILITIES
- Thorough understanding of practices, theories, and policies involved in business and finance.
- Analytic mindset. Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Superior verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to present and convey concepts and plans.
- Superior managerial and diplomacy skills.
- Excellent project management skills and organizational skills with strong attention to detail.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, project management software (such as MS Project)
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration or relevant field required; master’s degree in business administration preferred.
- Extensive and diversified background with at least 5 years of Operations experience.
- The position is regularly required to sit, use hands-to-finger, handle controls, and talk and hear. The employee is required to stand, walk, and stop. Employee must regularly lift and move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus, as well as work with a computer monitor and in the field.