The California Wellness Foundation
Woodland Hills, CA, Los Angeles, CA
Public Affairs Associate –Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) office. Please note that the Cal Wellness office in Los Angeles is currently located in Woodland Hills but will be moving to downtown Los Angeles in the latter half of 2017.
The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. It’s the Foundation’s desire to promote equity and level the playing field so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, healthy and safe neighborhoods, and quality health care services. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded 8,390 grants totaling more than $950 million. It is one of the state’s largest private foundations. To learn more about the Foundation, explore our website at www.CalWellness.org.
The Public Affairs Department
Cal Wellness has always valued strong communications work and policy efforts to drive meaningful social change. As one of the first foundations to invest in professional communications staff, Cal Wellness understands the value of storytelling to engage people and drive action. The Foundation has also supported grantees working to reach California’s decision-makers and engage them as partners who will address, and change, health inequity.
Recently, the Foundation hired a vice president of public affairs to lead a newly formed team, combining communications, community relations and public policy work under the Public Affairs Department. The new department is charged with better leveraging the Foundation’s strategic muscle in these areas and fostering additional collaborative work among Foundation staff in support of programmatic efforts to advocate for access and equity.
The public affairs associate is a key position in the Public Affairs Department at Cal Wellness. The public affairs associate should have an energetic, entrepreneurial nature coupled with strong strategic and analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The successful candidate will also have a demonstrated educational background and/or professional experience in communications, public policy or community relations. This position supports the public affairs team as a whole and reports to the director of public policy.
Principal duties and responsibilities:
- Under the guidance of the director of public policy and the director of communications:
- Proactively identify and assist in the cultivation of strategic opportunities for the Foundation (staff, executives and Board members) to meet with policymakers and community partners.
- Proactively identify and help secure strategic opportunities for the Foundation to participate in conferences and events relevant to the Foundation’s work.
- Vet, prioritize and respond to incoming requests for meetings and event participation based on Foundation’s strategic priorities, exercising good judgment and proactive investigation of relevant details.
- Monitor and track status of requests to ensure internal alignment on pending opportunities and timely communications and follow up with external stakeholders.
- Develop briefing materials for Foundation staff to support successful meetings and event participation.
- Coordinate and facilitate preparation activities for Foundation staff who are participating in meetings and events, including briefings with external partners as needed.
- Staff Foundation representatives in meetings and coordinate timely follow up as needed.
- Coordinate conference and event sponsorship benefits (e.g., ad placements and other visibility opportunities) with organizers.
- Maintain management tools to track community relations activities and manage contacts and distribution lists.
- Maintain ongoing and consistent communication with executive assistants and key Foundation support staff to ensure accurate scheduling and to secure preparation time for meetings and events.
Public Policy and Communications
- Gather information from a wide variety of sources to create informed recommendations about emerging issues and opportunities to inform future work for the public affairs team and the Foundation; engage in research that may help to define public affairs goals, identify emerging trends and source new partners.
- Help monitor, research and report on public policy issues related to the Foundation’s work.
- Help monitor, research and report on media stories and trends related to Foundation work.
- Track policymakers’ engagement with the Foundation, including meetings, phone calls and inquiries.
- Help monitor incoming communications via CalWellness.org.
- Assist with the distribution of e-alerts and other communications to key audiences, using tools designed to manage customer relationships.
- Independently draft and edit internal and external correspondence, meeting agendas, presentations and other materials needed for public affairs work.
- Attend outside meetings and conferences for the organization, at the discretion of the supervisor.
- Build strong relationships with external stakeholders, including representing the Foundation at community meetings, convenings and professional conferences.
- Work collaboratively and participate in cross-disciplinary teams with colleagues.
- Provide meeting coordination and follow-up, including meeting preparation, notetaking at meetings, documenting next steps and tracking follow-up activities.
- Remain abreast of current research, activities and trends in public affairs by reviewing professional publications and attending related conferences, meetings and other events and sharing learnings internally.
- Gather information from a wide variety of sources to provide analysis and create informed recommendations to share with the public affairs team.
- Complete additional tasks as assigned by supervisor.
Experience & Skills Required
- A bachelor's degree is required.
- A minimum of three years of communications, public policy or general public affairs experience with businesses, community organizations, academic institutions or philanthropies focused on health, social justice or other relevant issue areas.
- Excellent written, analytical and oral communication skills; the personal presence to represent the Foundation in diverse forums and organizational relationships.
- Strong organizational and multitasking skills with attention to detail; experience balancing and adhering to deadlines.
- Strong problem-solving skills with demonstrated ability to meet challenges with resourcefulness and to generate innovative approaches and ideas.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).
- Experience with tools designed to manage customer relationships (e.g., Constant Contact and Salesforce) and grants-related database systems (e.g., MicroEdge GIFTS) preferred.
- Interest and ability to work for an organization that is mission-driven.
- Ability to promote and model the following Foundation values: respect, integrity, accountability, equity, stewardship, excellence, learning and trust.
- Tact, diplomacy and professionalism in responding to requests from both internal staff and external organizations.
- A high degree of initiative, creativity, enthusiasm and independence; desire to be productive and results-oriented.
- Proven ability to work collaboratively and in a team-oriented environment.
- Experience in event coordination or project management related to communications activities a plus.
- Travel and activities outside of the office, predominantly within California, will be required up to 20 percent of the time.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience. The Foundation's benefit package is inclusive of medical, dental, vision and life insurance, and short- and long-term disability coverage, and offers flexible spending and 401(k) plans. A positive work environment that supports work-life balance is provided.
Email resume with a cover letter and salary history to:
Human Resources Department
The California Wellness Foundation
6320 Canoga Avenue, Suite 1700
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Fax: (818) 702-1999
The California Wellness Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.