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The Dubrof Group

COO-Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI)

The Dubrof Group
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Date Posted: 06/27/2012
Categories: Management
Job Type: Full-Time

Job Description:
Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI) is the largest independent, African American-owned and operated Christian media company in the world. UMI publishes Christian education resources, including Bible studies, Sunday School and Vacation Bible School curricula, books, movies, and websites designed for African American churches and individuals seeking a Christ-centered perspective on faith and life issues.

UMI is the fulfillment of a dream that a 12-year old boy named Melvin Banks had to bring the knowledge of God’s Word to African Americans. After receiving degrees in theology and biblical studies from Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College, Dr. Banks was employed by Scripture Press, Inc., where he specialized in literature distribution. He discovered, however, that many African Americans were not interested in the existing biblical curriculum because they did not see themselves represented in it. In 1970, he founded UMI to revolutionize Christian literature by portraying positive images of African Americans in the biblical experience.

UMI employs 250 employees and contractors with many of its staff located at the corporate headquarters just south of Chicago. UMI is led by CEO C. Jeffrey Wright with Dr. Banks serving as Chairman and spiritual leader. UMI has served over 50,000 churches in its history and in virtually every denomination; these denominations (note that representing 12% of the African American population90 percent of the African American population self-identify as Christian) rely on UMI for a variety of media. The potential for UMI is tremendous – there are 40 million African Americans in the US and over half of them attend churches. 90 percent of the African American population self-identify as Christian. Plus there are 950 million people of African descent globally with $960 billion in purchasing power in the US alone. The COO will help guide UMI to a position that will better serve current and potential clients.


The Chief Operating Officer (COO) reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will oversee several departments including finance, editorial, technology, distribution and sales.

The COO will be responsible for assisting in strategy deveopment, tactical execution, business development, staff development, and operational performance. The general duties of the COO include leadership and oversight of day-to-day operations; hiring and supervision of senior managers; coordination of the strategic planning process; development of the annual operating plan and budget; assessment and reporting of organizational performance against plan, and other duties assigned by the CEO. The COO will work closely with the CEO to conduct an organizational assessment and ensure the organization is structured appropriately with the right staff.

The winning candidate will be a polished executive with significant experience and a proven track record in leading operations with the following competencies and skills:
• At least one advanced degree in business and/or management is desired.
• 10-15 years’ experience in senior management roles, ideally in a media, digital, publishing or distribution organization.
• Keen understanding of UMI’s (UMI) customers and market: the African American church.
• Thorough understanding of the power of social media, email and other digital marketing activities.
• Outstanding leadership and management skills, profound business acumen and a proven ability to drive change.
• Strong analytic skills, sound judgment and a keen sense of diplomacy and discretion.
• Ability to prioritize, manage and advance multiple tasks and responsibilities at the same time.
• High level of integrity and responsibility; commitment to values of mutual respect, team work, diversity and support for employees.
• Superior negotiation skills that lead to win/win outcomes.
• Independent thinker who can serve as a sounding board to the CEO and collaborate and differ with him in a respectful and informed manner.
• Successful in forming and maintaining productive collaborations and in developing consensus while addressing competing needs.
• Decisive leadership skills and executive presence; ability to interact effectively with and earn the trust of varying levels of staff.
• Balances “big picture thinking” with attention to detail.
• Curious and committed to continuous learning.
• Ability to encourage and incent staff to achieve professional growth and success.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

UMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position. All inquiries, nominations and applications are to be directed to UMI’s search firm, The Dubrof Group, at Applications should include a letter of interest and resume in MSWORD. Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of the opportunity. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.