Director of Design and Planning - Thunder Valley Community Development Corp.

September 07, 2023 9:57 AM | Dirk Lammers (Administrator)

Director of Design and Planning - Overview
Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) is an Indigenous-led 501c3  nonprofit based in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Through its eight initiatives, TVCDC  empowers Lakota youth and families to improve the health, culture and environment of our  communities through the healing and strengthening of cultural identity.

The Director of Design and Planning will lead the work of the Regenerative Community  Development Initiative. The team is responsible for ensuring that the physical spaces where our  healing and liberation occur meet our community’s vision for a healthy, innovative, and culturally  appropriate built environment rooted in our Lakota way of life.

TVCDC owns and manages several properties within Oglala Territory, Oceti Sakowin  homelands. Our 34-acre Regenerative Community Development in Porcupine, SD is a new  mixed-use community currently under construction. Once complete it will feature residential,  educational, recreational, commercial, and ceremonial/ spiritual spaces. Our newly acquired  48-acre property in White Clay, NE will be the home of a healing community that will feature  transitional and permanent-supportive housing in addition to facilities and services dedicated to i mproving the physical, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing of some of our most vulnerable  relatives.

The Director of Design and Planning will report to the Executive Director. Please note the focus  of this role is not to provide direct architectural design services, although opportunities to  complete in-house projects occasionally arise.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

As the Director of Design and Planning you will: 

 ●     Lead the Regenerative Community Development team.
 ●     Ensure community development remains rooted in Lakota Lifeways.
 ●     Implement the organization’s Environmental Sustainability Strategic Plan to ensure  community development remains focused on achieving energy sovereignty and  sustainability goals.
 ●     Research precedents, best practices, and innovations in the built environment with an  emphasis on climate adaptation and resilience, social and environmental justice.
 ●     Develop and review RFPs, contracts, construction documents, and agreements.
 ●     Develop and facilitate community engagement strategies, materials, workshops and  events related to design.
 ●     Manage projects for clear and efficient communication among architects, engineers,  contractors, design team, and other partners.
 ●     Develop, refine, and implement internal processes and policies that support the mission  and vision of TVCDC and the RCD initiative.

●     Research and develop external policy proposals at the Tribal, regional, state and federal l evels.
 ●     Identify, apply for, and steward diverse funding streams including federal, state, and  philanthropic grants and loans; ensure adherence to reporting requirements.
 ●     Establish and maintain relationships with current and future project partners.
 ●     Represent TVCDC/ present at a variety of local, state, national and Tribal events.
 ●     Support the professional development of RCD team members.
 ●     Realize small-scale in-house design and construction projects.
 ●     Represent TVCDC on the Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Development  Association and implement and enforce covenants, conditions, and restrictions.

Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

 ●     A Bachelor’s of Architecture, BS Arch, BA Arch or equivalent is required.
 ●     Minimum 5 years proven full-time experience in planning, architecture, or related  position required.
 ●     Previous experience in a community-based architecture practice is preferred.
 ●     Prior experience in a supervisory role.
 ●     Proficient in AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator required.
 ●     Proficient in Microsoft Office programs and/or G Suite and digital file management  required.
 ●     Demonstrated understanding of international building codes, design standards,  construction management processes, and design process, required.
 ●     Demonstrated experience developing and facilitating community design workshops,  quantitative/ qualitative research, and monitoring and evaluation approaches.
 ●     Excellent communication skills (written, verbal, visual)
 ●     Understanding of land development process from land acquisition through move-in  preferred.
 ●     Knowledge of building products, construction details and relevant rules, regulations and  quality standards needing to be integrated in design.
 ●     Skilled in networking and building/maintaining strong relationships with like-minded  organizations, donors, community members, co-workers, and all other partners involved i n projects.
 ●     Understanding of environmental, energy, and social justice issues.
 ●     Familiarity with sustainable energy production, storage methods, and funding streams  preferred.
 ●     Familiarity with LIHTC, NMTC, CDBG, and other federal funding mechanisms preferred.
 ●     Organized, detail & deadline oriented, with strong commitment to timeliness.
 ●     Proactive and a self-starter, able to work independently
 ●     Displays strategic judgment in arranging job activities to achieve objectives.
 ●     Passionate about TVCDC vision and mission.

Compensation & Benefits
Annual Compensation:  $60,000-$70,000– depending on  experience.
Position Type: Full-time, hourly, not to exceed 40 hours per week during probationary period,  transitions to exempt/salaried upon completion of probation period.  
Position Location: TVCDC Porcupine Offices, occasional regional and national travel required.

 ●     Health Insurance- Employee premium paid by TVCDC;
 ●     Dental Insurance- Employee premium paid by TVCDC;
 ●     Vision & Hearing Insurance- Employee premium paid by TVCDC;
 ●     Simple IRA with up to a 3% match from TVCDC;
 ●     Paid Time Off up to 160 hours per year;
 ●     14 annual paid holidays;
 ●     Up to $1,500 annual financial support for continuing education/development;
 ●     Up to 200 hours annually in flexible schedule for education/development;
 ●     Up to 6-weeks paid Parental Leave for new parents;
 ●     Up to 4 hours per week, paid, to participate in Lakota Language Learning Class;
 ●     Up to 25 minutes daily, paid, to participate in a wellness activity;
 ●     Prioritized access to onsite Lakota Language Immersion Child Care;
 ●     Paid Administrative leave during office closures for inclement weather.
 ●     Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Submission Guidelines

Please submit your cover letter, resume, and no more than 5 relevant work samples in a single  file no larger than 25M to This position is open until filled.

ADA Specifications

TVCDC is committed to making reasonable accommodations in accordance to the ADA for  disabled employees who meet job requirements for education background, employment  experience, skills, licenses, essential job duties and function, and any other qualification that are j ob related.  Employees must be able to perform tasks that are essential to the job, with or  without reasonable accommodation.  The Director of Design and Planning may be required to  use the computer for extensive periods of time.  Will be required to work in a variety of settings  to include inclement weather conditions, may be required to occasionally lift and carry 50+lbs  and complete physical labor.  

Drug and Alcohol Policy
Employees will hereby acknowledge that TVCDC has a Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy (“Policy”), TVCDC is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace that is free from  drugs and alcohol. If selected for employment, new employees will be tested for drugs and  alcohol prior to a start date.  Employees understands that if tested positive for drugs or alcohol,  they will not be hired for the current opening, but may reapply or retest in the future when there i s another job opening.

Vision & Mission Driven
Ideal candidate has a strong belief in the TVCDC vision & mission and wants to be a part of a  growing and constantly evolving organization.

Thunder Valley CDC Mission
Empowering Lakota Youth and families to improve the health, culture, and environment of our  communities, through the healing and strengthening of cultural identity.

Thunder Valley CDC Vision
We envision a liberated Lakota nation through our language, culture, and spirituality.

The above description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being  performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an  exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required.  TVCDC position descriptions  are not intended to create, nor are they to be construed to create, a contract between TVCDC  and any staff member. All TVCDC staff are employees at will; therefore, TVCDC and each staff  member are free to terminate that employment at any time and at either party’s discretion, with  or without cause. Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign  other duties as necessary. In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable i ndividuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position. 

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