Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)/ CCF Bush (Pty) Ltd.

Position: Director of Manufacturing and Operations

Location: Otjiwarongo, Namibia

Closing date: As soon as position is filled

Length of assignment: Flexible. Minimum one-year commitment is required. Potential exists for a longer-term role with increased responsibility if desired.

Primary reporting is to Johan Britz, Farms & Harvest Manager CCF / CCF Bush Pty Ltd , secondary reporting to Dr. Bruce Brewer, General Manager CCF / CCF Bush Pty Ltd.

Compensation: Dependent upon qualifications, up to N$15,000 per month health and dental insurance are included. While CCF Bush Pty Ltd is a for-profit operation, it exists solely to provide revenue for CCF’s non-profit activities and is mission driven.

Housing is not provided – affordable and comfortable rental housing is available in Otjiwarongo.

Airfare reimbursement takes place on a schedule based on duration of service.

About Cheetah Conservation Fund and CCF Bush (Pty) Ltd

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) {an international NGO with Canadian, Namibian, UK, and US charity status} is the driving force and sole owner of CCF Bush Pty Ltd, a for-profit business venture, which is based in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. CCF develops and implements long-term monitoring and multi-disciplinary research and education programs to ensure the survival of the cheetah and its ecosystem. CCF also works with the local community to encourage sustainable, predator-friendly farming practices.

In 2001, CCF Bush Pty Ltd was established to harvest and process invader bush and to manufacture and market wood fuel briquettes (BUSHBLOK™) and other products from the excess thornbush. The CCF Bush Project was developed to encourage habitat restoration by creating a viable market for biomass products derived in environmentally and socially appropriate means. This will encourage the removal of excess bush from Namibian farmlands and restore habitat. The pilot manufacturing plant is located in the central Namibian town of Otjiwarongo.

CCF Bush produces BUSHBLOK™ by an extrusion process. The heat and pressure of the extrusion process bonds the material into a logstream and there is no need for additive binders. In 2006, the company obtained certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This achievement certifies that CCF manages forest resources in a responsible and sustainable manner. FSC compliance and audits are assisted by the CCF ecology and farms management staff.

In the past few years, the major market for the fire logs is South Africa, where 400- 500 tons are sold annually. The factory potential would be 3000 tons per year to meet the potential demand of this market. Other international distributors have expressed interest with greater annual production.

In addition, CCF is interested in piloting a small gasifier plant (150-300 kW) and continues to develop sources and funding for that project. If sustainably harvested, there is enough invasive bush to provide a constant source of power for much of rural Namibia.

To learn more about CCF Bush watch the one minute video produced by Tech Awards for 2008 Tech Award Laureates  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXfuzA819rE.

To learn more about Cheetah Conservation Fund go to www.cheetah.org. Or watch this 3 minute video to get a visual overview of our work to save the cheetah and help people in cheetah-range countries

Job Description

The CCF Bush factory is fully operational. Thirty-five unskilled and skilled Namibians are employed either within the processing plant in Otjiwarongo (9) or in field harvest and chipping operations (26). The field operations are managed by a supervisor who is responsible for raw chip delivery to the factory. The factory has eight factory hands. This position will provide overall leadership and management of the Bushblok operation. It is an exciting professional opportunity to take it from its current state of successful pilot project to a professional, well-synchronized manufacturing organization capable of meeting current sales demand and scaling up for future growth and becoming profitable.

  • Hands-on management of all aspects of the Bushblok manufacturing operations including budgeting & planning, harvesting of raw materials, production & equipment management, metrics, health & safety, and logistics.
  • Developing and meeting production schedules in accordance with performance, efficiency and quality standards.
  • Continuously improve the overall efficiency and quality of the operation.

Training, developing and motivating local staff with the objective of turning the operation over to local management within a few years. Establish appropriate policies, procedures and metrics.

Unique challenges: Otjiwarongo is a small town with limited cultural and entertainment opportunities. The work ethic of the local staff is not quite the same as global standards. However, the work force is trainable and willing to work. There is little turn over in the work staff. You will be operating on a limited budget to ensure maximum revenue generation in support of CCF’s non-profit activities.

Unique rewards: Working in an internationally recognized, mission-driven organization with a long track record in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystem. Developing the local labor force and contributing to economic opportunity within the local community.

Desired Qualifications

  • A degree in engineering or management.
  • Solid management experience in a production environment, with operational experience in planning, logistics, and manufacturing management.
  • Excellent cross-cultural communication skills and ability to effectively manage an illiterate workforce. Experience in employee training and development.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills. Track record of meeting commitments.

Prefer the experience and challenge of living, working and managing in a resource-constrained environment. Familiarity with the African environment is a strong plus.

Possible scenarios for the right candidate:

  • The successful candidate may be a retired plant manager or business professional looking for a meaningful volunteer or lower-paid opportunity to “give-back” as a social entrepreneur.
  • A successful candidate might be a recent graduate, with some operational experience in a related field, looking for an opportunity to have top management experience and a demonstration of their capabilities to optimize production and operations of a manufacturing plant; or
  • A successful candidate might be someone highly skilled in manufacturing operations but desire the challenge, unique opportunity and adventure of working in Africa for a mission driven organization while also saving Cheetah habitat.

Hiring Process

After reviewing the websites candidates should email their resume/CV and a cover letter describing their current status and attraction to this position to:

brucebrewer@bushblok.com