We're Hiring

We're Hiring

Back To Throw-Away-Free Living

UPSTREAM is hiring!

POSITION: Chief Brand Officer & Digital Catalyst

LOCATION: Boston, New York or San Francisco preferred


UPSTREAM is sparking a revolution across America to make single-use throw-away stuff as weird as wearing a fur coat or smoking on airplanes. Imagine you’re catching a ballgame, or heading out to a concert, or you’re taking your kid to a zoo or a theme park. Now imagine there’s no more throw-away stuff. When you sit down to eat, you’re eating on real plates with real silverware. When you’re grabbing a soda or a beer, it’s in a reusable cup that you can either pay to keep as a souvenir or turn back in and get your money back.

Now imagine taking this idea to an entire city. No more throw-away when you’re sitting down to eat or getting a coffee. And all the restaurants and food delivery businesses are using reusable to-go cups and to-go boxes that are part of a community-wide system run by innovative new businesses.

Lastly, imagine influencers and tastemakers rejecting single-use and instead promoting real and reusable as part of a sustainable lifestyle.  

This is the future UPSTREAM is working to create with pioneers in communities, start-up businesses and culture.

To realize this vision, we need to add comms, public relations, brand development, marketing, and digital strategy chops into our distributed team. We’re calling that person the Chief Brand Officer & Digital Catalyst. Maybe that special person is you, maybe it’s someone else you know. Read on to find out more about this pivotal role in building the better way than throw-away.

What is a Chief Brand Officer & Digital Catalyst?

Over the past year, UPSTREAM has undergone a metamorphosis to maximize our ability to transform America’s throw-away society to a culture of stewardship. We’ve evolved our role from behind-the-scenes conveners, thought leaders and strategists to become movement catalysts for a throw-away-free future. As part of this process, we’re pivoting to become a public-facing organization and investing in building our brand, and our projects and services.

We need a Chief Brand Officer & Digital Catalyst to complete our transformation. This work will evolve undoubtedly as we go, but here are the highlights:

  • Hack the throw-away culture by changing the narrative: throw-away is weird and reuse is the new normal and way more fun.
  • Match our innovative work with innovative and impactful storytelling - creating and leading UPSTREAM’s marketing, comms and digital strategic plan.
  • Build and steward UPSTREAM’s brand with target audiences and the general public.
  • Raise awareness of both our role in creating innovative solutions to plastic pollution and the solutions themselves by revising and improving our brand and visibility with our current and future partners (including non-traditional enviro partners); pioneers including entrepreneurs, start-ups, influencers and changemakers; plus traditional audiences including corporate leaders, lawmakers, and the general public.
  • Create and manage UPSTREAM’s public relations strategy including designing communications campaigns, writing news releases and other content for news, working with the press, arranging interviews for company spokespeople, writing speeches for company leaders, acting as a spokesperson, preparing team members for press conferences, media interviews and speeches, writing website and social media content.
  • Elevate and tie our messaging seamlessly together through our existing comms/marketing recipe: an interactive website, the Indisposable podcast, video, articles, social, e-blasts, high profile earned media, and public speaking engagements. Add more ingredients and/or improve upon our existing ingredients, add a strategic focus and timeline to our storytelling cauldron.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to amplify and tell the stories of our heroes making reuse a reality: the visionaries, entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders and investors within the private, public and non-profit sectors.
  • Maximize and guide the talent and assets of our creative contractor and contracted graphics team to successfully implement this new strategic plan.
  • Work with the Executive Director and Engagement Director to grow and engage our influencer network including strategically identifying and leveraging existing and potential social, influencer and network opportunities with our partner venues and cities.
  • Maximize engagement of a public that is hungry for real, long-term answers to plastic pollution and our single-use world, recognizing we are all influencers in our communities.
  • Serve as our liaison with the media, partner venues’ marketing departments, and partner ad agencies developing city-centric campaigns for our Throw-Away-Free work.
  • Report to Executive Director and oversee part-time support staff and creative contractor. Work closely with our Engagement Director recognizing the symbiotic relationship between marketing and fundraising.
  • Participate in UPSTREAM staff calls, team retreats, and virtual communication channels to ensure our team remains connected while distributed.
  • Participate in fundraising activities as needed, such as major donor events and grant writing or reporting.

What kinds of things help you do this job well?

This is a new position for our organization and the Catalyst will help refine the job function. Core qualifications include:

  • Brand development experience, stellar communications/marketing skills and the aspiration to sell our vision of a throw-away-free world.
  • Experience effectively managing a team of creatives; virtual management experience a plus.
  • Strategic and creative vision combined with the ability to develop innovative storytelling with existing and emerging tools including leveraging low-cost/high impact methods to catalyze small groups to make big changes.
  • Experience developing successful comms/marketing strategies that change culture including: influencer marketing, meme-worthy digital campaigns, targeted earned media, messaging and creative brand development.
  • Willingness to share and leverage your media, creatives and influencer networks to grow our brand.
  • Significant experience and a successful track record working effectively across difference, including leading and working on teams that are diverse by race, gender, and age.
  • Desire to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world, combined with a strong, solutions oriented approach to changing throw away culture and solving plastic pollution.
  • A commitment to giving and receiving skillful, candid feedback, especially across difference, and to ongoing learning and professional development for yourself and the team as a whole.
  • Accountability and self-management. As part of a small virtual team, a qualified candidate should be able to develop and execute programs and work plans with minimal supervision.
  • Self-accountability, communication of priorities, needs, and new developments to team-members, and tracking task and decision details appropriately are core expectations of our team members.
  • Comfort working with online platforms and virtual offices. We use technology to create a virtual office including Google Drive, Asana, Zoom, and willingness to use these systems is crucial for this role.

Additional qualifications:

  • An understanding of how change moves through society and the comms and marketing that supports this change.
  • Being based in and/or well connected in Boston is preferred and/or New York City or San Francisco.
  • Regular travel for meetings, staff retreats, and other convenings is part of the job.

A  note on UPSTREAM culture and values:

At UPSTREAM, we strive continuously to build a more just, inclusive culture within our organization, through our hiring processes, via our work in the world, and as founding members of the global #breakfreefromplastic movement. In addition to our focus on building a better way than throw-away in the US, amplifying the leadership of those most impacted by pollution is a core part of our work. We are committed to creating a staff team that represents the global constituency we serve, because we recognize a rich mix of perspectives and backgrounds improves the quality and integrity of our work and is an important expression of our values.

At UPSTREAM we believe in the power of inspirational invitation over doom, gloom, and guilt. Within the larger movement ecosystem, we are visionaries, alchemists, and story-tellers helping to catalyze and amplify solutions of the better world already being built. We aim to foster a culture of creative action where a rich mix of talented people want to come, stay, connect as both colleagues and humans, and co-create a more beautiful, just world every day.

UPSTREAM operates as a virtual team. We have small clusters of team members scattered across the U.S., with no central office and minimal hierarchy on staff. We work from home and co-working spaces and cafes, and keep each other accountable and communicate often via online tools and video conferencing. We also gather frequently to work, connect, and play in beautiful places. We place a high value on work-life balance and on honoring the privilege of getting paid to do this good work every day. Our work culture balances trust and independence with an equal measure of collaboration and emphasis on supporting each other to do our best work.

If this sounds like a fit, you’ll love working with our passionate team.

Compensation: Contractors as well as part-time and full-time staff positions will all be considered for the right candidate. We are looking for talented leaders interested in committing to this program for multiple years, and will work with top candidates on developing an appropriate salary/benefits, or contracting arrangement. Anticipated Salary range is $70-000 - $90,000 with a benefits package commensurate with experience.
To Apply:  Email a thoughtful cover letter and resume to jobs@upstreamsolutions.org. Accepting applications through Monday, July 1 and the position will remain open until we find the right candidates.

About The Author

Julie Lamy

Julie joins Matt to form UPSTREAM's management team. Whether she's out front making friends and building networks or behind the scenes making sure UPSTREAM is working like a smooth machine, she is an ensthuastic believer in a better way than throw-away. Julie brings 25+ years of experience with non-profits of all sizes, community problem solving skills, and a Peace Corps experience to UPSTREAM. And she plays frisbee year-round, outside....in Maine. No cabin fever here.

About The Author

Julie Lamy

Julie joins Matt to form UPSTREAM's management team. Whether she's out front making friends and building networks or behind the scenes making sure UPSTREAM is working like a smooth machine, she is an ensthuastic believer in a better way than throw-away. Julie brings 25+ years of experience with non-profits of all sizes, community problem solving skills, and a Peace Corps experience to UPSTREAM. And she plays frisbee year-round, outside....in Maine. No cabin fever here.