University of Nebraska Medical Center

Project Lead, Spark

Do you want to love what you do, challenge yourself and make a difference?  Here’s your opportunity!  Spark seeks to add a strong project lead to its team of community developers.

Spark is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community development intermediary that brings a unique, collaborative, and community-based approach to economic development in the Omaha area. We recognize that philanthropic organizations, civic institutions, and other partners have the resources to impact change while community residents, business owners, and other stakeholders best understand the community’s needs. Spark seeks to serve as a bridge between these various parties, leveraging our expertise, relationships and funding to transform neighborhoods through a process of holistic community development.


The Project Lead will have the opportunity to make a meaningful and long-lasting impact on the Omaha area, and the evolution of Spark and its programs and projects. Through the daily application of holistic development practices, the Project Lead will play a fundamental role in helping Spark realize its mission of helping profoundly transform disinvested neighborhoods into thriving and prosperous communities.



The Project Lead’s primary focus is to build deep relationships, develop a genuine understanding of community assets and opportunities, support capacity-building efforts, and creatively and collaboratively identify, implement and evaluate a pipeline of community-driven real estate development projects. Projects will include mixed-use development, housing, commercial space, community facilities and public space amenities. Specific duties include:

  1. Collaborate with stakeholders to create, analyze and shape viable development opportunities. Proactively identify and remove barriers to problem-solve and help projects move forward.
  2. Manage Spark’s role in each phase of project development and execution, including market and feasibility analysis, acquisition, planning and design, securing entitlement and zoning approvals, due diligence, site preparation, scheduling, RFP management, project reporting, and developing plans for long-term operations.
  3. Provide assistance to the start-up, implementation and management of Spark’s real estate development loan fund.
  4. Help assess capacity-building needs of emerging developers and support the creation, implementation and evaluation of real estate development and finance training initiatives.
  5. Build and maintain strong, trusting and professional relationships with public, private, nonprofit and community partners.
  6. Create and execute an annual program of work that helps further Spark’s mission, vision, guiding principles and strategic plan. Regularly analyze and refine criteria used to target where Spark works and how it analyzes, structures and evaluates projects.
  7. Be a positive and progressive advocate for holistic community development by researching, analyzing and promoting best practices.
  8. Assist with developing volunteer needs, job descriptions and committee structures. Recruit and manage volunteers and consultants to support Spark’s organizational and project-specific needs.
  9. Professionally represent Spark at various internal and external functions.
  10. Assume other initiatives as requested by the Executive Director to ensure fulfillment of mission.


  1. Requires at least three years of relevant experience in real estate development and/or project leadership.
  2. Track record that shows strong initiative and self-direction, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to work autonomously.
  3. Ability to manage multiple responsibilities and deliver expected outcomes on time.
  4. Demonstrated experience in neighborhood-scale community development, transit-oriented development and mixed-use development.
  5. Familiarity with Omaha area, with a thorough understanding of the real estate market in disinvested neighborhoods.
  6. Demonstrated ability to collaboratively work with diverse stakeholders.
  7. Excellent communications and facilitation skills, including written, one-on-one, participating in or leading a group, and public speaking and presentations.
  8. Highly organized, superb attention to detail, and timely follow-through skills.
  9. Fluent speaking, writing and reading capabilities in English; fluency in Spanish preferred.
  10. Desire and ability to work in a team environment with internal and external stakeholders.
  11. Demonstrated research capacity and experience with visioning and strategic planning.
  12. Ability to create a program of work and evaluate performance measures.
  13. Ability to work flexible hours including early mornings, evenings, and weekends when necessary.
  14. Experience in use of common office machines and willingness to learn and use specialized equipment and technologies.
  15. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and experience with GIS software.
  16. Valid identification and ability to provide own transportation are required.


View the full job description online at the NAM Career Center.