Collaborative Strategies Inc.

  • Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships

    # of Openings
    Non-Profit Management
    American Optometric Association
    US-MO-St Louis
  • Overview

    AOA - Logo resized

    Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships

    Position Announcement


    At the American Optometric Association (“AOA”), you’ll be part of an organization dedicated to driving the success and serving as a voice for over 44,000 optometric professionals, including the doctors (O.D.) and students of optometry and paraoptometric team members who deliver more than two-thirds of primary eye care in the United States. Since 1898, the AOA has been focused on providing innovative educational opportunities, tools and practice resources, and professional advocacy.


    In addition to a growing membership base, numerous volunteer committees, a House of Delegates, and a National Board of Trustees, the AOA is even further energized by a diverse base of industry sponsors and corporate support. These critical sponsorships allow corporate partners who are well-aligned with the AOA’s mission to promote the Association. Building strategic partnerships provides a meaningful way for corporations to further support and to publicize the AOA’s educational and advocacy efforts, and programming nationwide. To learn more about the AOA, please visit


    The AOA is now seeking a dynamic and innovative Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships to help build these meaningful relationships. The ideal candidate will help to expand relationships with current sponsors, identify new sponsors, imagine and create new partnering opportunities, and work to build collaboration between external partners and the AOA’s internal programming, educational, and advocacy teams.


    Reporting directly to the AOA’s Director of Strategic Relationships in Saint Louis, Missouri, the AOA’s new Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships will:


    • BUILD POSITIVE & PROACTIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH CURRENT SPONSORS – Grow and develop the AOA’s relationships with current sponsors. Proactively engage the AOA’s contact through proactive education on the AOA’s current initiatives, advocacy, educational, and programming opportunities. Facilitate meaningful conversations to expand partnering possibilities. Ensure sponsor satisfaction while working to bridge internal programming needs and external sponsor requirements.
    • EXPAND THE AOA’s PARTNER ECOSYSTEM – Proactively identify, cultivate, and engage a new base of potential sponsors to diversify the AOA’s partner ecosystem. Serve as the face and voice of the AOA, consistently and positively presenting the organization and its mission to stakeholders. Build a steady pipeline of prospects in multiple industry verticals while developing and vetting unique opportunities with the AOA’s leadership. Work closely with the AOA’s internal Industry Relations Committee to leverage relationships and build an ongoing system of partner referrals.
    • CLOSE AND SECURE PARTNERSHIP FUNDING PROPOSALS – Serve as one of the AOA’s key contacts, stewarding sponsors through the discovery, innovation, concept development, execution, and activation phases of the sponsorship process. Develop and prepare funding proposals as well as supporting documentation, including commitment letters and sponsorship agreements.
    • IMAGINE NEW PARTNERING OPPORTUNITIES – Foster internal buy-in for new and innovative ways to engage the AOA’s industry base. Collaborate internally to identify new assets and programming ideas, including new vehicles of marketing, advertising, and sponsorship. Leverage internal the AOA resources to create buy-in for unique sponsorship opportunities aligned with the AOA’s mission and which add value to meetings and member events.


    Key qualifications include:

    • Passion for the AOA’s mission, including its role as an advocate and a resource for all practitioners, students, and related staff in the field of optometry.
    • At least 5-7 years of related experience reflecting an ability to build strong relationships, identify matching synergies, and secure desired commitments. Background in sales, nonprofit fundraising, and/or corporate relations experience a plus. Experience within optometry, healthcare, and/or member-based organizations also a plus, but not required.
    • Demonstrated analytical experience in developing, collecting, analyzing, and reporting on key metrics to represent ROI for sponsor participation. Experience assisting with budgets and forecasts a plus.
    • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree a plus.


    Other desired skills and abilities:

    • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build rapport across the company and with clients while quickly and confidently gaining respect of others a must.
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills, along with attentive listening skills and an ability to express opinions and propose new ideas.
    • Ability to travel occasionally for work-related meetings, typically 4-6 annual events.
    • Big picture thinker with a strong business acumen.
    • Superior problem solving and critical thinking capabilities.
    • Ability to work at a fast pace while tracking a high-level of evolving detail is a must.


    Location: This position must be based in the AOA’s corporate headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri. Relocation assistance may be available, and relocation would be expected upon hire.


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