Director of Marketing & Communications


The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) located in Arlington, VA (Crystal City) is a trade association that serves the global temperature-controlled supply chain industry, otherwise known as the “cold chain.” We represent organizations that handle, store, and transport the food we eat. We have approximately 1,100-member organizations in 80 countries around the world.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the next Director of Marketing and Communications will be responsible for oversight of all marketing and communications activities for GCCA and its four core association partners (IRW, WFLO, CEBA and IRTA.) The ideal candidate will have experience leading integrated marketing and communications campaigns from initial concepts to technical execution; is well-versed in all marketing channels including digital, print, and social; is an expert at employing a strategic voice through storytelling to achieve organizational goals; and has excellent project management skills. We are looking for a highly-driven, creative collaborator, who excels in a fast-paced, demanding environment.




  • Develop integrated marketing and communications campaigns to promote membership, events, and resources
  • Drive collaboration with stakeholders and teammates on a global scale
  • Build robust, multi-platform analytics reports to assess impact and success of all marketing and communications efforts
  • Manage committees and subcommittees to gain insight into member company marketing strategies and build relationships with employees that filter down beyond C-suite, executive leadership
  • Manage vendor and consultant relations and budgets where necessary for email provider, website developers, graphic designers, printers, etc.
  • Maintain oversight of GCCA content calendar for all channels including social media, email marketing, blogs, and Cold Connection eNewsletter



  • Conceptualize and launch multi-channel marketing campaigns to support the goals set forth and developed by the member programs team for all resources and tools including, but not limited to, digital and print advertising, social media, direct mail campaigns, email messaging, etc.
  • Interface with membership team to drive member prospecting activities via promotional campaigns and prospect outreach
  • Collaborate with Business Development team to enhance advertising programs
  • Oversee development of print collateral to promote membership, events, resources, and other activities (i.e., promotional flyers, programs, etc.)
  • Design and edit graphics for web, social media, and print
  • Drive improvements to the usability, design and content of the association’s website


  • Serve as the editor of COLD FACTS magazine
  • Create content for blogs, Cold Connection eNewsletter, and social media using strategic voice of the organization
  • Establish relationships with trade press to position GCCA, its core partners, and its members favorably as subject matter experts in the media
  • Work closely with board chairs and executive leadership to convey strategic association and industry messages via speeches and presentations at various events
  • Oversee activities related to GCCA-hosted event general sessions, including writing scripts, developing powerpoints, participating in onsite rehearsals and show production
  • Act as a brand champion for the organization, ensuring that all materials maintain GCCA and core partner brand standards, managing the review and editing of GCCA publications to meet brand style guide standards



  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or journalism preferred
  • 7+ years’ experience conceptualizing and executing integrated digital marketing communications campaigns for products or programs to segmented audiences
  • Knowledge of current marketing channels including digital, print, and social media
  • Excellent storytelling and messaging skills that appeal to audience segments
  • Knowledge of marketing and communications nuances for global markets
  • Strong communication skills with an emphasis on writing for the web and social media
  • Highly driven and results-oriented
  • Strong interpersonal skills and excellent customer service required
  • Excellent project management skills and meet deadlines on time
  • Attention to detail
  • Graphic design skills and experience with Adobe Creative Suite required
  • Strong knowledge of HTML, PHP and Java Script preferred
  • Experience working with Content Management Systems, including Drupal preferred
  • Knowledge or experience working with Email Solution Providers (i.e., Constant Contact, Magnet Mail)
  • Familiarity with customer relationship management systems, specifically Abila netFORUM


Strategic Initiatives

In addition to the day to day functional activities of marketing and communications department which are be performed by two junior marketing/communications staff under the direction of the Director, a significant part of the role will be to drive strategic initiatives of the organization.  This background provides additional context as to the nature of those strategic initiatives which will be a large percentage of the Director’s day to day responsibilities.

GCCA launched a new strategic plan in 2015 that pivoted the associations focus to member’s business outcomes.  The plan was aggressive and bold, inclusive of multiple initiatives not historically part of the association’s core competencies or activities.  The execution of the plan has been ambitious, fast paced and done without significant additional resources committed from the board.  It has been driven by a hard working, high performing staff excited to take on these new initiatives.

Some examples of those initiatives that need marketing focus include:

Energy Excellence – GCCA has collected energy data from more than 100 facilities in order to build an algorithm to help measure efficiency.  The program also includes a bronze, silver, and gold certification that members can market to their customers to demonstrate energy stewardship and contribution to sustainability goals.  Assistance is needed to better market the program to members and to create a marketing plan for communicating the achievements to customers.

Cold Chain Index – A top issue of the industry is commoditization as customers pressure members for cheaper rates while providing more services.  Customers typically hold members to annual rate changes pegged to CPI or PPI economic indices that do not reflect the costs structures of our members’ operations which are influenced heavily by labor and energy.  This index will be released regularly to members and customers to provide an independent tool that can be used in negotiating rate changes.  Assistance is needed to help broadly disseminate the CCI and achieve recognition and adoption by member’s customers.

Industry Promotion Campaign – Commoditization of the industry has focused conversations of operators and their customers on price.  There has not been full recognition or appreciation that members are an extension of the food companies brands that they serve.  Food companies’ biggest issue is the safety of the food and protecting their brand.  Our members are critical to that mission, and a multi-faceted campaign was designed to help tell that story to member’s customers.  After multiple “introductions” of the campaign, it has never been fully operationalized and effectively launched to members and customers.   A marketing firm developed a great strategy, message/theme, and assets (including a video)  but we need help executing the strategy.

Customer Research – GCCA conducted a 2-year long research effort with cold chain industry customers to determine their biggest concerns and feedback on the industry.  Valuable findings were discovered on what members can do to better serve their members.  The research included qualitative and a quantitative study of 200+ food companies, and a report was published.  We have not been able to fully promote these valuable results through marketing strategies to disseminate content through traditional communication vehicles, social media, earned media, etc.

Built by the Best – GCCA’s core partner association, the Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA), also has a new strategic plan with a core objective to achieve recognition as the authority in designing and building temperature-controlled facilities.  An initiative to achieve this objective is the Built by the Best award.  The award features innovative construction projects and selects a winner to be the project of the year.  GCCA needs marketing strategies to broadcast the winner and feature the project in front of customers.  It is intended to draw food companies to the organization to learn more about specialized projects and hire specialized contractors.

Cool Carrier Certification – New food safety laws, including the Sanitary Transportation of Food rule were developed by congress and FDA in recent years.  The rule pointed to carriers following industry best practices in transporting food, which didn’t exist in a written form.  A task force and the board created a best practices guide that was disseminated, but could have been more broadly shared.  The Food and Drug Administration did adopt the publication as their guidance document.  Now, a certification is being piloted to demonstrate conformance with the standard.  Once the pilot is complete, a massive go to market strategy will be needed for the new certification product.

CEBA Brand – Another objective of the Controlled Environment Building Association was to promote CEBA and its brand to customer communities representing various verticals.  CEBA is the new name of the association that was revealed at the annual conference in November 2018.  While the new name and brand was successfully rolled out to the internal members, the next step is development and execution of a marketing strategy to broadcast the name to the end-user community.

Customer Engagement – Closer connectivity and a voice with the customer is a cross-cutting goal of the association, which is featured in many of the initiatives discussed above.  A new event was also launched three years ago, the Global Cold Chain Expo.  The Expo provided a place where customers could meet as most GCCA meetings were reserved for members and customers were not welcome.  Food companies have been a target audience for the expo, and an average of 100 customers have attended in the last 3 years.  Marketing and communication strategies need to be enhanced and focused to drive greater connection to customers for all strategic initiatives, especially the Global Cold Chain Expo.

Workforce development – Labor is the number one issue facing GCCA members.  We have been piloting more than ten initiatives to help with recruiting and retaining associates.  Budgets have been approved to develop an “employer brand” to include assets that members can use in their own businesses.  We are working with university supply chain and logistics students to create awareness and excitement around the industry.  While we are still early in these workforce development initiatives, marketing plans will be needed to help execute some of the initiatives and disseminate the resources developed to members.

Lead the Cold Chain – GCCA launched an official government affairs program in 2009, which included the first full time government affairs hire and a more proactive government affairs effort.  GCCA and its Vice President of Government Affairs have been incredibly active and successful in its efforts.  We are not effective, however, in communicating our efforts and successes with our members.  Members pay dues for GCCA to advocate on its behalf, and we must demonstrate to members regularly our activities and results.



This is a retained search. Send detailed cover letter outlining your experience conceptualizing and delivering integrated marketing communications campaigns to segmented audiences; and a resume customized to reflect the desired qualifications of this role to: Shira Harrington, Purposeful Hire, Inc. at