West Wisconsin Land Trust and the Bayfield Regional Conservancy are in the process of merging to serve a 20-county area in northwest Wisconsin.
The two trusts expect the merger to improve the quality and efficiency of operations and to enhance their combined capability to conserve land. These two accredited land trusts currently have staff in Menomonie, Bayfield and Superior, Wisconsin. The Executive Director will lead five full-time staff and one part-time conservation manager. The administrative office will be located in Menomonie. The initial “charter” board of the new trust consists of the combined boards of the two merging trusts (18 members). The Executive Director will work with the charter Board of Directors to establish a long-term governing board.
Many sites of significant conservation value remain unprotected in northwest Wisconsin and a priority for the Executive Director is to lead strategic planning to achieve more and better conservation of these areas while assuring stewardship of over 200 conservation easements and nearly 1,500 acres of fee-owned lands. Another key need is to enhance public recognition and support for the trust.
Executive Director Position Description
The Executive Director reports to the Board of the new Land Trust and provides leadership in organizational development, strategic planning and management of the organization including financial and operational functions. The position will lead a team of professionals in achieving the goals of the organization. In the near term, the Executive Director will create and foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration in bringing together two well-established organizations.
Leads to ensure the objectives and goals of the organization are achieved while promoting a culture to foster passion for the mission and elicit high performance through positive team oriented methods. Works with the Board, the Executive Committee and professional staff to establish the reputation and reliability of the new organization and ensure values of transparency, respect and ethical practices.
Strategic Planning and Execution
With the Executive Committee and chairs of established committees, establishes a process to create three to five year plans to achieve the mission of the organization in preserving more land, protecting lands and waters of strategic importance, ensuring resources for sustainability and protection in perpetuity, and the pursuit of community conservation initiatives. Establishes a scope of work with staff that delivers a viable and healthy new land trust and, as appropriate, involves partners who support the organization, including legacy community leaders, educational and governmental resources, and conservation partners.
Board Development and Governance
Assists the Board in recruiting and educating new Board members in their role and obligations. For Board meetings and Board actions, oversees the compilation of materials including updated year to date financials, communication of activities, update on conservation projects, market development, etc. Ensures processes are fully compliant including state and federal reporting, IRS compliance for non-profit accounting and operations, and Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
Conservation and Land Protection
With the Conservation Committee and staff, ensures conservation and stewardship priorities are established and work is planned to achieve mission goals. Oversees land protection materials presented to the Board for information and/or action to comply with LTA Standards. Ensures that stewardship management and monitoring of land easements is thorough and completed in a timely manner. On occasion, will accompany staff on land project investigations, field visits and easement monitoring.
Financial and Operations Sustainability
With Treasurer and Finance Committee, establishes plan to expand and diversify funding resources to ensure fiscal soundness. Oversees that expenses stay within the budget to meet year-end projections. Oversees the preparation of monthly financial reports for Treasurer to report to the Board. Builds positive relations with donors including individuals, foundations and other conservation interests. Ensures donor acknowledgements are timely and compliant with IRS rules. With the Development and Communications Director, create donor outreach in communities served by the new organization and build positive relations with donors including individuals, foundations and other conservation entities.
Community Outreach, Public Relations, Marketing
With the Director of Development and Communications, initializes and provides oversight for consistency of marketing and branding of the new organization to ensure clarity of how the new organization will serve its communities and the interests of land protection. Publicizes the new organization’s efforts and plans in local and regional forums. Serves as spokesperson on media inquiries and promotes the work of the organization. Prepares plans for working with volunteers and friends groups on stewardship programs. As resources are developed, create additional outreach for community stewardship and education. Travel required to maintain relationships with staff and donor community throughout the service area.
Education and Experience
• Demonstrated ability to lead an organization, proven management skills and success in communicating to a wide and varied audience.
• Bachelor’s degree plus five years of related experience.
• Demonstrated commitment to conservation and environmental causes is essential.
• Travel to conservation sites, meetings with partners and donors and staff is required as needed.
• Salary and benefits will be commensurate with requirements of the position and comparable to similar organizations in the land trust sector.
Applicants may e-mail cover letter and resume to the board search committee firstname.lastname@example.org.
Position is open until filled. Position is available in early 2018.