Job Posting

Executive Director, Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust

February 08, 2018
Location: Huntingdon Valley, PA


Founded in 1970, the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust is a private, non-profit land conservancy located in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles northeast of central Philadelphia.  As the steward of 828 acres of protected meadows, woodlands and floodplain forest, the Trust manages Montgomery County’s second-largest privately owned natural area that is open to the public. Over 1,200 dues-paying members support the Trust, and the preserve hosts 20,000 visitors annually. The Trust frequently hosts land management practitioners, volunteers, and university students and researchers who come for exposure to the techniques and philosophy of ecological restoration.

The Trust’s mission is to steward the Pennypack Preserve natural area as an important open space component of the region’s natural areas network, and to educate and encourage people to appreciate, enjoy, and protect the Preserve’s native ecosystems.

Position Overview

The Executive Director, with governance from the Board and input from staff and members, determines and ensures execution of the overall organizational vision, strategic direction, tactical goals, operating policies/procedures, staffing requirements, fiscal policies and operating budgets to ensure successful fulfillment of the Trust’s mission.  She or he will strengthen Trust’s established reputation by further building, maintaining and nurturing a network of influential contacts relevant to the Trust’s mission.  S/he will continue to develop the organization’s cohesion and visibility.  The Executive Director will have overall responsibility for leadership, membership development, community programs direction, fundraising, operations, and the financial integrity of the organization.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors through the Board Chair.

Position Responsibilities

External Relations/Communications

  • Assume a leadership role in the community by serving as a spokesperson for the Trust representing and effectively promoting the Trust’s mission and programs to the membership and the broader community, including related organizations, media, potential donors and general public through public interactions with the community and partners.
  • Lead the communication efforts to recognize the value of the Trust’s program and landholdings outside the watershed and the region. Publicize the Trust’s initiatives and developments in habitat restoration, deer herd management, reintroduction of extirpated species, etc.  Attend conference and symposia on restoration and management, presenting papers detailing pertinent activities conducted on Trust property.
  • Actively encourage the use of the Trust’s preserve as a site for ecological research.
  • Maintain and enhance relationships with representatives of environmentally active organizations and state/federal agencies whose interests and responsibilities influence the Trust and its programs.
  • Build and enhance relationships with private landowners with holdings neighboring the Trust’s preserved land. Promote the value of protecting additional areas adjoining the Trust’s property.
  • Develop, in conjunction with the Board of Directors and staff, short and long-range plans for the Trust and strategies for achieving them. Maintain solid, collaborative working relations with the Board of Directors providing information and guidance needed for the Board to make informed and necessary decisions.
  • Prepare and deliver occasional public programs to engage the membership and maintain visibility.

Resource Development and Membership

  • Plan for future revenue needs and resources to sustain the Trust’s programs and operations through establishing and executing clear fundraising strategies, annual goals and a detailed revenue development plan including but not limited to seeking and preparing grant applications.
  • Engage the Board to develop ongoing fundraising and development activities, including cultivating strong relationships with major individual, foundation and corporate donors.
  • Oversee an overall membership strategy that ensures the retention of current members and the recruitment of new members. Add value to the membership by exploring different programs, categories and benefits
  • Maintain positive relationships with existing donors and nurture them to increase contributions.
  • Understand and promote various charitable giving tools including but not limited to planned giving and memorial giving options.
  • Oversee all special events, fundraising campaigns and/or activities as defined by the Board of Directors.

Fiscal/Fiduciary Management/Operations

  • Ensure overall financial stability, capacity and sound stewardship of fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Develop, manage and monitor the Trust’s budget as approved by the Board of Directors throughout the fiscal year; oversee accounting procedures, supervise annual financial audit, ensure responsible management of funds.
  • Coordinate and oversee activities with professional advisors and contractors, including legal counsel, auditors, accountants, etc.
  • Oversee compliance with all federal, state and local government requirements, including those relating to the Trust’s non-profit, 501 (c)(3) status.
  • Perform on-going assessments of the facilities, collections, grounds, and systems. Develop and implement ongoing capital maintenance and preservation programs, as appropriate.

Human Resources

  • Ensure optimal staff capacity.
  • Manage staff’s guidance and professional development.
  • Ensure staff is motivated, understands the goals of the organization, and has clear responsibilities.
  • Conduct staff performance evaluations to ensure appropriate alignment with the Trust’s strategic and operational goals.

Professional Qualifications

  • S. or M.A. in Natural Resource Management, Biology, Wildlife Ecology, Range Ecology, Botany, or related field is preferred.
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in land stewardship, restoration, management of invasive species, etc. Proven record of program responsibility at a national, state, or local park; wildlife refuge, wildlife management area; national or state forest; or private land-based facility such as a sanctuary.
  • Relationship builder and manager with excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to develop and implement new initiatives.
  • Strong organizational skills and financial management skills with the ability to manage multiple priorities and projects concurrently.
  • Self-starter requiring minimal direction for completing assignments and projects.
  • Ability to travel occasionally to conferences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and a pervasive sense of humor.
  • Good judgment and strong problem-solving skills.
  • Team-oriented and collegial.

Willingness and ability to work outside normal business hours, as needed on occasion.