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Executive Director - Whiterock Conservancy

Coon Rapids IA

Whiterock Conservancy stewards and shares with visitors one of the largest expanses of protected land in Iowa. Its 5,500 acres encompass opportunity for outdoor recreation, nature experiences and innovation in agricultural land management. Facilities welcome visitors for overnight hospitality, nature experiences, business or multi-family gatherings, adventure races, and more – with easy access to trails, river, prairie, woods, and the dark sky.

Our current Executive Director is moving toward retirement. The Whiterock Conservancy board is seeking a dynamic, enthused, skilled leader to build on our previous successes.


Purpose of position:

The Executive Director (ED) leads a positive, productive workplace and culture that sustains the organization and advances its mission. The Executive Director inspires and invites support and partnership. With the Board of Directors and staff, the ED keeps the organization nimble and visionary.

The ED is ultimately responsible for the organization’s fiscal management, revenue generation, and fundraising. The ED sets clear staff priorities and personally bolsters key relationships. This position directly reports to the Board of Directors.


Essential Responsibilities:

Organizational Leadership

With the Board of Directors, develops long-range and current strategies and priorities. Provides organization-wide team leadership, and serves as primary spokesperson for the organization.


Financial Stability

Leads and supports efforts to secure gifts and revenue to support the workplan and strategic plan. Sustains WRC’s earned revenue from farming and hospitality, and explores new revenue opportunities for the future. Ensures strong fiscal management and accountability


Priority Relationships

Focused personal conversations with specific donors is an important responsibility of this position. Also develops strategic relationships with potential partners on joint ventures that can bring important sustainable revenue to Whiterock and/or pursue long-term strategic goals.


Qualifications and Experience

Passion for the natural environment and working lands, and an understanding of Iowa/Midwestern culture.

Experience and aptitude for leading a small staff to achieve high-priority accomplishments.

Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively, with good judgment.

Demonstrated ability to develop and sustain strong donor relationships.

The highest level of personal and professional integrity.

Exceptional and diverse communication skills.


Job setting and structure

Flexible work hours will vary to meet demands of ED responsibilities, including participation in evening or weekend activities (estimated 10-15 weekend events per year). On weekdays, ED interacts regularly with staff and visitors at Whiterock and should be always available to staff. Some work from a home office is allowed, and some travel in central Iowa is expected. Living near the Whiterock Conservancy land/facilities is ideal for the ED to be more easily present, participate in the Coon Rapids community, and handle emergencies that may arise onsite.


The ED must be able to drive, and must provide their own transportation for work-related travel or commuting. Physical requirements also include sitting and/or standing at a desk for extended periods of the workday, and ability to accomplish basic computer skills for business. Must be able to work in an office environment with low to moderate noise levels. Should have the ability to get on the land, and may be involved in some manual labor.


Salary and Benefits:

This position is full-time. Salary range is $70,000 and up, based on experience and skills. Benefits include medical insurance payment up to $3,500 per year, mileage reimbursement for work related use of personal vehicle, paid vacation, sick leave and 10 holidays.


To suggest a candidate or inquire about the position, please contact Butch Niebuhr at butch.niebuhr@gmail.com. All inquiries will be held in confidence.


To apply:

Write to Anita O’Gara at anitaogara@gmail.com using subject line “Executive Director Search.” Application requires resume plus a cover letter addressing your reasons for interest and how your experience prepares you for this leadership position. Please include at least three professional references with contact information. All applications are held in confidence; references will not be contacted until later in the search process with the candidate’s prior knowledge.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

Posted October 8, 2020

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