Chief Executive Officer
Employment TypeJob (Full-time)
Leadership (Executive Director, President/CEO)
Native Plant Trust seeks a dynamic leader and accomplished fundraiser as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). As the organization approaches its 125th anniversary, the talented staff and energized board are eager to realize an ambitious vision focused on the twin environmental crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. This offers the new CEO an exciting opportunity to lead a successful, well-run organization into a period of significant growth and impact.
Native Plant Trust is the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants. The organization saves native plants in the wild, grows them for gardens and restorations, and educates others on their value and use. Native Plant Trust operates Garden in the Woods, a renowned native plant botanic garden that attracts visitors from all over the world, and Nasami Farm nursery, which grows native plants without pesticides from sustainably sourced seeds. Six unstaffed sanctuaries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are open to the public; a seventh, in Maine, is the site of a long-term research project on a rare orchid.
Native Plant Trust accomplishes its mission with 32 year-round staff, seasonal interns (7), retail staff (15), and several hundred volunteers who monitor rare plant populations, conduct surveys, collect seeds, propagate plants, and serve as garden guides and work crews.
THE OPPORTUNITY The Board of Trustees is committed to ambitious growth and provides the next CEO with the opportunity to lead a campaign to invest in the staffing, technology, and facilities that will meet the needs of the future. context offers the new CEO an exciting opportunity to lead a successful, well-run organization through a period of strategic direction setting, growth and impact. Together, the Board and CEO will prepare for a comprehensive campaign that will include funding for such projects as: • Implementing the master plan for Garden in the Woods • Revamping Go Botany, an invaluable resource used by nearly 100,000 people a month, but a decade old and needing both content and technical revision • Continuing the investment in staff salaries and benefits while strategically adding positions • Supporting core programs, such as the Plant Conservation Volunteers, nursery, and Northeast Seed Network • Building the endowment and endowing key positions The Board and retiring Executive Director have prepared the way for the new Chief Executive Officer in two important ways: • Approving the creation of two new senior positions to support the CEO: Director of Finance and Operations, to handle the day-to-day financial and contracting responsibilities currently done by the Executive Director and to oversee staff and consultants; and Director of Communications, to provide expert strategy, take over management of staff and consultants, and prepare for the 125th anniversary and eventual fundraising campaign. • Ensuring that core operations—from accounting to HR to a new phone system--are solid and will not need immediate attention. Resources for the new CEO include a 15-year vision, draft 5-year strategic plan, and an 18-month communications plan to help guide the transition and the hiring and budgeting for a new Director of Communications. With the 125th anniversary approaching in 2025, the new CEO has the opportunity to take the helm and position Native Plant Trust for the future.
Duties & Responsibilities
• Collaborate with the Board, staff, and key constituents to shape, define, and effectively implement long-term goals. Lead the Board and staff in identifying initiatives that expand the organization’s capacity to serve its many constituents.
• With the Board and senior staff, forge strategies for continued leadership and innovation in the primary program areas. Work with staff to ensure the quality, scope, and suitability of programs.
• With the Board and senior staff, set priorities for investment among and within program areas, to ensure that early investment has returns that support subsequent phases.
• Ensure the organization embodies its values and its commitment to equity and diversity. Build out the IDEA strategy and ensure it is woven into the fabric of the organization’s culture and work.
• Pursue partnerships to improve accessibility to a wider range of audiences, and build on established partnerships to amplify impact across New England and beyond.
• Grow philanthropic support: annual giving, capital campaigns, designated gifts, grants. Lead the development and execution of fundraising strategies in partnership with the philanthropy team and Board. Develop and maintain relationships with leadership-gift donors and prospects, including individuals, foundations, and corporations.
• Engage Board members as active participants in fundraising efforts and in cultivating and identifying potential Trustees and donors.
Public Presence and Relationships
• Cultivate and steward relationships with a broad range of constituents, including more diverse communities, donors and funders, scientific and educational institutions, policy makers, cross-sector partners, and more.
• Communicate effectively to amplify Native Plant Trust’s voice, build constituencies for native plants, and move native plants to the forefront of key sectors.
• Harness the organization’s convening power to amplify impact through other conservation organizations, professional/scientific organizations, and federal/state/local government.
• Act as a public spokesperson and advocate for Native Plant Trust through public speaking, media interviews, publishing, social media, and by attending industry events.
• Oversee operations with an eye toward collaboration among departments.
• Work with Director of Finance and Operations, the other senior staff, and the Board to set achievable budgets, develop and implement policies and procedures, and evaluate performance against the strategic goals.
• Attract, energize, and develop the most promising talent to the staff, Board, and Council.
• Scale the multi-site infrastructure and support services to provide superb employee productivity/satisfaction and membership experience.
• Strengthen nursery operations to support burgeoning retail demand, dissemination of best practices to the trade, and build the seed/genetics program.
• Continue implementation and adaptation of Garden in the Woods’s master plan, ensuring a vibrant experience that attracts and motivates a diverse population of visitors and that showcases the organization’s expertise.
Education and Experience
Native Plant Trust is searching for a new CEO who has:
• A passion for the mission of “Conserving and promoting New England’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes.”
The ability to be:
• A visionary and strategic leader to guide the organization’s growth. The ideal candidate has a proven track record of leveraging insights from the staff, Board, donors, community members, and key constituents to develop an organization-wide strategy that addresses the rapidly changing needs of both the organization and the sector at large.
• A dynamic ambassador and relationship builder to work with leadership staff to inspire staff, Board of Trustees, the public, and partners to new heights. The ideal candidate is a charismatic leader and natural ambassador with a record of engagement with communities underserved or ignored by environmental and horticulture organizations. The person also has experience in successfully translating scientific information to the public, donors, policy makers, and the media.
• An energetic and successful fundraiser who can amplify the organization’s strong brand and reputation and leverage them to raise funds from a variety of sources. The ideal candidate has demonstrated success in securing gifts of six figures and more and experience with capital campaigns.
• An effective manager of the business operations with a track record of setting ambitious goals and effectively deploying human resources and financial capital to achieve them, while ensuring in a productive and collegial work environment.
The firm conducting the search is Koya Partners. For a full job description and to apply, go to: https://diversifiedsearchgroup.com/search/19880-native-plant-trust-chief…
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