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Executive Director - Legacy Land Conservancy

Location:Ann Arbor, MI
Employment Type:Full Time

Legacy Land Conservancy's Board of Directors is seeking their next Executive Director to lead this $1M non-profit organization whose mission is to secure for current and future generations a land base for nature, agriculture, fresh water and recreation in Washtenaw and Jackson Counties and beyond.

Legacy is governed by an active and engaged Board of 15 members and has a talented staff covering 10 budgeted positions.  The staff partners to advance the strategic plan, including a goal set in 2008 to protect and steward 25,000 acres of the most important lands in Washtenaw and Jackson Counties. These counties lie at the heart of the "Emerald Arc," a swath of protected land surrounding the population centers of Southeast Michigan.   Throughout the Arc are found some of America’s most productive farmland and natural areas, as well as lakes and rivers that impact water quality in the entire Great Lakes Basin.  Working with their partners and with the community, Legacy is committed to ensuring that future generations enjoy the clean water, fresh food, scenic rural heritage, and peaceful recreational opportunities that have characterized Washtenaw and Jackson counties for generations.  More information can be found at 

In partnership with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is an ambassador and advocate for Legacy’s mission.  The Executive Director is responsible for the organization's consistent achievement of its mission through relevant initiatives, strategic planning and fundraising, as well as for meeting financial objectives and oversight of the operations of the organization.

The Executive Director is also a thought leader who can guide the organization through continued change and growth to new heights. As the face of the organization, this leadership team member is an active member of the community and works directly with partner organizations. As the chief fundraiser, the Executive Director works actively on fundraising and development.



Strategy and Execution:

  • Provides transformational leadership in developing strategic plans and vision in conjunction with the Board of Directors and staff, and ensures successful execution of plans and priorities
  • Maintains a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in land conservation and funder preferences/requirements to ensure that mission, vision and strategy embrace creative and leading-edge approaches and practices
  • Maintains Legacy’s accreditation with the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
  • Successfully collaborates with board and staff in execution of vision and strategies

Resource Development/Fundraising and Community Partnerships:

  • Advances Legacy’s mission through establishing and nurturing relationships with partners and key community stakeholders
  • Maintains active membership and participation in the community
  • Maintains and enhances fundraising success in partnership with the Development Director and Legacy Board of Directors
  • Actively engages with a prioritized personal portfolio of potential funders, with weekly and monthly goals/progress for all fundraising activities
  • Strategically diversifies the funding base and revenue streams to maintain and enhance organizational sustainability
  • Ensures identification and execution of successful approaches to grant applications and deliverables

Team Relations/Supervision:

  • Establishes trust and rapport with the team through authentic relationships
  • Instills recognition systems for staff and adopts regular venues for listening and responding to staff ideas and needs
  • Leads a high-performing, mission-driven team; responsible for the recruitment, coaching, and performance management of all team members
  • Creates clarity of accountabilities by ensuring responsibilities are clearly documented, regular evaluations are held, and sound personnel management practices are in place
  • Maintains a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff of peak-performing professionals

Internal and External Communications:

  • Represents the organization in various community forums and funding agencies to advocate for Legacy’s mission
  • Communicates with the board to ensure trustees are fully informed on all activities and matters of importance to Legacy’s mission
  • Reports metrics against goals, with input from board members and committees; alerts board members to concerns about financial and other impacts
  • Oversees the dissemination of information regarding Legacy activities to increase community awareness of the mission and goals of the organization
  • Establishes sound working relationships with outside entities
  • Crafts, contributes to, or approves all relevant collateral and communication vehicles (Annual Report, website, social media)

 Finance and Business Plans:

  • Oversees development and maintenance of sound financial practices, including oversight of annual financial audit
  • Partners with staff and board in preparing a budget; ensures that the organization operates within budget guidelines and follows proper accounting practices
  • Ensures that program and operational expenditures are properly balanced with fundraising/revenue



Education and Experience

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Three to five years of progressively responsible experience in a leadership/supervisory role with a proven track record in building relationships with staff and volunteers
  • Experience working in a nonprofit, economic development, governmental or public sector setting with proven experience in responding to the needs of various stakeholders
  • Experience working with a volunteer board
  • Experience raising funds, including successfully closing major-gift solicitations with individual high-capacity donors

 Competencies and Attributes

  • Ability to exercise a high degree of judgment and diplomacy as well as maintaining the highest integrity and ethics
  • A drive towards collaboration, innovation, and pursuit of new opportunities, along with comfort in leading change
  • Strong interpersonal skills and comfort with philanthropic community and major donors
  • Solid, persuasive verbal and written communications skills, including the ability to deliver inspiring and succinct presentations and conduct productive meetings
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as a proven record of working collaboratively and diplomatically with others
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a diverse team and effectively manage, motivate, and mentor staff
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and develop organizational strategic plans
  • Strong business acumen and decision-making skills; ability to set priorities; strong process and project-management skills
  • Valid driver’s license and vehicle

Desired/Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Environmental Studies, Business Administration or a related field
  • A connection to the environment or land management/conservation

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