The Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC), recognized by its peers as one of the top nature centers in the country, includes 1,100 acres of wooded, rolling countryside five miles north of Kalamazoo, Michigan; the Heronwood Field Station; Nature’s Way Preschool; DeLano Homestead and Farms; the Urban Nature Park in downtown Kalamazoo and the Stryker Nature Preserve. The organization has a budget of approximately $3M and is supported by a staff of 50, a Board of Directors of 20, and an endowment of $6M. The primary activities of KNC are education, conservation and research, and community collaboration.
The President & CEO will substantially shape the long-term future of a highly accomplished, nationally recognized conservation organization with a trusted reputation, dedicated staff, engaged Board of Directors and substantial financial resources. Specifically, the President & CEO will be charged with enhancing organizational and program efforts across the organization. Critical strategic opportunities exist for KNC to expand its impact across all program areas. The President & CEO will be supported by a motivated, dedicated Board of Directors seeking to build upon a strong foundation and grow the organization with ambition.
KNC has been regionally and nationally recognized for its innovative conservation education and science programming. As the Board prepares for the future, the next President & CEO will have the opportunity to lead the organization through a thoughtful strategic planning process that will further outline the vision for this important organization as it moves forward.
The President & CEO leads the staff of Kalamazoo Nature Center and is the most high-profile public representative of the organization. S/he has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the strategic directives of the Board are effectively completed. The President & CEO is charged with guiding the overall success of the organization at all levels. Key responsibilities are to ensure the mission and core values of KNC are put into practice; guide the development and implementation of the overall organizational strategy and direction; provide vision and strategic leadership in crafting organizational goals and outcome metrics; ensure a sound financial foundation through hands-on fundraising and effective budgeting practices; foster a high-energy, goal-drive, team-oriented, accountable organization; inspire, mentor, manage and evaluate staff; cultivate influential relationships with community leaders, major donors, foundations and governmental agencies; and represent and promote the work of the KNC as the chief spokesperson for the organization.
Kalamazoo Nature Center seeks an accomplished leader who demonstrates a keen understanding of and passion for the organization’s unique mission. The person must be ready to join with the Board to lead KNC in pursuing strategic goals in environmental conservation, education and research through a proven ability in fundraising, program oversight, collaborative ventures and constituency building. The ideal candidate will have a background that includes a rigorous understanding of the environmental and conservation sector, financial and staff management combined with an extraordinary understanding of philanthropy, and proven success in raising significant funds from individuals, foundations, corporations, and public entities on behalf of mission and organization.
The successful candidate will have relevant executive management experience in a nonprofit and/or mission focused organization; exceptional interpersonal skills and an inclusive team-oriented leadership style; a personal commitment to fostering a multicultural, diverse organization; the ability to inspire and motivate staff and volunteers; proven fundraising skills and the ability and desire to cultivate influential relationships with all KNC stakeholder constituencies; the capability to envision and chart meaningful organization growth while maintaining a strong sustainable foundation; a positive perspective that encourages a little fun along the way; and executive level achievements in the fields of environmental education, advocacy, policy, research, business, and/or law. A Master's degree from an accredited college or university is required; a Ph.D. in environmental sciences, conservation or other aligned fields is highly desired.