From redwood groves to desert springs, lighthouses to ghost towns, the natural, cultural, and historical marvels of California are recognized worldwide. Managing these assets for nearly 40 million residents and millions more annual visitors takes collective work. Park managers cannot do it alone. Parks California will harness skills and resources, and California’s renowned ingenuity, to help our state, regional, and local parks thrive and evolve.
Parks California is an ambitious new organization that will help California parks and a revitalized park system execute a compelling vision for the 21st century. Formed after extensive consultation with hundreds of stakeholders, park executives, public-private partnership experts, and philanthropic leaders, a new statewide nonprofit, Parks California, will support innovative approaches to partnership, programming, and park design and management. Parks California’s role is to attract new public and private funding and expertise, facilitate entrepreneurial approaches to partnership, and implement high value projects and pro-grams in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation (Department) and other park districts across the state. Raising the visibility of California’s parks and their partners, inspiring passionate support for public lands, and setting trends for the future of parks will be the primary drivers of organizational success.
Parks California seeks a founding President and CEO to build a powerful new statewide philanthropic partnership organization in support of one of the largest and most diverse networks of parks in the world.
The President and CEO will manage an annual operating budget (not including direct project costs) of approximately $2 million with variability based on priorities, development, and programming. Revenue and responsibilities are expected to grow significantly in coming years.
The President and CEO will be located in northern California with significant time spent in Sacramento.
Lead the start-up phase of Parks California
Develop and deliver projects and initiatives that benefit California’s parks, with an initial focus on identifying and executing high priority state parks projects under its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department
Develop and manage strategic cross-sector partnerships and alliances
Attract and retain high caliber staff in step with the organization’s growth, project port-folio, and fundraising needs
Secure public funding for projects and private funding from high net worth individuals, corporations, and foundations
Raise the visibility of California’s parks and existing partners
Coordinate a strategic development plan and create an annual planning process
Organizational Leadership, Strategy, and Management
Articulate and implement a vision for Parks California that is based on the mission and values of the board, the Department, the Parks Forward Commission, and key stakeholders
Attract additional, high caliber board members with relevant expertise and state and/ or national influence that reflect California’s demographic and geographic diversity
Oversee the creation and implementation of the organization’s priorities and initiatives, and recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals
Oversee all operations and start-up activities, including facilities, staffing, human resources management, technical and professional support, legal, accounting, financial planning, technology, communications, and public affairs
Ensure Parks California is financially healthy and builds significant financial reserves
Build, lead, coach, develop, and retain a talented staff with a focus on building the organization’s capacity for skilled leadership, complex project and program implementation, partnership building, and fundraising
Actively represent Parks California with volunteers, board members, committees, partner organizations, and funders
Develop and maintain strong relationships with government, nonprofit, and corporate entities
Work in close collaboration with the Department to sustain a strong partnership and execute the responsibilities of Parks California under its MOU with the Department to expeditiously complete priority projects
Collaborate with government, business, and nonprofit partners to identify, advance, manage, and deliver high quality projects and initiatives throughout California; projects include, but are not limited to, accommodations development, facilities rehabilitation and management, park access and transportation, and community engagement
Work closely and effectively with the network of existing park support organizations to complete important projects and raise the visibility of existing partners
Fundraising, Communications, and Outreach
Oversee the development of a diverse funding base and sustainable outreach programs and strategies, including earned revenue, public funds, foundation grants, and corporate support. Identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources, establishing strategies to secure large gifts, submitting proposals, and managing fundraising records and documentation will be essential
Build and maintain effective working relationships with park constituencies, funders, important local partners, government agencies, and stakeholders
Oversee all public and media relations and act as the primary spokesperson for Parks California
Participate and present at conferences, symposia, and trainings
DESIRED EXPERIENCE AND COMPETENCIES
The ideal candidate may come from a variety of career pathways. Critical to success will be a passion for and experience with public-private partnerships and complex partnership development. An entrepreneurial approach and executive leadership skills are essential. Experience with start-up organizations, and corporate, philanthropic, and/or nonprofit lead-ership experience is important. The President and CEO must display strong partnership and collaboration skills with a demonstrated ability to place the importance of shared work over ego and the immediate needs of one’s own organization. The leader of Parks California will have an unparalleled opportunity to create a transformative organization that improves the lives of generations of Californians.
The following are recommended qualities:
Extensive management experience in positions of increasing responsibility and authority
Experience managing large, complex projects or initiatives with multiple stakeholders
Demonstrated fundraising experience and success, including private philanthropy, corporate donations, and government grants
Experience in grantmaking and grant management
Experience managing a complex budget with multiple funding sources
Demonstrated staff leadership and development experience
Experience with state and federal government agencies, contracting, and task agreements
Adaptability and flexibility in the face of changing conditions; tolerance for adversity and uncertainty
Experience advancing projects working collaboratively with a large group of influential board members and stakeholders
Proven leadership skills and the ability to inspire and motivate others
Excellent organizational development, marketing, communication, administrative, and personnel management skills
Strong project management skills
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to resolve conflicts and find common ground
Excellent oral and written communication skills and comfort with public speaking
Diplomatic approach and the ability to be sensitive to and inclusive of various perspectives
Comfort making decisions among diverse individuals and organizations
Flexibility, sense of humor, humility, and confidence
Additional Salary Information: A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered based on experience. Relocation assistance will be offered if necessary.
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