Executive Director

Valley Stewardship Network

The Valley Stewardship Network (VSN) seeks a dynamic and professional leader for our vibrant nonprofit organization. VSN works to protect the land and waters of the Kickapoo River and surrounding watersheds through research, education, and community empowerment. The VSN Executive Director will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, staffing and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include grant writing, fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the VSN Board of Directors.

Duties/Responsibilities

  • Strategic Organizational Development
  • Building professional relationships with funders, donors, and strategic partners
  • Implementing the organizational strategic plan
  • Working efficiently with the VSN Board of Directors to evaluate and refine the strategic plan, and to manage the annual VSN budget
  • Organizing strategic planning sessions with staff and board
  • Identifying and addressing strategic opportunities and challenges facing the organization
  • Program and Grant Development
  • Researching new grant opportunities
  • Ensuring grant deliverables and reporting
  • Gaining board support for specific grant proposals
  • Developing and writing new grant applications
  • Collaborating with partners for grant development
  • Organizing and attending annual meetings with grant funders
  • Completing funding agreements with grant partners
  • Relationship-building, communication, program collaboration, Letters of Support, etc. for 35 partner organizations
  • Maintaining and strengthening programs related partnerships
  • Maintaining and strengthening relationships with members and other key stakeholders
  • Cultivating new potential program partners

Program Coordination

  • Collaborating with program/funding partners including: SARE, KBHI, WALLACE, Fishers and Farmers, NFWF/Trout
  • Unlimited, UW Grasslands 2.0, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Organic Valley
  • Guiding, supporting and supervising program staff and consultants
  • Overseeing and monitoring program/grant deliverable implementation including: Watershed Councils, Water Quality
  • Research, Bird Friendly Farming and Habitat Enhancement, Regenerative Agriculture, Watershed Planning, Whole Farm
  • Stewardship Planning, Grazing Planning, Tainter Creek Grazing and Water Quality Program, Farming with Prairies, Youth and Community Education, and GIS Mapping/Modeling
  • Engaging consultants and monitoring consultant performance
  • Facilitating and participating in program team meetings

Financial & Budgetary Oversight

  • Developing, tracking, and reporting on the annual organizational budget
  • Approving and tracking expenditures
  • Informing the VSN Board about financial performance

Supervision of VSN Staff

  • Hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff
  • Evaluating, coaching and training staff
  • Developing, refining, implementing and enforcing VSN policy and procedures
  • Directing staff activities and revising job duties and job descriptions as needed.

Membership Communication, Public Relations and Fundraising

  • Writing content for newsletters, letters, and social media outreach
  • Approving content for newsletters, letters and social media outreach
  • Providing content and design input on outreach events and materials
  • Communicating with Members
  • Communicating with the public
  • Developing small fundraising campaigns and other strategies to increase revenue

Facility and Operations

  • Communicating with landlord re: lease renewals, maintenance
  • Securing and communicating with sublessors
  • Overseeing facility maintenance and repairs
  • Negotiating and maintaining 3rd party contracts
  • Managing tenant relationships in the office
  • Authorizing purchases and verifying funding codes
  • Managing physical and digital assets to ensure efficient business operations
  • Maintaining archival and administrative files
  • Maintaining insurance files and ensure policies are up to date and accurate

Development

  • Create, implement, and measure VSN’s annual fundraising activities
  • Develop lists of potential donors, track member relationships, and implement campaign plans
  • Direct spring and fall appeals
  • Developing partnerships with local businesses

Other Duties

  • Maintaining and updating VSN policy and procedures
  • Updating familiarity with current trends in the industry
  • Participating in Working Groups and/or ad hoc groups as needed
  • Undertaking any other tasks, special projects and responsibilities as required by the VSN BOD

Skills/Qualifications

Will consider applicants with a B.S with relevant leadership and programmatic development experience. Prefer M.S. or higher in Environmental, Agricultural or similar relevant science, but will consider applicants with other degrees and backgrounds if they have relevant organizational development and management experience.

  • Professional verbal and written communication skills
  • Proven supervisory and program management
  • Proven budgetary oversight and financial acumen
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a consensus decision-making environment
  • Ability to produce professional quality, detailed work

Physical Requirements

  • Standard Office Expectations
  • Ability to perform computer work for long periods of time
  • VSN offers a competitive salary, a family-friendly and flexible work environment, challenging work, and a strong commitment to integrity.
  • VSN does not discriminate on the basis of disability, veteran status or any other basis protected under federal, state, or local laws.

Our Vision

We envision a rural landscape where people are actively engaged in achieving the ideals of healthy ecosystems, vital communities, responsible land use, and a dynamic, sustainable economy. Communities work cooperatively to protect and enhance the watershed for future generations.

Our History

Valley Stewardship Network was conceived in the 1990’s, when sportsmen and conservation groups established a “network” to share experience, best practices, and new ideas for the protection of land, water, and habitat. Much of the organization’s activity in the early years after establishing VSN as a nonprofit organization was focused on water quality monitoring.

After 15 years of data collection, it became clear that the streams and rivers in the Kickapoo and neighboring watersheds contain excess sediment and nutrients. This situation threatens much of what people value about our area, including health, economy, and recreation. Run-off into our streams and rivers is detrimental to trout and wildlife and it is known to cause toxic algal blooms. The presence of excessive sediment and nutrients in our waters also indicates the potential for farmland degradation and a decreasing recreational economy – two of the things our communities most rely upon.

 

To apply for this job email your details to boardchair@valleystewardshipnetwork.org