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Jun 21 / BARD CEP

Executive Director – Leavenworth, WA

Organization: Wenatchee River Institute

Position Title: Executive Director

Location: Leavenworth, WA

Hours & Compensation: Full-time. Salary depends upon experience.

Application Deadline: July 3, 2013.

Posted On: June 21, 2013.

Organization Overview:


For more than five years, the Wenatchee River Institute has served as a unique steward, advocate and educator, inspiring and exploring the beauty and environmental richness of the natural world. Our mission is to protect, steward, and foster appreciation of the natural habitat of the greater Wenatchee valley, through youth and adult educational experiences that directly connect people with nature.

WRI’s beautiful 9-acre campus sits in one of the most stunning, biologically diverse landscapes in the State. Barn Beach Reserve is a nine-acre nature sanctuary bordering the Wenatchee River and Waterfront Park, just a short walk from downtown Leavenworth, Washington. The Reserve is located in a spectacular setting that features accessible walking trails and panoramic views of the Wenatchee River and the mountains of the Stuart Range, one of the largest granite batholiths in North America. The landscape includes cascading streams and pristine peaks, wildflower meadows and old-growth forests. The region has a rich Northwest history that includes more than 8,000 years of Native American culture.

WRI’s facilities include a new, “green-built” learning center that serves as home to science labs, lectures, workshops and films; the historic 1903 River Haus; the E. Lorene Young House; and the Watershed Art permanent collection. With a small staff of four and a team of partners, educators, and environmental advocates, WRI produces and presents a year-round program of activities, events, classes, in-school and on-site environmental learning experiences. In the spring of 2013, WRI adopted a strategic plan to renew the organization’s focus on environmental education through rich, exciting and innovative programs that reach nature-lovers of all ages.

WRI’s environmental science education covers topics such as ecology, biology, climate change, sustainable agriculture, forest health, botany, renewable energy, and entomology for youths; its adult programs cover a wide range of environmental interest, including stewardship, conservation, citizen science, botany, and sustainability. One of WRI’s signature programs has been providing environmental science education for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students in the Leavenworth area, and is expanding that program into other school districts, after school sessions and summer sessions.


Wenatchee River Institute is seeking an engaged, inspired and committed Executive Director with a passion for the mission of the organization and a broad familiarity with environmental values, including stewardship, sustainability, education and conservation. The Executive Director will carry out the organization’s mission and strategic plan and oversee the design and execution of a spectrum of year-round programs, which include stewardship of the Reserve, in-school and on-site environmental education programs, adult environmental education, and community programs. S/he will be a strong leader and manager who will build and strengthen the organization, while honoring its grassroots niche and maintaining its strong commitment and dedicated staff.

The successful candidate will bring a demonstrated ability to establish a strategic vision; generate revenue through a diverse stream of sources; communicate passionately and effectively; work collaboratively; and establish and meet benchmarks over time. A keen understanding of fundraising and grassroots campaigns, community profile-building, strong writing and editing skills, positive energy, and a sense of humor required. The organization is supported by a small staff, and is seeking an Executive Director interested and able to take an active, ‘hands-on’ role in developing revenue streams for the organization that will sustain it into the future.


Fundraising, Finance and External Relations

  • Knowledge of basic bookkeeping skills for nonprofits
  • Ability to summarize financial information, generate financial reports, identify long-term trends, and present information clearly for board decision-making
  • Lead the implementation of an annual fundraising plan to increase and diversify revenues and broaden the stakeholder base; identify and submit grants as part of this comprehensive fundraising strategy – expected to be a minimum of 30% of time
  • Build and maintain effective relationships with stakeholders, members, foundations, legislators, and the natural resources/conservation community
  • Have familiarity and demonstrated success with the grant seeking process
  • Raise the public profile of WRI by representing and advocating for the organization
  • Serve as the spokesperson for WRI to the community, media and general public

Operations Management

  • Provide leadership and guidance to the staff and the Board in maintaining existing programs and developing and evaluating new programs. Identify and develop new programs that advance the mission of WRI while contributing to organizational stability and profile
  • Develop and oversee the annual budget and ensure financial integrity by managing fiscal activities and maintaining budget oversight
  • Ensure that WRI complies with all relevant laws, regulations and policies set by the Board
  • Protect, preserve and appropriately use the campus, buildings and other assets of the organization

Board Development

  • Work closely with the Board to develop the skills of board members and recruit new board members who will advance the mission of WRI
  • Work with the Board to adopt policies and programs that support the work of WRI and advance its programs and work
  • Provide the Board with information for effective oversight and decision-making
  • Provide leadership and support to enhance Board members’ efforts to increase revenue and enhance visibility

Staff Development

  • Provide overall supervision and opportunities for staff development
  • Implement organizational systems that create a collaborative work environment which values staff input and leadership and attract diverse and talented individuals
  • Ensure that the organization is executing the best environmental education practices possible for an organization its size


  • Lead efforts with staff and board to raise WRI’s profile as a ‘best-in-class’ organization and a committed innovator in the realm of environmental education
  • Ensure effective time management of self and staff and regularly compare time spent to program components as a measure of successes and outcomes


  • Bachelor’s degree  from an accredited institution and at least five years professional experience in a related field
  • Demonstrated success managing, developing, and implementing fundraising plans, including foundation grant seeking and individual and corporate donor development
  • Experience supervising and successfully leading teams and staff of varying sizes
  • Experience in developing and implementing strategic planning
  • Working knowledge of Washington’s social and environmental context for WRI’s work preferred
  • Experience with non-profit financial management and planning
  • Demonstrated success building strategic partnerships and relations
  • Experience with Board relations and development
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainability and conservation values
  • Must reside in the region or be willing to relocate – community engagement is a requirement of the position
  • Work requires occasional nights and weekends as needed

How to Apply:

Send resume, cover letter, and writing sample to the Search Committee via email at Applications will be accepted until July 3rd. In the subject line of your email, please write: WRI ED application. Please convert all attachments to PDF.

Contact Information:

Wenatchee River Institute,

Mailing Address: PO Box 2073, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Physical Address: 347 Division Street, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Job URL:

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