Skip to content
Sep 5 / BARD CEP

Executive Director, Wild South- Asheville, NC

Organization: Wild South

Position Title: Executive Director

Location: Asheville, NC

Hours and Compensation: This is a full-time salaried position. Compensation and benefits are commensurate with experience and non-profit industry norms. Various expenses are reimbursed.

Application Deadline: September 23, 2013


Organization Overview

Wild South is a growing non-profit organization with a seven-person staff and an engaged Board of Directors. We inspire people to enjoy, value, and protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South. Our Southern national forests and parks are treasured places with clean water and air, abundant and varied wildlife, and functioning natural processes. They are connected to and enrich our quality of life and the social, economic, and cultural wealth of our communities. Wild South is recognized as a leading protector of our Southern public lands and biodiversity. We value the natural world and its role in our human communities, science-based advocacy, transparency and operating with integrity, a diversity of opinions and creative problem solving in decision-making, and a respectful worldview. Founded over twenty years ago, “Wild South” was born in 2007 from the merger of The Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project: a regional non-profit organization based in Asheville, NC, dedicated to empowering citizens to appreciate, defend and restore the native biodiversity of the Southeast, and Wild South: a grassroots forest protection organization based in Moulton, AL, dedicated to inspiring individuals and groups to preserve restore and enjoy the South’s natural landscapes.


Wild South is seeking an energetic, goal-oriented Executive Director to lead all aspects of the organization’s management and oversight. Responsibilities include but are not limited to supervision of Wild South staff; implementation of the strategic plan; raising our profile; budget development, and fiscal planning and accountability; developing and executing fundraising plans with the assistance of the development director; ensuring compliance with all applicable business and employment code; and maintaining a staffing plan that supports the achievement of the mission and implementation of the strategic plan, and accurately reflects the needs and requirements of the organization and its mission. Wild South’s Executive Director participates in day-to-day oversight of operations, reinforces existing relationships, and cultivates new relationships with various points-of-contact both locally and regionally. The Executive Director also coordinates and works closely with the Board of Directors and staff to maintain maximum professional exposure and mission effectiveness. Hours and days of work vary and may include holidays, weekends, and travel.


• Administration of all operations of the organization including: reviewing and evaluating the results of program activities, ensuring that continuing contractual obligations are being fulfilled; allocating resources for greater program effectiveness and efficiency; developing organizational and administrative policies and program objectives for Board consideration; and hiring and managing staff.
• Organizing special and seasonal events with appropriate delegation to staff
• Liaising with regional partners, the media, and stakeholders
• Representing Wild South to external audiences and handling media inquiries
• Devising and coordinating marketing campaigns
• Developing and implementing a plan for increasing major donor funding and participation with the assistance of the development director
• Implementing a system to evaluate staff skill, experience and professional development
• Instilling a sense of accountability among staff by modeling tight oversight of individual and organization performance standards
• Complying with federal and state laws and regulations regarding the protection of the health of employees and provide for appropriate occupational health services for those employees

Conservation Strategy
• Develops strategies to optimize Wild South’s team of environmental professionals and resources to achieve positive conservation outcomes;
• Utilizes knowledge and appreciation of the Southeast and its environment, its conservation and political history, and the role of science in developing conservation strategies;
• Understands the role of science, policy, and education in achieving conservation goals.

Supervision and Leadership:

• Lead the staff in harmony with Wild South’s vision, values, and strategic goals. You would conduct annual performance reviews in addition to frequent problem-solving and strategy discussions.
• Develop strategies to improve the effectiveness of Wild South’s efforts by:
• Building alliances and partnerships
• Identifying and pursuing opportunities for collaboration
• Supplying effective and inspiring leadership by being actively involved in all programs and services, developing a broad and deep knowledge of all programs
•       Identifying opportunities for Wild South to leverage cross-program strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and/or to address organizational challenges
• Leading, coaching, developing, and retaining Wild South’s high-performance program leaders with an emphasis on developing capacity in strategic analysis, and planning and program budgeting
• Prepare written and verbal communications with board members.


Functional Requirements:

• A strong interest in Wild South’s mission and methods, and a demonstrated passion for both the environment and science relevant conservation solutions;
• Location in one of the Wild South areas of operation, (southeast) currently Asheville NC;
• Knowledge awarded with a minimum of a BS degree (advanced degree preferred) from an accredited university in a closely related field and at least seven (7) years of increasingly responsible administrative experience, at least five (5) of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity.;
• Ability to select, train, supervise, lead, motivate, and delegate work to staff, and to appraise their performance, resolve problems, and conduct performance reviews;
• Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; exhibit independent judgment in the development, implementation and evaluation of plans, procedures and policies; and interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables;
• Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, financial reports, legal documents, technical procedures, and governmental regulations; write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals; efficiently respond to questions from membership, staff and members of the community; communicate effectively in both written and oral form; and, effectively present information to membership, top management, public group, and/or Board;
• Ability to plan, direct and coordinate activities; negotiate and administer contracts; work with commercial vendors, government agencies, community groups and other organizations as necessary; communicate effectively in both written and oral forms; exhibit independent judgment in the development, implementation and evaluation of plans, procedures and policies;
• Ability to develop and manage budgets;
• Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and able to prioritize assignments;
• Ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with major donors;
• Ability to lead Wild South to a million dollar annual budget.

Personal Requirements:

• Demonstrated leadership qualities and experience, including the ability to attract high-performance people into Wild South, cultivate a sense of esprit, motivate people, develop talent, and inspire results;
• Demonstrated entrepreneurial approach to problem solving with a strong internal drive to create successful conservation outcomes;
• Passionate about conservation and stewardship, and able to develop and communicate an innovative vision for scaling-up Wild South’s conservation impact;
• Proactively anticipates issues and opportunities at the earliest stages long before others generally recognize them;
• Goal-oriented and able to set strategic goals and translate those goals into executable plans with meaningful metrics;
• Comfortable with change and committed to innovation;
• Effective communicator, advocate, and public speaker;
• Able to present a professional image and exhibit appropriate social skills in a range of settings from formal business meetings to parties with community members and volunteers;
• Committed to excellence.
• Capable of performing a leadership role at outdoor conservation events that may occur in physically challenging environments.

How to Apply

How to Apply:

We expect to fill this position as soon as we find a suitable candidate. We will conduct one or more initial interviews for qualified candidates by phone, and will invite finalists to in-person interviews.

Qualified applicants should submit a single PDF document containing a 1) cover letter; 2) resume; 3) contact information for at least 3 references; 4) answers to the following


Please respond in 500 words or less for each, to these three issues related to the Executive Director position:
• Leadership – The position calls for the exercise of leadership. Please describe your style of leadership and your experience in leadership positions.
• Spirit of Wild South – Wild South is an organization of people who share passion for environmental stewardship, conservation biology, and for wild lands. How do your values and experience fit into this organization?


Leave a comment