Tennessee River Gorge Trust seeks Executive Director


August 4, 2012


Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2012

Tennessee River Gorge Trust (TRGT) is a nonprofit corporation organized in 1981. Its mission is to protect the ecological diversity, scenic beauty and historic past of the Tennessee River Gorge--27,000 acres of land carved through the Cumberland Mountains by 27 miles of the Tennessee River –one of the most unique natural treasures in the Southeast. Forming the western gateway to downtown Chattanooga, the Gorge continues downstream 27 river miles to Nickajack Lake creating a unique diversity of land forms providing habitats for more than a thousand varieties of plants, ferns, trees, grasses and flowers and a rich wildlife population. Many of these are rare or endangered species such as the Mountain Skullcap and birds like the Osprey and Bald Eagle. Dozens of archaeological sites bear evidence of man's presence in the Gorge for at least 10,000 years.

Through the cooperation of landowners and the generosity of the local community, the Trust has protected 17,000 of the 27,000 acres of land in the Gorge and the surrounding area. Lands have been protected by means of direct purchases, donations and conservation easements. Still, much remains to be done. The primary project area of the Trust includes the land located on either side of the river up to an elevation of 1,700 feet.

The Chattanooga region’s considerable reputation for its many outdoor activities and for its environmental and conservation efforts provides a context of broad community support for the Gorge’s mission. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront.
The Board recently adopted a new strategic vision. It is seeking an Executive Director who will be committed to continuing to implement this important path forward. The Executive Director is responsible to the Board of Directors for administration and coordination of all programs and activities of the Land trust.

For more information about Tennessee River Gorge Trust, please visit our website at http://www.trgt.org.

Responsibilities of the Executive Director

- Lead efforts to implement TRGT’s strategic vision to enable it to fulfill its mission
- Achieve revenue, expense, and cash goals
- Build support for TRGT’s mission and programs by developing and maintaining relationships with a variety of constituencies: Board; staff; members; donors; volunteers; landowners; municipal, state, and federal officials; user groups; media; scientists; attorneys; and the general public; and through outreach and advocacy
- Maintain a climate which attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality people
- Plan and organize to accomplish operational and strategic goals
- Develop and implement an updated business plan for the organization
- In conjunction with the Board, oversee the planning for a major fund-raising campaign
- Advocate for public policy issues that affect TRGT’s ability to achieve its goals
- Ensure that TRGT is in compliance with all laws and guidelines governing non-profit organizations
- Conduct operations to conform with Land Trust Alliance guidelines, securing and maintaining LTA accreditation while ensuring Land Stewardship of all Trust protected property

Key Skills and Personal Attributes Required for Executive Director

- Energized, decisive visionary committed to the mission
- Charismatic communicator with the ability to inspire volunteers, members, donors, and partners
- Ability to motivate and coach staff by providing clear expectations and consistent feedback and support
- Proven leadership and management skills
- Proven success in fundraising with foundations, corporations and individuals
- Passion for land conservation, and the ability to articulate that passion throughout the region
- Collaborative style of management
- Encourages and sustains an environment of commitment, cooperation, open communication, trust and professionalism
- Ability to set both personal and organizational priorities within the resources available
- The highest level of ethical standards that guide all actions

Required Background and Experience
At least 10 years of senior level experience managing and motivating professional staff and volunteers, preferably in a nonprofit organization with annual budgets of $1,000,000
Proven track record as an executive director or president of a non-profit organization preferred Experience in land conservation or related fields BS or BA is the minimum educational credential with graduate degree in appropriate field preferred If coming from the for-profit sector, substantive and relevant non-profit volunteer or board service

Physical Requirements
Must be in reasonable physical shape capable of leading and/or participating in hikes or conducting/overseeing other work activities over rugged terrain and/or on unimproved trails
Must be capable of working for extended periods in harsh environments as needed including, but not limited to cold, damp conditions, hot humid conditions, exposure to hazardous plants and animals such as poison ivy, venomous snakes, biting insects, and other natural hazards

Salary and benefits will be commensurate with background and experience.

Initial screening of resumes will begin on June 25, 2012. Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2012. For immediate consideration, please send a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: trgtleader@gmail.com. No phone calls please.
References are not needed at this time.

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