Job Type: Permanent
Salary Details: $110,000-125,000
Deadline: Sep 30, 2023
The Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust is a thriving and successful land protection and conservation organization on beautiful Vashon-Maury Island. We are seeking a leader who will embrace and steward the natural splendor of life on Puget Sound, while stepping up to build climate resilience and community connection to best prepare ourselves for a changing future. Please read on to find out more.
Vashon-Maury Island is 37 square miles of semi-rural land located a twenty-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. The Island is home to 11,000 people living in small residential neighborhoods, on small farms, and within stands of forest. Island residents include family-oriented working people, many of whom commute to the mainland, and retired professionals seeking a less densely populated community close to the amenities of a big city.
Thanks to three decades of Land Trust conservation, there are 3,000 acres of parks and preserves and three dozen miles of trail networked across the Island. And with more than half of King County’s shoreline at its feet, the Island is deeply connected to the life of Puget Sound.
Vashon and Maury Islands were born when the Puget lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet melted some 17,000 years ago, leaving behind long ridges of sand, gravel and glacial till. Thick forests soon moved in, as did salmon, who found refuge in the sand bars and pebbly creeks of a glacier-hewn landscape.
Over the ensuing millenia, the Island nurtured and sustained travelers and settlements, and became the ancestral home of the sx̌ʷəbabš, the Swiftwater People, who today steward and safeguard their treaty rights and cultural practices across the Island.
Vashon Maury Island is home and refuge. There is no bridge to the mainland. It is a destination for tourists and other visitors via ferries from the north (Seattle), west, and south (Tacoma). It is a tapestry of conserved lands and trails in the middle of a great estuary. The Vashon Maury Island Land Trust is a community of people who care for this place; who steward its trails, forests, shorelines, and farms; and who believe that conservation is an important tool for building a future that will sustain us.
Thirty years ago, Vashon Maury Island Land Trust began with a single campaign to preserve a rare Sphagnum bog on the north end of the Island. Neighbors banded together; they raised funds; and Whispering Firs Bog was protected. Our first victory.
Since then, the Land Trust has helped conserve more than 2,800 acres of forests, farms, meadow and shoreline. These lands form a network of publicly held parks, privately managed stream corridors, reclaimed meadows and conifer forests, and an Island-wide trail system for all to use and enjoy.
Our mission, as we have embraced it, is to conserve and care for Vashon Island’s wild and working lands. Together, we have the opportunity to design and build a future that is climate-resilient, capable of nurturing a diverse and connected population. The Land Trust sits at the center of this effort, connecting the forests that define our Island and a community that aspires to create a sustainable home.
Vashon Island faces many of the same pressures that challenge the greater Puget Sound region: increasing population, rising housing costs, and a changing climate. With heat and drought, our forests will become more susceptible to pests and wildfires. Intense winter storms followed by dry periods will challenge our ability to capture rainfall. And, our shoreline will face increased pressure from rising sea levels, storm surges, and landslides.
In the face of these challenges, a climate-centered response provides an opportunity to build resilience. Healthy forests and watersheds are key to community health and environmental viability. The Island is dependent solely on its aquifer for drinking water; surface streams and watersheds must maximize their ability to capture water and slow its course to Puget Sound. Vashon was heavily logged from the 1910’s to the 1960’s; much of its forest is now mature red alder that, with active stewardship, can be returned to more diverse stands of mixed conifers.
Unlike many other islands in the region, Vashon is a place where people work and live. The vast majority of Island forestland is held by small private landowners in parcels of five or ten acres. Vashon is a place where we are invested in protecting what is often, literally, at our doorstep.
The Work to Be Done
The next Executive Director of the Vashon Maury Island Land Trust will be a leader who values community, who understands the relationship between people and nature, and who is fueled by a personal connection to the land. Our ideal candidate is a seasoned professional with management and fundraising experience. They are personally engaged in our mission and skilled at sharing this inspiration with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Island community members.
The Land Trust is a small nonprofit, with seven full-time staff and a budget of $1.2 million. The Executive Director is responsible for the management and execution of all Land-Trust related affairs, including budgeting, planning, fundraising and communications. The Executive Director will have proven experience with leadership, program execution, and management, as well as a demonstrated track record in cultivation of individual donors. They will understand the nonprofit sector and be comfortable operating in an environment that requires competency across a wide range of skill sets and functions:
The Executive Director expresses leadership inspired by a shared vision. They will give that vision substance through strategic planning and program development; lead a team through collaborative implementation; and maintain accountability to both vision and mission delivery.
The Executive Director will appreciate the Land Trust’s strong financial position and prioritize long-range sustainability. They will provide appropriate administration and support for programs, and manage Land Trust conservation as a long-term investment.
The Executive Director will represent the Land Trust in the community, serving as a messenger, ambassador and collaborator who is visible, accessible and trusted. They will have experience with diverse communities, and they will have working knowledge on how to dismantle barriers to participation and engagement with marginalized communities.
The Executive Director will build and manage a collaborative team. They will inspire and coordinate to ensure that staff play to their strengths and support each other as colleagues.
The Executive Director will steward close relationships with Land Trust supporters, building upon a decades-long tradition of generosity and trust that has been essential to the organization’s success.
The Executive Director Position
The Executive Director role is a full-time exempt position. Compensation range is $110,000 to $125,000 and includes medical and dental insurance. Unless in the field, the Executive Director and staff work at the Land Trust office, located on Bank Road in the commercial center of the Island.
Human communities and ecosystems alike thrive by their diversity. The Land Trust welcomes candidates of all races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, identities, religions, and ages with diverse viewpoints and lived experience.
If this opportunity speaks to you, and you have skills and experience that might complement what the Land Trust has to offer, please send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
Candidates will be considered until the position is filled. Priority consideration will be given to candidates who apply by September 30, 2023.
For more information and to apply: https://www.vashonlandtrust.org/executive-director-position