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Executive Director

Carnation, Washington, US
Closing date
Jan 29, 2022

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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SVPA Executive Director Job Description

About the SVPA

The SVPA is a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of a Pacific Northwest regional treasure, the Snoqualmie Valley. The Snoqualmie Valley is comprised of over 440,000 acres of forests, farms, and small cities, all within an hour's drive of Seattle. As the urban centers expand rapidly, the rural counterpoint, the environmental and economic viability of the Valley are put under great pressure. Since forming in 2010, the Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance has become a steadfast, organized, reliable, and respected advocate for protection of these irreplaceable working lands. We have become a very effective force for forging productive relationships between community members, farmers, residents, tribes, and county and state officials. We have found creative solutions to shared challenges and made significant headway on some key issues central to protecting the Valley, especially in the area of flooding, development impacts, and water rights. The SVPA has an active, passionate, and diverse board committed to serving this community and protecting this resource.

About the position

The Primary job of the Executive Director (ED) is to be chief advocate for the needs of the agricultural and rural community of the Snoqualmie Valley. The ED is responsible for overseeing and implementing the programs, fundraising, administration, and strategic direction of the organization. Reporting to the board of directors, the ED designs and implements programs, supervises staff, develops and manages budgets, and works closely with the board to further the mission of the organization. The ideal candidate will be hard-working and autonomous, performing meaningful work with little supervision. A key challenge of this unique role is to build strong working relationships with board, staff, members of the local community, supporters, tribes, agencies, and professional peers. A successful SVPA executive director will possess a commitment to the SVPA's vision and have familiarity with the challenges of farming and managing rural resource lands. This is a 0.6-0.75 full time equivalent position (24-30 hours per week).

  • Advocacy: The ED is the primary voice of the SVPA on policy and practices that have the potential to impact the viability of Snoqualmie Valley's working resource lands. This involves monitoring, influencing, and in some cases developing initiatives such as major land development proposals, large scale habitat projects on agricultural land, flood hazard management planning, and watershed planning.
  • Fundraising: the most important element to fundraising is being able to tell a compelling story about the benefits of SVPA's work to the general and local public. This applies to grant-writing and fundraising events. Historically the two largest sources of revenue are grants for specific projects and the annual Taste of the Valley Farm Dinner and Auction. This event is the largest on-farm dinner in the region and is also the Snoqualmie Valley agricultural community's largest outreach event. With support from the board and professional event staff, the ED serves as executive producer of this very unique and important event. The ED must be comfortable identifying and asking people to support our mission financially.
  • Board relations: Report to the board, assist board chair with meeting facilitation; help recruit new board members; ensure compliance with WA State law governing nonprofit corporations.
  • Strategic planning: Work collaboratively with the board to hone and implement the SVPA's vision; facilitate major strategic planning effort approximately every three years and annual tuning/adaptation of strategic plan.
  • Supervise staff (one to two part-time employees): The ED is responsible for staffing needs assessment, recruiting, hiring, employee performance and salary review, succession planning, and overall leadership to support and inspire the SVPA's most valuable asset: people.

  • Financial management:
  • Prepare annual budgets for board approval
  • Manage budgets and budget reporting
  • Work with independent professional bookkeeper for monthly reconciliation
  • Ensure financial control standards are in place and followed
  • Manage all grants, contracts, and vendor payments
  • Prepare semi-monthly payroll
  • Coordinate preparation of IRS Form 990 annual returns

    • Outreach, with support of staff and professional service providers:
  • Donor relations
  • Messaging
  • Media outreach
  • Newsletters, social media
  • Manage website

    • Program design and management: The ED is responsible for program design and evaluation, and for providing input back into the strategic planning process.
    • Project implementation: The ED functions as program manager or supervisor to program staff, depending on the project.
    • Financial planning: steward the organization's long-term solvency, in collaboration with the board.

    Key programs

    • Watershed Planning/Fish-Farm-Flood Advisory Committee: Participate with tribes, agencies, stakeholders and community, representing the agricultural interests, with an emphasis on protecting agricultural soils. This work has major long-term impacts to the future of agriculture and rural lands in the Snoqualmie Valley.
    • Monitoring potential threats: monitor major development proposals and policy initiatives with potential to threaten downstream interests, including flood policies, regulatory actions, large scale housing developments, and capital projects. Taking appropriate action when necessary. SVPA is the only entity in the Snoqualmie Valley dedicated to this important role.
    • Floodzilla: SVPA's Floodzilla Gage Network is a series of river gages owned and operated by the SVPA on public and private land. Floodzilla gages measure water surface elevations and upload to the data where it can be viewed in real time by the public at
    • On-demand problem-solving: SVPA has a deep presence in the community, and staff has become a default go-to problem-solver for anyone facing challenges navigating land management, permitting and policy matters, or opportunities for shared interests or connection. We call this program simply "HOWCANWEHELP."
    • Outreach: SVPA engages a variety of audiences to further our mission, including elected officials, agencies, local community members, farmers and landowners, and the general public. We do this through a variety of activities including one-on-one, committee, and community meetings, media and public relations, social media, and our annual farm dinner, Taste of the Valley.

    Required qualifications

    • Commitment to SVPA's mission and a passion for championing the needs of local agriculture, working lands, and the people who work them
    • An interest in public policy matters affecting farmland and rural communities
    • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and engage with a diverse group of stakeholders, constituents, and supporters
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • Experience with fundraising, grant-writing and/or donor relations
    • Professional or personal experience in matters impacting agriculture, rural lands management, or local environmental and natural resources
    • Availability to attend several evening meetings per month
    • Valid Washington State Driver License

    Desired qualifications

    Experience in policy matters related to agriculture and/or rural resource lands
    • Familiarity with WA State Growth Management Act
    • Experience in nonprofit management, especially fundraising and donor relations
    • Knowledge of and/or ties to the communities, local leaders and land resources of the Snoqualmie Valley
    • Experience in management of rural resource lands, and/or farmland preservation
    • Knowledge of regulations and policies applicable to floodplain and/or agricultural properties
    • Experience working with rural/agricultural communities
    • Grant-writing experience
    • Master's or bachelor's degree in a field of study relevant to job duties
    • Five or more years of experience supervising employees
    • Experience serving on or staffing boards or commissions in a nonprofit or governmental capacity

    The SVPA office is currently located in downtown Carnation. A hybrid remote/in person schedule is an option, but regular office attendance on a weekly basis is expected, based on status of public health guidelines. Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave are provided.

    How to apply

    Please send resume and cover letter to Applications will be reviewed as received. Priority given to applications received by February 8, 2022. Target annual salary range is $45,000 to $65,000. Anticipated start date is April 15, 2022.
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