The Conservation Fund (“TCF”) is seeking a proven, dynamic leader to serve as Minnesota State Director. As a leader in the Minnesota land conservation movement, the State Director plays a primary role in working with partner organizations, government agencies, elected officials, and other key decision-makers to build partnerships and complete transactions that accelerate the pace of land and water conservation in Minnesota.
The Minnesota State Director is responsible for all conservation efforts conducted by The Conservation Fund (TCF) within Minnesota. Will provide leadership for TCF and with partners in Minnesota. Works with internal and external teams to develop and deliver a robust program of land and water conservation. Responsible for developing and implementing the TCF’s conservation and funding programs in Minnesota and ensures outcomes are achieved based on our partners’ priorities; secures public and private financial support for TCF’s operations and our conservation projects. Will serve as the primary TCF spokesperson in Minnesota to internal and external audiences (including staff, public and private donors, government agencies and officials, community leaders and other partners), and cultivates and partners with those audiences to accomplish our partner’s land conservation objectives. The State Director is responsible for leadership and management of direct reports and for effective coordination and collaboration across TCF’s integrated efforts and teams.
- Assumes responsibility for Identifying, pursuing and executing land conservation projects in Minnesota including partner outreach, negotiations, public and private funding.
- Develops and implements successful take-out and funding strategies for projects and operations.
- Supervises, develops and coordinates with Minnesota Conservation Acquisition staff.
- Coordinates activities and collaborates with TCF Conservation Acquisition, Development, Legal and Conservation Services staff.
- Creates and funds the annual budget for Minnesota projects and operations.
- Develops and enhances relationships and coordination with federal, tribal, state and local conservation agencies and other partners in Minnesota including public funding entities, the Legislature, other non-profits, foundations, landowners and individuals.
- Performs project due-diligence including coordinating appraisals, surveys and environmental audits, site evaluations, and funding contracts and coordination of same with the legal and development teams.
- Participates with internal teams regarding land conservation, outreach, fundraising and other matters in the Midwest and elsewhere in the Fund as requested.
- Other duties as assigned.
The successful candidate will possess the following leadership competencies:
- Business Results - Identifies and creates business opportunities and successfully generates product, market and geographic growth opportunities, while consistently delivering positive annual business results.
- Communications - Fosters communication that is direct, productive and two-way. Listens effectively, considers other points of view and facilitates an open, frank and respectful exchange of ideas. Clearly articulates ideas and information in a concise, organized, interesting and persuasive fashion.
- Developing People - Selects, develops and inspires an excellent workforce by valuing diversity, promoting continuous learning and development of self and others to maximize potential, seeking and providing authentic feedback and leading by example.
- Entrepreneurship - Creates and maintains an environment that supports experimentation and calculated risk-taking, identifies and pursues new opportunities, is willing to question the status quo and seek new ways to more effectively accomplish the work of TCF.
- Holistic View and Thinking - Views TCF as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Understands and values the interconnection of the various programs of the organization and creates synergy.
- Integrity and Honesty - Behaves in a fair, ethical, straightforward manner that instills trust among peers, employees and partners. Follows through on commitments and always acts in accordance with the principles, values and interests of TCF.
- Maturity and Judgment - Demonstrates resiliency and sound judgment in dealing with business and organizational challenges. Recognizes when a decision must be made and acts in a considered and timely manner. Deals effectively with uncertainty and learns from success and failure.
- Strategic Thinking - Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization while learning from ongoing results and adapting to new information.
- Team Building - Fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation.
- Bachelor's degree and minimum of 7 years of experience as a leader in the conservation arena, non-profit sector, advocacy, or for-profit area in a related field. Graduate degree preferred.
- Experience in conservation real estate and finance.
- Experience communicating with and presenting to diverse audiences including donors, partners, elected officials, board members, employees, or equivalent.
- Experience and/or a strong desire to fundraise, build partnerships and deliver results.
Vision, Strategy, Priorities
- High energy, forward thinking, creative individual with high ethical standards.
- Ability to understand the priorities of partner entities and develop conservation solutions that harness the resources and skills of TCF and innovate as necessary and garner trust.
- Well organized and self-directed.
- Outstanding leadership and visionary qualities and able to work effectively with and through others in a large decentralized and geographically dispersed organization.
- Demonstrated success as an inspirational leader who has successfully motivated staff, partners, donors and others to achieve and sustain excellence.
- Strong background in government relations; working with elected officials, local, state and federal agencies.
- A team player with the ability to successfully work with and sometimes lead internal and external teams, as well as in non-leadership team role.
- Ability to work independently and proactively, with minimal supervision, demonstrating flexibility, creativity, and drive for results.
- Ability to earn and keep trust from all audiences.
- Ability to cultivate and develop constructive and effective relationships inside and outside TCF, and to work effectively with a wide range of people and organizations.
- Strong communication and presentation skills with the ability to persuasively convey the mission and conservation priorities of TCF and its partners to diverse groups including major donors, public agencies, corporate executives, board members, partners and others who are critical to the organization’s overall success.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public speaking, and outstanding skills working within a team.
- Ability to direct, prepare, present and/or participate in negotiations of project proposals with landowners, governmental agencies, funders and other partners.
- Proven experience or demonstrated desire to fundraise.
- Proven leadership skills and experience successfully managing relationships in a political environment.
- Proven successful supervisory skills.
- Proven experience in conservation real estate, finance and innovation.
- Solid negotiating skills and proven experience in structuring complex transactions and take-out funding.
- Experience working with local, state and federal conservation land acquisition and funding programs.
- Familiarity with real estate, public funding mechanisms, policy and the legislative process in Minnesota.
- Solid understanding of natural resource and land use issues in Minnesota and the region.
- Experience with land trusts.
- Attention to detail and ability to work with deadlines and under pressure;
- A valid driver's license is needed
- Ability to walk over and navigate rough terrain often in inclement weather;
- Willingness to travel as necessary to carry out duties, often with short notice and in inclement weather over long distances.
- Computer skills including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations.
- Commitment to the mission and goals of The Conservation Fund.
The Conservation Fund, a Non Profit Corporation, is an Equal Opportunity Employer who fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of Race, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, National Origin, Veteran Status, Disability, Genetic Information or Testing, Family and Medical Leave, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression and prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or practice in the investigation of any complaint, or otherwise oppose discrimination.