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Chief Executive Officer

Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: Dundas, Ontario

Mission:

Preserving a ribbon of wilderness, for everyone, forever.

Vision:

The Bruce Trail secured within a permanently protected natural corridor along the Niagara Escarpment.

Values:

  • Commitment: We encourage, foster and benefit from the commitment of excellence from our supporters - members, volunteers, donors and staff - to achieve our vision.
  • Integrity: We conduct ourselves in accordance with the highest standards of professional and personal behaviour and ethics.
  • Stewardship: We embrace our role in responsible stewardship of the Bruce Trail, the lands in our care, and the organization's resources, for the benefit of all including future generations.
  • Collaboration: We work cooperatively with landowners, funders and other partners, share best scientific and business practices, and maximize our volunteer resources.
  • Respect: We show respect for all individuals and groups with whom we interact, recognize our special relationship with landowners, and acknowledge the traditional homeland of the Indigenous peoples of the Escarpment.

THE ORGANIZATION

Designated a UNESCO world biosphere reserve in 1990, the Niagara Escarpment represents the largest contiguous stretch of primarily forested land in south-central Ontario. The Escarpment includes the greatest topographic variability in southern Ontario, and its habitats collectively boast the highest level of species diversity among Canadian biosphere reserves.

A critical member of the Niagara Escarpment biosphere community, Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) is a charitable organization that actively strives to secure a permanent route for the Bruce Trail within a protected natural corridor by raising funds to preserve Niagara Escarpment land for the benefit of all people in Ontario. One of the province's largest land trusts, BTC is presently responsible for the preservation of almost 16,000 acres (and growing) of irreplaceable Niagara Escarpment landscape.

A current staff of 17 at head office supports a membership-based and volunteer-driven organization. Over 1,500 volunteers donate their time and talents to BTC largely through its nine member clubs who perform core roles such as trail maintenance (spanning almost 900 kms of main Trail with over 400 kms of associated side trails), liaison with landowners and local governments, and implementation of land stewardship programs. In addition, they lead regularly scheduled day hikes - for members and the public - and organize local publicity and fundraising events. The 10,000+ paid memberships ensure that BTC can continue to provide safe and environmentally responsible public access to the Niagara Escarpment for future generations. Current annual revenue exceeds $5 million with more than $28 million in donations of cash and land received since 2005.

With one-third of the optimal corridor route yet unsecured combined with pressures from a growing population and escalating land costs, this is a critical time to aggressively pursue BTC's plan to acquire land and evolve a sustainable, long-term solution for a ribbon of wilderness that contains Canada's oldest and longest marked footpath running from the Niagara River to Tobermory on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula.

Following extensive consultation, BTC's Board of Directors recently confirmed a bold new strategic plan, mapping a course over the next seven years (2018 - 2025) to advance its work in preserving and providing responsible access to the Niagara Escarpment. Five core strategic priorities were outlined:

  • Accelerate Land Acquisition: We will identify and implement innovative tools and techniques to accelerate our land preservation program and support our growing land stewardship responsibilities.
  • Expand Fundraising: We will secure financial resources necessary to fund our activities now and for the long term.
  • Build Brand Awareness: We will promote a strong brand that will be readily identified with our unique balance of conservation and recreation.
  • Increase Impact of Membership: We will encourage and leverage membership and other sources of support, to increase our impact and effectiveness.
  • Enhance Stakeholder Relationships: We will develop high quality relationships with all stakeholders to increase the Bruce Trail Conservancy's effectiveness.

Looking forward, the essential challenge and opportunity for BTC is simple to state: ensuring the resources necessary to secure and steward land along the Trail route. Achieving this goal in the coming years, however, is becoming increasingly complex with a multiplicity of factors at play including demographics of land ownership, complexity of land transactions, and a diversity of stakeholders, among others. For the right individual who is passionate about the mission, this is a career opportunity to lead an organization with a strong brand, an effective local club structure with a loyal member and volunteer base, committed and competent staff, and an effective governance board in achieving its vision.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Within this context, BTC seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is accountable for the overall strategic and operational leadership of BTC including effectively implementing the strategic plan by providing leadership to, and management of, BTC staff. The CEO takes direction from the Board of Directors with significant collaborative input from members, volunteers and other stakeholders.

Key Accountabilities:

Strategic Mandate

  • Engage in the identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing BTC today and in the future.
  • Socialize a series of alternatives and actions available to BTC in the setting of its strategy and its areas of focus.
  • Create, communicate and gain support of a comprehensive written strategy for distribution to all stakeholders including an action plan to implement the strategy and its areas of focus.
  • Build, implement and manage a long term fundraising plan to ensure the sustainability of BTC and the accomplishment of its approved strategy.
  • Lead, communicate, and manage the creation of a plan to acquire property and/or access to secure BTC's interests as defined by the strategic plan.
  • Constructively identify, communicate, and manage the risks facing BTC with regular reporting to stakeholders.
  • Effectively lead BTC staff in the accomplishment of the actions identified in the strategic plan and communicate regularly with stakeholders.
  • Build and maintain positive and productive relationships with all stakeholders and leverage those relationships to achieve the strategic objectives of BTC.
  • Maintain a strong public profile to build the BTC brand broadly in order to achieve the mission and vision.
  • Lead a collaborative effort with the Board of Directors to periodically refine BTC's mission, vision, values and strategy.

Board, Board Committees and Governance

  • Proactively ensure the Board of Directors receives the support and resources required from BTC staff for its proper functioning and provide tools and information for effective oversight of BTC.
  • Present and actively participate in Board and Committee meetings as requested by the Board of Directors.
  • Ensure appropriate fiscal management of BTC, so that BTC operates within acceptable risk parameters, and communicate such to stakeholders, as relevant.
  • Oversee the development of, and compliance with, BTC policies.

People Leadership

  • Create and communicate a clear BTC desired culture for staff and volunteers alike to strive to achieve.
  • Influence BTC culture personally and coach staff and volunteers towards the desired culture outcomes.
  • Provide effective leadership to BTC staff working through the next level of Directors with effective delegation, coaching, and follow-up systems.
  • Ensure appropriate people policies and practices are in place and consistently and effectively implemented to support BTC's mission, vision, values and strategic plan.
  • Build a people plan and annually communicate successes and next steps to the Board of Directors.

 

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE - CORE COMPETENCIES

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following skills, abilities, attributes and behaviours that are essential for the success of the Bruce Trail Conservancy:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership

  • Ability to engage stakeholders in the assessment and dialogue of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing BTC in the near, medium and longer term.
  • Collaboration skills to engage in dialogue with stakeholders on the possible courses of action available to BTC strategically.
  • Facilitation capability to establish agreement among stakeholders in the establishment of BTC's mission, vision, values and strategy.
  • Skills to anticipate, appreciate, interpret, and synthesize the short and long term risks and opportunities facing BTC and communicate mitigation approaches, tactics, and reporting.
  • Flexible and integrative thinking capability to apply to complex situations in order to leverage and enhance BTC's brand and success.

Strategic Execution Capability

  • Ability to develop action plans, allocate resources and oversee the execution of BTC's strategy as approved by the Board through effective delegation, communication, coaching and monitoring.
  • Knowledge of financial structuring, documentation and oversight of property acquisitions/fundraising and day to day financial and operational matters.
  • Capability in the management of both staff and a large volunteer base as a people leader who leads with a clear, articulate vision as well as the ability to delegate and communicate tangible steps to implement to engage them in the execution of the strategy.

Promotes Sustainable Stakeholder Relationship

  • Orientation to build, maintain and leverage relationships with all stakeholder groups.
  • Influencing skill to advocate for legislative and regulatory changes with political entities and government officials.
  • Ability to develop and promote trusting relationships with existing and potential major donors.

Attract, Engage and Build Donor Fundraising

  • Ability to oversee the development of and lead operational activities associated with a fundraising plan as a major source of revenue for BTC, and to participate as a critical member of BTC's fundraising committee.
  • Collaboration skills to connect Board Directors and senior staff with key supporters in the building of ongoing sources of revenue to fund BTC's strategy in both the immediate and longer term.

Land Acquisition Capability

  • Ability to apply a strategic lens to the acquisition of property through either purchase or other means to meet the strategic objectives of BTC.
  • Ability to interpret, negotiate, and communicate complex property transactions to meet BTC's strategic objectives for a permanently-protected natural corridor.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Should you have any questions regarding this important and meaningful opportunity, or wish to forward a cover letter and current resume for consideration, please contact:

Chris Sawyer, Partner
1 416 640 4312 
csawyer@amropknightsbridge.com

Michelle Partipilo, Senior Consultant 
1 416 928 4633
mpartipilo@amropknightsbridge.com

Ambar Maqsood, Project Administrator 
1 416 928 4612 
amaqsood@amropknightsbridge.com

About Amrop Knightsbridge - www.amropknightsbridge.com

Amrop Knightsbridge is a leading executive search firm with offices across Canada and partner offices around the globe. Amrop Knightsbridge is an integral part of LHH Knightsbridge, a human capital management organization comprising teams of specialists with an integrated perspective across recruitment, leadership and organizational development, learning, and career and workforce management. Solutions are customized to fully meet client specific needs, maximizing investments in people and achieving optimal organizational and business productivity and performance. Further LHH Knightsbridge information is available at www.lhhknightsbridge.com.

 

Click here for a printable version of this posting   CEO - Position Profile (.pdf, 398 KB)