Position Description
Executive Director
Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust

Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust Mission: The Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving ecologically important land and wildlife habitat in Manchester and Essex, Massachusetts, and promoting its use for quiet recreation, education and research.

Job Title: Executive Director

Particulars: Part-time position. Hours (20-30/week) and compensation to be determined. Position requires frequent evening meetings and occasional weekend time. Office located in leased space at Essex County Greenbelt Headquarters, in Essex, Massachusetts.

Summary of Position: The Executive Director, working under the guidance of the President and in consultation with the Board of Trustees, will focus on both program implementation and the management and operations of MECT. The program is defined in MECT’s strategic plan and includes: 1) Land acquisition and protection; 2) Land Stewardship; 3) Community outreach and education. The Executive Director will actively collaborate with MECT’s standing committees in the development and planning of our mission-related programs, as described below, and will lead the coordination and implementation of these programs.

Management and operations leadership focus: Work with Trustees, staff and volunteers to conduct necessary operations functions. Activities include:
1. Implementation and upkeep of strategic plan and development of Trust policies.
2. Organizing timely and orderly board and committee meetings, including adequate and appropriate record keeping.
3. Supporting organizational capacity building and sustainability activities, including fundraising, staff, board and volunteer recruitment, training and supervision.
4. Management and protection of institutional knowledge and records.
5. Management and coordination of legal affairs.
6. Negotiating disputes.
7. Coordinating with stakeholders.

Program leadership focus:

I. Land Acquisition and Protection (LAPC): Work with LAPC Chair and LAPC Director to plan and implement land acquisition and protection goals and objectives. Assist Committee Chair and Director in planning and managing committee meetings, reports and action to be taken by MECT Trustees. Knowledge of land and deed research, surveying, and GIS data and mapping processes is beneficial, though not critical. Activities include:
1. Identify mission-critical lands in Manchester and Essex based on the MECT Land Conservation Criteria.
2. Develop and initiate strategies to acquire mission-critical lands, including gift, purchase, conservation restriction and other options available.
3. Identify, analyze and respond appropriately to encroachment and other threats to MECT land, including taking legal action when necessary. Manage legal affairs.
4. Build and maintain ongoing relationships with landowners enabling MECT to achieve its conservation goals.
5. Develop and oversee strategies to maintain MECT awareness of land and water planning efforts in the towns and assist and respond to those efforts as appropriate.
6. Maintain close working relationships with land conservation professionals (Greenbelt, Trustees, etc.) with a goal of mutual assistance in meeting conservation goals.

II. Land Stewardship: Work with Land Stewardship Committee Chair to plan, budget and implement land acquisition and protection goals and objectives. Assist Committee Chair in planning and managing committee meetings, reports and action to be taken by MECT Trustees. Activities include:
1. Properly administer MECT’s Conservation Restrictions to insure legal and conservation obligations are met, including timely reviews, addressing violations, landowner relations, and orderly record keeping.
2. Ensure that best land use practices are applied appropriately on all MECT properties, including biodiversity and water resource protection, and abutter and community relations.
3. Ensure that MECT trail system safety standards are met and trails are welcoming to the public. Address structural and social problems promptly.
4. Maintain close working relationships with land stewardship partners (Greenbelt, Trustees, Cape Ann Trail Stewards, municipalities, etc.) with a goal of mutual assistance in meeting conservation and trail network goals.

III. Community Outreach and Education: Work with Outreach and Education Committee Chair to plan, budget and implement outreach goals and objectives. Assist Committee Chair in planning and managing committee meetings, reports and action to be taken by MECT Trustees. Activities include:
1. Communicate with the membership and the general public using a variety of communication formats, including newsletter, web, email and other.
2. Professionally represent MECT in the community, promoting public understanding of and support for MECT’s work and building partnerships between MECT and public and private community organizations.
3. Support development, publicity and implementation of MECT’s education programs for adults and youth.

Qualifications
• Demonstration of a strong personal interest in, and conviction to, the conservation of land and natural resources.
• Significant experience and familiarity with land protection and stewardship methods, tools and practices.
• Strong communication and leadership skills. Ability to speak effectively in public, work with the media, and interact well with a wide variety of people. Excellent writing skills and ability to successfully apply for grants.
• The ability to effectively lead, motivate and work with staff and volunteers.
• The ability to act in a professional and courteous manner while at work and at all times in the community.
• Expertise in natural resources, environmental science, or related field; five years of professional experience in a related field. Familiarity with the non-profit sector is desirable.
• Proficiency with modern computer applications and development of visual presentations.