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Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Position Description – Summary:
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is seeking mission-focused, process-minded candidates for the position of Chief Operating Officer. The COO will help our team continue building momentum towards our vision: “Bernheim will be a nationally treasured leader in ecological stewardship that inspires the exploration of our deep connections with nature.” The COO reports to the Executive Director, and as a member of the Senior Management Team must be a leader who has the skills, sensitivity, personality and experience to help every manager and team member at Bernheim deliver their best to their job and the Bernheim mission. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a 501 c-3 non-profit organization located on 14,513 acres just south of Louisville, Kentucky, dedicated to the mission of “connecting people with nature.”

The COO will oversee and facilitate the work of managers within 7 departments including: Operations and Facilities, Visitor Services, Horticulture, Natural Areas, Education, Communications, and Outreach/Regenerative Design. Responsibilities include:
A. Working with the Executive Director and Senior Managers to develop, implement and track annual budgets.
B. Delivering effective systems for annual planning, staff development and effective data gathering and use within each department.
C. Developing and implementing long-term capital maintenance and equipment replacement plans.
D. Leading the performance review process that inspires talented individuals and, measures and evaluates progress against goals for the organization and each team member.
E. Creatively and fairly solving problems, always accounting for environmental, human and community implications.
F. Providing staff with a strong and supportive day-to-day leadership presence.
G. Assisting in the implementation of Bernheim’s Strategic Plan, including oversight of special projects.

Key Qualifications:
Education and Experience: An undergraduate degree in a relevant field is required. An MBA or other relevant advanced degree is desirable. At least 5 years of management experience in project management and/or the operations and management of a campus-like setting is required. Experience in a mission directed organization would be beneficial. Demonstrated experience in the leadership of a complex team, addressing complex issues with tangible results is required.
Leadership: The successful candidate will demonstrate experience and personality which result in good judgment and decision making, the ability to manage and prioritize multiple day-to-day activities, as well as being a team builder who can cooperate with and lead group processes.
General Management: The COO will bring the benefits of a full range of business experiences, a high level of business acumen to the implementation of processes and systems. She or he will have a strong understanding of finances and budgeting. Knowledge of information systems, security protocols and systems, and best practices in human resources will also be beneficial.
Project and Facilities Management: Long-term success will involve the ability to plan, implement, monitor and complete large and small projects, while overseeing the maintenance and improvements to Bernheim’s existing collection of buildings, infrastructure and grounds. A capital assets maintenance and replacement plan will be developed. Demonstrated sensitivity to ecological systems and botanical resources in and around project sites will be required.
Communications: The successful candidate will feel comfortable communicating orally and in writing to staff, managers, contractors, the general public, the Executive Director, and the Bernheim Board of Trustees. Regular, clear and mutually respectful communication is a fundamental aspect of Bernheim’s culture.
Science and Technology: A working knowledge and experience with data and project management software, spreadsheets and word processing will be required. An understanding of how the scientific process works and how scientific data is incorporated into land stewardship and would be advantageous.
Strategic Vision: The Bernheim team takes great pride in our ability to think and act creatively and strategically. This leader must be flexible and demonstrate the ability to look at both immediate and long-term issues and ideas with our strategic plan and vision in mind. He or she must be able to analyze internal and external conditions and opportunities, anticipate future consequences and incorporate these considerations into plans and actions.
Capacity Building: The COO will work to ensure the organization runs smoothly by effectively building the organization and staff capacity. The successful candidate supports staff, volunteers and other partners while pursuing achievable and sustainable goals which result in high quality outcomes.
Action Oriented: The successful candidate is agile, entrepreneurial, enjoys a challenge and is not afraid to take an educated risk. She or he will work for results, but understands that the decision making process, the course of action and continual support of the Bernheim culture may be at times as important as a result.
The COO will also perform other duties as required by the Executive Director.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations and Work Conditions:
Valid Kentucky or Indiana Vehicle Operators License is required.
Bernheim will work with the successful candidate to accommodate and maintain professional certifications, particularly professional certifications requiring continuing education credits, if desired.
This position will require indoor and outdoor work on a regular basis. He or she will be exposed to a wide variety of equipment, rough terrain including construction sites, as well as interactions in social functions. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.
This is an outstanding opportunity for a motivated professional to become a pivotal manager within a highly respected, mission driven, nature-based organization. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest offers an attractive compensation package, including a competitive salary, vacation, medical and other benefits.

For more information:
To Apply:
Well-qualified applicants should send a compelling letter of introduction and resume to:
Lorie Messer
Human Resources Manager
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
2499 Clermont Road
PO Box 130
Clermont, KY 40110
Email preferred:
Phone: 502 955-8512 ext 221