Chief Operating Officer (COO)

By bernheim

This position is full time with benefits.

Position Description:

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is seeking mission-focused, process-minded candidates for the position of Chief Operating Officer. As a member of the Senior Management Team, the successful candidate must be a leader who has the skills, sensitivity, personality, and experience to continue building Bernheim’s culture of openness, inclusivity, effectiveness, and innovation while assisting every manager and team member to 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 16,140 acres just south of Louisville, Kentucky, dedicated to the mission of “connecting people with nature”. 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 directly to the Executive Director and will oversee and facilitate the work of managers within seven departments, including Visitor Experience, Horticulture and Sustainable Landscapes, Conservation and Natural Areas, Education, Arts in Nature, Communications, and Outreach and Regenerative Design. Responsibilities include:

  1. Providing staff with a strong and supportive day-to-day leadership presence.
  2. Delivering effective systems for annual planning, staff development, and effective data gathering and use within each department.
  3. Working with the Executive Director and Senior Managers to develop, implement, and track annual budgets.
  4. Creatively and fairly solving problems, always accounting for environmental, human, and community implications.
  5. Assisting in the implementation of Bernheim’s Strategic Plan, including oversight of special projects, often derived from Bernheim’s Master Plan.
  6. Leading the performance review process that inspires talented individuals and measures and evaluates progress against goals for the organization and each team member.
  7. Developing and implementing long-term capital maintenance and equipment replacement plans.

Key Qualifications:

Demonstrated experience in effective team leadership addressing complex issues with tangible results is required. 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, as well as being a team builder who can cooperate with and lead group processes. This position supports staff, volunteers, and other partners while pursuing achievable and sustainable goals resulting in high-quality outcomes.

The successful candidate will have obtained an undergraduate degree in a relevant field; an MBA or other advanced degree is desirable. She/he will bring a strong understanding of finances and budgeting, and the benefits of a full range of business experiences to Bernheim processes and systems. His/her long-term success involves the ability to plan, lead, monitor, and complete large and small projects consistent with Bernheim’s Master Plan.

Regular, clear, and mutually respectful communication is a fundamental aspect of Bernheim’s culture. The COO must be comfortable with written and oral communication to staff, managers, the public, the Executive Director, and the Bernheim Board of Trustees. A working knowledge and experience with data and project management software, spreadsheets, and word processing are expected. The successful candidate is agile, entrepreneurial, enjoys a challenge, and is not afraid to take an educated risk.

Additional considerations:
An understanding of how the scientific process works and how scientific data is incorporated into decision making and land stewardship would be advantageous. 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 at times be as important as the result. The COO will be involved with recruiting, hiring, and sustaining a staff and managerial team and volunteers that reflect the diversity of our regional population. Sustaining the team through an inclusive, respectful, and transparent workplace culture is a fabric issue for long-term success.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations, and Work Conditions:
With residency, a 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 or to submit your resume with cover letter, please contact:

Theresa Bouthillet
Executive Assistant

You may also mail your cover letter and resume to:

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
ATTN: Theresa Bouthillet
2499 Clermont Road, P.O. Box 130
Clermont, KY 40110

Bernheim is an equal opportunity employer.

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