The National Audubon Society is hiring a
The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.
Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.
Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.
Reporting to the Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut & New York, the Senior Center Manager, Bent of the River will serve as the primary point of contact at the Bent of the River Audubon Center (BOTR) and will be responsible for all operations, staff management, and sound financial oversight of the location. BOTR, located in the Litchfield Foothills between Danbury and Waterbury, Connecticut, is a critical asset in Audubon Connecticut’s network. An important community hub, the Center is open to the public year-round and provides a variety of onsite education programs during the seasons. The property also includes 700 acres that are maintained and preserved as both a sanctuary and dedicated trail system for visitors. Audubon’s vision for the BOTR is that the center will help promote and advance Audubon’s Bird Friendly Communities strategy in Connecticut, engage the diverse communities it serves in ways that result in conservation actions being taken for birds and the places they need, and mentor and help develop the next generation of conservationists.
The Senior Center Manager is seen as an ambassador of the National Audubon Society, representing Audubon’s Connecticut and New York program locally, and integrating well with dozens of Center and Sanctuary leaders across the country. They are a collaborative, visionary thinker who can bring new programming opportunities to increase attendance and the diversity of its participants, as well as evolve the sphere of influence at the local level. The Senior Center Manager provides leadership for audience and partner engagement, ensuring that the BOTR offers programming that supports Audubon’s conservation mission throughout the region; is responsible for oversight of seasonal staff and volunteers and program content; manages the day to day operations at the center; and assists the BOTR Land Manager in implementing our site management plans. The Senior Center Manager is also responsible for keeping local operations running smoothly so visitors have positive experiences, are well engaged, and understand how BOTR folds into Audubon’s wider conservation and engagement strategies that focus on Climate, Working Lands, Water, Coasts and Bird-Friendly Communities. They must also be willing to work a flexible schedule, with 5 days on and 2 days off, including some standard weekend and evening work as needed.
This is an excellent opportunity for a conservation leader to apply their proven operational, staff management, and program leadership skills at one of Audubon Connecticut’s critical assets.
Staff and Operational Management
• Oversee all operational aspects of BOTR facilities and programs, including effectively managing the Education and Land Management staff and leading the recruitment and onboarding process for new employees.
• Ensure that property and facilities management and educational outreach programming are consistent with the intentions of the trust that provides the majority of operations revenue for the BOTR.
• Coordinate all staffing to ensure proper coverage for the center and special events; organize and attend special event lectures and assist with logistical planning and day-of needs.
• Support the Educator/Volunteer Coordinator in the development of an active volunteer corps to engage people from the community and in hiring and training new volunteers on visitor interaction protocols and the organization’s policies and procedures.
• Oversee BOTR’s conservation programs and coordinate efforts with local staff and Audubon’s national marketing team; work with Communications staff to update and manage the website and social media accounts of the location.
• Serve as the staff leader who works closely with the local BOTR advisory board.
• Represent BOTR while serving as a member of the Audubon CT & NY senior staff leadership team.
• Coordinate/manage daily housekeeping tasks, including but not limited to washing windows, sweeping and vacuuming, cleaning and restocking restrooms, and dusting exhibits.
• Develop and direct safety protocols and risk management for programs and facilities as advised by National Audubon Society. Ensure compliance of education and conservation staff with NAS policies and procedures as well as state and federal requirements.
• Preserve and cultivate a culture of mutual respect, individual initiative, collegiality, and diversity; collaborate with staff to identify and implement best practices and evaluate outcomes, where applicable.
• Other tasks and functions as assigned by the Executive Director.
Budget and Fundraising
• Work closely with the Executive Director and Finance staff to develop and deliver required budgeting and financial reporting.
• Support the Educator/Volunteer Coordinator with preparing and processing invoices, payments, and agreements/contracts for programs, sales, contributions, consultants, contractors, and membership. Maintain records relating to programs and operations, including program metrics and billing records.
• Assist with the cultivation, retention, and positive experience of donors and community partners as they interact with Center facilities and grounds.
• Act as an ambassador of BOTR for special donor-driven fundraising events and/or individual cultivation opportunities, such as bird walks.
• Assist in writing grants, developing budgets, and preparing reports.
• Seek new revenue opportunities of earned income through programs, tuition, etc.
• Lead drafting of reports and other correspondence associated with the endowment funding that provides the majority of the operating revenue for the BOTR, as needed.
Public Programs and Outreach
• In collaboration with the Executive Director and Director of Center Programs and Education, lead the centers transformation process for BOTR, aligning programming with Audubon’s conservation priorities, engaging diverse audiences, and developing the next generation of conservation professionals.
• Work with the Director of Center Programs and Education to continue engaging people in high-quality experiential learning in nature and promoting and engaging diverse communities and multi-age audiences; increasingly offer programming that leads participants to taking actions that have conservation impact.
• Oversee and supervise the development, implementation, and delivery of on-site and off-site educational programming created for school groups and community groups. Ensure science, policy, and conservation goals are emphasized meaningfully and appropriately in visitor and education programs.
• Bachelor's degree in an environmental field, education, biology, recreation management, nature-based tourism, or business administration; Master’s degree or other advanced training is a plus.
• 7+ years of experience leading interpretive/environmental programming in traditional and/or nontraditional settings, as well as 1-2 years’ in staff management and facility operations, required. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, passionate about conservation and Audubon’s mission to protect birds and the habitats they need now and in the future.
• Must possess strong emotional intelligence – a dependable leader who can inspire and motivate teams.
• Team player with a sense of humor, flexible and adaptable, comfortable greeting, interacting and presenting to individual visitors, as well groups up to 40 persons.
• A self-starter, one who takes initiative, has ideas for expansion and is a systems-oriented thinker.
• Tech-savviness, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, social media platforms, and other digital systems, is highly desired.
• Familiarity and/or experience working in the non-profit fundraising area desired.
• A flexible approach to work schedules, with the ability to work some weekends and evenings as needed. Must also possess a valid driver’s license with safe driving history.
• Ability and willingness to work in a variety of conditions as the role has some physical requirements, such as coordinating outdoor activities, program facilitation and event set up.
The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.
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All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.