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OrganizationBlue Ridge PRISM
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineFebruary 9, 2024
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary Range$70,000 - $90,000


Blue Ridge PRISM is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to reduce the impact of invasive plants on the ecosystems of the northern Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas through regional and statewide advocacy, landowner support, implementing control measures, and public education. Blue Ridge PRISM partners with federal/state/local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals and communities to address the threat invasive plants pose to a 3.6 million-acre area of public and private land in 12 counties in the northern Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Blue Ridge PRISM is looking for an experienced individual with a demonstrated passion for conservation of Virginia’s natural resources, experience fundraising, and a track record of success in effectively engaging a diversity of audiences and people. The Executive Director will be joining the Blue Ridge PRISM team at a very exciting and pivotal time in the organization’s work and development. A strong candidate will bring to this role proven organizational leadership skills, a demonstrated ability to influence without authority (for example, partner organizations and volunteers), significant supervisory experience, the ability to coordinate simultaneous tasks and projects, and excellent public speaking skills.      

The Executive Director is the operations leader of Blue Ridge PRISM, and is expected to grow quickly into strategic leadership. Blue Ridge PRISM is comprised of a dynamic and diverse team of staff, volunteers, and public/private partners dedicated to mitigating the impact of invasive plants to Virginia’s natural resources. The Executive Director will employ strategies around advocacy, building strong support networks, supporting landowners and communities, and engaging with key partners to achieve our mission while ensuring Blue Ridge PRISM is supported organizationally and financially.

Job Duties

Maintain and strengthen PRISM’s financial position through development of annual fundraising campaigns, periodic fundraising events, by cultivating and soliciting gifts from key donors including foundations, and seeking/managing grants.

Lead strategic management and planning in partnership with the Board of Directors. Serve as an informed resource to the Board to help with decision making. Identify short-term and long-term needs of the organization and communicate those needs to the Board.

Manage the Blue Ridge PRISM organization. Ensure the operational and fiscal policies set by Board are maintained. Develop the annual budget, work with the organization’s accountant to manage spending, track budget compliance, and mitigate financial risks. The Executive Director is charged with tracking set organizational goals and developing strategies to meet those goals. Blue Ridge PRISM’s communication strategy is key and requires working closely with the Director of Communications and Outreach to develop annual communication and educational outreach plans. A key aspect of the role will be developing and leveraging networks across Virginia to meet Blue Ridge PRISM’s goals and support nine initiatives developed by Virginia conservation leaders in December 2023.

Supervise up to five staff, perhaps more in the future. Ensure employee objectives align with and further Blue Ridge PRISM’s mission and stated goals. The Executive Director clears obstacles and supports the staff in achieving their set objectives and reaching professional development goals. Maintaining a supportive, collaborative, healthy, and inclusive work environment a priority. Additionally, the Executive Director provides the broad oversight needed to ensure Blue Ridge PRISM’s work integrates, complements, and/or strengthens parallel initiatives of our key partners.

Skills Required

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, forestry, environmental education, nonprofit studies, related field, or equivalent experience
  • Experience working in a senior management or nonprofit leadership role
  • Significant experience managing staff in a supportive and empowering work environment
  • Demonstrated success managing an organization or complex projects
  • Knowledge of and experience with conservation practices and principles
  • Experience with and demonstrated success in fundraising
  • Experience in developing and managing a budget, tracking financial reports to ensure the financial well-being of an organization
  • Demonstrated ease at public speaking. Excellent writing and verbal communication skills are essential. Possess the ability to generate excitement and energy around the Blue Ridge PRISM’s mission and the topic of invasive species through both personal connection and positive public messaging. 
  • A deep curiosity and strong drive for continued learning in order to be an effective conservation leader in Virginia
  • Experience working for a land trust or conservation organization
  • Experience working with a board of directors
  • Familiar with Microsoft Office Suite, Bloomerang, Google Workspace, and Zoom
  • Experience writing grant proposals and managing grants including required grant reporting
  • Knowledge of plant identification including invasive plants. Experience with landscape-scale vegetation management, including invasive plant control.
  • Experience planning and presenting environmental education programs
  • Knowledge of Virginia laws and state-funded programs bearing on invasive plants and/or vegetation management

Work Schedule

This is an exempt position based on 40 hours per week. Hours are flexible, but generally expect most work to occur Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Occasional weekend work may be required.

Additional Info

This is an exempt position based on 40 hours per week. The work will be done remotely (PRISM does not have a central office) and high-speed internet connectivity is a must. Ideally the successful candidate will reside within PRISM’s 12-county service area with strong preference given to candidates living near the Charlottesville, Virginia area (within a 45-minute drive). Occasional local and statewide travel will be necessary to facilitate in-person meetings with partners, donors, and to attend key PRISM business meetings. Access to reliable transportation is required and travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Salary range is $70,000 – $90,000, commensurate with experience. Blue Ridge PRISM offers a competitive benefits package including a SIMPLE IRA with a 3% employer match upon eligibility, long and short-term disability, 20 PTO days annually plus federal holidays, and a contribution towards health insurance. The Executive Director reports to the President of the Board.

Blue Ridge PRISM is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. We encourage candidates that may not meet all of the listed qualifications to apply.