Willowsford Conservancy (https://willowsfordconservancy.org/) seeks an accomplished conservation professional as our next Executive Director.

Willowsford is a 4,000-acre planned community in Loudoun County, Virginia. 2,200 acres of the community have been set aside for environmental preservation, recreation, and agricultural uses, including 40 miles of trails and a 300-acre working farm. Development began in 2010 and will be complete in 2022.

Willowsford Conservancy was established in 2011 by the Willowsford Founder as a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization. Its mission is “…to protect, maintain and promote the viable, long-term use of the land, integrating farming, recreation, conservation, and education to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Willowsford and the surrounding community.” The Conservancy accomplishes its mission by acting as the long-term owner of the preserved land, including the farm, along with attendant assets and programming.

As noted in the Community Covenant, the founding vision is “…for Willowsford to be a special place…a true ‘community’ where people not only live and play, but…get involved in a way that creates a better quality of life for themselves, their neighbors, and the community at large…Purchasing property in Willowsford represents a commitment to this vision…” Recognizing this unique mandate, Willowsford was awarded the 2013 and 2014 Great American Living Awards’ “Community of the Year” and the 2014 National Association of Homebuilders National Awards’ “Community of the Year.”

The Conservancy is separate from the community’s Homeowners’ Association and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Operations are funded principally by annual assessments of Willowsford homeowners, along with fees paid upon transfers of title. Secondary funding sources include earned income from farming and other Conservancy-supported activities, as well as grants, contributions, and sponsorships.

The Conservancy is managed by an Executive Director, who reports to the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the Conservancy’s $2 million annual operation. Reporting to the Executive Director today are a Farm Manager, responsible for the sales and operation of the Farm, including its community supported agriculture (CSA) program and a six-person production and marketing staff; a Land Stewardship Manager, responsible for land, habitat and species management, trail and facility maintenance, and related outreach and education via vendors and a staff of three; and a business / communications operations support teammate.

Successful candidates will demonstrate excellence in all aspects of leading conservation organizations, land trusts, and/or similar not-for-profit entities, to include:

  • Expertise in land and species conservation, evidenced by education, as well as a history of career achievement and increasing professional responsibility;
  • Development and execution of strategic plans, programs, and projects, with critical thought toward the management of diverse interests while retaining focus on organization goals;
  • Public representation of the organization and its mission, including at events, in communications, and in personal interactions;
  • Operation of organizations with budgets and staffs at least as large as those of the Conservancy, specifically including direct personnel management and development;
  • Financial stewardship, especially analytical ability and interest, along with the ability to communicate and take action upon findings and recommendations;
  • The ability to work constructively with a governance-focused Board, as well as stakeholders including residents, the Homeowners’ Association’s elected representatives and professional staff, County government, adjacent landowners, utilities, vendors, etc.

Compensation is commensurate with the organization’s size and scope as well as candidate experience. The role includes a full suite of benefits.

Interested candidates should email crowan@willowsfordconservancy.org a letter of not more than two pages, specifically addressing reasons for their interest and how their experience and skills demonstrate excellence in all areas of operating conservation organizations. Attach a resume or CV in PDF format. Applications will be treated with the strictest confidence, and are due by August 20, 2021. The Board anticipates selecting our new Executive Director this fall.