Post Date: 9/29/23
The Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCD) seeks to fill its full time District Manager position. The District Manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the District, ensuring adequate progress towards the goals and objectives of our 5 year strategic plan, providing oversight, mentorship and support to the other District staff, and implementing innovative projects and initiatives to advance our mission.
About Winooski NRCD
The Winooski NRCD was established in 1940, after Vermont passed the Soil Conservation Act, with an original purpose to drive locally-led voluntary conservation through contacts with farmers. In 1968, the Vermont State Legislature amended the Soil Conservation Act broadening our scope to conserve all natural resources. Since 1940, the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District has promoted the wise use, sustainable development, and conservation of our District’s natural resources. We connect residents with education and technical assistance to implement on-the-ground projects to improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat. We serve residents and communities of Chittenden and Washington County Vermont as well as three towns in Orange County (Orange, Williamstown & Washington), making the Winooski NRCD the largest NRCD in the state by area and population. Find out more at our website: www.winooskinrcd.org
With support from the Board of Supervisors, the District Manager will assume all duties as necessary to ensure the successful continuation and growth of the Winooski NRCD programs, projects, and services and perform additional responsibilities as the need arises.
- Technical & Programmatic
- Perform natural resource and site assessments, scope high priority projects for funding, secure landowner support, and move projects through design and implementation. Project management tasks may include securing funding through grants, loans, or other creative financing opportunities, procurement and contracting for consulting services, coordinating between landowners, regulatory authorities, consultants, and the general public, securing permits, providing public communications to highlight project successes, overseeing consultant and contractor work, and performing final reporting. Open projects for the District Manager to immediately assume include final design on a dam removal for trout habitat restoration, a Watershed Action Plan for Lake Iroquois, and assisting with coordination of the Vermont Envirothon.
- Work closely with partner agencies, towns, non-profit groups, and local landowners to address conservation needs in the District. Work with partners to regularly review local stormwater master plans, river corridor plans, and other relevant plans to identify other high priority natural resource projects for development.
- Answer general inquiries on services and opportunities, perform site visits, provide recommendations and resources to communities, organizations, and landowners. Deliver on-site technical visits, and provide technical assistance in identifying, securing funding for, and installing best practices for soils, water, and wildlife.
- Work with District staff to grow natural resource initiatives, programs and services to align with Winooski NRCD Core Values, Mission, and local needs. Research, apply to, and assist with the administration of funding through grants, foundations, and donations. Track and report project and program progress. Develop new grant funded projects and programs based on local needs in coordination with the other District staff, statewide technical staff, Board of Supervisors, and partners. Continue to pursue both independent funding initiatives and collaborative partner projects.
- Coordinate established activities with District staff including the annual tree sale. Support progress in ongoing District initiatives including advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and growth of programming and services around climate change resilience and mitigation.
- Support and mentor District staff in grant writing, reporting, program development and on-the-ground field work as needed. Support staff in the development and implementation of effective watershed stewardship, agriculture assistance, forestland resources, and urban conservation projects.
- Statewide and Regional Coordination
- Act as a liaison between the District, its partners, and the public as an outreach and information source. Represent the District at public functions, a responsibility shared among staff & Supervisors, including but not limited to local and regional planning commissions, town meetings, and other local civic activities as appropriate.
- Participate in regular statewide and regional coordination initiatives including District Manager meetings, Tactical Basin Planning, Basin Water Quality Council meetings, Winooski Basin Aquatic Organism Passage working group, and the Dam Task Force.
- Communicate regularly with local partner organizations, share newsletters, attend respective board meetings, and pursue collaborative initiatives and projects as appropriate.
- Develop new relationships with non-traditional groups to gain new knowledge and awareness of the needs of our District communities and to further achieve the District’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.
- Track relevant state and federal legislation and rules that impact natural resources within the District. Update resources and inform staff as needed.
- Administration, Finance, & Communication
- Complete annual District operational duties including annual elections for a Board seat, developing an annual work plan, and submitting progress and financial reporting to the Natural Resources Conservation Council.
- Regularly recruit to expand and diversify Board leadership and seek out opportunities to grow engagement with the Board.
- Coordinate bimonthly Board meetings and provide regular reports to the Board on the status of projects, personnel, fiscal matters, and progress towards strategic plan goals and objectives.
- Develop annual budget and budget adjustments. Coordinate with the District’s bookkeeper for monthly tracking of project expenses and revenues, Board financial reporting, and banking deposits. Maintain the District’s open line of credit.
- Build organizational capacity through ongoing fundraising activities for general operations including developing and disseminating the annual Impact Report and submitting town appeal letters. Meet with funders, corporate sponsors, and other new partners to grow the funding base.
- Ensure successful updates to the Natural Resources Assessment through public surveys and local working groups.
- Maintain and update the District’s website, blog, and social media platforms. Release regular e-newsletter and grow contact lists to increase public engagement. Take photos and videos regularly of field work and activities and contribute to Districts’ broader communications efforts including regular social media postings and newsletter blurbs.
- Maintain active accounts and policy coverage including with sams.gov, and VLCT.
- Perform regular scan of technology, ensure frequent updates and backups and safe data management, perform website maintenance, and ensure staff have access to software and security updates as needed.
- Perform regular review and updates to financial policies, standard contractual language, and staff handbook.
- Personnel Management
- Coordinate regular staff meetings to ensure ongoing effective communication and collaboration across the staff team.
- Review and approve biweekly timesheets and expense reports.
- Serve as benefits manager, prepare annual cafeteria plan and paperwork, assist staff in benefits enrollment, and coordinate benefit payments with the bookkeeper.
- Provide direct supervision, manage staff workloads, and provide annual performance evaluations for all staff. Ensure adequate staffing capacity and provide professional development opportunities to all staff.
- Work with other District staff to oversee District volunteers and interns.
- 4 to 6 years of relevant practical experience or MA/MS in natural resources management, environmental sciences or engineering, or related field.
- Outstanding organizational skills, the ability to prioritize tasks and to work independently. Self-organizing and goal setting; detail-oriented; and ability to oversee multiple projects and staff concurrently.
- Budgeting and accounting experience.
- Experience in project management and oversight, procurement, contracting, engineer and contractor oversight, permitting, invoice processing, and reporting.
- Outstanding persuasive writing skills and a record of success in grant research, writing, and administration.
- Strong commitment to supportive and collaborative work environments both internally with the entire staff team and externally with partners.
- Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication, and public speaking. Ability to effectively deliver education in environmental and conservation topics. Ability to understand and interpret scientific data and communicate effectively with the public.
- Commitment to Winooski NRCD Mission and Core Values and passion to help realize these values and mission through program development.
- Ability to work cooperatively with varied and diverse audiences, landowners, municipalities, peers, and staff from a variety of agencies.
- Candidate must be able to clear a thorough federal background check to work on the USDA NRCS computer system and have access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
- Strong computer literacy including experience with Windows, MS Office, Google Drive, and social media platforms. Familiarity with WordPress, Mailchimp, PayPal, Intuit, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Zoom desirable.
- Working knowledge of natural resource challenges in Vermont and conservation practices that benefit soils, water, wildlife, and climate.
- Comfort with performing manual labor outside in variable weather conditions, across rough terrain for long periods of time. Ability to walk at least 5 miles with 10 lbs of gear.
- Willingness to travel throughout the District and to work occasional evenings and weekends.
Desired Skills and Experiences
- Map development, interpretation, and experience with and knowledge of GIS, ANR Atlas, and other map-making tools
- Familiarity with QuickBooks or other accounting software. Knowledge of accounting best practices and fund accounting.
- Working knowledge of current State legislation and programs affecting natural resources, including Required Agricultural Practices, basin planning, stormwater regulations, TMDL’s, and Forestry AMPs.
- Knowledge of Conservation Districts and of local, state, and federal conservation programs.
- Experience in non-profit and/or government work environments.
- Familiarity with funding opportunities for natural resources work including the Lake Champlain Basin Program, and DEC Clean Water Block Grants.
- Strong research skills, survey development, data collection, data analysis, and detail-oriented project tracking and reporting.
- Conservation Practice installation experience including buffer plantings, fence work, etc.
Supervision: The District Manager will be an employee of the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District. Direct supervision will be by the District’s Board of Supervisors. Guidance, training, and workload prioritization will be provided by the outgoing District Manager and other District staff where appropriate.
Job Type: Full-time (40 hrs/week)
Location: Office space is co-located with NRCS offices in Berlin, VT. Position may alternate between office and home-based work but should expect travel across Winooski NRCD service area and must have access to reliable transportation and valid driver’s license. Mileage reimbursement included. A laptop is provided for this position.
Target Start Date: ASAP
Compensation: Position starts at State of Vermont Pay Grade 23 Step 1 (currently $25.43/hr). After successful completion of a six-month probationary period compensation increases to Step 2 (currently $26.62/hr). Predictable annual stepwise pay increases with satisfactory employee evaluations thereafter.
Compensation Benefits: Paid holidays, annual leave, and personal/sick leave. $6000/year health stipend. Retirement contribution to Simple IRA account.
Please e-mail email@example.com a short writing sample (a grant application example preferred), cover letter, and resume (PDF or Word format) with “District Manager Application” in the subject line. Deadline to submit is Monday October 23, 2023 . Direct any questions to this email address. No phone calls, please.
Winooski NRCD is an equal opportunity employer. Review of interested candidates shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or gender identity or expression. Protected classes strongly encouraged to apply. Thank you for your interest!