American Conservation Experience seeks California Program Director

November 16, 2011


Deadline: December 9, 2011

American Conservation Experience (ACE), a Non-Profit Conservation Corps with growing nationwide operations, is seeking a Director for our California state branch located in Santa Cruz.


ACE is a dynamic organization with the reputation for providing crews of internationally diverse young adults to safely and efficiently accomplish technically challenging and physically demanding conservation and restoration projects for the NPS, USFS, BLM, USFWS, and numerous state and local land management partners. ACE’s California branch harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of 40 annual AmeriCorps members gaining hands on experience in recreation and resource management, 15 staff members, and hundreds of diverse, committed, long term volunteers from around the nation and the world. ACE’s CA program accomplishes crew-based conservation projects for public land management agencies and non-profit organizations throughout the state, with an emphasis on fuels reduction, ecological restoration, vegetation management, riparian restoration, and complex trails maintenance and construction efforts. Recognizing ever increasing agency need for skilled labor crews combined with growing federal and state mandates for youth engagement, ACE’s Board of Directors supports a policy of programmatic expansion in California. ACE’s leadership team is seeking a State Director with the ability to sustain our current excellence of operations while embracing a strategy of systematic growth, including the development of a second base of operations in CA. While ACE’s Executive Director will provide substantial initial guidance, we are seeking a CA State Director with the initiative, ambition, and knowledge base to take ownership of all aspects of our CA operations, independently defining goals and pursuing opportunities to ensure that ACE crews are widely recognized as a vital resource to accomplish meaningful restoration work throughout the state.

Requirements and Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will possess a unique combination of attributes, including energy and passion for youth development, substantial management background in either the non-profit or for-profit sector, ability to coordinate complex concurrent operations in a fast-paced environment, experience overseeing fiscal policy and budgeting for a large scale organization, a track record of developing successful partnerships, substantial background working with young adult staff and volunteers, the drive to generate and sustain a culture of programmatic pride, confidence to bring new ideas to the table and to convincingly express them verbally and in writing, and a history of working cooperatively as a member of a broader management team. In order to maintain ACE’s reputation for quality work, and to avoid diluting our skill base in favor of programmatic expansion, we wish to recruit a State Director who also possesses a strong foundation of field skills in some combination of trail work, habitat restoration, and/or fuels reduction. While the position is not field-based, ACE strongly believes that staff at all levels of management should be capable of guiding field activities, conducting site visits from a knowledgeable perspective, and imparting high standards to ACE’s field staff.

Specific job duties include:
Overseeing intricate daily operations, including development and enforcement of safety protocols and risk-management.
Outreach to local, state, and federal land management agencies and other conservation-minded organizations. Confidence and ability to solicit project opportunities by introducing ACE’s offerings to numerous new prospective partners statewide.
Overseeing the implementation of ACE’s AmeriCorps grant through California Volunteers.
Supervising and hiring managerial staff, including ACE California’s Director of Operations, Operations Manager, AmeriCorps Program Manager, Skills Trainers, Volunteer Coordinator, Recruitment Coordinator and future positions as they are generated through expansion.
Grant and proposal writing.
Preparing accomplishment and data collection reports.
Preparing and delivering powerpoint presentations.
Development of a marketing and outreach campaign for ACE CA, including writing a quarterly newsletter, managing web content, and creating a strategy to enhance alumni relations.
Serving as “on-call” contact to coordinate response to emergencies.

Other Requirements: Drug users, including recreational smokers of marijuana, should not consider applying as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing and detests the presence of drug users or proponents of any unhealthy lifestyle in our youth development program.
Applicants must have a clean driving record and be willing to submit to background checks.

Start Date: First quarter of 2012 with some flexibility for exact timing.
Length of Commitment: This is considered a career opportunity with a minimum anticipated commitment of 3 – 5 years.
Reports to: Executive Director
Classification: Full-time, Exempt
Schedule: ACE State Directors set their own schedules in accordance with their management objectives. But Directors are also expected to begin most work days by 7 AM to respond to phone calls and to help coordinate departing field crews. Weekend work, substantial travel, and availability to respond to unpredicted circumstances partially define a State Director’s lifestyle.
Salary: $48,000 - $60,000 base salary DOE, with potential for performance-based end of year bonuses of up to 20 percent of annual salary and the opportunity for raises commensurate with sustained programmatic expansion. Full benefits begin accruing after successful completion of six month probationary period, including health insurance, dental insurance, two weeks paid annual vacation, and sick leave.

To Apply:
Email your application materials to Chris Baker at with “CA State Director” in the subject heading of your email. Each application packet should include:
A detailed resume including three professional references.
An introduction letter expressing how a career position as ACE’s California State Director would align with your perspectives and experiences in conservation and youth development.
A secondary writing sample such as a previous grant proposal, a position statement/white paper, a newsletter, an excerpt from an academic thesis, etc.

Deadline: December 9, 2011. Please note that ACE will schedule interviews and may make a selection prior to the application deadline, so please submit your materials as you prepare them.
Interview Process: As expressions of interest are received, ACE’s Executive Director will review each packet and schedule an initial round of interviews in Santa Cruz. The leading candidates after the first round of interviews will be invited to ACE headquarters in Flagstaff, AZ to meet with ACE’s Board of Directors before a final selection is made.


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