Overview of the River and the Association
Every year, thousands of people canoe, kayak and fish the waters of the Farmington River, as well as visit the state parks, forests and historic mills that dot the river's edge. Recreational value, rare wildlife, outstanding fisheries and a rich history are some of the outstanding features of the Farmington. In August 1994, Congress added 14 miles of the Farmington River's West Branch to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. This exciting milestone in the river's history recognizes the Farmington's beauty and character, and ensures that it will be enjoyed by generations to come.
Founded in 1953 by concerned local residents to address the critical water quality problems of that era, the Farmington River Watershed Association (“FRWA”), is a 501c(3) nonprofit that works with federal, state and local governments, business and industry, and with people in the watershed’s 33 communities to protect this beautiful river and its surrounding landscape. Although led by professional staff, FRWA relies on members, volunteers, other nonprofits, government agencies and business, all of who offer expertise, funds, time, and other assistance to protect the watershed. Areas of focus for FRWA include water quality, water allocation, habitat restoration, recreation, open space, and wetland and floodplain protection
Overview of Programs
FRWA is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring the Farmington River and its watershed – for you, for all, forever. FRWA accomplishes this mission through the following activities:
FRWA’s operating budget has averaged approximately $400,000 over the last three years, and the organization employs five staff members, including the executive director, at its Simsbury, CT headquarters. The executive director reports to a volunteer board of directors currently comprised of 13 members who are community, environmental, and business leaders from communities of the watershed.
For the last six years, FRWA has been very well-led by its executive director who recently resigned to pursue a new professional opportunity. A four-member search committee of the board has assumed the responsibility of managing the search.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
High priorities for the executive director of FRWA include:
Desired Credentials/Profile of the Ideal Candidate
Skills and Experience
Conservation Champion and Advocate
As the leader of a mission-driven nonprofit committed to preserving, protecting, and restoring the river and its watershed, the leader must be a conservation champion, willing and able to advocate fiercely and persuasive on behalf of the community, board, staff, members and volunteers, and most importantly the river. The leader must be willing to speak truth to power and be adept at making factual, scientific, economic and ecological arguments to champion conservation, preservation and the appropriate use of the river.
The executive director must execute a broad-based fundraising program across a range of funding sources, including membership dues, individual donations, corporate giving and foundation and government grants. The leader must be eager, poised and proactive in assuming the executive director’s role in fundraising, utilizing available and developing new relationships to achieve significant fundraising results. Experience with grant writing is a highly valued skill set.
Politically Savvy Communicator, Networker and Collaborator
The executive director must be a consummate communicator, savvy networker and honest broker on behalf of FRWA, able to communicate equally well with local, CT, and federal agencies and officials, community and business leaders, members, donors and residents. The leader also must possess exceptionally strong interpersonal skills to form and sustain mutually supportive and beneficial relationships. In addition, the leader must be a compelling spokesperson and presenter who can promote and advocate for FRWA and its work, grow interest in partnering with FRWA and champion its successes.
As the agency’s chief executive and administrative officer, the leader will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s programs, operations, finances, facilities and staff, efficiently aligning and maximizing resources to achieve FRWA’s strategic goals and empowering, coaching and supporting an experienced, strong and committed staff. The leader will also serve as the primary liaison to the board of directors to expand membership as well as to grow each member’s commitment to effective governance and fundraising.
Accessible Team Leader with Integrity
The next executive director must be a cohesive and collaborative team leader with integrity, someone who values and capitalizes on the collective strength and wisdom of FRWA’s staff. The leader must also be an honest broker to individuals and organizations partnering with FRWA, being unfailingly accessible to FRWA’s diverse residents and supporters.
This search is being conducted by TSNE MissionWorks’ Executive Transitions Program with Transition Consultant John Tarvin. Submissions received by October 15, 2018 will be prioritized, and all submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential. Interested candidates should submit materials to:
Please include a resume and a cover letter with salary requirements, information regarding how you learned of the position, and a description of how your qualifications and experience match FRWA’s needs and mission. All submissions of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.
FRWA is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.