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21 Sep 2021

Full-Time Portfolio Director, The Islands

The Trustees – Posted by Tisbury, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

Portfolio Director, The Islands

The Trustees

Martha’s Vineyard, MA | Fall 2021

The Trustees seek an experienced and entrepreneurial Portfolio Director, The Islands to lead the islands team in implementing their transformational property vision.

About The Trustees

The Trustees is one of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits and the nation’s first conservation and preservation organization. Today, the places The Trustees care about are going fast, and the forces undermining them, including climate change, are moving faster. The Trustees’ passion is to protect and share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures under its care. The organization is funded and supported by visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 60,000 member households.

For more information about The Trustees, please click here.

About the Position

Reporting to Elizabeth McDonough, Vice President, Nature and Agriculture, the Islands Director plays a vital role in advancing The Trustees’ commitment to public access and community engagement, coastal resiliency, and farm-based learning. This is a unique opportunity for a conservation and community leader to have a significant impact on preserving and sharing globally rare habitats that are so important to the Islands’ communities and its visitors. This position requires a multi-disciplinary approach to lead and oversee strategic and operational management of all properties, staff and stakeholders on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket including Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Mytoi, Wasque, Long Point Wildlife Refuge, Menemsha Hills and The Brickyard, The FARM Institute, and Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. This full-time position is part of the Leadership Team of The Trustees. The position is located in Vineyard Haven, MA with significant time at Trustee offices in Edgartown and Chappaquiddick and oversees a full-time staff of 16 and a host of seasonal employees.

The Trustees are seeking an experienced leader who is passionate about nature, agriculture, and public engagement. The Director will possess and deploy a strong business and management skillset to lead and inspire a diverse and growing team. Additionally, the Director will manage and leverage resources to elevate this portfolio of properties all while improving the consistency and quality of the visitor experience. The Director should have deep knowledge of and extensive experience with the Islands, especially Martha’s Vineyard. The Director will be adept at working at the intersection of conservation and public access to beautiful places for all to enjoy, which are both at the heart of The Trustee’s mission.

This is a lynchpin position for the organization and its scope has four significant dimensions. As the face of the organization on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, the Director partners with local communities to foster relationships and deepen engagement to deliver key performance indicators and business goals. As a leader of staff and volunteers, the Director inspires creativity, innovation and growth in public programs and engagement. As hospitality leader, the Director is responsible for ensuring all staff and volunteers consistently deliver an excellent visitor experience. As a business leader, the Director is part of a broader regional and statewide team focused on business planning, financial performance, membership and enterprise revenue growth plans and achievement.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Management

  • Lead the Islands team to implement the transformational property vision, driving performance goals that are aligned with statewide, regional, and local strategies and key performance indicators.
  • Ensure property objectives are balanced regarding engagement, stewardship, enterprise, and conservation and ecology objectives.
  • Foster authentic and proactive community relations and local partnerships that foster deeper local engagement and support from the community.
  • Create and implement property business plans identifying the resources needed for delivery (both financial and human).
  • Communicate the opportunities and challenges to key staff, volunteers, and internal and external stakeholders.
  • Lead local property governance committees as the key owner of the relationships, setting regular meeting agendas and on-going communications.
  • Support cultivation of important stakeholders and donors in partnership with the development team.
  • Lead, inspire, motivate, and mentor a diverse team, including the local and regional staff, by creating an inclusive team environment, which fosters individual commitment, enthusiasm, and confidence and ensures effective teamwork, collaboration, and communication.
  • Model and set a culture of implementing the core values of The Trustees and how the organization works.
  • Create an engaging visitor experience and audience engagement plans that grow the involvement of members and visitors, including programs, events, and tours.
  • Ensure excellent recruitment, training, management, and recognition of staff and volunteers.

Business and Financial Performance Management

  • Create, implement, and deliver property business plans.
  • Set and achieve financial targets, including stretch goals, and ensure their delivery.
  • Ensure that operational plans are developed, approved, and implemented in a timely fashion and reflect cost effective deployment of resources.
  • Realize existing and create new opportunities for enterprise growth that generate income, expanding visitor amenities and ensuring the optimum use of all assets.

Operational Excellence

  • Identify needs for business process development and continuous improvement to achieve high standards of operational excellence in the Islands.
  • Develop systematic approach and processes for ongoing proactive community engagement.
  • Manage and report on Islands operational budgets and forecasts.

Stewardship of Cultural, Natural and Agricultural Resources

  • Support the creation and ensure execution of stewardship plans that ensure The Trustees’ resources are conserved, preserved, and stewarded for the future (landscapes, ecology, trails and woodlands and buildings), in line with the statewide stewardship standards.
  • Promote and develop a working culture with staff and volunteers, which incorporates sound sustainable practices in all areas of The Trustees’ stewardship work.
  • Monitor land conservation activities and opportunities in the region.

Risk Compliance

  • Understand and continually monitor all enterprises and programs with the goal of minimizing risk.
  • Manage operational risk by working with the regional management team and statewide staff.

Accountability of the Role

  • Accountable for management of operations, budgets, and projects.
  • Responsible for the performance management and development of staff and volunteers.
  • Other duties as assigned, with or without accommodations.


  • Travel to Boston, across the region and occasional travel across the state is required.
  • The work schedule of the Director requires flexibility, including evening and weekend commitments.
  • A satisfactory criminal background check (CORI) is required.

Key Qualifications

  • A minimum of 10 years of leadership and management experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with business strategy, financial management and planning.
  • A deep knowledge of the Martha’s Vineyard community.
  • Experience in hospitality, customer service, or visitor experience desired.
  • Familiarity with coastal ecology, education and/or recreation management a plus.
  • Positive team player with ability to collaborate both internally and externally.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility, willingness to respond to issues on nights and weekends.
  • A passionate commitment to the values and mission of The Trustees.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, including public presentations.
  • Master’s degree preferred.

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

How to Apply

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to: Tracy Marshall, Senior Vice President, Principal, Development Guild DDI. Click here to download a PDF of this job announcement.

Job Categories: Finance / Investing. Job Types: Full-Time.

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