Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

Ketcha Outdoors seeks Executive Director

Thursday, June 2, 2022

The board of directors of Ketcha Outdoors, a treasured year-round nonprofit outdoor education organization in Southern Maine, has launched the search for its next executive director. Ketcha’s mission is to provide kids of all ages with deep connections to the land, a vibrant community, and the confidence to create their sense of place in the world. Working with a dedicated board of directors and talented staff, the new executive director will advance this mission strategically to ensure sustainability and maximum impact.

About the employer

Since 1964, Ketcha Outdoors has created wonderful memories for youth and adults alike on its spectacular grounds in Scarborough—107 acres of meadows, forests, streams, and wetlands—the perfect backdrop for year-round nature-based children’s programming. The campus features an extensive collection of trails; a pond and swimming pool; an animal barn; and distinctive classroom and event spaces to support a rich array of youth programs including: a summer day camp, Farm and Forest pre-school, animal- and farm-based experiences, a ropes/challenge course, and after-school and vacation camps.

In 2014, Ketcha helped launch the Portland Gear Hub, an outdoor gear and bike shop in Downtown Portland, to increase equitable access to the outdoors for individuals and families. In just a few years, the Gear Hub has grown to become an integral part of the organization and its urban community. With a small, year-round staff and many dedicated volunteers, Gear Hub now manages a robust repair and retail operation, lowering the barrier of entry for those interested in outdoor recreation and sustainable transportation. The Gear Hub emphasizes equity in the outdoors by offering free educational earn-bike programming for kids and adults as well as expert instruction in bike maintenance.

With annual revenue of approximately $2.4 million, Ketcha Outdoors employs 35-40 staff year-round, varied in background but united in purpose. They see themselves as not only the stewards of a very special 107 acres, but the stewards of young lives, with the opportunity to extend to the community’s most vulnerable a strong sense of connection, support, and just plain fun!

More information about Ketcha Outdoors can be found at https://ketchaoutdoors.org/.

Role and responsibilities

The new executive director will partner with the board of directors in strategic planning, serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization, and oversee all aspects of Ketcha’s operations in Scarborough and Portland. The director’s core responsibilities include the management and development of staff and programs in keeping with Ketcha’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion; the financial health of the organization; and the cultivation of enduring community-based relationships.

A broad set of skills and abilities is required to build on Ketcha’s exceptional reputation, leverage the organization’s strengths and deepen its impact moving forward. The board expects that the successful candidate will be an outdoor enthusiast who will bring to the role:

  • Organizational leadership or high-level management experience in the nonprofit sector
  • Passion for Ketcha’s mission and an unwavering commitment to expanding equitable access to nature, outdoor education, and outdoor gear
  • Recognition of the potential of every child and the dignity of all
  • A management style that prizes inclusion and collaboration, develops individual and team strengths, and promotes trust
  • Experience in successfully developing and reliably executing long-range strategic plans
  • Effectiveness in delegating responsibility to promote efficiency in service to established goals
  • The ability to organize around the big picture while managing multiple priorities and maintaining appropriate attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
  • Demonstrated strength in managing the execution of a multifaceted fundraising strategy
  • Knowledge and skills pertaining to human resource management, including hiring, training, workplace safety, wellness, and regulatory compliance
  • A successful record of building rapport with diverse constituencies
  • High energy, humor and optimism
  • Compassion, open-mindedness and humility

Specific experience in outdoor education and/or early childhood or youth development is a plus.

Compensation

The executive director will earn a comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience, between $90,000 and $105,000. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after the initial six months, as well as an annual review thereafter.

Nondiscrimination

Ketcha Outdoors is committed to building a diverse outdoor community that welcomes and celebrates Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQIA+ individuals as staff, participants, students, campers, and leaders. Ketcha does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, national origin, ancestry, public assistance, ethnic background, religion, marital status, economic class, age, disability or handicap (mental or physical), sex, creed, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and any other legally protected characteristics in admission or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment. The organization complies with all applicable national, state and local laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following address: search1@starboardleadership.com.

Paper copies may be sent to Jessica Weiner, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401, but electronic submissions of material are preferred. No phone inquiries, please. The application deadline is June 30, 2022, and review of all submissions will begin on that date.

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