Posted: Sep 13, 2023

Executive Director

Salary: $68,640.00 - $74,880.00 Hourly
Application Deadline: Oct 13, 2023
Business & Information

Position Summary

The Ottawa Conservation District (OCD) is seeking a new Executive Director that will further the mission of the District by overseeing all District operations, programs, activities, and staff. This professional position will act as a liaison between the OCD Board of Directors and District staff and requires skills and experience in program development and administration, human resources, communication and partnership building, and financial management. The Executive Director provides administrative and program information/implementation support to the OCD Board of Directors in carrying out the District’s programs in conformance with the purpose of the District as defined by Michigan law.

Responsibilities and Duties

Board Governance

  • The Executive Director answers directly to the Board of Directors and works with them to guide the direction and maintenance of the Ottawa Conservation District.
  • Organizes bi-monthly public Board meetings and compiles monthly Board packets including monthly staff reports, meeting agenda, and required financial, informational, and other information required in collaboration with Admin Specialist. Coordinates with staff secretary to record and prepare Board meeting minutes.
  • Implement Board directed policies and coordinates policy manual review.
  • Schedules and participates on Board H/R Committee and Board Finance Committee.
  • Coordinates arrangements for the Annual Meeting and Elections.
  • Works with the Board and staff to develop and facilitate District Strategic Planning and develops Annual Plan of Work.
  • Prepares and submits required reports.

Human Resources 

  • Supervises and assists staff in the performance of their duties.
  • Provides input for the Board to conduct annual and probationary staff evaluations and for hiring staff.
  • Annually conduct staff reviews, update work agreements, update benefit documentation, update position descriptions, review policy and personnel manual.
  • Lead the hiring process for vacancies by creating the position descriptions, interview questions, setting up hiring committee, creating evaluation matrix, check references, create offer package and onboarding plans.

Financial Oversight

  • Identify, evaluate, and pursue relevant sources of funding for District programs through grants and private/public sources.  
  • Prepare an annual operating budget for the Board and provide periodic updates in accordance to Michigan Department of Agriculture standards.
  • Prepare and coordinate financial review/audit as required by law and / or contractual agreements.
  • Provide for control of financial resources once the Board approves allocation of these resources.
  • Coordinate financial requirements for various grant programs, including reporting and budgeting.

Program Management

  • Represents the District to local units of government to provide information of District programs, services, and their role in the community, conservation partners and associations.
  • Serves as District contact and attends all relevant meetings.
  • Direct the application for, preparation, and administration of any grant programs which may be available to the District.
  • Recommend appropriate grant programs to the Board and develop grant proposals.
  • Meet with relevant individuals to coordinate and secure grant funds.
  • Conducts monthly check-ins with program staff and provides high-level management of District programs, including: NACD, RCPP, CISMA (Aquatic/Terrestrial Strike Teams and Forest Pest/HWA Program), Watershed, Groundwater (Raindrop Rescue), MAEAP, Produce Safety, Tree and Plant sales, and MDARD Ops governance.
  • Understands and complies with the legal requirements of the Conservation District Law, PA 45 of 2013, as amended.
  • Understands and complies with the District’s Policy and Procedures and those prepared by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD).
  • Responds to telephone calls and walk-in requests for assistance and/or refers the request to the appropriate staff person or related agency for assistance.

District Operations

  • Maintains District supplies inventory.
  • Provides IT resources and assists with IT management.
  • Organizes Vehicle Management filing systems.


  • Lead organizer: Board Finance Committee, Board H/R Committee, Annual Meeting, Election, and Leadership Committees.
  • Participate: Fundraising & Scholarship and Communications Committees

Working Conditions & Compensation

The position is full time with the Ottawa Conservation District located at 16731 Ferris St., Grand Haven, MI 49417. Starting salary is between $68,640.00 - $74,880.00 per year, depending on qualifications. Benefits include paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave as well as health and retirement stipend plans. Normal work hours will be from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Some flexibility with scheduling is permitted and will, from time to time, be required. Participation in a limited number of evening meetings, weekend activities, or special events may be necessary. Travel outside the office and county on behalf of the District will be necessary and will be reimbursed at the current federal mileage rate as outlined in the OCD Personnel Policy. Training sessions, meetings, or conferences may involve travel and/or overnight stays from time to time. An applicant must be open to training and mentoring to develop an in-depth understanding of conservation practices as well as conservation programs available to assist land users in conserving soil, water, and related natural resources.

The position is responsible to a five-member Board of Directors that meets bi-monthly and is directly supervised by the Chairman of the Board. Performance evaluation and decisions regarding salary and other compensation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment are the responsibility of the entire OCD Board of Directors. Employment is at the discretion of the Board and contingent upon factors determined by the Board including, but not limited to, available funding, job performance, changes in program direction or organization.

QUALIFICATIONS, EDUCATION / EXPERIENCE: College degrees in agriculture, natural resources, business and/or financial management and other related degrees are encouraged. Extensive experience in a similar position or a position with business management or non-profit administration experience is preferred.


  • Must be able to work independently without daily supervision and prioritize workload to complete tasks in a timely manner. Must be able to work as part of a diverse team. Maintains a positive attitude and possesses professional motivation.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to work with people from many other organizations, agencies, and groups in a professional manner to project a favorable image of the District.
  • Ability to maintain and uphold the non-partisanship of the District while working with all clients, partners, and Board Directors.
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality, along with diplomacy.
  • Ability to use a computer and experience in Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint is required.
  • A valid driver’s license is required. This position will also require a USDA-NRCS federal background check.


Position is open until filled. Please submit a cover letter indicating your interest and fit for the position, resume, and three references by Friday, October 13th, 2023 at 4:30pm as a single PDF to ottawac[email protected] with the subject line “Ottawa CD Executive Director”.

Ottawa Conservation District is a non-discriminatory employer and provider.

How To Apply:

Position is open until filled. Please submit a cover letter indicating your interest and fit for the position, resume, and three references by Friday, October 13th, 2023 at 4:30pm as a single PDF to ottawac[email protected] with the subject line “Ottawa CD Executive Director”.