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Executive Director

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Posted: 02/03/2012

American Public Gardens Association

The American Public Gardens Association (APGA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization located 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia. APGA's mission is advancing Public Gardens as a force for positive change in their communities through national leadership, advocacy and innovation. With APGA's leadership and advocacy, public gardens will grow in relevance to people's appreciation and understanding of the irreplaceable value of plants. The vision of the American Public Gardens Association is A World Where Public Gardens are Indispensable.

Executive Director
Professional Opportunity
Kennett Square, PA


All activities of the Association shall be carried out under the leadership and direction of the Executive Director who shall be responsible to the Executive Committee and the Board. The Executive Director, in consultation with the Board, is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Association and for overseeing the daily operations to ensure APGA achieves its strategic goals.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Direct the development and implementation of the strategic framework and business plan and develop annual action plans and metrics to ensure the continued relevance of existing programs and services; explore new services and programs to serve the membership and develop new revenue sources; ensure APGA's programs are consistent with the highest professional standards;
  • Supervise, mentor, motivate, assist and evaluate qualified staff to carry out the programs of the APGA; make recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval of compensation, benefits and working conditions;
  • Consult regularly with the President, Executive Committee and Board, individually and collectively. Keep the Executive Committee and the Board informed on all matters requiring action and provide them with sufficient information so they can make informed decisions;
  • Prepare and present the proposed annual budget and monthly financial reports to the Finance Committee and the Board;
  • Serve as the spokesperson for APGA, particularly to national media and at the annual conference; advocate on behalf of APGA and handle governmental relations activities.
  • Maintain close contact with affiliated organizations or delegate that responsibility to staff or Committees. Ensure that APGA staff and/or volunteers serve on various boards and committees of affiliated organizations in order to represent and advocate for the interests of APGA members; and
  • Work with the staff, board and external partners to grow the new revenue sources necessary to support APGA operations and programs and to ensure the overall financial health of the organization in the future.


Leading candidates will be facilitative, coalition builders who can work at multiple levels with association membership, Board members and affiliated organizations, providing leadership as appropriate and establishing a basis for trust and mutuality of expectations. The Executive Director should have the ability to service the current needs of the membership while also identifying trends and issues of significance to the profession for the future; strategic thinking should be combined with solid, tactical and pragmatic implementation.

The Executive Director should be diplomatic, yet decisive and cognizant of the ramifications of his/her decisions. He/She should be flexible, politically astute, culturally sensitive, and self-motivated. The successful candidate should be able to create harmonious relationships, develop good rapport and be a person of vision who is also comfortable as a hands-on manager and enabler of others. He/She should be an open, confident and communicative professional who enjoys exploring ideas. Exceptional written and oral communication skills are important. Good listening skills are equally important. The Executive Director will excel at setting priorities and will have the ability to deal with multiple tasks and functions simultaneously. Possessing a strong process orientation, the successful candidate should be highly organized and understand the importance of leveraging his/her strengths through the capacities of the membership. Since much of the role is catalytic and facilitative in nature, it is particularly important that the successful candidate be able to earn the trust and respect of the membership as well as potential partners, constituents, supporters and decision makers. The Executive Director should be a model of integrity and fairness and have high ethical standards.


Candidates should have demonstrated success in nonprofit leadership positions and an interest in the environment and public gardens. Membership organization or professional or trade association experience would be a plus. Candidates might have public garden experience but they could also come from association management, museums, conservation organizations or a variety of other nonprofit settings.


An undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and a comprehensive benefits package will be provided. Relocation assistance is negotiable.

OPen until
Until Filled

How to apply
If you are interested in applying for this position, follow the link to see the full listing and to learn about the application process: http://www.publicgardens.org/content/apga-career-475

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