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Bay Nature Institute Executive Director / Publisher Position Description

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Bay Nature Institute seeks an Executive Director/Publisher who will lead the organization in expanding the magazine’s subscriber base, building its online presence, and engaging a broad cross section of the community in pursuit of its mission to connect people to the natural world of the Bay Area. This experienced leader will report to the Board of Directors to advance the organization as an indispensable source of information regarding the Bay Area’s natural environment.


Bay Nature magazine began nearly twenty years ago as a concept “to create a luminous and intelligent publication that would reflect the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area, honor the region’s legacy of environmental advocacy, and nurture its wealth of creative talent.” The magazine was launched in January 2001 by Heyday Books founder and publisher Malcolm Margolin and David Loeb and began publishing with lead funding from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Loeb has served as Executive Director/Publisher since 2004 and is stepping down as of June 30, 2017.

Today, Bay Nature Institute is an independent nonprofit media organization whose mission is to inspire people “to explore and protect the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area.” Bay Nature is uniquely positioned to tell the stories of Bay Area nature news, conservation, and natural history as one of the only regional environmental media producers in the nation. This role is especially important at this critical time for nature and environmental journalism.

Bay Nature covers the 10-county region of the greater Bay Area with the following programs:

Bay Nature magazine: the award-winning magazine, with a distribution of 8,000, led by an Editor-in Chief, who oversees its content and production

BayNature.org: website, which offers original digital-only stories and multimedia, magazine content, guides to local trails and events, and access to expert naturalists.

Bay Nature in the Field: a series of hikes and outdoor experiences to places featured in the magazine and community events.

Local Hero Awards Dinner: an annual event that honors the work of a conservation activist, environmental educator, and a young conservationist.

Bay Nature on the Air: a series of short videos airing on public television stations in northern California that highlights individuals and organizations working on behalf of natural diversity

For more information on Bay Nature Institute please visit www.baynature.org


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director/Publisher will be responsible for Bay Nature’s operations, including staff management, fundraising, and building and maintaining external relationships. While the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief will be directly responsible for managing the content and production of the magazine, the Executive Director/Publisher will collaborate with staff to grow the reach of the organization and its mission-driven content.


Leadership / Management

§ Set and lead the business strategy and vision for the organization, execute on the vision and align stakeholders to bring Bay Nature Institute to its next stage of growth and impact.

§ Increase presence and partnerships in the Bay Area to heighten visibility of the Institute.

§ Work with Board and Staff to develop updated business model and revenue generation strategy/ies for this independent nonprofit media organization in this era of digital media.

§ Foster an organization that has at its core a culture of collaboration, respect, transparency, inclusiveness and professional excellence, while nurturing and supporting all members of the team.

§ Provide timely and meaningful information to the Board of Directors to support the decisions made on behalf of the organization.

Development / Fundraising

§ Identify and cultivate relationships with foundation, government, corporate and individual donors to develop strong fundraising pipeline and donor base.

§ Work with Associate Director to establish and manage a resource development plan aligned with a growth strategy and vision.

§ Work with the Advertising Director to develop and implement a strategy to increase magazine advertisers and advertising revenues.

§ Build reserves to ensure fiscal responsibility and sustainability.

Business operations / Finance

§ Codify and build internal systems and infrastructure for scalable growth.

§ Provide effective administration of Bay Nature’s operations, including finance, human resources, advertising, marketing, communications, and programs. Manage all staff and set annual goals, conduct performance evaluations annually, and set compensation.

§ Oversee the fiscal integrity of Bay Nature, including submitting to the Board a proposed annual budget and quarterly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.

§ Provide strong fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintains a positive financial position.

Program Development / Marketing

§ Represent Bay Nature among the Bay Area’s network of environmental organizations, community leaders, educators, policy makers, and funders to increase visibility and engagement.

§ Lead a strategy to expand the Institute’s programs to reach and engage more diverse communities in the Bay Area.

§ Initiate, cultivate and maintain partnerships critical to Bay Nature’s programmatic work and mission.


The successful candidate will have:

§ Deep knowledge of and experience working in the Bay Area, and experience in the Bay Area’s environmental, open space, and natural science communities.

§ Experience in print and digital publishing, online media or communications organizations. Enthusiasm and curiosity about the success of nonprofit media in the 21st century is essential.

§ Experience leading an organization through a phase of transition and growth, while maintaining high quality programs and services. Nonprofit leadership experience and knowledge is strongly preferred.

§ Demonstrated ability to think strategically, define a vision, and establish and execute plans to achieve the mission.

§ Proven track record of success in fundraising or business development, including growing a network of funders (institutional and individual) around a unified vision.

§ Expertise in establishing and leading a fundraising plan, resulting in a significantly strengthened donor base.

§ Experience in overseeing the financial health and scaling of an organization, exhibiting fiscal responsibility and sustainability.

§ Demonstrated entrepreneurial success transforming and bringing initiatives or organizations to scale.

§ Ability to cultivate and grow a diverse range of relationships at a local and regional level.

§ Significant management experience, including cultivating talent and fostering a culture of collaboration. Experience in hiring, supervising, and growing a highly proficient, talented and diverse staff to support the vision of the organization. Encourages input and creativity from staff.

§ Excellent communication skills as a public speaker and writer. Communicates with transparency, openness and integrity.

§ Proven expertise in developing and managing budgets of similar or larger sizes.

§ Commitment to the mission and legacy of Bay Nature Institute and magazine and the Bay Area natural environment.

§ Experience working with and developing a board to shepherd an organization through a phase of growth and transformation.

§ Advanced degree in business or public Administration or related experience desired.


The successful candidate will have:

§ Vision and ability to lead consensus-driven strategy setting. The Executive Director / Publisher will need to have the ability to lead and influence board and staff, and exhibit transparency and openness to all staff, taking decisive action when consensus cannot be reached.

§ Ability to pivot and adapt successfully alongside board, staff and stakeholders.

§ Dedication and passion for the mission of Bay Nature Institute and for exploring and protecting the natural world of the Bay Area.

§ Dynamic and inspiring communication skills. Excellent external communicator with ability to communicate passion for mission to funders, partners and stakeholders.

§ Natural ability to understand what motivates others, how to find collaborative opportunities and how to foster a positive culture.

§ Emotional intelligence with demonstrated self-awareness, self-regulation, social rapport, passion and motivation.

§ Cultural sensitivity and adept at connecting with diverse communities. Bay Nature Institute is an equal opportunity employer that embraces a diverse, multicultural work environment. People of all ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.

For additional information please contact: Anthony Tansimore, atansimore@gmail.com. If you are interested in applying or want to nominate someone for this position please send a letter explaining your interest along with your current resume and salary history to searchblueridge@gmail.com, and be sure to include “Bay Nature Institute Executive Director” in the subject line. All nominations and expressions of interest will be held in the strictest confidence.

Bay Nature