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Chief Executive Officer

Target Audience(s): Postdoctoral

Institution: Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

Institutional Web Link:

Position Description: Mission
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Inc. (“SCCF”) is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in the surrounding watershed.

About SCCF
“For Those Who Came Before and Cared About Those Who Would Come After”

Founded in 1967, SCCF is a conservation leadership organization with a 50-year history of successful stewardship.

SCCF was originally founded as a land trust with a goal of acquiring, managing and conserving wetlands and coastal habitat on the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Today, SCCF is the largest private landowner on Sanibel Island. SCCF manages more than 1,200 acres on Sanibel plus more than 600 additional acres on Captiva and nearby islands. SCCF also facilitated the acquisition and fundraising for an additional 470 acres currently managed by the State of Florida or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Over the last 50 years, SCCF program areas have evolved to include:
• Wildlife & Habitat Management – management of the habitat owned by SCCF with particular programs focusing on at-risk wildlife species such as snowy plovers.
• A new Marine Research Laboratory (2800 square feet– under construction) that will enhance existing water quality monitoring and marine habitat restoration in the Caloosahatchee watershed and Gulf of Mexico.
• Sea Turtle Research and Monitoring – monitoring and research of loggerhead and green sea turtles (a record 873 sea turtle nests in 2017).
• Environmental Education – environmental education for children and adults at our Nature Center, the Sanibel School and outreach programs such as “No Child Left Onshore”.
• Native Landscapes & Garden Center - with demonstration gardens of native plants and a small retail operation.
• Natural Resource Policy - involving active representation regarding local and statewide issues.

Although we take pride in our past and present accomplishments, we are focused on the future—including potential changes in the environment that may impact the ecology and coastal resiliency of our islands.

SCCF has an annual operating budget of approximately $3 million and 26 full time employees plus interns. SCCF’s financial stability and strength has been made possible by the generous support of its 4,000 conservationist donors, as well as public sector partners, particularly the City of Sanibel and the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. SCCF is a fiscally sound organization recognized with a Charity Navigator 4-Star rating. SCCF has a growing endowment of approximately $5 million that is independently managed by its Endowment Committee.

SCCF’s volunteer corps is essential to its overall programming. There are approximately 350 volunteers providing over 15,000 volunteer hours per year.

SCCF operates major facilities including:
• the Nature Center;
• the Marine Laboratory;
• the historic Bailey Homestead Preserve including the original Bailey family home and the Native Plant Nursery & Garden Center;
• the Wilmeth Cottage used to house visiting scientists;
• the Habitat Management offices and a large equipment and maintenance center, and
• Intern Housing (recently renovated) for up to 16 individuals

SCCF has an active and effective Board of Trustees that works collaboratively with the CEO to set overall direction and policy for the organization.

About the Opportunity
SCCF is seeking a dynamic, thoughtful leader to serve as its CEO and to provide inspiration and direction to conservation efforts focused on SCCF’s mission.

The CEO will have broad leadership and management responsibility for SCCF operations, as well as extensive interaction with donors, members and other stakeholders.

This position will report directly to the Board of Trustees. All other SCCF employees report, directly or indirectly, to the CEO.

The current CEO will be retiring after a very successful 32-year career with SCCF. This tenure speaks to the exceptional nature of this opportunity and the culture and character of the SCCF organization.

CEO Responsibilities
• Strategy Development - SCCF has a Strategic Plan which was recently updated that can provide a launching point for the future. The new CEO will have the benefit of this plan, and the flexibility to innovate from it.

• Organization Leadership - The CEO will be responsible for the daily operations of SCCF, with an expectation that she/he will delegate supervisory tasks where appropriate.

• Member/Donor/Volunteer Relations and Fundraising - The CEO will play an active role in fundraising with major donors. She/he will be the “Face of SCCF” on the islands and otherwise where the organization has a very public and positive persona.

• Partner and Community Stakeholder Relations - SCCF’s relationships with the “Ding” Darling Refuge, the City of Sanibel, and numerous water quality and other conservation groups throughout the state and elsewhere are one of the organization’s most valuable assets. The CEO will either personally or through designees ensure these relationships remain fruitful and productive and continue to grow.

• Science Agenda and Natural Resource Policy - The CEO will be responsible for defining an evolving Science Agenda for SCCF that takes advantage of facilities such as the Marine Lab, Bailey Homestead and Wilmeth Cottage. The CEO will also formulate and communicate SCCF positions on major conservation issues, subject to Board approval.

Professional Experience and Qualifications
SCCF is seeking a CEO with the following characteristics and capabilities:

• Experience and Knowledge
o An understanding of Conservation issues relevant to the Sanibel-Captiva environment. This includes the foresight to identify emerging issues and the policies and practical actions necessary to address them. We are seeking a forward-looking leader with scientific credibility.
o A track record of successfully Leading and Managing organizations of at least a modest size and preferably of a size similar to SCCF.
o Fundraising experience and confidence in dealing with major donors.
o Relationships with peers in Florida and/or leaders in the local area would be a plus but not required.

• Skills
o Leadership skills with an ability to inspire and motivate others.
o Interpersonal skills in dealing with a diverse group of constituents including scientists, government officials, donors and volunteers.
o Communication skills and “Platform Presence” including active listening skills and the competence to address individuals and groups in a compelling and genuine way.

• Personal Characteristics
o Commitment to the SCCF Mission and a passion for the future conservation needs of Sanibel and Captiva islands.
o Enthusiastic.
o Collaborative.
o Decisive.
o Engaging Sense of Humor.

• Education
o Advanced degree required, preferably in a relevant science field.

A competitive compensation and benefits package will be available to the successful candidate.

About Sanibel and Captiva
Sanibel and Captiva are renowned barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida, adjacent to Fort Myers. Sanibel is approximately 12 miles long and Captiva is smaller at 5 miles long. There are approximately 8,000 full time residents of the islands, 250 species of birds, 230 kinds of shells and 0 traffic lights. Approximately two-thirds (2/3rds) of Sanibel Island is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Florida, the City of Sanibel or SCCF, and is restricted from development. The City of Sanibel was incorporated in 1974. The Sanibel School (K-8th grade) is a National Blue Ribbon School, which places it in the top 5% nationwide. Fort Myers offers various high school options, as well as the amenities of a larger metropolitan area.

Information should be submitted by no later than March 15, 2018.

We anticipate a transition period in late 2018 and assumption of full responsibilities by the new CEO in early 2019.

All correspondence will remain confidential.

Position Type: Permanent Position

Funding Source(s): Other

How to Apply: To Apply
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume in electronic form to Doug Ryckman at

Application Closing Date: 03/15/2018


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