Executive Director

Website North Lakeland Discovery Center

Non-profit Environmental Education Center

Status: Position is year-round FT salaried. Minimum 40 hours/week. Competitive salary commensurate with experience and education starting at $65,000/year. Benefits include Health, Dental, 401K, LTD and STD, plus life Insurance.

Job Summary: The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the North Lakeland Discovery Center(NLDC), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to enrich lives and inspire an ethic of care forWisconsin’s Northwoods, through the facilitation of connections among people, nature, and community. The E.D.will provide visionary leadership over the operations of the NLDC and will implement its mission and strategicgoals. The E.D. will manage and supervise all aspects of NLDC’s operations including programs, personnel,budgets, fundraising, membership, marketing, and facilities.


  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree in natural resources, administration, or other relevant area.
  • At least three years of work experience in a related field.
  • Prior administrative or supervisory experience – demonstrated ability to lead team of full and part-time
  • Excellent leadership, organizational, managerial, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Working knowledge of day-to-day facility maintenance and ability to plan for site needs.
  • Experience in fundraising, including donor relations, fundraising events, and capital campaign leadership.
  • Budgetary experience and demonstrated ability to attain revenue goals and control expenses to achieve or exceed budget targets.
  • Flexible, creative, diplomatic, energetic, outgoing, caring, enthusiastic, dedicated, and team-oriented individual with a passion for NLDC’s mission.

Key Responsibilities
The successful Executive Director will lead and manage a highly competent and motivated staff (currently 11) to achieve successful outcomes in the following areas:


  • Create and implement annual and long-term nature, woods and waters, and residential programs forchildren, adults, and various groups.
  • Ensure that all appropriate state and other codes are followed to minimize risk and foster safeenvironments.

Board Relations and Leadership

  • Work with Board and Staff in establishing and meeting strategic goals.
  • Initiate and assist in developing policy recommendations.
  • Attend all board meetings and participate on Board committees as appropriate.
  • Assist Board in identifying new Board members.
  • Keep the Board fully informed on the condition of the organization.


  • Create and update annually a staffing plan for NLDC.
  • Hire full and part-time staff and ensure proper training and supervision.
  • Provide annual written reviews and goal-setting for all employees.
  • Ensure that personnel procedures, guidelines, and employee handbook are compliant with law and updated annually.
  • Ensure that each position has an up-to-date organization and behavioral job description.

Budgets and Fiscal Oversight

  • Develop and monitor annual operating and capital budgets and present to Board for approval.
  • Approve expenditures and ensure proper fiscal recordkeeping and internal reporting.
  • Monitor financial reports for adherence to budgets.
  • Cooperate with auditor and present audit reports to the Board.


  • Develop and implement membership drives, special appeals, special events, etc.
  • Cultivate, secure, and nurture donors to strengthen their connection to NLDC and increase yearly contributions.
  • Promote and grow NLDC’s endowment and planned giving programs.
  • Seek out appropriate grants and ensure completion of requirements.
  • Help lead NLDC’s existing and future capital campaigns to raise funds for buildings, grounds, and any other capital needs identified.
  • Oversee donor recognition programs.


  • Recruit, engage, support, and retain NLDC volunteers.

Marketing and Public Relations

  • Promote NLDC programs, events, and mission-consistent use of NLDC’s facilities.
  • Ensure communication with NLDC members and stakeholders is conducted routinely through direct mail,
    website, email, social media, and other methods.
  • Develop and cultivate relationships with strategic partners and community organizations.
  • Promote NLDC and its mission to the larger community.


  • Ensure that buildings and grounds are well-maintained, clean, attractive, and safe.
  • Create a safe and healthy working environment for all staff and volunteers.
    Other Responsibilities
  • Ensure efficient and secure record-keeping and IT practices.
  • Secure appropriate property, liability, worker’s compensation, vehicle, and other insurance.
  • Ensure compliance with Wisconsin Administrative Code Section 175, related to Recreational and Educational Camps.
  • Negotiate and secure all contracts and agreements related to the organization.
  • Attend conferences and other professional development opportunities in order to network, gain new ideas and improve NLDC’s systems and operations.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board.

The Board will review the E.D.’s performance at least annually using a 360-degree assessment methodology i.e. E.D. self-assessment compared to assessment by directors, employees, and peers.

Application Procedure
A full job description and application questionnaire are available at
https://discoverycenter.net/executive-director-search/. Please submit in PDF format a 1-2-page resume, cover letter, and completed application questionnaire to jobs@discoverycenter.net. The deadline for receipt of application and related documents is Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

To apply for this job please visit discoverycenter.net.

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse

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