Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park
  • 25-Jun-2019 to 24-Aug-2019 (CST)
  • Executive
  • Peoria, IL, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Wildlife Prairie Park is recruiting a dynamic Executive Director to lead the strategic initiatives, fundraising activities and operational oversite of the Park.  Wildlife Prairie Park has often been referred to a s a jewel in the Midwest.  Located just outside of Peoria, IL  this 2,000-acre zoological park is home to over 150 animals / 50 different species that are native to Illinois.  Our guests come to learn about wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bear, elk, cougar, otter and much more.  The Park hosts numerous events and celebrations and provides lodging on site.  The Park opened in 1978 and since its inception Wildlife Prairie Park has strived to promote its mission of conservation, education and recreation.


Job Summary:  

The Executive Director provides strategic leadership and management expertise to advance the mission of Wildlife Prairie Park.  The Executive Director is responsible for the implementation of strategic initiatives and overall operations of the Park, for securing grants,  philanthropic and community support for the Park, for assuring safe excellent care of the animals of the Park and for assuring the financial sustainability of the Park. 

Essential Responsibilities: 

  • Develops, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, the strategic plan for the Park and focuses the work of the staff to achieve the goals. 
  • Develops the annual budget for Board approval.  Provides financial management oversight to ensure Wildlife Prairie Park's fiscal health. 
  • Ensures the Park has broad appeal, achieves consistent levels of excellence and inspires lifelong appreciation of nature and conservation. 
  • Defines short and long-term financial development goals and cultivates individual and institutional supporters to achieve the strategic goals. 
  • Oversees the development and implementation of marketing and promotional strategies to reinforce the Park's marketing position and enhance the Park's image, audience and support base. 
  • Fosters collaboration among staff to create a culture of excellence, a strong customer a service orientation, and an atmosphere of continuous improvement. 
  • Oversees the development and monitoring of processes for hiring, evaluating, and nurturing staff and volunteers. 
  • Ensures sound processes for the care of the animals of the Park. 
  • Serves as the Wildlife Prairie Park public spokesperson.  Provides leadership in the community to enhance Wildlife Prairie Park's visibility and reputation at the local, regional and national level. 
  • Works with the Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park Board Chair to enable the board to fulfill its governance function and achieve optimum performance.  Communicates openly with the Board so that all parties recognize significant successes, problems and meaningful deviations from the strategic and financial plan. 
  • Ensure sound planning and processes for successful events and utilization of lodging facilities. 

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 10+ Years in management role 
  • Strong Interest and knowledge in parks of animals and events. 
  • Strong Experience in a non-profit organization preferred 
  • Excellent communications and presentation skills for conducting formal presentations for philanthropic and community support.
  • Working knowledge of significant developments and trends in Park Management.

Essential Functions (ADA): 

  • Ability to communicate and interact verbally, both in person and over the phone. 
  • Ability to use personal computers and other office equipment effectively. 
  • Ability to exert up to 10 pounds regularly, up to 30 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. 
  • Ability to climb stairs and/or ladders. 
  • Ability to sit for up to 4 hours at at time. 
  • Ability to stand/walk for up to 4 hours at a time during special events and/or assignments. 
  • Ability to determine the conditions of the Park and the animals by visual acuity. 
  • Ability to travel to and from job location. 

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee, and may include other duties as assigned. 

Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park
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