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Executive Director

Asheville GreenWorks
Hybrid - Asheville, North Carolina
70,000-80,000/ year+ benefits
Closing date
Oct 26, 2023

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Focus Areas
Job Function
Executive / Senior Management
Position Type
Full Time

Executive Director, Asheville GreenWorks
Location: Asheville, NC

Asheville GreenWorks is seeking an experienced and passionate candidate to lead the organization as executive director and add to its exceptional 50-year history.

Our Mission
Asheville GreenWorks inspires, equips, and mobilizes communities to create an equitable, climate-resilient future.

Our Vision
A climate-resilient community for all.

Our Organization
Since 1973, Asheville GreenWorks has inspired, equipped, and mobilized communities to protect and restore the natural resource systems we rely on. Working together with our communities, we’ve achieved: 50,000+ trees planted, 150,000+ volunteers mobilized, 6,860+ miles of river cleaned, 2.4 million pounds of trash collected, and 10,000 students each year served by Asheville GreenWorks’ education programs.

For this year’s 50th Anniversary, Asheville GreenWorks adopted a new strategic direction, in service of a newly-refined mission that centers climate resilience and equity. Through community engagement and our four core values of community, equity, adaptability, and humility, Asheville GreenWorks seeks to create four core impacts:

  1. Community-Scale Climate Resilience – Finding solutions to our most urgent environmental challenges.
  2. Empowered Communities – Mobilizing a new generation of environmental leaders.
  3. Systems Change – Leveraging human systems to protect natural ones.
  4. A Healthy Environment – Protecting the resources that sustain us.

Programs include:

  • Urban Forestry – Our goal is to plant 50,000 more trees by 2040. The trees that directly protect our homes and neighborhoods from flooding, extreme heat, pollution, and soil erosion are the most vulnerable to development and the pressures of a changing climate. Asheville GreenWorks is leading local efforts to protect our urban trees and restore our tree canopy.
  • Rivers & Roads – By installing Trash Trouts in our waterways, mobilizing trained StreamKeepers, and facilitating public & DIY cleanups, we strive to keep litter out of our rivers. These efforts keep our waterways and communities healthier. Advocacy and policy work ensure the perpetuity of these actions to improve our climate resilience.
    • Trash Trout Earned Income Program: GreenWorks is working to expand our Trash Trout program to include sales at the national level.
  • Hard 2 Recycle – We currently host four community events annually to collect items that aren’t accepted in municipal collections. Our goal is to extend the life of the landfill and to develop a permanent drop-off facility.
  • Native Pollinators – For native pollinators, good nutrition is the best defense against the pressures of a changing climate. That’s why we’re planting as much native pollinator habitat as possible.
  • Youth Leadership – Through summer experiential internships, our Youth Environmental Leadership Program, and Alternative Break groups, we develop future environmental leaders.

Asheville GreenWorks also convenes several volunteer committees dedicated to specific environmental priorities: Bee City USA - Asheville Leadership Committee, Treasured Tree Committee, and Tree Protection Task Force.

Asheville GreenWorks is governed by a 17-member board of directors and staffed by six full-time team members. The organization has an annual budget of $860,000, funded primarily by a mix of individual donations, foundation grants, government contracts, and earned income. The organizational culture is service-oriented and marked by a shared passion and commitment to the environment, climate resiliency, and equity.

The Position
The next executive director will build on Asheville GreenWorks’ fifty-year legacy and reputation in the community by continuing to:

  • develop, evaluate, and refine programs to meet the new strategic direction of the organization,
  • strengthen necessary organizational infrastructure,
  • lead on our commitment to equity, and
  • cultivate relationships with a diverse mix of community partners, donors, and funders to broaden the organization's impact.

The next executive director will also be a dynamic, effective communicator, and strongly aligned with the organizational values of community, equity, adaptability, and humility.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Vision, Mission, and Strategies – Work closely with the board and staff to translate the organization’s mission and vision into clear, equity-driven strategic directions, goals, and initiatives. 
  • Fundraising and Resource Development – In partnership with the board and staff, develop and implement appropriate and diversified fundraising and development strategies.
  • Fiscal Management – Oversee planning and budgeting systems and continue to ensure that income is managed wisely and that the organization’s goals serve as the basis for sound financial planning. Ensure that systems and staff are in place to accurately monitor, assess, and manage the organization's financial health.
  • Accomplishment of Management Objectives – Oversee operational and program objectives that support the organization’s strategic goals and lead the staff in their implementation.
  • Human Resources Management – Foster and maintain a strong staff built on teamwork and collaborative decision-making in a positive and empowering environment. Oversee staff development activities that build leadership skills and motivate performance. Ensure adherence to the personnel policies in all hiring and employment practices.
  • Community Engagement, Public Image, and Partnerships – Serve as the primary spokesperson and public face for the organization, representing it regionally and nationally. Develop dynamic working relationships and collaborations with diverse constituencies, including constituents, funders, volunteers, legislators, and other stakeholders that comprise the work of the organization.
  • Equity and Values Alignment – Continue leading efforts to operationalize organizational values and successfully navigate those complexities in today’s environment.

Key Organizational Priorities
In the first 12-18 months of their tenure, the new executive director will partner with staff, board, and key stakeholders to operationalize the recently-approved strategic plan, with a special focus on the following priorities:

  • Securing a sustainable and diversified revenue stream, by collaborating closely with the Development Director and Fund Development Committee and focusing on major gifts, grants, contracts, and earned income.
  • Strategically investing in infrastructure and internal capacity, to bring the organization to the next level in terms of operational, programmatic, and financial maturity.
  • Leading and empowering staff with compassion and integrity, helping to support and inspire their work efforts and fostering collaboration.
  • Prioritizing equity by convening and catalyzing resources towards community-identified needs and strengthening internal practices which contribute to a culture of inclusivity and belonging.

Desired Experience, Skills, and Attributes
Asheville GreenWorks is committed to building a diverse workforce and leadership team that includes strong representation from historically marginalized communities and groups that are most impacted by our work. We strongly encourage Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, transgender, and gender non-conforming people, LGBTIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply.

While we recognize that no one individual will possess every qualification outlined, strong candidates will bring a compelling combination of the following experiences, skills, and attributes to this role:

  • Successful leadership or management experience in the nonprofit sector, with experience in change management
  • Demonstrated commitment to environmental, climate change, and/or sustainability issues
  • Educational, professional, personal, and/or lived experience related to the essential functions of the job
  • A champion of racial equity and environmental justice work
  • Strong fundraising and stewardship skills with primarily individual and major donors, foundation grants, government contracts, and/or earned income
  • Experience in community organizing, advocacy, and/or policy work
  • Financial literacy and experience with budget preparation and management
  • Human resource management skills
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, and public speaking skills
  • Success in increasing organizational visibility
  • Ability to work with and facilitate strong board development and leadership
  • A collaborative, “bridge-builder” mindset with an exceptional ability to foster a spirit of cooperation with external partners and among board members and staff
  • Track record as an authentic partner with local frontline community leaders and groups
  • Awareness, appreciation, sensitivity, and enthusiasm for working with diverse communities and cultures, including people across the generational spectrum

Asheville GreenWorks’ office is based in Asheville, NC, and is the primary work location for the executive director position. In the spirit of our flexible work environment, some working from home is permitted; that said, a regular physical presence in the office helps set the tone for a collaborative working environment.

The next executive director will ideally start as early as January 2024.

The salary range for this full-time, 40-hours-per-week position is $70,000 - 80,000, with the exact salary commensurate with experience. Asheville GreenWorks benefits include a flexible working environment, a competitive health insurance package, a generous PTO and holiday leave package (ten PTO days/fifteen after one year, five sick days, ten paid holidays and the office is closed between Christmas and New Year’s), as well as funds for professional development.

Application Process
To apply, send a letter of interest and résumé in PDF form via email: careers@ashevillegreenworks[dot]org Please, no phone calls. Application Deadline: Open until filled. Résumé review will begin in mid-October.

For more information about Asheville GreenWorks, please visit:

Asheville GreenWorks is an equal opportunity employer, committed to recruiting a diverse pool of qualified candidates for the position. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws. Asheville GreenWorks is Living Wage Certified by Just Economics of WNC.

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