JOB ALERT: Sierra Avalanche Center Seeks A Passionate Executive Director

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Credit: SAC

The non-profit Sierra Avalanche Center is excited to announce that the search for their next Executive Director to lead the organization has begun. If you have a passion for backcountry winter recreation, are fit and healthy, and have experience in business and people management, this could be your dream job! Full details below…

Position Summary

The Executive Director (ED) is the visionary and executive leader of the nonprofit arm of the Sierra Avalanche Center. The position is responsible for its overall strategic direction, leadership, and administration of the organization. Through guidance from and working closely with the Sierra Avalanche Center Board, the Executive Director governs the operations of the Center toward its mission and strategic goals.

Primary responsibilities include implementation of the strategic plan, financial management, fundraising, grant writing, and grant management, public relations, community outreach and stakeholder collaboration, program development, staff coordination, and evaluation. The Executive Director oversees and supports a staff of a Social Media Coordinator, an Education Coordinator, and a staff of contractors to achieve these goals.

Due to the seasonal nature of the position the Executive Director works up to 150 hours per month September through April and 50 hours per month and May through August.

Compensation and Benefits


Annual compensation package ranges from $58,000 to $67,800, DOE.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants can send a resume, references, and a personal statement JB Brown at Please write “SAC Executive Director Search” in the subject line of your email. Please send a current resume, 3 personal and professional references, and a personal statement that is no longer than 1 page.

The application period begins May 15th and ends July 1, 2020. A hiring decision may be made before July 1. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis via video. The application process may also include an additional writing sample and additional interview.

Position start date is August 1, 2020.

Background of the Organization

Sierra Avalanche Center functions as a private-public partnership between the US Forest Service and a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization known as Sierra Avalanche Center.

The Truckee Ranger District on the Tahoe National Forest houses and runs the avalanche forecasting operations of the avalanche center. It houses three full-time, seasonal avalanche forecasters and provides infrastructure including office space, computers, internet access, phones, vehicles, fuel, safety equipment, and supervision. The forecasters gather avalanche, snowpack, and weather observations then use this data to create and issue avalanche advisories and avalanche warnings.

The 501(c)(3) not for profit organization known as Sierra Avalanche Center is focused on mission-driven educational and safety programs and fundraising to support the financial needs of the program. It consists of a volunteer Board of Directors, a volunteer Advisory Panel to the Board of Directors, a paid Executive Director, two staff members, and sub-contractors to run programs and operations and sub-contracted field observers to collect additional information for avalanche, snowpack, and weather data.

Through its fundraising efforts, this group provides two-thirds of the funding necessary to cover budget expenses and operations. Fundraising for these expenses is accomplished through the organization of the SAC Ski Day fundraisers, by securing sponsorships and grants, as well as by gathering private donations and conducting a membership drive for user support. Additionally, the Board of Directors works jointly with the Tahoe National Forest to make decisions regarding the future direction of the avalanche center that are acceptable to both parties.

Mission Statement:

Sierra Avalanche Center’s mission is to inform and educate the public about backcountry avalanche conditions in the greater Lake Tahoe area.

The Opportunity

  • Provides leadership toward long term strategic plans and implementation of short term goals.
  • Expand efforts of financial sustainability for the organization, including grant writing and management, donor development, and creative fundraising.
  • Initiate and oversee a new strategic planning process that includes the Board of Directors, Advisory Panel, SAC staff, forecasters, professional observers, and community partner input.
  • Serve as the organization’s primary representative; present at and/or attend evening and weekend events.
  • Ensure integrity and rigor of the organization’s programming and measure success through regular evaluation.
  • Develop and implement organizational evaluation tools and systems based on objectives of the strategic plan.
  • Develop a sense of community and enhances key relationships and partnerships with a variety of stakeholders including agency partners, backcountry users of the forecast area; local and regional outdoor gear, ski, and motorized sport shops; skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers; ski resorts; supporters; and other avalanche centers in California and throughout the country.
  • Expand communication and outreach efforts to backcountry users in the forecast area, stakeholders, community partners, and supporters.
  • Attend monthly Board meetings, communicate effectively with the Board and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and make informed decisions.
  • Develop an annual budget and oversees the commitment to meet the budget.
  • Create a positive learning culture with staff and BOD that encourages the introduction of new ideas, approaches, and methods in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Sierra Avalanche Center programs and operations.

Leadership Competencies/Profile

Candidates with minimum qualification will have:

  • Earned a bachelor’s degree
  • The ability to lift and/or move up to 45 pounds
  • The ability to work legally in the U.S. Upon the starting date live within driving distance of the Tahoe basin and have reliable transportation
  • Possession of a valid Department of Motor Vehicles Driver’s license is required

A successful candidate will:

  • Have a passion for winter backcountry recreation including skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling
  • Be a strong visionary, able to ensure the organization is progressing on its strategic plan in a timely manner
  • Possess superior organizational skills with ability to manage multiple projects and competing deadlines
  • Will be an excellent communicator, written and verbal
  • Have success leading, managing, and inspiring staff in a non-office-based work environment
  • Have experience in fundraising, grant writing and management, and donor cultivation
  • Will have demonstrated ability in fiscal management
  • Possess demonstrated ability to create and deliver high-quality presentations and professionally represent an organization
  • Take initiative and have demonstrated ability to successfully work independently
  • Demonstrate proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google G-Suite; ability to learn and implement new platforms and software; experience in website management; and experience in driving engagement through digital and social media platforms
  • Have the ability to perform work in multiple locations – indoors and out – including high altitude ski resort destinations, which may occasionally expose you to extreme weather conditions
  • Have the ability and willingness to attend evening and weekend events and to travel as needed

Sierra Avalanche Center is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

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