Organization: Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Express Interest

About Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust:

The Mission

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust’s (“Land Trust”) mission is to grow healthier, safer, and stronger communities by creating urban parks and community gardens that remedy the critical lack of green and recreational spaces in greater Los Angeles’ underserved neighborhoods. Through leadership development and programming, the Land Trust engages low-income residents throughout the process of envisioning, building, and managing the projects the organization creates, empowering them to transform their communities and quality of life through direct action and civic engagement. In addition, the Land Trust develops and leads local policy change to increase government resources for parks in underserved communities.

History

The Land Trust is the leading nonprofit working to create urban parks and gardens in underrepresented and low-income communities in the Greater Los Angeles region. The organization was formed in 2002 as a 501c (3) with initial funding from the City of Los Angeles in response to a 2000 report by The Urban Land Trust Task Force, which documented the shortage of green and recreational spaces in the city’s underserved neighborhoods. Since then, the Land Trust has played an important role in the creation, renovation, and opening of 25 parks and gardens, 12 of which are managed and programmed by the Neighborhood Land Trust and local community management committees. Additionally, there are currently 6 new projects in development.

Since its founding, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust has developed parks and gardens in park-poor neighborhoods, become a leading player driving park-equity policies in the region and helped inspire the formation of similar urban land trusts in several cities across the nation. Based on these successes the organization stands at an inflection point with the opportunity to continue to dramatically grow its impact by building more and larger parks and gardens, driving the park equity agenda in the vast Los Angeles region and leading a larger national movement of urban land trusts.

Integral to the Land Trust’s success is that the organization creates change by supporting low-income communities of color to more effectively realize their power and influence over the use of land. The Land Trust works with residents to increase communities’ access to nature; healthy organic food; and parks and gardens, while organizing to influence local policies to develop more equitable green spaces for generations to come. The Land Trust believes that all residents in Los Angeles, regardless of zip code, racial composition or income level deserve to walk within ten minutes to a safe and well-maintained park, playground, or garden. As a community-based nonprofit land owner, park developer, and steward for safe public open spaces, the Land Trust works with residents from design to stewardship. The organization meets its goals by:

  • Designing, building, and managing urban parks and gardens;
  • Organizing and developing campaigns to address both social and environmental conditions, including park equity and land use policy improvements;
  • Supporting and developing community leaders, both youth and adults, to be advocates for park equity;
  • Partnering with community-based organizations, government agencies, and key stakeholders to advance the Land Trust’s project and policy work.

The Land Trust’s work is rooted in the principles of equity, environmental and social justice, organizing, and land stewardship. The Land Trust is committed to the organization’s mission to grow healthier, safer and stronger communities by creating urban parks and gardens that help remedy the critical lack of green and recreational spaces in Los Angeles’ underserved neighborhoods. Learn more at www.lanlt.org.

The Opportunity:

This Executive Director role represents a unique opportunity for a mission-driven leader who is passionate and committed to social justice and environmental quality to lead Land Trust’s work in coordination with low-income communities and communities of color. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead the organization’s strategic growth in transforming communities across the Greater Los Angeles region. The Executive Director will be responsible for the vision and strategic planning for the Land Trust’s projects, policy work, and campaigns with the support of the organization’s Board of Directors. The Land Trust is well positioned to have a significant impact on Los Angeles, its families and children and to continue building alliances with community organizations, leaders, and nonprofit partners. This leader will have the opportunity to continue the development of a movement of park advocates, to position the Land Trust as a leader in protecting and creating open spaces and healthy communities in Los Angeles, and to elevate and reimagine the organization’s marketing, development, and branding efforts.

Position Summary:

The Executive Director leads all aspects of the Land Trust, directing the public voice of the organization and managing a total staff of 20 through a 5-person leadership team. The Executive Director will have a strong commitment to advancing park equity and is charged with the daily oversight and future growth of the organization. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and fundraising of the organization. Other key duties include marketing, communications, and developing partnerships and collaborations with nonprofits, community based organizations, elected offices, and public agencies that advance the Land Trust’s mission.

Key Responsibilities

Board Governance: Works with Board in order to fulfill the organization mission and manage fiscal sustainability of the Land Trust.

Fundraising and Budget: Develops resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization. Responsible for the fiscal management of the organization and develops and manages an approved operations and construction budget. Develops relationships and funding opportunities with foundations, corporate donors, individual donors, and government grants. Responsible for fundraising $2 million for operations budget.

Organization Mission and Strategy: Works with Board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, projects, strategic planning, and community organizing.

External Relationships: Develops and manages partnerships with public agencies, elected offices, community-based organizations and other key stakeholders that impact programs that benefit low-income, communities of color. In collaboration with Land Trust staff and the Board, leads initiatives to develop and influence local policy and government to positively impact underserved communities throughout the region.

Core Competencies:

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust is seeking a dynamic, experienced leader to lead the organization’s work in advancing park equity for Los Angeles’ many communities. This individual will have at least 5 years’ experience in a leadership position at a nonprofit organization with success in managing, developing, and motivating a high-performing management team. This leader will have a successful professional history in fundraising and development, and will have the capacity to cultivate an engaged donor community of foundations, public agencies, corporate donors and sponsors, as well as individual donors and planned giving. The Executive Director will have experience growing an organization through strategic leadership and fundraising, with proven expertise in managing an organization’s budget and general operations.

In addition, this leader will have an understanding of Los Angeles’ regional culture, political climate, laws and ordinances, and partner nonprofit community. The Executive Director will have deep experience working with low-income communities, communities of color, and other disconnected communities in the Los Angeles region, and the mindset and poise to advocate for the Land Trust’s social justice mission and impact.

It is desirable that candidates have a Bachelor’s degree in related fields, with an advanced degree preferred.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional competencies and personal characteristics:

Passion for the Mission and Cultural Competency

The Executive Director will have a passion for the mission of Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and an innovative approach to future programming and initiatives. This leader will be driven by the chance to impact the region by spearheading community projects, policy, and other activities in support of the organization’s mission to create healthier, more civically-engaged and connected communities in Los Angeles. Experienced with and sensitive to the intersection of issues that impact communities across the region, the Executive Director will be a natural advocate for the organization. An empathic individual of unquestionable integrity, ethics and values, this leader is someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Strategic Leadership and Operational Expertise

The Executive Director will be an experienced leader with an entrepreneurial and enthusiastic spirit, and with the background and skills to deliver on the vision for the Land Trust and the organization’s impact on the community. This individual will be a proven strategic thinker with the foresight, capacity, and experience to understand and balance complex constituent needs. This individual will demonstrate the ability to diagnose critical operational, financial and management issues, and develop and implement clear, action-oriented, innovative strategies that address challenging problems with solutions that engender broad support and position the organization for future success. Agile in ambiguous situations and capable of providing stability and inspiring confidence when faced with quickly-changing circumstances, the Executive Director will challenge the status quo with a thoughtful approach. A results-oriented problem solver, the Executive Director will have the perspective to consider the impact of decisions on the organization and make sound recommendations and decisions accordingly, including the ability to build, nurture, and retain a strong team of professionals that is focused on excellence, accountability, collaboration and efficiency.

Expertise in Development and Fundraising

The Executive Director will have measurable track record of success in development, and the skill and mindset to build strong relationships with current and potential donors and the Board. This professional will have demonstrated expertise managing various fundraising and communications channels, including supervising a development team, with success as a high touch leader engaging with the Land Trust’s constituents, including with foundations, individual donors, community leaders, and other supporters. The Executive Director will be a flexible and thoughtful partner to the Board, serving as advisor and counsel to the Board of Directors in identifying, devising and implementing a development strategy for the organization.

External Relations and Communications

The Executive Director will have a high level of public relations insight, and the knowledge and skill to move forward complex projects with key government leaders, local influencers, and other entities. The Executive Director will be a primary outward-facing voice of the Land Trust, helping to guide messaging, communicate about new initiatives or developments to all stakeholders, and help to build the brand of the organization as it continues its growth. This executive will able to speak fluidly and extensively about the Land Trust’s history, research, policy, growth strategy, and future direction, as well as the impact of the organization in the region. An influential and persuasive communicator, the Executive Director will have an inspired ability to build community across demographic lines, using accessible language to explain information, strategy, and processes to individuals with differing levels of familiarity.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The Executive Director will be exceptionally skilled at developing, building, and sustaining relationships both within and outside the organization. This leader will be a skillful collaborator and partner, with the ability to build bridges among the various stakeholders at the Land Trust, including community members, staff, donors, government officials and agencies, and the Board. The Executive Director will be thoughtful and open, actively working to find efficiencies and opportunities for the benefit of the organization and the community. Calm under pressure, this individual will promote open dialogue with team members to identify best practices, synthesize divergent views, and coalesce key constituencies around a shared view or plan.

Contact:

Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Medelene Beasley. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or email Medelene at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director
mbonoan@koyapartners.com
Medelene Beasley
Principal
mbeasley@koyapartners.com

Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in California. Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust encourages diverse applicants of all ages.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.