Cleveland Tree Coalition Seeks New Director

The Cleveland Tree Coalition (CTC) is a partnership comprised of many organizations, businesses, and branches of local government that strives to create a healthy, vibrant, sustainable, and equitable urban forest by working collaboratively to implement the 2015 Cleveland Tree Plan (CTP). The Coalition formed in 2016 in response to Action #1 of the Cleveland Tree Plan, “Establish a unified voice, and formalize partnerships”. Since its formation, the Coalition has evolved into a strong network of more than 40 partner organizations led by a Board of Directors comprised of the following organizations: Holden Forests and Gardens, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland Metroparks, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Environmental Health Watch, Black Environmental Leaders, and Cuyahoga County.

Position Summary
The Director will be an outward facing leader of the CTC, working to raise awareness around the critical need for a robust tree canopy, and raising funds from public and private sources to advance the goals of the CTC and the CTP. The CTC, and particularly its Board, is a powerful platform that can influence public policy and sentiment at all levels – local, state, and federal. The Director’s primary focus will be on developing, enhancing, and deploying this platform of relationships and capacity. The Director will work with Board and CTC member organizations to lobby local, state and federal officials to continue to increase funding for urban forestry. The Director will lead efforts to educate and influence civic organizations, businesses, and opinion leaders to make sure that a healthy urban tree canopy becomes and remains a major civic priority that is well understood, well-funded, and celebrated. The Director will implement the recently completed strategic plan through fundraising and building community to create a more robust Cleveland Tree Coalition. The Director will supervise additional staff when programs and funding are determined to demand extra capacity. The Director will report to the Chair of the Board of Directors or to the Chair’s designee and will work with the Core Team to implement the strategic plan. The Director will be an employee of Western Reserve Land Conservancy and will be housed within its offices and infrastructure. Western Reserve Land Conservancy will provide legal, finance, and administrative support to the Director.

Key Areas of Responsibility
• Raise awareness and move public sentiment around the importance of trees and the need to restore Cleveland’s tree canopy.
• Lead effort to raise $100 million of funding over ten years from public sources, corporate partnerships, and private philanthropy to fund urban forestry.
• Platform building: help to establish and collaborate with other partnerships/coalitions to advance public policy and increase funding to advance the mission of the Cleveland Tree Coalition.
• Provide oversight and guidance to CTC Working Committees as defined in 2023 strategic plan.
• Administer CTC Grant Program which provides funding for tree planting and maintenance to CTC member organizations.
• Represent the CTC at conferences, national forums, networking events and in media appearances.
• Create and nurture relationships with key local, state, and national elected and appointed officials.
• Develop and maintain close working relationships with members of the Board of Directors.
• Lead efforts to explore innovative funding approaches, including, for example, ballot initiatives, sin taxes, social media campaigns, etc.
• Lead and oversee the development and implementation of strategic plans, annual operating plans, communications plans, and all other plans of the CTC.
• Manage corporate and foundation relationships including writing proposals, managing grants, and preparing reports.
• Provide organization support for the CTC and its Board of Directors by planning meetings, developing materials, and coordinating the efforts of CTC members and leaders.
• Develop a local and national network of relationships with individuals and organizations who are deeply engaged in this space, such that this network can be activated to advance the goals of the CTC.

Experience, Education and Capabilities
• At least 5 years of experience in coalition building, public advocacy, fundraising, or a related field, with proven success in raising significant funding from various sources including governmental.
• Must be able to convey a strong passion for the CTC’s mission and knowledge of its strategies and activities to build engagement and support.
• Highly energetic professional with a track record of building strong relationships and developing large funding sources.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills combined with the ability to write and deliver clear, structured, and persuasive proposals.
• Exceptional interpersonal skills with an ability to work independently and to work in a fast-paced environment with multiple partners.
• Must be willing to travel within Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, to Columbus, to Washington, D.C., and to conferences and regional meetings as needed. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.
• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is strongly preferred.

Salary and Work Location
This is a full-time position that will be located at the Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities office in Cleveland. The salary range for the position is $75,000 to $90,000 annually, commensurate with experience, and the position is eligible for benefits.

Application Process
Interested individuals should e-mail a cover letter and resume to Bob Kissling, Vice President of Human Resources at Western Reserve Land Conservancy, at

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to hiring staff members who represent the rich diversity of our community. At the Land Conservancy, all employees and applicants for employment are judged on their merits. The Land Conservancy is committed to providing an environment free of illegal discrimination of any kind, and does not base any employment decisions on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, religion, age, disability, military or veteran status, or any other protected category under federal and state laws.

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