Operations & Administrative Director

Posted Date: May 10, 2021

Position Closing Date: Open until filled
Location: Colorado Springs, but due to COVID-19, this is temporarily a partially remote position
Job Type: Full-time, exempt position (part-time may be considered for exceptional candidates if desired)

Salary Hiring Range: $60,000-$70,000

Position Summary

Palmer Land Conservancy seeks an Operations and Administrative Director (OAD) who is responsible for the strategic management and direct oversight of the organization’s internal functions. The position’s responsibilities fall into four functional areas: internal organizational leadership, human resources, operations and risk management, and strategic planning/special projects. The OAD directs and manages the internal structure of Palmer based on its policies, goals, and objectives to ensure an efficient, outcomes-based working environment. A member of the staff leadership team, this position plays a key leadership and management role by developing long-term operational strategies, efficient workflows, and optimizing productivity and performance to ensure high impact, mission-focused outcomes.

The OAD is a strong, detail-oriented administrator who will manage the internal operations of the organization, complementing the President and CEO who is focused on external affairs, and the other members of the leadership team focused on programs, communications, fundraising, and finance.

About Palmer Land Conservancy

Palmer Land Conservancy is one of the leading nonprofit land conservation organizations in Colorado. Since its incorporation in 1977, the organization has protected more than 136,000 acres including 20 public parks and open spaces, working farms and ranches, wildlife habitat, and scenic views. Palmer is one of the twenty largest local land trusts in the country based upon conserved acreage holdings (there are approximately 1,700 land trusts in the United States), and it is one of the country’s first 100 nationally accredited land trusts. Its main office is located in downtown Colorado Springs and has staff located throughout its service area. More info at palmerland.org.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

Internal Organizational Leadership

  • Serve as the chief champion of staff culture, bridge staff and leadership operations, and support an open-door policy among all staff
  • Implement and manage internal work systems ensuring efficient workflows, optimal performance, and high productivity of the team
  • As chief of staff, manage staff meetings and retreats, and work behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes, and generally deal with internal issues
  • Serve as staff coordinator to the board, overseeing the management of all board logistics including term tracking, board portal, meeting calendar and agendas, meeting locations, and committee calendar and agendas
  • Oversee new board member orientation and ongoing board training

Operations & Risk Management

  • Oversee the organization’s policies, internal controls, operational functions, and procedures, and ensure all policies and systems remain up to date with best practices and industry standards
  • Serve as staff lead regarding Palmer’s accreditation status and manage accreditation renewal process every five to seven years
  • Oversee all IT services, including Palmer’s database, and ensure it meets all operational needs
  • Oversee insurance policies for the organization and look for ways to improve costs and coverage
  • Keep state certifications and registrations up to date
  • Ensure proper document retention and storage

Human Resources Management

  • Manage all new employee onboarding and training, and ensure staff receive ongoing training, development, and support
  • In close partnership with the Finance Director, manage all employee benefits including health insurance, short and long-term disability, retirement plan, paid personal leave, etc.
  • Perform regular compensation and benefits reviews and benchmarking
  • Ensure compliance with all HR policies
  • Ensure appropriate annual reviews, exit interviews, performance and discipline issues, and termination processes with staff

Strategic Planning & Special Projects

  • With the President and CEO, manage the five-year strategic planning process, including creating an implementation plan to ensure the organization meets its strategic goals, and an evaluation framework with clear metrics
  • With the leadership team, create an annual workplan and support staff in creating quarterly workplans rooted in the strategic plan and focused on outcomes
  • Develop annual key performance indicators
  • Conceptualize, implement, and execute special projects, including fundraising initiatives, as needed

Palmer Values

Palmer has an employee values document that can be shared with candidates during the interview process. Values include: passion, impact, courage, personal responsibility, resourcefulness, and commitment.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Five years of demonstrated professional, relevant experience
  • Ability to prioritize and manage a high volume of projects and tasks in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office products and SAAS (software as a service) technology (e.g. email, Slack, Monday.com, databases, etc.)
  • Demonstrated credibility working with internal teams
  • Demonstrated credibility working with confidential information and/or managing sensitive issues
  • Highly organized and efficient; hard-working with superb attention to detail and nuance
  • A commitment to furthering Palmer Land Conservancy’s mission to protect southern Colorado’s lands for present and future generations
  • A demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the outdoors, natural resource conservation, and/or community development

Preferred Skills, Knowledge, & Experience

  • Completion of higher education or graduate degree in relevant field
  • Strong aptitude for due diligence and compliance matters
  • Demonstrated business management experience in the nonprofit or private sector
  • Demonstrated mediation skills and ability to problem-solve

Other Requirements

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Physical demands may involve:
    • Lifting materials and equipment – including, but not limited to, office supplies, event supplies, and boxes of swag – up to 25 pounds.
    • Working in variable weather conditions at remote locations on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances


Palmer offers full-time employees excellent benefits including: employer paid health and dental insurance, retirement contribution, short-term and long-term disability, parental leave, and generous paid time off and holiday observances.

How to Apply

The position is open until filled. Early applications are strongly recommended. Applicants should submit 1) a cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) answers to the questions below (all as a single pdf) by e-mail to: [email protected] with the subject line: Operations and Administrative Director.

Please limit responses to no more than 200 words per question:

  1. Why are you interested in working for Palmer Land Conservancy?
  2. Why does conserving land, water, and agriculture in southern Colorado matter to you?
  3. Please describe your experience relevant to the position’s core responsibilities.