Hidden Villa is seeking an Executive Director with the skills, experience, and vision to nurture our mission, ensuring access for all, connecting communities, encouraging exploration and personal growth, and acting as a responsible steward for our wilderness and agricultural lands.
We believe in a sustainable, healthy, and just future for all. We foster unique educational experiences that inspire appreciation and respect for nature, food, and one another.
Created as a gathering place for community discussion and social reform, Hidden Villa’s social and environmental justice programs reach over 50,000 community visitors a year, including over 26,000 children from over 300 schools in four Bay Area counties. We use our 1600+ acres in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains to provide hands-on educational opportunities that encourage curiosity and wonder in nature.
Hidden Villa’s current programming has deep roots in social justice and environmental education: America’s first intentionally racially diverse youth camp (1945), environmental education program (Earth Day 1970); Cesar Chavez planned his first grape boycott at Hidden Villa — Hidden Villa recently celebrated his inspiration by screening the award-winning documentary A Song for Cesar. Community engagement and food justice have long been important to us. Since 2006, Hidden Villa has been the Community Services Agency of Mountain View’s single source of organic produce, delivering ~25% of our weekly harvest throughout the growing season to 3,500 local residents.
Hidden Villa provides place-based education—across nature, sustainable agriculture, and community engagement—that offers context for understanding complex systems in the world. Hidden Villa remains true to our values and ideals modeled by our founding—an ongoing commitment to inclusion, fairness and justice transcends across all program areas, while environmental stewardship preserves the farm and surrounding open space.
Our annual budget of $4M comes from generous gifts from many longstanding donors as well as earned income from our organic farm, summer camp, school field trips, other experiential educational programs, and casual visitors. Our diverse community of participants includes many repeat visitors, volunteers, and partners who have a history of working and learning with us.
This is an exciting time for Hidden Villa. With our new three-year strategic plan, we are poised for more impact. We seek an Executive Director with the skills, experience, and vision to nurture our mission, ensuring access for all, connecting communities, encouraging exploration and personal growth, and acting as a responsible steward for our wilderness and agricultural lands.
The new Executive Director will join and lead a staff committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the workplace and the community at large, and will support the continued development of DEIJ programming undertaken by the organization. Our equity statement is on our website.
The Executive Director will lead organizational strategy and operations in service to our mission and vision. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the new Executive Director will supervise our team of 25, plus additional seasonal staff during the summer. Key responsibilities include:
Strategic Organizational Leadership 35%
- Serve as a passionate spokesperson and thought leader, working in partnership with board, staff, and communities to implement strategic plan initiatives and deepen impact
- Bring an understanding and appreciation of placed-based, informal science education and laddered learning through repeated program participation
- Pursue innovative ideas to educate people of all ages on the principles of climate, sustainability and social justice, leveraging Hidden Villa as a forum for learning
- Create a strong and supportive internal culture that engages, retains, and inspires a diverse community of staff, volunteers and board members
- Champion organizational efforts to embrace and embed diversity, equity, and inclusion in order to create an antiracist and just organization
- Lead in a collegial manner, encouraging teamwork and strengthening morale, including motivating the team and modeling accountability
External Relations and Fundraising 30%
- Nurture and expand partnerships with major donors, foundations, and businesses
- Articulate our collective vision enthusiastically
- Establish fundraising strategies to drive revenue growth across multiple income streams
- Develop and nurture strategic partnerships to broaden reach and effectiveness
- Lead communication strategy to ensure messaging is consistent with mission and clear across all platforms to build a strong and clear external identity
Program Management 20%
- Ensure that Hidden Villa applies best practices to its teaching of environmental and place-based outdoor education, responsible land management practices, and healthy local food systems and that mitigation of climate change overlays our activities
- Lead staff in the planning, development, implementation, evaluation, and iteration of high-quality programs that ensure impact
Board Development 15%
- Work in partnership with the Board to ensure that the Board and its committees have the reporting they need to carry out their fiduciary responsibilities and are effectively engaged to advance the mission
- Support board recruitment
The new Executive Director of Hidden Villa loves people and our natural world. An inspiring and authentic communicator who listens and collaborates, the new ED will create solutions that reimagine the best ways to exemplify our values. Honest, trustworthy, and empathetic, Hidden Villa’s executive director has a personal stake in our vision and mission and brings the following qualities:
- Demonstrated leadership experience at a nonprofit organization, including an understanding of change management and managing the longevity and strategic health of an organization
- An appreciation for experiential education, developing programs, and implementing creative approaches to learning in the natural world
- Demonstrated financial acumen and experience in making decisions balancing income (consisting of both earned and gifted revenue streams) and spending
- Exceptional teamwork and collaboration skills
- Ability to facilitate nuanced decision-making while balancing stakeholder priorities with short-term and long-term organizational vision
- Experience working with nonprofit boards and facilitating best practices for board governance
- Exceptional leadership, interpersonal communications (written/verbal), negotiating skills, conflict resolution, and people management skills
- Inclusive, service-oriented leader, comfortable providing a role model of organizational culture
- Mission-driven always but disciplined around financial and compliance issues
- Sense of humor and high emotional intelligence
Our Team: Culture, Values, and Benefits
Through education, reflection, and community building, we aim to remove barriers and create opportunities that promote an equitable, inclusive, and just world for all. Our work is far from done. Join us as we work toward this vision and stand in solidarity with regional, national, and global efforts to advance environmental and racial justice, and create true and authentic equity.
Our team of passionate changemakers–staff, volunteers, and Board of Trustees–bring their talents together to advance Hidden Villa’s mission. We prioritize a collaborative, supportive, and kind work environment. We expect our new Executive Director to model healthy work-life balance and continual learning, including DEIJ trainings, workshops, and staff team building events. We offer a generous salary and benefits package. Salary range starts at $150,000. Our comprehensive benefits package includes health and dental insurance, paid vacation starting in Year One, and the opportunity to join a retirement plan with an employer match. We value time on-site with some telecommuting with flexibility to do our best work.
Encouraging Applications from All Backgrounds
We are committed to equity, inclusion, and justice. We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds, including and especially people with disabilities, people of color, and people of the LGBTQ+ community.
How to Apply
Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Susannah Sallin, Search Consultant to Nonprofits, at [email protected]. We will respond to all applicants. Thank you.