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Executive Director

In anticipation of Executive Director Steven Engelhart’s retirement in 2021, the Adirondack Architectural Heritage board of directors is pleased to announce that the search for his successor is now underway.

This is an incredible opportunity for someone to lead what National Trust President Stephanie Meeks called “one of the most effective rural preservation organizations in the nation.” Over the past 30 years AARCH has developed an effective and far-ranging program of public education, advocacy, technical assistance, and historic site management that serves hundreds of communities in New York State’s Adirondack region.

ORGANIZATION

The Adirondack region of New York State is a special combination of private and public land encompassing 6,000,000 acres of forested land, rugged mountains, miles of rivers, and thousands of lakes and ponds, much of which is constitutionally protected in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. It is also home to many architectural treasures, historic sites, and small communities that embody the settlement and enterprise in the area. The Adirondack region is home to 130,000 year-round and 200,000 seasonal residents and is visited by about 12.4 million people every year.

Adirondack Architectural Heritage fulfills its mission through the following:

Education – AARCH offers ambitious, wide-ranging educational programs, events, and publications to highlight the breadth of diversity of the region’s architecture, communities, people, and stories. Tours, workshops, and lectures are presented in collaboration with individuals and organizations across the region. In-person events are supplemented by digital content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the website.

Great Camp Santanoni – In cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Town of Newcomb, AARCH manages Great Camp Santanoni, a National Historic Landmark and state historic site, that annually welcomes an estimated 15,000 visitors. AARCH manages seasonal staffing, undertakes planning and conservation work, supports a “friends” organization, and brings additional resources to the site.

Advocacy – AARCH is an effective advocate of historic preservation in the Adirondack region through building coalitions of supporters, hosting engaging educational programs, giving annual awards, developing effective communications, and resolving conflicts.

Technical Assistance – AARCH annually responds to more than 50 technical assistance requests from homeowners, business owners, municipalities, and not-for-profits on historic preservation matters. These include: finding solutions to building conservation questions, identifying funding sources for preservation projects, undertaking historical research, and serving as a resource for National Register of Historic Places and rehabilitation tax credit information.

Survey and National Register Nominations – AARCH completes cultural resource surveys and prepares nominations for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, building condition assessments, and maintenance plans. Individuals, businesses, municipalities, and organizations engage AARCH to serve as a consultant to complete this important work.

Easements – AARCH holds five preservation easements to protect historic buildings in perpetuity. Responsibilities include annual site inspections and periodic review and approval of proposed alterations.

In 2015, AARCH was nationally recognized for its leadership and accomplishments in the field of preservation when it received the prestigious Trustee’s Award for Organizational Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

AARCH has over 1,500 members from throughout the region, 38 states, and four countries and a full-time staff of four, an active 17-member board of directors, and an engaged advisory council that are dedicated to ensuring that the region’s history and architecture are preserved to help the communities of the Adirondacks flourish. The richness and promise of the Adirondack region will only be fully realized when its architecture and communities are as celebrated and vibrant as its natural resources. AARCH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with an average annual operating budget of $385,000. For more information, visit aarch.org.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The board, staff, and volunteers constantly work towards ensuring that the rich architectural and cultural heritage of the Adirondack region is preserved. Achievements towards that effort include:

Developed and conducted over 150 educational programs – local and international tours, lectures, workshops, and school programs. Secured a $370,000 Save America’s Treasures grant and the required matching funds to undertake the largest restoration project of Camp Santanoni since 1972. Undertook an ambitious $550,000 project to transform a former industrial complex by showcasing a historic mill and creating a new public park in Keeseville in 2019. Listed four individual properties and one large historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and completed a town-wide cultural resource survey in 2019. Advocated for the preservation of important endangered properties throughout the region, including Debar Pond Lodge, Camp Intermission, St. Gabriel’s Church, and historic bridges over the Ausable River. Provided a wide variety of technical assistance to historic property owners. Most recently helped design an appropriate front entrance for the Clinton County Historical Association, facilitated an adaptive reuse of a former bank building in Plattsburgh, and guided the rehabilitation of a deteriorating mansion in Ausable Forks. Communicated with its members through engaging print and online communications, including Facebook and Instagram, and periodically published books, such as A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks. Supported the preservation and public use of fire observation towers, which attract thousands of visitors of each year.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

AARCH is currently in the second year of the strategic plan that was adopted in 2020. The strategic priorities include: Diversify programming, expand technical assistance, and develop a more disciplined approach to direct action and advocacy. Diversify our membership and funding base and strengthen our relationship with members and stakeholders. Plan for and maintain the staffing and administrative infrastructure needed for sustainability. The Board will continually enhance its knowledge, commitment, and stewardship of the organization.

THE POSITION

The new Executive Director should be passionate about leading and advancing the organization’s mission, will provide sound fiscal management, and will sustain positive relationships with the Board of Directors, staff, partners, and other stakeholders. S/he will also provide strategic leadership. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The Executive Director will: Provide leadership to an effective, high-quality organization. Advance the strategic goals of AARCH in consultation with the board of directors and staff and keep it informed of conditions, opportunities, issues, and challenges the organization faces so that it can carry out its leadership, governance, financial, and oversight role. Act as the primary spokesperson for AARCH and uphold the organization’s standing as a respected leader of historic preservation in our region, maintain a working knowledge of trends in the field of historic preservation, and is informed of preservation related matters throughout the Adirondack region. Serve as chief operating and finance officer of the organization, working with the board and staff to ensure that the organization has the necessary long-term resources to fulfill its mission. Foster and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with the staff, board, committees, and other identified stakeholders and partners, such as non-profits, governmental entities, and historic preservation organizations to advance AARCH’s mission and initiatives. Encourage a positive work environment that attracts and supports a motivated and productive team of qualified people.

Increase and diversify the revenue sources necessary to support the mission of AARCH in partnership with the board. This includes overseeing special events, major fundraisers, membership initiatives, and identifying potential donors as well as actively seeking grant opportunities. Manage special projects and technical services. Work with the Director of Preservation Services and the board to identify potential projects, solicit requests for proposals, review and implement contracts, and manage construction as well as complete historic resource surveys and nominations for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Oversee educational programs and technical assistance. Work with the Educational Programs Director and the board to identify and develop a robust educational program, including walking tours, presentations, and travel tours.

EXPERIENCE & ATTRIBUTES

The ideal candidate for this position will demonstrate an ability to integrate into the Adirondack community and serve as an engaged, inspiring, innovative, and visionary leader. Candidates will bring a variety of experiences and attributes, including:

Passion for addressing issues related to historic preservation and willingness to embrace AARCH’s multi-faceted organization, including its advocacy role, educational programs, and restoration projects. Demonstrated results setting a visionary plan and collaborating to achieve strategic initiatives and goals. Respect for the legacy of the organization while leading it into the future. Strong record of fundraising from a variety of government and private sources, including demonstrated experience securing grants, initiating and leading fundraising campaigns, and cultivating membership. Management style that is inclusive and encourages staff in ways that motivate them to perform at their best and provides opportunities for professional advancement. Engaging personality with ability to openly and effectively communicate through public speaking and writing. Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a wide variety of individuals and organizations. Knowledge of educational program development and project management. Familiarity with state and/or federal policies and best practices, preservation and organizational related. Three to five years of demonstrated work experience sufficient to the position, preferably experience successfully leading a non-profit organization. Bachelor’s degree in historic preservation, architecture, history, business/non-profit management, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.

APPLICATION PROCESS

To apply, upload resume, cover letter, and salary requirements and submit to aarched2021@gmail.com. For other inquiries, please use the same address. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2021. Preliminary interviews are planned to begin mid-April. The anticipated start date for the new Executive Director is between mid-August and September 1, 2021.

AARCH provides equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, pregnancy or recent childbirth or related medical condition, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, the use of a guide or support animal because of blindness, deafness or physical handicap of any individual, citizenship, veteran or military status, genetic information, marital status, familial status, domestic or sexual violence victim status, possession of a GED instead of a high school diploma, or any other protected characteristic under applicable federal, state or local laws.

SALARY & BENEFITS $65,000 – $75,000 Three weeks of vacation to start Health insurance options Up to 3% salary paid into 403b retirement account