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Director of Business Operations

Posted by
Logo of Northwest Outward Bound School

Published 3 days ago

Position Description

With over 50 years of innovation in experiential and outdoor education in the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Outward Bound School (NWOBS) continues to change lives through challenge and discovery.

Our transformative and educational wilderness courses are set in some of the most dramatic and stunning parts of the United States. NWOBS was founded in 1965 and facilitates wilderness-based programs in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and serves urban youth, schools, and partner organizations in the Portland metropolitan area. As an Outward Bound School, we are committed to the core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion, and diversity. NWOBS strives to achieve the following outcomes: building character, developing leadership skills, and creating an ethic of social and environmental responsibility.

Our administrative team consists of ~25 dedicated and supportive leaders spread over three locations, a virtual administrative hub in Portland and base camps in Central Oregon and Northern Washington.


The Director of Business Operations (DBO) is the lead operations staff at Northwest Outward Bound School. The DBO is responsible for managing finance, human resources, and general operations, while building organizational capacity, designing, and implementing structures and systems that support the organization’s strategic priorities. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the DBO provides operational and administrative leadership in collaboration with and in support of the Executive Director, enabling efficient and effective management of NWOBS. The successful candidate will be expected to have past training and experience in equity, inclusion, and diversity work, ideally pertaining to education settings.

This position is based in the Portland Metro area and will primarily work remotely from a home office, with the expectation to work in our Old Town Portland office at least once a week. Participation in in-person team meetings and gatherings will also take place in the Portland region, with additional travel to our base camp locations in Central Oregon and Northern Washington generally 3-4 times per year. Compliance with our current COVID-19 Vaccination Policy is required for all NWOBS employees.  

Primary Roles and Responsibilities


Manage accounting, internal and external reporting, preparation and management of annual budgeting process, operations financial analysis, and internal controls – the essential financial support activities necessary for the organization to run effectively. 

  • Lead organization-wide fiscal management, working with senior staff to develop, track and adhere to annual operating and capital expenditure budgets. Review and understand organization annual budget and financial policies to communicate with senior leadership team.
  • Attend all board meetings and serve as senior staff member to the Finance Committee.
  • Forecast, monitor performance, and prepare analytical information to enable effective decision making by the Executive Director and Finance Committee.
  • Provide support and analysis to department managers to review budgeting and expenses.
  • Oversee accounts receivable and payable process, ensuring compliance and consistency with policies, practices, and controls. 

Human Resources

In partnership with Executive Director, serve as advisor and mentor to senior leadership team on employee relations and personnel management, while supporting a culture aligned with Outward Bound values, collaboration, and transparency. 

  • Manage aspects of the organization’s human resources, employee compensation, benefits, and employee services, ensuring practices and standards are in accordance with organization’s values, industry standards, and are legally compliant, relevant, and effectively communicated.
  • Oversee staffing function; develop and coordinate hiring, staffing, and retention practices to ensure organization is positioned to effectively manage both year-round and seasonal workforce.
  • Oversee employee file management, ensuring process maintains discretion and confidentiality with attention to internal controls. Develop, implement, enhance, and manage IT and HRIS systems to enforce policies.
  • Oversee all payroll administration functions, serving as point of contact with payroll vendor to ensure accuracy and legal compliance for all payroll functions.
  • Manage employee onboarding and annual performance review processes for Admin employees.
  • Lead employee engagement activities throughout the year as well as annual employee experience survey delivery and reporting.
  • Design and implement SLT and Admin Retreats throughout the year. 
  • Maintain office operations, systems, and procedures.
  • Manage inventory and office supply/equipment orders.
  • Process and distribute incoming communications, including calls, emails, and mail.
  • Assist with the submission of annual land use reporting.
  • Assist with tracking inventory and scheduling equipment retirement.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Manage support functions which ensure smooth daily operations across all School locations.

  • Manage development and implementation of effective information technology systems, to support all finance, human resources, facilities, and operations functions. 
  • Oversee organization’s operations, systems, and procedures; identify and direct initiatives across all departments to introduce greater efficiencies and reduce cost, particularly in areas that need attention, are inefficient, deficient, or in need of resources and support. Work collaboratively with staff to improve organization-wide efficiency. 

Knowledge and Skills

  • Minimum 6-8 years of relevant experience (business, non-profit management, human resources) is required, with at least 2 years previous experience in non-profit organizations. A bachelor’s degree (not required) in a related field can replace 2 years of required experience.
  • Minimum 4 years team management and supervisory experience required.
  • Strong understanding of financial management, human resources management, and business operations, including systems and policy development. 
  • Strong personal motivation, initiative, commitment, follow-through, and values consistent with NWOBS mission, values, and principles.
  • Ability to thrive in a collaborative environment with field staff, program management staff, and organizational leadership.
  • Ability to perform under tight deadlines and meet financial goals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Attention to detail, and ability to present information concisely and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work in a dynamic environment and work independently with little supervision.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, flexibility, and ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Administrator experience with Paylocity or similar HRIS platform.
  • Proficiency in G-Suite, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • A demonstrated commitment to engaging in equity, inclusion, and diversity efforts (either within a professional or personal setting).
  • Ability to have open, honest, and difficult conversations, including the ability to give and receive positive and constructive feedback with direct reports and colleagues.


This position reports to the Executive Director. The Director of Business Operations directly supervises the Business Operations Manager and the Associate Director of Human Resources and Recruiting. This role also serves as the primary staff lead for contracted services such as accounting, audit, legal counsel, payroll, and other key administrative vendors.

Position Description

With over 50 years of innovation in experiential and outdoor education in the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Outward Bound School (NWOBS) continues to change lives through challenge and discovery.

Our transformative…

Details at a Glance

Time Commitment
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Full Time Schedule
Job Type
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Start Date
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June 19, 2023
Application Deadline
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June 9, 2023
Experience Level
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USD $60,000 - USD $80,000 / year


Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a full-time salaried position; compensation is commensurate with experience within Northwest Outward Bound School’s annual range of $60,000 – $80,000.
  • This is a benefits-eligible position. NWOBS benefits package includes comprehensive medical, vision, and dental insurance. Employees accrue 15 days of paid time off, 12 days of paid sick time, and 13 paid holidays in the first year.
  • Free and discounted Employee Assistance Plan services, including 24/7 Crisis line, up to 5 counseling sessions per occurrence valued at $1,000 per case, well-being coaching, and screened referrals for childcare, eldercare, legal, and financial services.
  • Professional development opportunities, including $250/year toward external training, as well as in-house training on Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, Mental Health First Aid, Community Resiliency Model, and other role-specific training.
  • All positions qualify to participate in our gear discount program and course tuition discounts.

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a full-time salaried position; compensation is commensurate with experience within Northwest Outward Bound School’s annual range of $60,000 – $80…

Level of Language Proficiency

Proficiency with speaking, reading, and writing in English.

Proficiency with speaking, reading, and writing in English.


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Work must be performed in or near Portland, OR

How to Apply

To Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume in PDF format to: In your cover letter, please describe what motivates and excites you about this position and how it connects with your longer-term goals. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. We recognize that many transferable skills from other experiences may be relevant, and we encourage applicants to highlight those in the cover letter and resume. We are committed to reflecting the diverse communities with whom we work and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ identifying folks, and women to apply. 

We encourage interested candidates to apply as soon as possible. Review of applications will begin on June 1, 2023. 

No other emails or phone calls, please. We appreciate all responses, but due to the expected high volume of resumes received, we can only contact those applicants whose qualifications best match the position requirements.

To Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume in PDF format to: In your cover letter, please describe what motivates and excites you about this position…

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