Center Manager, Bent of the River

Job Type

Full Time




185 East Flat Hill Road
United States


Reporting to the Managing Director of Audubon New York, the Center Manager acts as the primary point of contact at the Bent of the River Audubon Center (BOTR) and is responsible for all operations, staff management and sound financial oversight of the location. BOTR, located in Southbury, Connecticut, is a critical asset in Audubon Connecticut’s network. An important community hub, the Center is open to the public year-round and provides a variety of onsite education programs during the seasons. The property also includes 700 acres that are maintained and preserved as both a sanctuary and dedicated trail system for visitors.


The Center Manager is seen as an ambassador of the National Audubon Society, representing Audubon Connecticut locally and integrates well with 40+ Center or Sanctuary leaders across the country. S/he is a collaborative, visionary thinker who can bring new programming opportunities to increase attendance and the diversity of its participants, as well as evolve the sphere of influence at the local level. The Center Manager is also responsible for keeping local operations running smoothly so visitors have positive experiences, are well engaged, and understand how BOTR folds into Audubon’s wider conservation and engagement strategies that focus on Climate, Working Lands, Water, Coasts and Bird-Friendly Communities.


At present, the Managing Director resides at the property but the Center Manager may be required to live onsite in approximately two years' time; an in-residence warden is required as part of the housing and land endowment given to the National Audubon Society. S/he must also be willing to work a flexible schedule, with 5 days on and 2 days off, including some standard weekend and evening work as needed.


This is an excellent opportunity for a rising conservation leader to apply their proven operational, staff management and program leadership skills at one of Audubon Connecticut’s critical assets! 

Candidates should also include a cover letter when applying to this position.

Essential Functions

Staff and Operational Management

  • Oversee all operational aspects of the Center facilities and programs, including effectively managing the Education and Land Management staff and leading the recruitment and onboarding process for new employees.
  • Coordinate all staffing to ensure proper coverage for the center and special events; organize and attend special event lectures and assist with logistical planning and day-of needs.
  • Assist in the development of an active volunteer core to engage community people, add capacity to critical administrative, outreach, interpretative and tour groups. Responsible for hiring and training new volunteers on visitor interaction protocols and the organization’s policies and procedures.
  • Lead the promotion for BOTR’s conservation programs and coordinate efforts with local staff and Audubon’s national marketing team; update the website and social media accounts of the location.
  • Along with the Managing Director, actively participate in and contribute to local advisory board and committee meetings.
  • Approve Purchasing Card transactions, Invoices, Paid Time Off request, and Timesheets.
  • Coordinate/manage daily housekeeping tasks, including but not limited to washing windows, sweeping and vacuuming, cleaning and restocking restrooms, and dusting exhibits and retail shelves.
  • Preserve and cultivate a culture of mutual respect, individual initiative, collegiality, and diversity; collaborate with staff to identify and implement best practices and evaluate outcomes, where applicable.

Budget and Fundraising

  • Work closely with the Managing Director and Audubon Connecticut Operations Manager to develop and deliver required budgeting and financial reporting.
  • Assist with the cultivation, retention and positive experience of donors and community partners as they interact with Center facilities and grounds.
  • Act as an ambassador of BOTR for special donor-driven fundraising events and/or individual cultivation opportunities, such as bird walks.

Public Programs and Outreach

  • Work with the Education Manager to continue engaging people in high-quality experiential learning in nature and promoting and engaging diverse communities and multi-age audiences.
  • Work with Education and Center staff to oversee and supervise the development, implementation and delivery of education programming created for school groups, community groups including homeschool groups. Ensure science, policy and conservation goals are emphasized meaningfully and appropriately in visitor and education programs.
  • Collaborate with the Bird Conservation Program Manager incorporate Climate-related activities into curriculum and advocacy training.
  • Oversee and supervise the development, implementation and delivery of a wide variety of general visitor education activities. Plan, implement and evaluate the guest experience.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in an environmental education, environmental studies, biology, recreation management, nature-based tourism or business administration.
  • 5 years of experience leading interpretive/environmental education in traditional and nontraditional settings, as well as 1-2 years’ in staff management and facility operations, required. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, passionate about conservation and Audubon’s mission to protect birds and the habitats they need now and in the future.
  • Must possess strong emotional intelligence – a dependable leader who can inspire and motivate teams.
  • Team player with a sense of humor, flexible and adaptable, comfortable greeting, interacting and presenting to individual visitors, as well groups up to 40 persons.
  • A self-starter, one who takes initiative, has ideas for expansion and is a systems-oriented thinker.
  • Tech-savviness, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, social media platforms, and other digital systems. Experience with Salesforce and EveryAction highly desired.
  • Familiarity and/or experience working in the non-profit fundraising area desired.
  • A flexible approach to work schedules, with the ability to work some weekends and evenings as needed. Must also possess a valid driver’s license with safe driving history.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a variety of conditions as the role has some physical requirements, such as coordinating outdoor activities, program facilitation and event set up.
  • Commitment to conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree