Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $60,000
Maximum: $70,000



Start Date


Application Deadline



1124 Nipomo Street
Suite B
San Luis Obispo
United States


Central Coast State Parks Association is looking for a new Executive Director!

Who we are | Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA), in partnership with California State Parks, provides funding for interpretation, education, and volunteer efforts in local state parks. One of about 85 similar associations statewide, our support covers Oceano Dunes District: Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo State Beach, and San Luis Obispo Coast District: Montaña de Oro State Park, Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve, Morro Bay State Park, Morro Strand State Beach, Estero Bluffs State Park, Harmony Headlands State Park, and Hearst San Simeon State Park.

Our values |  At CCSPA, we believe that our natural resources should be valued, enjoyed, and protected for public enjoyment now, and for future generations. Access to and enjoyment of the parks, whether from park visitors, volunteers, or staff, should mirror the diversity in our communities.

Our internal structure |  We operate with a small staff of 2-3 people filling multiple roles: an executive director, a retail manager, a membership coordinator, and an events manager. As a nonprofit, we are governed by a board of directors. As a cooperating association, we are accountable to California State Parks and the Department of Parks and Recreation. We have volunteers and interns, and financially support the work of hundreds of State Parks volunteers.

Our culture | Volunteers far outnumber paid staff. We appreciate everything each person brings to our work. As with many non profits, we are tasked with more to do than time allows, so we are good at prioritizing and asking for help when needed. We strive to respect differences, constantly work on improving communication, and value what we can learn from others.

The opportunity | CCSPA has undergone changes and growth during the last few years. With solid foundation in place, in addition to continuing the success of current operations, the next executive director will be ready to implement a strategic plan that includes a major capital campaign for renovation of the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History, and reassess staffing and volunteer structures to make necessary changes for maximizing effectiveness.

Responsibilities | CCSPA’s executive director is responsible for overall administration, fundraising, planning, and strategizing. They are the liaison among State Parks, donors, the board, and our community. They inspire and lead our small nonprofit toward big impact. They constantly assess our activities to ensure alignment with our mission and compliance with State Parks’ procedures. They seek out experience and ideas from those around them and support excellence in others’ growth. They have excellent financial management skills, and can communicate clearly with a diverse population.

We estimate that the executive director’s time may be spent as follows:

Fundraising - 60%

The executive director’s main purpose is to ensure funding for the State Parks’ programs which meet our mission. CCSPA has multiple funding streams - donors, membership, grants, retail sales, and events. The executive director oversees all fundraising and is responsible for success in each area.

Within the next 1-2 years, CCSPA will need to launch a capital campaign for a complete exhibit renovation at the Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay State Park. The executive director will lead this effort and be responsible for its success. At that point, it is expected that the executive director will spend a higher percentage of time on fundraising.

Administration - 20%

The executive director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, including accounting, financial reporting, and HR/payroll processing. The executive director also oversees the membership program, design needs and website management, marketing and social media, and events. The executive director hires and manages the rest of the staff, and seeks volunteers as needed.

Organization and thorough understanding of nonprofit financial processes is essential. CCSPA is committed to transparency, and the executive director is the driver of those efforts. The executive director provides explanation of processes, decisions, and organizational structure to all stakeholders upon request. The executive director ensures that all legal and financial filings and reports are submitted accurately and on time.

Internal relations - 15%

The executive director works within several overlapping circles - CCSPA staff, CCSPA board, State Parks liaisons and staff, and State Parks docents and volunteers. These groups are passionate about the parks and the educational and interpretive programming with them. These groups represent many different personality types, experiences, and strengths. The better able the executive director is at connecting with diverse personalities, the more effective they will be. The executive director is actively involved with recruiting and building the board, based on strategic design. The executive director employs a variety of communication skills to foster trust and collaboration between all stakeholders. The executive director exhibits humility and patience, optimism and respect for others. The executive director has a thorough understanding of the partnership between CCSPA and State Parks, and the roles everyone plays within that partnership. The executive director helps to communicate this understanding internally and externally to the community at large through a wide variety of communication methods and formats.

Miscellaneous other responsibilities - 5%

In addition to the primary responsibilities above, the executive director may spend time on other tasks, including making bank deposits, working on graphic design, social media posts, presentations to community groups, tabling at events, writing newsletters, database entry, billing, point-of-sale troubleshooting, reviewing or amending policies, training volunteers and Parks staff in processes, attending volunteer group meetings, and many other tasks.

Who are we looking for? |  Our next executive director is thoughtful and creative. They are patient and even-tempered. They are unafraid of exploring entrepreneurial endeavors. They are avid learners and work to bring out the best in those around them.

Particular skills desired:

  • Extensive fundraising experience: assessment, development, and follow through
  • Successful management and leadership of a capital campaign & grant writing
  • Excellent communication skills: written and verbal
  • Ability to connect with, respect, and work with diverse personalities
  • At least 5 years in nonprofit leadership roles, preferably as CEO or executive director
  • Thorough understanding of public-nonprofit partnerships, preferably with public land agencies
  • Technologically skilled and adept at using and learning a variety of software and online programs, including the Google suite of office software, Canva, Network for Good, Square, Quickbooks, and ADP Run
  • Proven board development success
  • Excellent familiarity with nonprofit financial accounting systems & ability to provide a wide variety of reports
  • Experience hiring and supervising employees
  • Passion for collaboration and resourceful & innovative program design

Compensation and benefits |  This is a full-time (avg. 40 hrs/wk), salaried and exempt position, located in San Luis Obispo, CA. Starting salary range is $60,000 - $70,000. CCSPA offers a generous benefits package, including health insurance contribution, retirement contribution, 25 paid vacation days, 10 paid holidays, additional PTO and sick leave, a flexible work schedule, phone and mileage contribution.


CCSPA offers a generous benefits package, including health insurance contribution, retirement contribution, 25 paid vacation days, 10 paid holidays, additional PTO and sick leave, a flexible work schedule, phone and mileage contribution.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


Apply now! | If you think this is the opportunity for you, submit a cover letter and resume, in PDF format, to execsearch@centralcoastparks.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; application deadline is June 30, 2018. Ideal start date is August 2018.

CCSPA is dedicated to promoting diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion, and strives to clearly reflect that commitment in all that we do. We are fully focused on equality and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin and all the other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

CCSPA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. We welcome and encourage applications from people representing groups that expand our diversity.