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Executive Director

Position Profile

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ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW
Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. (Sweet Water) was incorporated in 2009 with a
mission to achieve healthy and sustainable water resources throughout the five Greater Milwaukee
watersheds (the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee, Milwaukee and Root Rivers and Oak Creek). The
organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a $700K + annual operating budget and whose work is
informed by a broadly-based, diverse board of directors representing both the geographical region
and the sectors within it.
Sweet Water is a collaborative network of nonprofit organizations, supported by key grants from
the Joyce Foundation, The Brico Fund, the Fund for Lake Michigan, the WI DNR and other generous
donors. The organization’s office is based at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s School of
Freshwater Science facility on Milwaukee’s inner harbor. Sweet Water’s partners include local
governments, special purpose districts, other nonprofits, representatives of business, agriculture
and academia, and watershed residents.
Sweet Water strives to:


Make measurable progress toward improving the water resources in the region.
Identify/support land use practices and designs that enhance/improve water resources and
promote and restore ecological benefits.
Forge and strengthen relationships to leverage funding and recommend policies to assist in
the implementation of projects to produce lasting water resource benefits and cost savings
throughout the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds and nearshore Lake Michigan.

While Sweet Water is still a relatively young organization, its initial successes include the
completion of watershed restoration plans for the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee Rivers; key
implementation projects in those watersheds; creation of the country’s first watershed-based
storm-water permit (one of just 3 national pilots for the EPA and the first approved in the country);
management of stakeholder outreach work for the four third-party Milwaukee area TMDLs now
underway; sponsoring of an annual water quality mini-grant program; production of the annual
Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference and creation of the partnership that led to the Respect Our
Waters regional storm water education campaign.

More information on Sweet Water and its work can be found on the website: www.swwtwater.org.

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POSITION DESCRIPTION
Sweet Water is a dynamic and fluid organization that needs to continually examine itself and the
impact of its work. In fact, the Board of Directors is currently going through a strategic visioning
process in order to best inform the future focus of the organization. Sweet Water is looking for a
thoughtful leader who will be central to the organization as it evolves to meet the challenges of our
watersheds in the future.
Sweet Water’s new leader will have experience in moving a diverse cohort of individuals and
organizations. He or she will be a relationship-oriented professional who cares deeply about
sustainable water resources. The ideal candidate champions water quality endeavors, lifts up the
exceptional efforts of others and is able to procure funding for this work. The Board and partners
are looking for a new Executive Director who seamlessly integrates his or her passion with sound
strategy and the need to engage key partners to achieve Sweet Water’s mission. He or she will share
in the vision to make Dramatic and visible improvements in the Greater Milwaukee watersheds
inspire widespread protection and celebration, linking the value of these water resources with the
region’s prosperity.

PRIMARY LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES
I. PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION and EVALUATION:
1) Manage Sweet Water grant-funded partnerships, ensuring achievement of strong
outcomes, consistent with Sweet Water policies and practices.
2) Provide leadership in implementing the ongoing storm water outreach campaign.
3) Facilitate ongoing communication between Sweet Water and its partners.
4) Effectively manage multiple projects and contracts within a complex budget.
5) Provide strong leadership for actions recommended in future Watershed Actions
Plans that create real, measurable and lasting improvements throughout the Greater
Milwaukee Watersheds.
6) Oversee and manage the work funded by key major funders to ensure all actions are
consistent with the mission, goals and purposes of Sweet Water.
7) Coordinate watershed restoration planning and promoting implementation of
projects identified in the Watershed Restoration Plans.
8) Develop the program for the annual Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference and other
water quality forums and meetings.
9) Build partnerships and enhance collaborative decision-making and joint project
implementation.
10) Continuously analyze the changing external environment and develop strategic
responses to those changes.
11) Make sure the funded projects are high quality, on budget, and on schedule.

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II. FUND DEVELOPMENT and RESOURCE REVIEW:
1) Create and oversee a comprehensive fund development plan that provides longterm diversified, sustainable support for the organization.
2) Seek and obtain funds to support the mission, goals and purposes of Sweet Water
including collaborative efforts to implement the Regional Water Quality Plan
Update, the Watershed Restoration Plans, and the Milwaukee River basin TMDLs.
3) Report to the Board regularly on the organization’s financial performance in
relation to the annual budget.
4) Leverage the multi-stakeholder nature of Sweet Water to increase funding and
activity resulting in improvements in the watersheds.
5) Communicate effectively with, and can gain confidence of, potential and current
major donors.
6) Ensure compliance with all government and funder reporting requirements.
7) Lead donor stewardship and recognition efforts: Develop acknowledgement
strategies for all donors; Recognize individuals and companies for reaching
established giving levels; Follow up with lapsed donors.

III. BOARD AND STAFF RELATIONSHIPS:
1) Lead the Board of Directors, its committees and work groups, to ensure all actions
are consistent with, and help further the mission of, Sweet Water.
2) Communicates regularly with the Board Chair on any significant issues affecting the
organization.
3) Support the operation of, and assist the Board in, effectively leading and managing
the Board’s committees, watershed action teams, work groups, and consultants.
4) Develop an annual budget and report to the Board regularly on the organization’s
financial performance in relation to the annual budget.
5) Oversee administrative, personnel and financial management of the organization.
6) Act as the representative of the Board o f D i r e c t o r s as it relates to public
relations and marketing efforts of the organization.
7) Ensure a team building culture that builds on the development of trust, mutual
respect and open communication.

IV. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING, COLLABORATION and PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT:
1) Establish and strengthen ties throughout the region that will synergize grant
funding, create project partnerships and draw public attention to Sweet Water’s
work.
2) Develop a strong spirit of collaboration between multiple and diverse stakeholders
through joint grant development and collaborative projects.
3) Carry out relevant outreach consistent with Sweet Water’s strategic plan.
4) Develop strong collaborative relationships with partners who will carry out projects
that address Sweet Water’s goals.
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5) Engage government, business, the building industry, agriculture, environmental, and
other stakeholder organizations and recommend where to invest funds to get the
greatest benefit.
6) Raise the regional profile and presence of Sweet Water.
7) Build partnerships and enhance collaborative decision-making and joint project
implementation.
8) Increase the number of diverse and engaged stakeholders.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND SELECTION CRITERIA
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Deep understanding of, and / or professional background in, issues related to the built
environment and natural resources particularly waterways and watersheds.
Grant writing experience a must; Major gift solicitation a plus.
Undergraduate degree required.
Experience working in collaborations and familiarity with conflict resolution strategies
in collaborative relationships.
Deep knowledge of principles of effective nonprofit management and governance.
Strong interpersonal relationship building and leadership skills managing staff and
supervising relationships with consultants and committees.

GUIDELINES FOR APPLICANTS
For full consideration for this position, all of the following materials must be sent, electronically to
SWWT@leadingtransitions.com, no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on Friday, March 6, 2015:
A.
B.
C.
D.

A letter describing qualifications for the Executive Director position, your
interest in Sweet Water and how you heard about the position;
A description of your salary parameters;
A detailed and updated resume and,
The names of, your relationship to, and contact information for three
professional references.

Attention: Mindy Lubar Price, President & CEO
Leading Transitions LLC
544 E. Ogden Avenue, Suite 700-350
Milwaukee, WI 53202
P: 414.228.9860
www.leadingtransitions.com
The Transition Committee of the Sweet Water Board of Directors plans to have this
position filled by April 2015.
Please note:
References will not be contacted until a candidate has been notified.
Background checks will subsequently be performed, with candidate permission.
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