Executive Director

Carolina Raptor Center was founded in 1975 in the basement of the biology building at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 1984 the Center, in partnership with passionate students and volunteer advocates, moved to the modest but dedicated space that is home to Carolina Raptor Center today.

After over 45 years of operations, Carolina Raptor Center is the country’s largest raptor medical center, the Southeast’s most vital raptor education resource, and internationally regarded as an industry leader with high-caliber husbandry and training methods, a celebrated veterinary staff, a creative education team, and the technological advances it has developed for the field. The Raptor Trail at Carolina Raptor Center is a beloved destination for school children, outdoor enthusiasts, nature and bird lovers, and people who need a safe outdoor environment to connect with nature.

In 2021, through a partnership with Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, Carolina Raptor Center embarked upon a once-in-a-generation project, anchoring a state-of-the-art interpretive environmental education center at Latta Nature Preserve: Quest.

As Carolina Raptor Center prepares to take flight in a brand-new location at Quest, they recognize the need to center the leadership, staff, and volunteers of the organization around a guide that can take Carolina Raptor Center to new heights. To that end, Carolina Raptor Center launched SOAR 2025, a strategic plan that emphasizes the use of Quest directly in mission-related work, providing for brand clarity and the elevation of that brand in the community, and an equity-minded approach to the work of the organization and the way it engages the communities around us.

The Carolina Raptor Center is currently led by a 19-member board of directors, a staff of 25, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers. The budget is $1.3M and revenue is generated through private donations, grants, admission, and programs.

Want to know more? Visit Carolina Raptor Center’s website at www.carolinaraptorcenter.org.

Ask yourself, Are you passionate about igniting imaginations and inspiring engagement in the natural world?

Are you the kind of visionary strategist that sees today’s realities and tomorrow’s possibilities and blends them together to forge an innovative plan for growth built on data, input, and a deep understanding of an organization’s mission?

The Carolina Raptor Center, whose mission is to ignite imaginations and inspire engagement in the natural world through the exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey, is on the hunt for its next Executive Director.

The Board has formed a committee to guide the leadership transition.

Strategic oversight
• Create, advance, and implement the organization’s vision and strategy in partnership with the Board of Directors
• Own the mission, vision, values, and goals, ensuring accountability across the organization
• Ensure advancement of the Carolina Raptor Center’s educational programs, volunteers, visitation, and bird care (both resident and wild birds)
Advance the organization and its brand in three strategic focus areas:
• Inspire a love and respect for nature in guests and engage them in a desire for life-long learning
• Position Carolina Raptor Center as the primary destination for environmental education and conservation in the Greater Charlotte Community
• Promote long-term organizational health
Capital Campaign and advancement leadership
• Serve as the chief fundraiser for the Carolina Raptor Center with support from the Advancement Director
• Actively lead the campaign to finalize funding for the relocation of the organization to the Quest Center
• Support annual fundraising through leadership and engaging stakeholders
• Work with staff to create a culture of philanthropy, including motivating all staff and volunteers to support relationship-building efforts
Administration and supervision
• Provide leadership, coaching and development, and support for the staff including 3 director-level reports and manage business partner relationships
• Oversee the annual budgeting process and the ongoing financial oversight with staff and the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee
• Work in collaboration with human resources business partners on compensation and benefits
Community involvement and advocacy
• Serve as the chief branding officer and networker including pro-actively representing the Carolina Raptor Center at community events and other opportunities that may impact the Carolina Raptor Center or its causes
• Serve on external boards of directors to create and maintain relationships and influence future opportunities
• Advocate for STEM education, environmental justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA), and other community-enhancing initiatives
• Build and maintain partnerships with key stakeholders including public entities
Board of directors engagement
• Continuously work with the Executive Committee to advance the Carolina Raptor Center
• Actively engage and manage the relationship with the board by providing communications on organizational news and issues as needed
• Support board committees and assist with board development
Campus planning and major construction oversight
• Provide leadership for the construction project team
• Manage relationships with key construction companies and construction supply donors
• Engage in the design process and other construction-related matters as required

Key lived experiences, attributes, and skillsets sought in the Executive Director:
• Commitment to the mission of Carolina Raptor Center
• Demonstrated passion for nature, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA), and education
• Experience in relevant fields such as communication, marketing, nonprofit management, environmental education, biology, or other relevant fields preferred
• Visionary and strategic thinker who can present and implement plans for the future
• Progressively advanced management and supervisory experience
• Significant fundraising and stewardship experience
• Demonstrated ability to foster an equitable and inclusive environment and lead highly successful, diverse teams
• Exemplary verbal and written communication skills, including giving and receiving feedback
• A self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit and a motivational leadership style
• Highly skilled relationship builder who can work with varied constituencies (corporate partners, peer groups, volunteers, and co-workers) to achieve mutually beneficial goals
• Experienced with board of director relations and governance practices
• History of demonstrating the sound judgment and financial acumen necessary to oversee day-to-day operations, direct staff, and manage a budget
• Patience and an ability to project a cool, calming influence in high-pressure situations

Other information:
Salary is commensurate with the size of the budget and is in the $100-110K range. Benefits include Medical, Dental, Vision, Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, Basic Life, Medical Bridge, Accident, Critical Illness, Term Life and Whole Life and 403(b) retirement plans; accrued vacation and sick time; and paid holidays.

To apply:
Click on the link to the Executive Director position profile at www.ArmstrongMcGuire.com/jobs. You will see instructions for uploading your compelling cover letter, resume, salary requirements, and professional references. Please provide all requested information to be considered. In case of any technical problems, contact sam@armstrongmcguire.com. No phone calls, please, and no applications will be accepted by email or directly from third-party posting sites.

Carolina Raptor Center actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. Carolina Raptor Center is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.