The Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Job Description
The Brooklyn Heights Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit neighborhood organization created in 1910 to serve the residents and businesses of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. Over the decades the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) has worked to maintain and improve the neighborhood’s quality of life, preserve its historic physical fabric, and balance progress with livability. The BHA is respected citywide for its ability to mobilize residents and its engagement with issues and projects affecting the neighborhood. Among its long history of accomplishments, the BHA was a driving force in creating the world-renowned Brooklyn Heights Promenade; passing the NYC Landmarks Law and establishing Brooklyn Heights as the city’s first historic district; and leading the fight to transform barren waterfront into Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Today, real estate development, reconstruction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, preservation of the Promenade, school capacity, zoning issues, infrastructure improvements, and the need for better public services are some of the challenges endangering the health and well-being of residents, and the economic viability of local businesses. The BHA is dedicated to continuing its historic role of leading the community to ensure the neighborhood’s quality of life. The next Executive Director will guide the organization, engage the community, facilitate meetings and events, and support the Board as the primary steward of Brooklyn Heights.
Position Overview The Executive Director position at the BHA is an exciting opportunity for a passionate, dynamic leader who thrives in a diverse and stimulating environment and knows how to navigate the complexities of community, democracy, and grassroots activism. The ideal candidate is a high energy big-picture thinker who excels in day-to-day project implementation. This person also has a proven track record in managing and motivating a small staff and in providing thought leadership to a board of directors. S/he will be innovative, resourceful and entrepreneurial. The variety of issues, activities, amenities, and ideas in the day-to-day work make this job fascinating, rewarding and continually challenging. The ideal candidate will be able to handle a wide variety of responsibilities and work with integrity and patience. This is a full-time position that requires evening and weekend hours.
Leadership • Mobilize the BHA membership and greater community to take concerted action on pressing issues, and work with dedicated committees to develop, propose, and implement solutions • Collaborate and work closely with an engaged, hands-on Board to identify developing issues; identify and evaluate new opportunities for programs, projects and events that promote engagement, community building and the health of the association and neighborhood • Stay abreast of key issues facing the BHA and formulate policies and planning recommendations for the Board • Oversee development and implementation of the BHA’s short- and long-range plans • Advance the BHA mission by building partnerships and strong relationships with elected officials, government agencies, community leaders, and other neighborhood associations such as the 84th Precinct, PS 8, Montague Street BID, Community Board 2 and the LPC • Coordinate the BHA’s efforts to respond to major opportunities or threats facing the neighborhood, drawing upon learnings from past initiatives (Pier 6, LICH, BBP, Landmarking, original BQE construction, Scenic View Plane) to bolster success for current and future actions (BQE reconstruction, Brooklyn Jail) • Provide overall guidance for the work of the BHA and evaluate its programs for effectiveness and efficiency
Fundraising and Communications • Represent the BHA at public forums and serve as its passionate community liaison • Communicate with the BHA membership and public through strategic messaging on email, social media, and website and ensure that the BHA is consistently presenting a strong, positive image • Respond to inquiries from the media and proactively pitch stories • Working with the Executive Assistant, build campaigns to grow membership from 1,000 to 1,500; manage the membership renewal process • Together with the Board, coordinate fundraising events and activities, including the Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse and the Annual Appeal, and develop new fundraising strategies
Administration • Collaborate with the BHA Executive Committee to plan, execute and follow-up on meetings of the Board • Manage the work of the Executive Assistant and Bookkeeper • Recommend the annual budget for Board approval and prudently manage organization’s resources within those budget guidelines • Oversee the preparation of financial statements; monitor bank accounts; set and maintain financial operating procedures • Respond promptly to issues that residents bring to the BHA’s attention
Qualifications • Bachelor degree and a minimum of 5 years of management experience • Passionate interest in public policy and urban planning • Knowledge of city government, in either a professional, volunteer, or advocacy capacity • Demonstrated capacity to build rapport and manage relationships all while ensuring macro-level projects are fully implemented • Willing to take on challenges • Ability to be visionary in leading implementation of large plans while maintaining day-to day business of a small not-for-profit organization • Well-developed interpersonal and presentation skills and writing ability • Fundraising, sales or other development experience preferred
Salary and Benefits Competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. The BHA is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are invited to apply.
To Apply The Brooklyn Heights Association has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (cover letter that articulates mission and interest, and resume) may be directed in confidence to:
Debbie Farrell, Senior Director Harris Rand Lusk 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605 New York, NY 10168
Please put “Brooklyn Heights Association” in the subject line of your email application.