Jobs: Executive Search

Executive Director, The Landmark Trust USA

Dummerston, VT
Aug / 9 / 2018

The Landmark Trust USA (The Landmark Trust) was established in 1991 to carry on historic preservation work in America according to the model established by the Landmark Trust UK. The Landmark Trust identifies neglected properties of architectural and historical merit and restores them using traditional skills and methods. The restoration provides opportunities to teach these traditional skills to local craftspeople. Rescued buildings are then sustained as “living history” by making them available year-round as vacation rentals for those seeking inspiring places to stay. The hope is that giving customers a one-on-one experience with history will make them appreciate and support historic preservation.

Overview of the Organization and Programs

The Landmark Trust now owns five properties built between 1800 and the 1930’s, all of which have been authentically restored and fully furnished with period pieces, and with modern, well-equipped kitchens and bathrooms. The properties selected for restoration are submitted to an evaluation process that investigates and ascertains historical importance, structural integrity, market appeal, cultural relevance and durability. Once cleared through that process, a financial analysis determines the viability of adding the property to the existing Landmark Trust mix, and then finally a business plan is developed that will drive the success of the investments.

The Landmark Trust also has 100% ownership of the Scott Farm, a B Corporation (a for-profit organized for social benefit), which it acquired in 1995. The farm consists of 571 acres and 23 buildings, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The combination of the two organizations manages over 600 acres of land, a majority of which is in current use, and 28 historic buildings.

Combined, The Landmark Trust and the Scott Farm focus on the following programs, activities and services:

  • Historic Vacation Rentals — The Landmark Trust offers the following five historic properties for vacation rental throughout the year:
    • Naulakha, Rudyard Kipling’s home — this property had been abandoned for over 40 years. It has been fully restored to honor Kipling’s legacy and has much of his original furniture. This is the only house that Kipling designed and built for himself in 1893. It was here that he wrote The Jungle Books, the Just So stories, Captains Courageous and many of his other best-known works. The house has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
    • Kipling’s Carriage House — built in the 1890’s for Kipling’s carriage and horses, the building was later converted to housing for his staff.  This house has 2 bedrooms and one bathroom.
    • Sugarhouse on the Scott Farm — built in 1915, The Sugarhouse was the site of maple syrup production for decades and is now a one bedroom, one bath rental. The Scott Farm was one of the first farms in the county to ship its maple syrup.
    • Amos Brown House — built in 1802 of brick fabricated on site, the property was later expanded to include a connected summer kitchen, porch, barn and 4-seater outhouse. This house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
    • Dutton Farmhouse — offering a broad vista over the Scott Farm apple orchards and Mount Monadnock, the main house was built around 1840 in the Greek Revival style. This house has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
  • The Orchard — The Scott Farm Orchard has been transformed over the last 18 years into a nationally acknowledged treasury of heirloom fruit varieties. The Orchard works regularly with researchers from universities to advance ecologically based growing practices and knowledge. While 75% of the crop is sold wholesale, an on-farm retail market has been growing each year. An heirloom nursery has been started to supply new trees for expansion and retail sales. Most of the crop is sold in the New England area, but the gift box business has sent fruit to almost every state in the country. Workshops and events provide the public with more opportunities to enjoy and learn at one of the most beautiful agricultural settings in the Northeast.
  • Event Rentals — At Scott Farm, the Apple Barn is the workshop and event space which has hosted special occasions, weddings, rehearsal dinners, celebrations of life, birthdays and family gatherings in a space that can accommodate up to 120 guests. The farm also hosts workshops which include how to make hard cider, heirloom apple pies, peach galettes and preserving fruits.
  • Literary Events and Tours — The Landmark Trust sponsors several events during the year allowing various sectors of the public to experience its properties and is always open to discuss and plan others that can be entertaining and educational. It also awards aspiring writers with the Kipling Young Writers contest.
  • Scott Farm Events — A variety of events are hosted throughout the year, including pruning and grafting workshops and fruit tree sales in early Spring and guided orchard strolls. Annual events include an On The Farm Dinner, Heirloom Apple Day and a Kingston Black Hard Cider Festival.
  • Scott Farm Partnerships — Several partnerships are hosted at Scott Farm including the Stone Trust, a non-profit that teaches dry-stone walling techniques and provides certification to those who master these skills. It’s the only place in the United States where you can get certified for dry stone walling. Two local families lease the rights to tap several thousand maple trees on the property. Some of the syrup produced is then sold in our Farm Market. A trail system is being developed this summer. Guests will be able to enjoy beaver ponds, old quarries and great birding along field and forested paths. The Dummerston Town Plan considers the Scott Farm to be a valuable wildlife habitat and connecting corridor.

The Landmark Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation overseen by a volunteer board of directors currently consisting of seven members who are business, community and/or preservation leaders. Over the last three years, The Landmark Trust’s annual operating expenditures have averaged about $305,000. Although a separate B corporation, Scott Farm, of which The Landmark Trust has 100% ownership, had operating expenditures of approximately $670,000 on average over the last four years. Combined, the two entities employ 17 full- and part-time staff members.

Executive Transition

For the last five years, The Landmark Trust has been ably led by an interim executive director, who succeeded a long-serving, permanent executive director. The interim leader primarily focused on community relations and institutional sustainability and profitability. Having successfully moved those tasks forward and after improving institutional culture, the board of directors is now prepared to hire a permanent executive director who will have the opportunity to influence the mission and vision of this well-regarded, unique and diverse organization for the foreseeable future.

Strategic Opportunities and Challenges

Having grown its businesses, stabilized its operations and improved its governance, The Landmark Trust is now poised to create a refreshed vision for its future, one which will further expand its impact and position the organization for long-term sustainability. High priorities for the next executive director include:

  • Overseeing senior leaders who manage the daily operations of a mission-driven, $1 million operation (combined The Landmark Trust and Scott Farm), and direct and empower a team of dedicated and highly skilled individuals committed to preservation, farm operations and customer service toward renters and event participants.
  • Working collaboratively with the board of directors, staff and the community to develop and articulate a refreshed mission and vision for The Landmark Trust and an actionable strategic plan and organizational structure to achieve the agreed upon vision.
  • Creating and implementing a resource development strategy, one which includes an expanded focus on private philanthropy and creative partnerships to sustain The Landmark Trust.
  • Developing and executing a comprehensive marketing strategy and program to expand awareness of The Landmark Trust, to grow participation and partnerships, to sustain The Landmark Trust’s operations and to increase financial support.
  • Networking tirelessly with public officials, community leaders, residents and land owners, business leaders, tourists, preservationists, supporters and detractors to form and sustain mutually supportive and beneficial relationships and partnerships.
  • Working with the board of directors and the Scott Farm advisory committee to solidify and realize the organization’s mission and vision, while adding specificity to their roles and responsibilities, most particularly regarding resource development.

Desired Credentials/Profile of the Ideal Candidate

  • A minimum of five years of senior leadership, or equivalent experience
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Knowledge of historic preservation and interest in sustainable agriculture desired

Skills and Experience

Experienced and Strategic Administrator

The executive director must bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the work and be able to engage in “big picture” thinking, ultimately and collaboratively leading The Landmark Trust to develop and implement a comprehensive and clear mission, vision and strategy. Also, as the agency’s chief executive and administrative officer, the new leader will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s operations, finances, facilities and staff, efficiently aligning and maximizing resources to achieve The Landmark Trust’s strategic goals, while also serving as the primary liaison to the board of directors to engage all members in effective governance and fundraising.

Networker and Relationship Builder

The leader must be a savvy and tireless networker on behalf of The Landmark Trust, able to interact equally well with public officials, community leaders, residents and land owners, business leaders, tourists, preservationists, supporters and detractors. The leader also must possess exceptionally strong interpersonal skills to form and sustain mutually supportive and beneficial relationships and partnerships to sustain The Landmark Trust and grow its impact.

Skilled Communicator and Marketer

The executive director must be a compelling spokesperson, able to use persuasive written and verbal communications to promote and grow interest in The Landmark Trust and its work. The leader must also be able to develop and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy and program to expand awareness of The Landmark Trust, to grow participation and partnerships, to sustain The Landmark Trust’s operations and to increase financial support.

Experienced and Enthusiastic Fundraiser

The executive director will have experience in and a desire to engage self and others in private fundraising, with the ability to create a vision and strategy for a fundraising program aligned with The Landmark Trust’s mission and financial needs. The new leader must be eager, poised and proactive in assuming the executive director’s role in fundraising and utilizing available relationships, including board members, to establish a fundraising program to achieve significant financial results. Finally, the new leader must be able to understand and negotiate potential partnership agreements.

Preservation Enthusiast

Although the executive director does not need to be a preservationist by trade or training, as a mission-driven nonprofit committed to protecting and preserving historic properties and lands, the leader must be inspired by preservation within an historical context and able to marry preservation principles with practical restoration, use and maintenance of properties within the unique model imported from LTUK for use by The Landmark Trust.

Empowering Teambuilder and Team Player

An experienced personnel manager, the executive director must inspire, develop and empower others, while generating trust and respect across the entire organization. The leader will need to be an active listener who values the contributions of a highly committed, long serving and diverse staff who support multiple properties, several locations and diverse businesses within two distinct, yet complementary, organizations. The executive director will create a collaborative and mutually supportive work culture and climate, actively demonstrating being a team player while still holding staff accountable to high expectations.

Candidate Guidelines

This search is being conducted by TSNE MissionWorks with transition consultant John Tarvin. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential. Interested candidates should submit materials online:

Click here to apply online.

Please include a resume and a cover letter with salary requirements, information regarding how you learned of the position, and a description of how your qualifications and experience match The Landmark Trust’s needs and mission. All submissions of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.

The Landmark Trust is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.