The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance inspires, educates and provokes exploration through its innovative programs and experiences in one of the nation’s largest and finest historic conservatories. Recognized as an internationally significant horticultural facility, the Conservatory is also a cultural asset for the surrounding community and City of Chicago.
The Alliance brings Friends of the Parks, area schools, museums, conservation organizations and community groups into partnership with the Chicago Park District to provide programming in support of the facility and collections that are managed by the Park District. These programs serve more than 200,000 people a year, including 16,000 local school children. In addition to the Alliance’s regular programming and exhibits, widely heralded special exhibits have increased the Conservatory’s visibility, including the Dale Chihuly exhibition “Chihuly in the Park: A Garden of Glass” which attracted more than 80,000 national and international visitors.
Priorities for the next President will include developing individual, foundation and corporate partnerships, expansion of programs and exhibits, and board development. Ongoing visibility and collaboration with the Board, Chicago Park District, the City of Chicago, and the broader Chicago community is a key component of the position. The Alliance seeks an accomplished leader who has a keen interest in relationship building with civic and cultural leaders and a strong inclination towards program and community development. The ideal candidate will have a background that includes financial and staff management combined with a strong understanding of philanthropy and proven success in raising significant funds from individuals, foundations, corporations, and public entities.
The successful candidate will exhibit exceptional interpersonal skills to effectively interact with Board, staff, local citizens, public garden advocates and policy leaders, governmental officials and donors. The primary characteristics sought are successful leadership; proven fundraising skills; the ability to inspire and motivate staff and constituents; the ability and interest to cultivate relationships with key donors, board members, community and government leaders; relevant management experience; and the ability to be a visionary who will plan and achieve meaningful growth for the Alliance, while maintaining a strong and sustainable foundation.
Candidates with executive level achievement in the fields of fund development, education, community development, advocacy, policy, business, law and/or related fields are encouraged to apply. Professional or personal connection to gardens, plants and living things is important, as is a sense of wonder. Nonprofit management experience is desired. Proven experience and success in fundraising is highly desired.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required; an advanced degree is highly desirable. Leadership and/or participation in regional or national professional or trade associations that relate to the mission of the Conservancy would be a plus.