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Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society
President and Chief Executive Officer

Explore Company PosterThe Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society (RGS/AWS) seeks to recruit a dynamic leader to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer based in Pittsburgh, PA.

About Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society:

Founded in 1961, the three pillars of the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and its sister organization, the American Woodcock Society (AWS) are: Healthy Forests, Abundant Wildlife and Sporting Traditions. The early pioneers of RGS envisioned an organization that would seek to improve the woodland habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and many other kinds of forest wildlife. The traditions and values that framed RGS’s early days shape RGS’s mission today:

“The Ruffed Grouse Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat using scientific management practices.”

Over the past year, RGS/AWS Board Members and staff have been exploring ways to enhance the impact of its science programs, chapter and volunteer engagement, fundraising operations and overall organizational structure. The following organization goals have emerged:

  • Sustainable increases in membership.

  • Engagement of corporate and philanthropic partners and outreach to new sources of revenue.

  • Engagement in efforts to reach out to next generation hunters and conservation stewards.

  • Continued delivery of habitat and other mission-related program achievements.

  • Engagement of communication activities to position RGS as the leading voice for forest health in the nation, and have an energized membership base.

Moreover, RGS/AWS has undertaken a major upgrade in its technology platform. These improvements include migrating many of its systems to cloud-based technology to improve security and reliability. They are also implementing new systems for managing membership information, improving data security and enable members to manage their accounts online.

Coupled with this is a new e-commerce module to make joining and renewing membership a better user experience, online banquet registration and sponsorship and supports a more user- friendly check-out experience on the web store. These internal improvements, when combined with a talented and motivated staff, enable RGS/AWS to operate with agility and flawless execution to achieve financial strength and stability, deliver meaningful mission impact, generate member enthusiasm, and effectively deliver its message.

Making the work possible is a talented and engaged team. RGS/AWS consists of a twenty-five (25) person staff. The professional staff includes finance and operational personnel, regional biologists, member relations and regional directors and fundraisers. About 40% operate from the headquarters in Pittsburgh and the remainder are field-based. RGS/AWS’s Board is comprised of 16 individuals. The board meets at least three (3) times during the year – 2 in-person meetings and at least one additional meeting via conference call. The current annual budget is approximately $5 million. Currently there are 111 active chapters within the organization.

RGS/AWS membership has grown 35% since 2012 and currently exceeds 17,000. In 2016, RGS/AWS attained the Charity Navigator 4-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. RGS publishes a high-quality quarterly magazine. The magazine’s appearance and content has improved substantially in the past several years. Since 2011 the magazine has won 11 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, an annual competition for corporate and nonprofit publishers, editors, writers and designers who create print, Web, electronic and social media.

At the core of RGS/AWS is a volunteer based enterprise. Events are the single largest stream of revenue currently coming into RGS, derived from nearly 200 separate events. This category includes chapter banquets and other events such as the National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt and the New York City Dinner plus other gatherings having a primary purpose of raising funds for RGS. RGS/AWS members understand and embrace science-based conservation initiatives on public and private land, knowing these initiatives benefit wildlife in addition to ruffed grouse and American woodcock.

For more information about the Foundation please visit www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.

About the Position: President/Chief Executive Officer

The new CEO will embody the spirit of RGS/AWS’s volunteers and be dedicated to the cause of serving the organization’s mission. RGS/AWS is on a course to remain strong, relevant and effective in the 21st Century. The CEO will serve as a leader who inspires volunteers, staff, donors and members to engage in a serving the mission of RGS/AWS. The CEO will possess the skills to continue developing and leading the organization’s strategic direction and enhance its organizational vitality.

The CEO will drive growth of RGS/AWS membership and support other revenue generating activities. The CEO will engage the volunteers who support the mission of RGS/AWS. The CEO is forward looking, seeking new opportunities to ensure that RGS/AWS’s work is significant and impactful. In addition, the CEO will work to continue to enhance the governance and leadership capabilities of the Board and professional opportunities for staff.

As CEO, this person will carry the RGS/AWS’s vision to critical international, national and state public policy and private sector leaders. In the role as CEO, this individual will drive RGS/AWS’s philanthropic activities – reaching out to individuals, institutions and companies. The CEO will build on the positive momentum in using technology and other new infrastructure improvements to enhance membership, inventory, financial management; banquet check-in and check-out processes; social media and other forms of digital advocacy; and fundraising, etc.

The broad goals for the President/CEO are as follows:

  • To support and sustain efforts to build an organization which can fully optimize the wealth of experience and knowledge of the Board, staff, partners, volunteers and members.

  • To expand the financial base of RGS/AWS, engaging individuals and institutional philanthropic funding sources, corporate sponsors, and growing all categories of RGS/AWS membership.

  • To continue to fully optimize technology tools and resources to drive RGS/AWS strategic priorities and organizational efficiencies.

  • To develop and implement a balanced scorecard to track strategic non-financial performance measures together with traditional financial metrics.

  • To continue to empower and motivate a professional staff that is geographically dispersed.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The President/CEO ideally should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Capacity to lead, inspire and mobilize people – particularly grassroots volunteers, staff, contributors, and other key public and private sector stakeholders.

  • Possessing a management style that is results-oriented.

  • Demonstrated experience working with government agencies leaders and experience writing, presenting and capturing public sector grants.

  • Demonstrated track record of success working with corporate leaders and other individuals in capturing an array of philanthropic and corporate investment.

  • Proven record of success as a leader of a geographically dispersed enterprise with budgeting, personnel and volunteer Board oversight.

  • Experience working with new technology and strategic communication platforms to advance the mission and goals of an organization or company.

  • Possessing the highest level of personal and professional integrity.

  • Strong work ethic and willingness to travel extensively, often for weekend and evening engagements.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionate commitment to the values and mission of the RGS/AWS and a demonstrated conservation ethic.

  • Personal creativity and strategic vision, coupled with an ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas – a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity.

  • Ability to inspire trust, lead and facilitate with strong interpersonal skills and move from ideas to action.

  • A team builder and an individual committed to collaboration - a superb professional and personal presence.

  • Personable, articulate, and diplomatic.


Compensation for the President/CEO includes a competitive base salary, and a package of health and employee benefits.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to RGS/AWS/CEO in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society is an equal opportunity employer
and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.

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