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Ducks Unlimited
Chief Brand Officer

Explore Company PosterDucks Unlimited seeks to recruit an innovative individual to serve as Chief Brand Officer, based in Memphis Tennessee.

About Ducks Unlimited

Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) has conserved more than 14 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, DU has offices in Mississippi, California, North Dakota, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., with sister organizations in Canada and Mexico. Ducks Unlimited is built on the passion of its volunteers, members, and staff who collectively demonstrate a powerful commitment to the vision of “wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Over 80 years, DU’s mission of waterfowl habitat conservation has resulted in its working across the continent to serve the habitats that make possible the abundance of wildlife. Waterfowl, upland birds, and other species of wildlife are not the only beneficiaries of DU’s habitat work. Wetlands also provide vital ecological benefits for people. Wetlands improve the overall health of our environment by recharging and purifying groundwater, moderating floods, and reducing soil erosion. Wetlands are North America’s most productive ecosystems, providing critical habitat to more than 900 wildlife species, clean water for our communities, and invaluable recreational opportunities for all people to enjoy, but just in the last 50 years, our nation has lost more than 17 million acres of wetlands.

In addition to a robust and dynamic national grassroots membership, Ducks Unlimited has a subsidiary board called Wetlands American Trust (WAT). The goal of WAT is to provide specialized financial and philanthropic support to Ducks Unlimited. It has been that way since WAT was created more than 25 years ago. WAT is comprised of Fortune 50 business leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and volunteer leaders from DU’s national Board, DU Canada’s Board and DU de Mexico. WAT’s primary role is the fiduciary responsibility for DU's endowment and land holdings. WAT is also one of the nation's largest accredited land trusts, holding conservation easements on more than 400,000 acres.

Ducks Unlimited is anchored by its volunteer-led grassroots fundraising system. DU’s fundraising events are an integral part of its culture and play a large role in positioning DU as a lifestyle brand. Each year, more than 55,000 volunteers host nearly 4,000 fundraising events for DU. These events raise vital dollars for conservation and are a key tool for engaging a majority of DU’s members, volunteers, and major donors. DU has approximately 500 employees across the country and an annual operating budget of more than $220 million. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Ducks Unlimited has offices in Mississippi, California, North Dakota, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., with sister organizations in Canada and Mexico. Last year, DU conserved approximately 275,000 acres of land in the United States.

For more information on Ducks Unlimited, please visit their website: www.ducks.org.

About the Position

The CBO is a strategic member of DU’s senior leadership team and will lead a dedicated team who develop and execute DU’s comprehensive communications and marketing activities. This role is based in DU’s National Headquarters in Memphis, TN.

The CBO will work across all DU departments, engage key Board members and partners, and maintain relationships with a broad spectrum of external stakeholders. The CBO will continue to develop the capacity of the communications and marketing team to employ strategies and tactics to maintain and enhance DU’s brand and reputational value. As a critical member of DU’s senior team, the CBO will partner with DU senior leadership team to identify and address external communications opportunities.

The CBO is responsible for the timely and thoughtful execution of DU’s internal and external branding and communications activities. The CBO is a person who proactively anticipates trends and movements in the market and who will create new tools and tactics to continue to enhance DU’s conservation leadership. The CBO oversees a professional staff of 25 and a communications and marketing budget of approximately $10.2 million.

The strategic goals for the CBO, include:

  • Continue to develop messages and information resources to motivate and engage DU’s volunteer and members and support communication and marketing plans that support and grow the base and reaches out to a new constituency of support.

  • Develop brand, and communication strategies to anticipate new trends in the market and to support the implementation of DU’s priority strategic pillars, including expansion of work on ecosystem services, water, and leveraging the Wetlands America Trust brand.

  • Collaborate with DU’s Senior Leadership Team and volunteers to develop a comprehensive professional development program that will focus on and enhance the leadership capabilities of the communications and marketing team.

  • In collaboration with DU’s Development, Corporate Relations and Membership Program, increase DU’s new membership, contributed support, and public/private partnerships.

  • Oversee the execution of the brand, communications, and marketing programs in a creative and forward reaching manner. Oversee planning, management, and coordination for all DU communications platforms including magazines, media relations, social media, and creative services.

  • Develop and utilize branding, communications and marketing strategies that capture productive and revenue enhancing opportunities necessary for achieving DU’s mission.

  • Develop internal communications strategies, programs and processes that will provide a high level of employee communication and education, foster employee engagement and drive a positive corporate culture.

  • Develop and utilize market segmentation tools, benchmark research on brand penetration, strategic data acquisition, and information resources to enhance and expand DU messaging and outreach efforts; to capture private sector investment and partnerships; and to support sustainable communications and marketing programs.

In less than a decade, social media has developed into a powerful communications platform for DU with more than 2 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media channels have allowed DU to increase brand awareness and brand affinity, especially among younger supporters. Forty percent (40%) of DU’s Facebook fans are under age 25. Ducks Unlimited TV public service announcement program has helped increase awareness of DU’s brand and mission. DU PSAs have aired more than 37,000 times on 96 stations and networks, generating 500 million audience impressions and more than $16 million in donated media value. These PSAs are produced by DU’s video department and distribution nationally to 800 stations and networks by Connect360 Multimedia. DU TV is America’s longest running waterfowling and conservation show. DU TV enjoys sponsorship support from Drake, Ram, Purina Pro Plan, Mossy Oak, First National Bank, and others. The show is produced by MOOSE Media in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited. DU Films is an online short film series that explores the lives and stories of waterfowl hunters and conservationists across the country. Produced in partnership with Rock Road Creative and airing exclusively on the Ducks Unlimited website, DU Films is available in high-quality video format to anyone with internet access. Ducks Unlimited magazine has been DU’s flagship publication since 1963 and details DU’s efforts to restore wildlife habitat across North America as well as the recreational value of these environments.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The ideal professional qualifications and personal attributes the CBO ought to possess are the following:

Professional Experience:

  • Demonstrated business leadership of 15 or more years, with a proven record of success and experience managing a dedicated team of professional within a complex business structure.

  • Demonstrated integrity and leadership in working with and managing budgets, financial forecasting, performance measurement metrics.

  • Demonstrated experience building and mentoring a team of professional staff and creating opportunities for professional growth and leadership within an enterprise.

  • Proven leadership skills in financial analysis and an ability to translate data into strategic tools to enhance the brand value of the enterprise.

  • Experience and knowledge of marketing and business development strategies.

  • Experience working to maintain the brand value of a company, including crisis communication or other tactics required to mitigate reputational risks.

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Marketing, Communications or Business.

Personal Attributes:

  • A commitment to DU’s mission and a demonstrated passion for wildlife and habitat conservation. In addition, the ideal candidate should have an appreciation for or be a participant in the waterfowling heritage.

  • A management style that is goal oriented, but flexible; that respects the capabilities and independence of volunteers and staff alike and provides them with a clear sense of direction.

  • Commitment to results; 'can-do" mindset; outstanding problem-solving ability.

  • Collegial, trustworthy, and possessing the highest level of personal and professional integrity.

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills, including effective presentation and negotiation skills.

  • Engaging and inspiring interpersonal presence necessary to gain credibility and respect from a broad audience.

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


Compensation for the Chief Brand Officer includes a competitive salary, and an excellent package of health and other employee benefits.

How to apply

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


It is the policy of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. to afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 or over), disability (physical, mental or visual), genetic information, marital status (including registered domestic partnership status), military and veteran status, immigration status, or any other category protected by federal, state or local laws.


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