Fayetteville, NC

Chief Executive Officer, Cape Fear Botanical Garden

The Organization

The Opportunity | Cape Fear Botanical Garden 

Founded in 1989, Cape Fear Botanical Garden is a natural beauty situated on an impressive 80 acres nestled between the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek just two miles from downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Botanical Garden offers cultural events to inspire and excite, educational services to energize, and peaceful spots to refresh. Visitors of all ages are welcome.

Flourishing with beautiful specialty gardens and blooming ornamental plants, Cape Fear Botanical Garden’s highlights include Camellia, Daylily and Shade Gardens, Butterfly Stroll and Children’s Garden, and the Heritage Garden featuring 1886 agricultural structures and a homestead.

Host to any special occasion, the lovely and world class Wyatt Visitors Pavilion Complex is the perfect complement to the Garden and the venue for weddings, business and military functions, workshops and more. Visitors can stroll along the scenic river trail with water views, take in a guided tour, relax on the patio overlooking the Cypress Pond, and take home the perfect gift from the destination Gift Shop.

The Community | Fayetteville, NC 

Fayetteville, North Carolina is a thriving community of more than 200,000 residents. It has been named an “All American City” multiple times by the National Civic League. Centrally located between the state’s mountains and coastline, one can also travel easily to many nearby cities to include Raleigh, the state’s capital, (65 miles north) and the coastal city of Wilmington (90 miles southeast).

Ranked as one of the best retail markets in the country, the community offers fantastic places for shopping, dining, entertainment, and quality healthcare. In addition, Fayetteville has a revitalized downtown that includes cobblestone walkways, museums, restaurants, local shops and a newly constructed $40M baseball stadium that is home to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, an Astros affiliate minor league team. In addition to Cape Fear Botanical Garden, there is a thriving arts community with an active symphony orchestra and regional theatre that have been in operation for more than 60 years.

The city is home to three colleges and universities. Fayetteville State University, a historically black university (HBCU) and a part of the University of North Carolina System, offers over 60 programs of study at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels. Methodist University is a private university that offers bachelor’s degrees in over 80 fields of study and six graduate degrees. Fayetteville Technical Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, offers over 250 programs of study leading to the award of associate degree, certificate or diploma. There are also many options for K – 12 education to include a fully accredited public school system of 89 schools that has a diverse student population representing more than 75 different countries. There are also numerous secular and non-secular private school options.

With a low unemployment rate, the largest military base in the world, and a growing defense industry, multiple companies are moving to the area and creating jobs for residents. Fayetteville also offers a reasonable cost of living for its residents and is 20% lower than that of the national average.

Position Overview

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to the Board of Directors and, in close partnership with a knowledgeable and dedicated staff, oversees the fulfillment of the Garden’s mission through increased earned and philanthropic revenue; management of operations and programs; implementation of the strategic plan; and cultivation of the Garden’s relationship with the community. The CEO will ensure that the Garden is fiscally and administratively sound, that its programs are effective and well-managed, and that the Garden continues to inspire and engage the public. The CEO will possess the qualities to earn the respect of the staff, board, community, donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders, and will be an enthusiastic and knowledgeable participant with other local educational and cultural entities.

Management and Administration:

  • Oversees all programs, projects, and the landsite to ensure that objectives are met.
  • Supports an inclusive strategic planning process and ensures planning decisions are used in setting the annual program and project goals.
  • Sets annual goals and objectives and develops projections of needs and funding.
  • Works with the Board of Directors to develop policies, guidelines, and priorities to support the effective management of the Garden.

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Develops and sustains a diverse funding base with an emphasis on private giving, growing the membership base, and expanding the individual donor base.
  • Raises the visibility of the Garden through the development and implementation of a sustainable marketing campaign geared to its various stakeholders that will assist in growing visitation.
  • Increases and diversifies the Garden’s funding sources in preparation to achieve the goals of any current and future campaigns.
  • Serves as the chief spokesperson for the Garden and ensures appropriate representation to its multiple constituencies.

Fiscal Management

  • Assists in the development of annual, long-term, and special project budgets.
  • Approves expenditures and ensures proper fiscal record keeping and reporting.
  • Ensures effective audit trails.
  • Ensures compliance with funding sources, regulatory requirements, and contracts.
  • Engages with the board treasurer, finance committee, campaign committees, and director of finance in financial planning and diversification activities.

Personnel Management

  • Hires and supervises an effective management team, including use of legal hiring and termination procedures; disciplinary actions; annual performance evaluations and professional development opportunities; contractor management, etc.
  • Maintains a climate which attracts, maintains, and motivates top quality people, both professional staff and volunteers.
  • Administers Board-approved personnel policies.
  • Promotes an organizational culture of cooperation, open and frequent communication, trust, and teamwork.
  • Oversees an appropriate organizational structure and ensures that programmatic objectives are supported.
  • Encourages staff development.
  • Assists staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the Garden.

Board Relations

  • Promotes Board of Directors’ engagement in critical thinking, strategic planning, resource development and overall organizational wellness.
  • Serves as the primary staff person for the Board of Directors and the executive, governance, and any major fundraising committees.
  • Responsible for overseeing the staffing of all other Board committees in coordination with Board President.
  • With the Board President, develops meeting agendas and materials to ensure the opportunity for the board to effectively fulfill its governance responsibilities.
  • Keeps the Board and President fully informed, in a timely manner, on the condition of the Garden and all important factors.
  • Facilitates the orientation of new Board Members.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Successful major gift fundraising experience.
  • Proven leadership skills developed through three or more years in senior management positions.
  • Business experience in managing a complex budget.
  • Understanding of non-profit organizations and experience working with boards of directors and volunteers.
  • Excellent organizational, development, interpersonal, marketing, communications, analytical, administration and personnel management skills.
  • Is visionary, trustworthy, diplomatic, and innovative with a high energy level.
  • Excellent presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated experience fostering a healthy organizational culture; ability to inspire and motivate; demonstrated experience in conflict management.
  • Ability to build collaborative ventures with diverse constituents and partners.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • This position is classified as full-time, exempt and requires availability in the evenings and on weekends as needed to assist with Garden operations and events.


Cape Fear Botanical Garden has retained Capital Development Services to assist with professional recruitment.  Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references.  All material will be kept confidential.  Additional inquiries may be directed to Capital Development Services at searchservices@capdev.com.

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