ThinkingAhead Seeking New Leader for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

June 27, 2017 – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has chosen ThinkingAhead Executive Search to lead its hunt for a president. Recruiters Chris Spagnola and Jessica Martinez are leading the assignment.

Reporting to a 15-member board of directors, the president of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is charged with providing strategic leadership and vision to 60 professional staff, ensuring that ATC’s fiscal, operations, fundraising, marketing, human resource, technology, and programmatic strategies are effectively implemented across all segments of the organization.

The incumbent is expected to provide visionary leadership and foresight, in order to broaden the influence of the ATC, capitalize on opportunities and identify challenges and the resources to meet those challenges. Collaborating with board, staff and volunteers, the president represents ATC through interaction with a wide range of entities.


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The Opportunity

The group is looking for a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader to work in collaboration with Appalachian Trail stakeholders, conservancy board members and staff, volunteers, partner organizations and agencies, to preserve a nationally and internationally renowned American jewel.

The trail, an integral part of the U.S., is poised to take the lead on many of the challenges that the future holds for our National Parks and National Trail Systems. Through leadership, forethought and commitment to the work of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the incoming president will be responsible for carrying on the organization’s vision to connect the human spirit with nature – preserving the Appalachian Trail as a haven for all to enjoy.

Desired Background

The successful candidate is required to have at least 10 years of executive or senior level experience in non-profit organizational management (preferably in the field of nature preservation, conservation, environmental or related organizations). The individual must have experience in developing and implementing strategic plans and initiatives, and identifying and prioritizing short- and long-term organizational goals, needs and resources. Compensation includes a competitive base salary commensurate with experience and an excellent package of employee benefits.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail, ensuring that its natural beauty and cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed for centuries to come. It is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting and promoting the hiking trail, providing outdoor recreation and educational opportunities for trail visitors. Founded in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a $9.6 million, 501c(3) organization, headquartered in Harpers Ferry, WV.


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The Recruiters

Headquartered in Nashville, ThinkingAhead recruits candidates for a global list of client companies, ranging in size from the INC 500 to Fortune 100. It specializes in the following specialties: Commercial banking and commercial finance, energy, healthcare IT, informatics & analytics, information technology & gaming, non-profit, pharmaceutical and medical device, building products, and mechanical and architectural construction. ThinkingAhead was recently tapped by the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee to lead in its search for a new president and CEO.

Ms. Spagnola recruits non-profit professionals nationwide, specializing in attracting top-caliber executive leadership and development talent for her clients. Prior to joining the ThinkingAhead non-profit practice in 2011, she spent 12 years recruiting in-house for ThinkingAhead and its sister company, Great American Opportunities, Inc.

Ms. Martinez is a senior recruiter in the non-profit practice. A 12-year veteran of the corporation, she specializes in attracting top-caliber executive leadership and development talent for clients all across the country.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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