July 19, 2021 – Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates has been enlisted by the Catalina Island Conservancy to help find the organization’s next chief financial officer. The non-profit helps to protect and restore the natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California, and to make them available for public recreation, education, and enjoyment. The Catalina Island Conservancy seeks a results-oriented CFO to ensure the highest standards of fiscal management are met throughout its finance and accounting operations, said Shelli Herman and Associates. The CFO will work with the president/chief executive officer, board of directors and executive management team to grow and stabilize the revenue stream to the conservancy to ensure its financial sustainability and to exercise the fiduciary responsibility of the leadership team.
The individual will be directly involved in all philanthropic endeavors of the conservancy, working with the president/ CEO, board and chief development officer on financial case development, presentations to foundation boards and high net worth donors, and the development of potential business partners.
“The CFO will be responsible for planning, directing, monitoring and coordinating the financial, accounting, budget, audit and information technology activities of the conservancy in accordance with sound business practices, generally accepted accounting principles, federal/state/county regulations, and conservancy policies and guidelines,” said Shelli Herman and Associates. “They will ensure that the conservancy’s resources and assets are maximized, as well as ensure effective and timely communication and IT resiliency throughout the organization.”
Under the direction of the CEO and working closely with executive management team colleagues, the CFO is responsible for the direct oversight and management of the conservancy’s fiscal operations (inclusive of budget planning, monitoring, analysis, reporting, forecasting, and investment planning). He or she will be expected to support the accounting staff, develop financial reporting, and analyze cashflow as well as oversee the payroll process.
Working with board leadership, the CFO will guide the stable growth of the endowments and bank accounts, said the search firm. This leader will also be charged with developing and overseeing effective administrative support, processes, and services in the areas of financial planning and analysis, accounting, reporting, investment management and information systems to maximize productivity and inter-staff effectiveness. The CFO will direct and coordinate the work of staff and contractors involved in various finance and business development functions.
The CFO will be based primarily in the conservancy’s Long Beach, CA offices. Regular travel to Catalina Island will be required, with occasional overnight stays.
“As the fiscal manager of the conservancy and an organizational leader, the CFO must possess and project the utmost integrity and highest standards of professional conduct and must be an individual distinguished by accomplishment and experience to exercise the leadership of a qualified, collegial and motivated professional community,” said Shelli Herman and Associates.
The successful candidate will have at least five years of experience in relevant strategic positions of increasing responsibility, having led finance, accounting, and reporting functions. The conservancy encourages consideration of executives who are passionate about the organization’s mission. Non-profit experience is highly desirable, as is experience as a lead finance executive. Also critical is the ability to act as a strategic partner and advisor to the president/ CEO and board of directors, working in concert with an already strong and dedicated executive management team to develop both short-and long-term goals and revenue generating initiatives for the organization.
The Catalina Island Conservancy expects candidates to have professional expertise in the areas of finance, accounting and controls, bank relations/bank debt negotiations, financial reporting, and other related functions. The CFO will be most successful if an inherent connection to the mission of the organization is present.
The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree (especially an MBA) is preferred.
A Responsible Steward
Founded in 1972, the mission of the Catalina Island Conservancy is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education, and recreation. Through its ongoing efforts, the conservancy stewards approximately 42,000 acres of land, 50 miles of rugged shoreline, an airport, and more than 200 miles of roads. Twenty miles from the mainland, the Island is a treasure trove of historical and archeological sites, and numerous rare and endangered animals and plants. In 2020, the non-profit’s total revenues were $19.4 million, including investment revenue of $8 million and operating revenue of $11.4 million. For 2021, budgeted total operating revenue is $10.4 million and total operating expenses are $10.1 million. Both reflect lower than unusual activity due to anticipated ongoing impact related to the pandemic.
Shelli Herman and Associates has a long roster of clients, including Otis College of Art and Design, Catalina Island Conservancy, the Annenberg Foundation, Pacific Northwest College of Art, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and University of California, Los Angeles.
Ms. Herman, who has 20 years of executive recruitment experience, has a strong record of leading searches and building upper management teams for a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies. She has completed senior-level assignments in many industries, including consumer products, healthcare, high technology, and finance, as well as for non-profit and cultural organizations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media