Executive Search


The Preservation Trust was established in 1975 for the purpose of preserving the landmarks of Martha’s Vineyard and serving the island’s community.  The Trust has a membership of more than 3,000 supporters and owns 25 landmarks which are extensively used by the public.  Our diverse historic properties include performing arts facilities, commercial buildings, a working farm, a house museum, wedding and reception venues, retail establishments and the nation’s oldest carousel.  All of these properties and their associated businesses are directly managed by the Trust.

In addition to operating the properties with a goal to make them financially productive, the Trust has a robust schedule of annual special events that raise our profile on and off the island and contribute to the support of the organization.  Our signature event, A Taste of the Vineyard is perennially voted by the public as the “Best of the Vineyard” and is now in its 32nd year.

The Trust has established a succession plan to engage dynamic new leadership for the organization.  We are transitioning from a proven leader who has achieved exemplary results during his 25-year tenure and will soon retire.  (Please see recent article in the MV Times) Our goal is to have a new Executive Director in place by January 1, 2017.

The Executive Director will be the Chief Executive Officer of the Trust and its affiliated corporations.  The Director will lead all day to day operations of the organization, providing motivating leadership to the Trust’s experienced and dedicated staff, supporting each in their areas of expertise.  He/she will gain a thorough knowledge of the Trust’s properties and their histories and nurture working relationships with the communities which use and support our landmarks.  He/she will also possess the excellent personal skills necessary to communicate effectively with local officials, peers in other island non-profit organizations, Trust supporters and our Board of Trustees.  The ability to serve as a spokesperson for the Trust, oversee the organization’s finances and lead periodic capital fundraising initiatives is essential.

Specifically, the Executive Director will assume the following responsibilities:

Development and Administration:
• Supervise the day to day operations of the Preservation Trust
• Provide leadership in developing program, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Trustees and the staff, and carry out our initiatives and policies as authorized by the Board
• Assure that the organization has a sound long-term strategic plan to achieve its mission with quantifiable benchmarks
• Oversee annual membership campaigns and periodic capital campaigns
• Maintain the Corporation’s official records and documents and ensure compliance with government regulations and the best practices for non-profit organizations
• Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in historic preservation and the non-profit field

Internal Communications:
• At the regular meetings of the Board of Trustees and as necessary at other times, keep the Board informed with respect to all matters relevant to the operational and financial status of the organization
• Provide innovative and visionary leadership to the Trust’s professional staff in matters within their specific areas of responsibility and foster a team approach to furthering the Trust’s mission
• Recruit, employ and train personnel as necessary to meet the needs of the organization’s operations
• Motivate the Board and the staff to achieve excellence in the daily and long-term activities of the Trust
• Employ sound human relations practices and encourage staff development

External Communications:
• Serve effectively as the Trust’s spokesperson at all public and private events and represent the organization before boards, commissions, associations and other groups
• Communicate with the Trust’s members regularly, providing print and electronic information regarding the organization’s activities and achievements
• Maintain personal contact with participants in the Trust’s Giving Societies, fostering loyalty and their continuing commitment to the organization’s support
• In cooperation with the Board of Trustees, provide leadership and administrative support to campaign initiatives which are undertaken to fund special projects and acquisitions

Budget and Finance:
• Maintain the Trust’s sound financial practices and develop policies as necessary to enhance the financial stability of the organization
• Develop attainable and sustainable annual budgets, in consultation with the staff and Board
• Ensure that adequate funds are available at all times to enable the Trust to carry out its work and meet its obligations

Executive Director Candidates will possess the following qualifications and characteristics:
• An advanced degree in a relevant field
• Experience in management of historic properties for public use
• Demonstrated achievement in leading and growing a non-profit organization
• A successful track record of annual and capital campaign fundraising
• Quantifiable business management skills
• A passionate motivator who inspires confidence and loyalty in the Board, staff and the public
• A deep commitment to the Martha’s Vineyard community and an understanding and appreciation for island life.  Full-time residency on the Vineyard will be required.

To be considered, applicants should submit a letter of interest and current curriculum vitae to: Search@MVPreservation.org

The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust offers a comprehensive and competitive salary and benefit package, which will be commensurate with the selected applicant’s experience.

All inquiries will be strictly confidential.

The Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer


July 28, 2016
The Search Committee has been meeting weekly to review candidate applications. We are identifying applicants whose experience and qualifications most closely meet the needs of the Preservation Trust and we will continue to receive applications for the next several weeks.

August 31, 2016
The Search Committee has continued to screen applications and several candidates for the position of Executive Director have been interviewed.  It is anticipated that the period for applications will be closed in early September.

October 5, 2016
The Search Committee has closed the application process at this time.  Finalists for the position of Executive Director whose qualifications and experience most closely meet the Trust’s needed have been identified and a selection will be announced shortly.