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Vice President for Site Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: New York City metropolitan area
  • Client: Institution - Cultural
  • Search ID: 18-0207-08

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Vice President for Site Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer. 

Position Overview 

The NYBG seeks an exceptional individual with executive operational experience, excellent communication skills, and an empowering leadership style to join the senior management team as Vice President for Site Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer.
 
Reporting to the Director of the Garden, provides strategic and operational leadership of all aspects of facilities operations in five major areas: Security, Operations (Maintenance and Custodial), Engineering, Governmental Compliance, and Sustainability and ensures a clean, safe, and environmentally healthy atmosphere for visitors and staff in support of the NYBG mission.  
 
The Garden is a 250-acre facility with 33 buildings and over 40 structures located in the Bronx, NY.  The site is open 24/7 and requires oversight in the safety, surveillance, and security of building and site operations. The position will oversee 17 managers and over 100 unionized staff.
 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Vice President for Site Operations will have primary responsibility for:

  • Proper maintenance and operation of the Garden's physical plant and grounds.
  • Cleanliness and safety of all facilities.
  • Compliance with all local, state, and federal laws related to the physical plant; monitoring and updating policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • Planning and executing emergency services due to severe weather and / or other incidents affecting the regular operation of the Garden.
  • Providing operational support for visitor program activities.
  • Proper administration of a large and complex department, comprising Security, Operations (Maintenance and Custodial), Engineering, Governmental Compliance, and Sustainability.
  • Maintaining a strong focus on customer service and commitment to quality.
  • Ensuring that all departmental standards are met and that Site Operations advances the NYBG’s mission and developing new standards and practices as appropriate.
  • Fostering effective communication and collaboration within Site Operations departments.
  • Managing construction and infrastructure projects under $100,000.
  • Participating in disciplinary hearings, arbitrations, and union contract negotiations, as needed.
  • Serving as an internal advocate who supports high-quality, innovative programs to attract, develop, motivate, and retain a diverse workforce and to ensure all department professionals can perform at maximum potential.
  • Collaborating with union leadership to ensure that unionized personnel have access to appropriate training and development opportunities to advance their careers and to contribute optimally to the success of Site Operations.

As Chief Sustainability Officer, this individual will have primary responsibility for:

  • Providing oversight and accountability for all of the Garden's sustainability initiatives.
  • Monitoring and evaluating effectiveness of the current sustainability program, and continually seeking ways to reduce energy consumption and enhance sustainability initiatives.
  • Managing energy conservation; reducing the Garden's carbon footprint; and acting as liaison to the New York City Department of Energy Management.
  • Identifying educational, training, or other development opportunities for sustainability employees or volunteers.
  • Supporting and advancing the Garden’s goal to be an industry-leading organization in sustainability.

As an integral member of NYBG’s senior management team, this individual will have primary responsibility for:

  • Developing and enforcing departmental rules and regulations, and supporting and enforcing institutional policies and procedures among managers and staff in all areas of oversight.
  • Enforcing various policies with the Garden staff generally (e.g. parking rules).
  • Interfacing with senior leadership on all institutional projects and issues, including environmental health and safety, risk management, construction projects, sustainability, exhibitions, and special events.
  • Providing professional development for staff in all areas of oversight.
  • Providing advice and counsel to NYBG leadership on all matters related to facilities operations.
  • Managing departmental budgets.
  • Working with Finance and General Counsel to prepare and award contracts to outside vendors.
  • Representing NYBG in legal matters as appropriate.
  • Representing the Garden for deposition and insurance claims and acting as the liaison to the Department of Energy Conservation, Fire Department of New York (FDNY), New York Police Department (NYPD) and the NYBG Capital Projects Division.
  • Maintaining and enhancing productive relationships across the organization and with the community in matters related to facilities.

About The New York Botanical Garden

NYBG is an iconic living museum. An oasis in this busy metropolis since its founding in 1891, the Garden is a dynamic, leading New York City cultural institution with an annual operating budget of over $80M. A National Historic Landmark, the 250-acre site’s verdant landscape supports over 1,000,000 living plants in extensive collections. More than 1,000,000 annual visitors enjoy the Garden, not only for its remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora, but also for programming that ranges from renowned exhibitions in the Enid A.  Haupt Conservatory and LuEsther T. Mertz Library to celebrations on Daffodil Hill. 

The Garden is also a major educational institution. More than 300,000 people annually—among them Bronx families, schoolchildren, and teachers—learn about plant science, ecology, and healthful eating through NYBG’s hands-on, curriculum-based programming. 

In addition, NYBG operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs, with nearly 100 Ph.D. scientists—working in the Garden’s state-of- the-art molecular labs as well as in the field, where they lead programs in 49 countries.

More information on NYBG can be found at: https://www.nybg.org/.

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree and certifications preferred.
  • Eight (8) to ten (10) years of managerial experience with a large staff in a similar, campus-type environment or an acceptable equivalent.
  • Experience in governmental compliance for all New York City, State, and Federal Regulations.
  • Excellent leadership, administrative, and supervisory skills and experience.
  • Effective communicator with excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Deep understanding of engineering functions for Chiller and Boiler plants and the distribution of medium voltage electrical system, water supply, CSO and natural gas systems for a large campus infrastructure, and local distribution and metering.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative environment and build / establish credibility with all; equally able to connect with those in the boiler room and the boardroom.
  • Commitment to excellence and to being part of an evolving, energetic, and forward-thinking organization. 
  • Experience and knowledge of implementing environmentally sustainable solutions.
  • Strong client service orientation and understanding of both the service and stewardship missions of a facilities organization.
  • Strong financial acumen, budgeting, and decision-making skills.
  • ​Understanding of the technical aspects of facilities management and the ability to implement technology enhancements.
  • On-call availability 24/7.

Search Consultant: Lee Grandovic

The New York Botanical Garden is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The Garden does not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin and veteran or disability status.  Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
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