Organization: The Miami Conservancy District
Miami Conservancy District
The Miami Conservancy District (“MCD”) is a political subdivision of the State of Ohio organized in 1915 to develop and implement a plan to reduce the effects of flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses. The MCD’s mission statement reads: “Protecting lives, property and economic vitality within the Great Miami River Watershed through an integrated and balanced system that provides unfailing flood protection, preserves water resources, and promotes enjoyment of our waterways.” The MCD is a respected and valued leader, employer, provider and partner in flood reduction, water stewardship and recreation. The MCD is organized pursuant to Chapter 6101 of the Ohio Revised Code.
The MCD is one of the largest and among the oldest conservancy districts in the State of Ohio and covers all or portions of 9 counties in the southwest portion of Ohio. MCD is divided into a Main District (flood protection) and two subdistricts – the Aquifer Preservation Subdistrict (groundwater) and the River Corridor Improvement
Subdistrict (river fun).
• Main District is responsible for an integrated flood protection system that significantly reduces flood risk from the Great Miami River in cities from Piqua to Hamilton. MCD developed and built the system of five dry dams, along with 55 miles of levee; and preserved thousands of acres of floodplain.
• Aquifer Preservation Subdistrict supports stewardship of the region’s water resources, protecting and improving the quantity and quality of water for people living and working within the Great Miami River Watershed. MCD’s non-regulatory role focuses on technical data, analysis, and expertise. MCD collaborates with elected officials and community leaders, providing them with valued insight to support the region’s overall health, vitality, and growth.
• River Corridor Improvement Subdistrict was created to enhance public use and enjoyment of river corridors utilizing improvements, amenities, and activities within and along the river corridors. More than 40 years ago, MCD built the first 8-mile bike trail loop in downtown Dayton – a trail segment that has become the backbone of the largest paved trail network in the country, with 340 miles. And the region boasts more than 290 miles of rivers and streams to fish and paddle.
For 2020, MCD anticipates operating revenues of $10.6MM generated primarily from assessments of property owners and jurisdictions that benefit from MCD’s services. The organization receives additional funding from grants, intergovernmental agreements, fees, and other sources.
The organization is administered by a three-member Board of Directors, which meets quarterly, and the General Manager reports directly to the Board. All meetings of the Board of Directors must be conducted in full compliance with the Ohio Sunshine Law. In addition, the organization has a three-member Board of Appraisers which meets as needed. The powers of the Board of Directors and Board of Appraisers are set forth in the Ohio Revised Code.
The MCD’s political jurisdiction includes all or portions of the following 9 counties in southwestern Ohio: Butler, Clark, Greene, Hamilton, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, and Warren. The Ohio Revised Code provides that the Conservancy Court, comprised of 9 Common Pleas Court judges from counties in the Conservancy District, shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred by the Conservancy Act.
Members of the MCD Board of Directors and Board of Appraisers are appointed by the judges of the Conservancy Court to oversee the operations of the District. The current GM, Janet Bly, joined MCD in 1994 and has served as General Manager since 2002. She has announced her plan to retire once a new GM is appointed. As a result, the Board of Directors has launched a national executive search to identify her successor.
More information can be found on MCD’s website: www.mcdwater.org
The General Manager’s office is based in the organization’s administrative offices at 38 E. Monument Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45402; telephone 937.223.1271.
Reporting to the 3-member appointed MCD Board of Directors, the General Manager directly supervises: Chief Engineer, Chief of Technical & Engineering Services, Great Miami Riverway Director, Manager-Administration, Manager-Watershed Partnership, Office Manager, Public Relations Manager, Treasurer and Water Monitoring & Analysis Manager. The MCD total staff includes approximately 50 full-time employees and 10 to 15 seasonal employees.
Other important relationships include local, regional, and state government officials including the Conservancy Court, staff of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and other state agencies; professional associations; vendors and suppliers; civic leaders; the education and business community; and the public at large.
Directly responsible to the Board of Directors in accordance with MCD bylaws, the General Manager serves as the chief executive officer of the Miami Conservancy District. This executive has oversight responsibility for the effective and efficient operation of the organization and providing inspirational staff leadership and professional development. The GM also has fiscal management responsibility in accordance with MCD’s mission and vision.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
• Work with the Board of Directors and staff to establish and implement long-range strategic planning initiatives.
• Recruit, manage, motivate, and develop staff to achieve success in accordance with the organization's mission, vision, guiding principles, and goals.
• Carry out strategies, objectives, plans, and policies as guided by the strategic plan.
• Present new and visionary opportunities to sustain and grow revenues.
• Work with the leadership team to establish and maintain budgets.
• Serve as the ambassador and spokesperson of MCD in the community and with the media.
• Plan and oversee capital projects in collaboration with engineering team.
• Oversee the effective and efficient day to day operations of the organization.
• Oversee the preparation and execution of Board of Directors’ meetings and Conservancy Court meetings. Develop clear and concise reports and recommendations for Board and Court consideration.
• Approve and implement policies, agreements, grant applications, etc.
• Address regulatory and legal matters in consultation with legal counsel.
• Lead legislative advocacy efforts.
• Develop and maintain relationships with local, state, and federal government officials, and community leaders.
• Represent MCD by serving in leadership roles with local, regional, state-wide, and national agencies and professional associations.
• Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.
This position requires regular but planned travel throughout the Conservancy District to connect with MCD staff and other constituents. The General Manager will also make periodic trips to Ohio’s capital city of Columbus, and on occasion to Washington DC, to meet with public officials.
The General Manager is expected to earn an attractive compensation package; appropriate benefits and some relocation assistance will be provided.
A Bachelor’s degree is required, and an advanced degree is strongly preferred. Academic preparation in business, the natural sciences, environmental studies, and related fields is preferred.
The ideal candidate must have a proven track record of success and at least 10 years of related management experience. Specific management experience within the public sector, water quality, and/or flood control is preferred or a complex park and recreation agency or a conservation-focused organization. Preference is given to a person serving as the top executive of a comparably sized organization or equally complex smaller one.
Alternatively, this individual may have experience as a “number 2” or other senior-level executive at a larger like enterprise as noted above. Additionally, senior level executives from complex for-profit, education, nonprofit, public sector, or municipal organizations are encouraged to consider this role. The successful candidate must have the demonstrated ability to manage financial affairs of an organization, i.e., develop or enhance revenue sources; experience managing budgets of at least $5MM and controlling expenditures to preserve financial stability and growth.
Desired Skills, Experiences and Personal Traits:
• Leadership (a take charge individual; can manage, motivate, challenge and delegate to others).
• Executive presence (polished; self-confident; sets limits and boundaries).
• Strategic thinker/visionary (can see beyond daily operations toward broader strategic goals).
• Ethical (honest with good character and integrity; adheres to the highest ethical and moral standards).
• Board relationships (significant involvement with governance and Board of Director interactions).
• Human relations skills (relates well to people; builds constructive and effective relationships).
• Collaborative (demonstrates a willingness and ability to work with and through other individuals and organizations; diplomatic).
• Communication skills (excellent listener; outstanding written and oral communication abilities; strong presentation skills).
• Meets deadlines (pro-active; a self-starter; strong personal work ethic that provides timely results).
• Fiscal management (demonstrated ability to manage financial affairs of an organization, i.e., develop revenue sources and control expenditures to preserve financial stability).
• Problem solver (creative; effectively and efficiently synthesizes information and knowledge to identify a solution.)
• Decision making process (demonstrates good judgment and firmness in decision-making; carefully assesses facts of a situation and weighs alternatives but is decisive).
• Teamwork (recognizes that many parties are necessary to accomplish big things; speaks of “we” first, not “I”; relishes in sharing credit with others).
• Project management (effectively manages multiple tasks, projects, and priorities; good with details).
• Community/public relations (effectively interacts with the public, partner organizations, community groups, business leaders, elected officials and the media and can articulate MCD’s mission, goals, objectives, and policy positions).
• Organized (results oriented; sets clear priorities and meets established goals and objectives).
• Calm under pressure (adaptable, flexible, and able to adjust quickly to fluid and complex situations).
• Confidence/credibility (can earn and command the respect of Board, staff, government, and other regional leaders).
• Regional sensibility (has or is able to develop an appreciation for Southwestern Ohio regional culture).
Challenges and Opportunity
The projected first year accomplishments and projects for the new General Manager of the Miami Conservancy
• Establish presence as MCD’s General Manager and become completely familiar with all operating aspects of the organization including staff, flood mitigation efforts, water quality, recreation areas, finances, programs, Board members and committed volunteers.
• Form effective working relationships with key municipal, county, state and national government leaders, business owners and corporate executives, economic, community and tourism partner organizations, and other entities/individuals in the assessment district through varied communications and in-person gatherings and meetings, thereby developing strong and trusting relationships with key constituencies.
• Work with Board, staff and others on activities and strategic communication necessary to evaluate and then adjust the assessments levied on property owners and jurisdictions.
• Based on expected retirements of key organization leaders, work with them and other staff members to prepare for a smooth succession and transition process.
• Evaluate all aspects of the MCD internal operations to include finances and budgets, programs, events, written materials and publications, website, and forms of communication to the community.
The General Manager position of the Miami Conservancy District is an outstanding opportunity to lead a successful conservancy district in a changing regional community. The new General Manager will inherit an experienced and motivated staff who bring experience and enthusiasm to their roles. The MCD is on solid financial ground, based on maintenance assessments on property owners and political jurisdictions, but the identification of alternative revenue sources will continue to be important.
Dayton and Southwestern Ohio
The Dayton MSA has over 850,000 people and the City of Dayton is the 6th largest city in the State of Ohio. The 9 counties in Southwestern Ohio that make up MDC’s political jurisdiction have over 2.3MM people. The Dayton area has a history of innovation and invention and today the community continues to house significant industrial, aerospace, and technological/engineering research activity. Much of this innovation is due in part to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its place within the community.
With the decline of heavy manufacturing over the years, the regional economy has focused on services including financial services, legal, healthcare and government. Home to the University of Dayton as well as 13 other public and private colleges and universities, the region has over 45,000 college students. The region benefits from an outstanding quality of life with a variety of housing options, strong public and independent K-12 school choices, orchestra, ballet, opera, theatre, art museum and recreational and college and professional sports teams.
More information can be found on the following websites:
• Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.daytoncvb.com)
• Dayton Development Coalition (www.daytonregion.com)
• Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce (www.daytonchamber.org)
• Warren County, Ohio’s Largest Playground (www.ohioslargestplayground.com/)
We fully respect the need for confidentiality of information supplied by interested parties; however, prospective candidates should be aware that any applications or resumes submitted for this opportunity are subject to the Ohio Public Records Act and may be disclosed. Reference contacts will not be made until mutual interest has been established. The client organization we represent, and WAVERLY PARTNERS firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability.
Interested candidates should contact either consultant at WAVERLY PARTNERS, the executive search firm retained by the Miami Conservancy District on this search, or email:
Heidi G. Milosovic Eric N. Peterson
Managing Director & Principal Managing Director & Principal
WAVERLY PARTNERS WAVERLY PARTNERS
O: 440-355-6629; C: 216.387.0832 O: 440.892.5961; C: 440.463.0988