Executive Director Overton Park Conservancy

Adams Keegan, Inc.
Job Description

Overton Park is a beloved, historic, 342-acre park in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. It is home to the Memphis Zoo, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Overton Park Shell, and the Overton Park 9 golf course, and will soon be the location of the Metal Museum. In addition to the above institutions, the park boasts several amenities, including a 126-acre old growth forest with several miles of walking trails.


Established in 2011, Overton Park Conservancy is contracted by the City of Memphis to manage all of the free and open park land within Overton Park. The Conservancy’s vision is to foster a beautiful, safe, and welcoming park that draws our diverse community together. After raising funds and executing several park improvement projects in its first ten years of operation, the Conservancy turned its attention to developing a comprehensive plan to guide the next phase of the park’s improvement and growth.


To support this next phase of growth, the Conservancy seeks a visionary and people-centric leader to move the comprehensive plan from concept to capital campaign to construction, while continuing to build a strong, well-performing organization that delivers high-quality park experiences and programming to the people of Memphis.


Position Summary


The Executive Director (ED) brings the board, staff, community leaders, and partners who manage other institutions within the park’s boundaries together to carry out a shared vision for Overton Park. By nurturing a culture of inclusivity, the ED embraces and expands the park’s role as a community gathering place for our diverse population, and an important cultural asset for the region.


The ED serves as an energetic and visible leader who attracts collaborators, funders, and supporters of all kinds to the Conservancy’s mission. The ED elevates the Conservancy’s position with elected officials and the philanthropic community and generates support for and investment into the park.


The ED provides direction and resources to the Conservancy staff as they strive to meet, exceed, and contribute to best practices in urban park management, nature-based programming, research, conservation, and education.


The ED will ensure that the Overton Park Comprehensive Plan is funded and executed in accordance with the direction of the board, and in partnership with the City of Memphis.


Candidate Profile


The Conservancy board seeks a visionary leader who will inspire confidence and broad support for the park and the Conservancy’s work. This person will have a demonstrated ability to maintain stability in day-to-day operations while also advancing an ambitious comprehensive plan through to completion.


The ideal candidate will possess exceptional communication skills that allow them to articulate a vision, achieve alignment, and inspire support. They will have demonstrated the ability to expand connections across diverse groups of stakeholders, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, visitors, collaborators, and elected officials.


The Conservancy seeks a leader with a proven track record in securing support from foundations, corporations, and individual donors; someone who communicates passionately and persuasively when inviting prospective supporters to join in the organization’s work. Experience leading a capital campaign is a plus.


Experience managing a public place or facility is essential, preferably in an urban setting. The candidate should have a working knowledge of concepts related to operations, maintenance, and project management.


The ideal candidate must have experience in hiring, cultivating, evaluating, and coaching a high-performing team of professional, passionate, mission-driven staff members. Organizational leadership skills related to administration, finance, and business management are expected. Experience in nonprofit management and governance is preferred. 

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