Executive Director, Friends of Keney Park

Job Locations US-CT-Windsor
Posted Date 4 months ago(8/22/2022 9:00 AM)
Job ID
# of Openings
Environment and Animal-Related
Executive Search
Location : Name
Friends of Keney Park


Friends of Keney Park (FOKP) is seeking a dynamic, hands-on, and consensus building leader as its inaugural Executive Director. The Executive Director will join a community-based organization supported by a passionate, committed, and resourceful board of directors with the opportunity to advance the work of the organization through programmatic development and collaborative partnerships.


Overview of the Organization


FOKP is an all-volunteer nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-based organization established in 1988 and is committed to the improvement, preservation, and development of Keney Park. FOKP’s mission is to preserve and improve Keney Park’s natural features; to encourage passive and active uses of the Park; to work for greater public and private support and to encourage community events and celebrations in the Park. Owned by the City of Hartford, Keney Park is slightly under 700 acres, making the Park one of the largest designed landscapes in the Unites States.


Keney Park offers a wide variety of recreational and athletic activities open to the general public including but not limited to: cricket, baseball, swimming, fishing, biking, running, etc. Most notably, FOKP has developed strong partnerships with park-based organizations like Ebony Horsewomen, Keney Park Sustainability Project, and the West Indian Cricket Leagues. For over 30 years, FOKP, in concert with its partners, has successfully advocated for more than $8 million dollars in federal, state, and local financial support. Recently, FOKP has been engaged by the City of Hartford to conduct more outdoor activities and special projects to meet the demand for outside health and wellness options due to COVID.  


The Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead a respected, community-centric, and critically important organization in the City of Hartford. Keney Park has evolved into an essential natural resource meeting a wide variety of outdoor activity needs for the community particularly in health and wellness. FOKP’s inaugural Executive Director will work collaboratively with a dedicated volunteer board of directors, several strategic partner organizations, community residents, and the City of Hartford to continue its core mission and expand the Park’s offerings in outdoor activities, programs, and services. Priorities for the Executive Director include:


Organizational Leadership

Work with the board of directors and stakeholders of FOKP to develop a long-term strategic plan and vision which aligns with the mission, vision, and values of FOKP to achieve the next evolution in the Park’s development  


Community Outreach & Partnership/Collaboration

Maintain relationships with current strategic partners while forging new relationships with prospective strategic partners. Ensure good communication and be a trusted partner with the City of Hartford and community residents


Fundraising & Resource Development

Explore and identify opportunities for growth in individual donations, grants, program/service fees, and sponsorships to usher in the next stage for Park development and securing long-term financial sustainability 


Program Development, Management, & Evaluation

Examine strategic options for expanding existing outdoor activity programs and developing new outdoor activity programming with partner organizations, community stakeholders, and the City of Hartford; oversee and manage all programs/services and evaluate existing programs/services to determine effectiveness and areas for improvement   


Profile of the Ideal Candidate


Ideal candidates will have a background/experience in parks/recreation, municipalities, operations management, contract administration, public safety, non-profit leadership/management, and knowledge of the City of Hartford community. While we acknowledge that candidates may not possess all of these attributes, those candidates who exemplify a majority of these attributes, skills, and experience will have the capability to be successful as the inaugural Executive Director of FOKP. This position is hybrid (on-site and virtual) and when on-site the Executive Director will work from the office of FOKP at Keney Park in the City of Hartford.


Hands-on Leader

A leader who is hands-on, wants to roll up their sleeves, and inspires, motivates, and appreciates getting the work done



A leader who is skilled at building coalitions and developing partnerships; is politically savvy and knows how to navigate the political, cultural, and funding environments


Organizational Leader

A leader with non-profit acumen in operations, management, financial, and governance; fundraising experience inclusive of donor relations, grant writing, and government contracting


Community-Focused Leader

Knowledge of the City of Hartford, its history and current day issues and opportunities facing the community; a leader with humility and the ability to build trust across a diverse group of stakeholders


Minimum Credentials


  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • 7 years of senior leadership experience
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Strong meeting facilitation skills
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Workspace for Nonprofits is essential.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with people from diverse racial, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Proven ability to effectively manage projects including meeting tight deadlines
  • Willingness to work in a hybrid work environment (on-site and virtual)
  • Ability to work flexible schedule, including some nights and weekends, and travel up to 15%

Additional Attributes


  • Passionate advocate for the mission: Strong connection to parks and recreation, the environment, and outdoor activities
  • Politically astute networker and collaborator: Experienced in understanding and connecting with various political and community stakeholders
  • Experience working with boards of directors: Adept at collaboratively working with a board of directors on organizational strategy
  • Effective operations manager: Proficient in park, grounds, or building maintenance and upkeep


Candidate Guidelines and Additional Information

Transition Consultant Dr. John D. Lloyd with TSNE Mission Works' has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials to this link.


Electronic submissions sent via this link are preferred.


Please include a resume and a cover letter that includes a description of how your qualifications and experience match FOKP’s needs. All submissions will be acknowledged. All inquiries and submissions are strictly confidential. Submissions of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled.


The selected candidate will undergo thorough reference checks as well as a criminal history background check. 


Total compensation includes a benefits package and a paid time off program.


Friends of Keney Park is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment of any kind. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. 



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