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J.W. Higgs House

Greenville, NC
30 Bromley Road
Pittsford, NY 14534
Phone: (503) 308-0500

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Victorian Revival Vintage Lighting

Mad Dog Primer

Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources     

Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources
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Executive Director, Preserve Rhode Island (Providence, RI)
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: Joe

Executive Director

About Preserve Rhode Island

Preserve Rhode Island (Preserve RI) is the only statewide nonprofit working to protect historic places through advocacy, stewardship, and preservation programs. From one end of the state to the other, historic buildings and unique places shape the distinct character of the cities and towns of Rhode Island. They connect us to a heritage that has evolved for centuries.

Preserve RI works with local groups on preservation challenges both large and small. For Preserve RI, preservation is not just about saving old buildings and public spaces, it is about protecting and activating historic places for the benefit of all Rhode Island.

Preserve RI’s properties are utilized in a variety of ways: Dexter House (1754) in Providence serves as headquarters and, Walker House (c.1724) in East Providence is an experiment with urban farming. Preserve Rhode Island’s 1865 Lippitt House Museum offers a variety of online and in person programs. A National Historic Landmark, Lippitt House has one of the best- preserved Victorian interiors in America, allowing visitors to step into

Providence’s Golden Age. Inspired by the Lippitt family's example of public service, programming activates a place where art, history and community converge.

As a historic preservation organization, Preserve RI supports initiatives such as Community Preservation Response, Preservation Easements, and The 1772 Foundation Historic Preservation Matching Grant program, as well as the implementation of special projects such as the Aquidneck Island Stone Wall Initiative and Preservation Revolving Fund activities.

Preserve RI makes a difference by:

- Finding productive uses for old buildings.

- Offering guidance and support to local groups defending threatened places.

- Advocating for legislation, including historic tax credits, that revitalizes historic buildings and strengthens our economy.

- Demonstrating best stewardship practices for historic buildings.

- Engaging the community through Lippitt House Museum to connect visitors to Rhode Island's diverse history.

- Employing preservation to make the environment, our diverse communities, and the economy better for people who live and work here, and for those who visit.

“Rhode Island’s historic places are essential contributors to the unique character of every city and town, while also playing an important role in increasing tourism, economic development, and affordable housing. Finding productive uses for old buildings is key to their preservation.”

-Valerie Talmage, Retiring Executive Director

For more information on Preserve Rhode Island please visit

The Opportunity

To plan for the transition of a highly successful, long-time leader, Preserve Rhode Island is seeking an Executive Director (ED) to build upon the strong foundation of work as it looks to the future. The ED will serve as the primary leader and strategist, external champion and community builder, and organizational leader for Preserve RI. Reporting to an engaged and active Board of Trustees, the ED will be an experienced leader who will advocate successfully and passionately on behalf of Preserve RI within the state of Rhode Island.

Overseeing a small and accomplished staff and an exceptionally dedicated group of Trustees, the ED will be responsible for Preserve RI’s mission, programs, administration, and financial objectives. As an engaging and genuine relationship-builder, the ED will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills as well as an ability to work collaboratively with different constituent groups around the state. As Preserve RI is well-regarded in the historic preservation sector, the ED will maintain an active presence in Rhode Island working collaboratively with key community groups, legislators, and leaders of other organizations in the community.

The ED will be seen as a thought-partner and leader in the historic preservation space and continue to build Preserve RI into a well-known brand within the state. This moment in Preserve RI’s storied history offers an exciting opportunity for a forward-looking thinker and planner to ensure the preservation and advocate on behalf of Rhode Island’s historic places.

Candidate Profile

The ED will be a dynamic and authentic leader with a proven track record of inspiring and motivating teams to achieve their best. Given the pivotal role that Preserve RI plays in the community, the ideal ED will bring experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas: historic preservation, architectural history, rehabilitation, and other related fields. More broadly, the next leader will understand how historic preservation can enrich and empower communities to create a lasting impact.

This is a unique opportunity to lead an organization at the forefront of preserving Rhode Island's rich heritage, and to shape the future of historic preservation in a way that benefits and engages the entire community.

While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Passion for Mission

The ED will bring a passionate appreciation and experience in historic preservation, coupled with a commitment to expanding expertise in Preserve RI's diverse initiatives. Leading a dynamic team of eight staff members, a dedicated Board of Trustees of 20, and a skilled Board Leadership Team of three, the ED will be a collaborative and transparent leader. The ED will foster a culture of collaboration, creativity, and continuous improvement to build upon its legacy in the historic preservation space. This role is an opportunity to lead an influential organization, driving impactful change and preserving the rich heritage of the community.

Strategic Leadership and Vision

In partnership with the dedicated staff and Board of Trustees, the ED will craft and articulate an inspiring vision for Preserve RI’s next chapter, setting bold strategic priorities that will elevate the work and amplify impact. The leader will drive initiatives from securing funding to ensuring mission alignment, propelling Preserve RI to new heights. Under the leader, Preserve RI will maintain its reputation as a trusted leader in historic preservation and will also rise as a go-to thought-partner in the sector. The ED will champion growth, sustainability, and program expansion, all while upholding fiscal responsibility. The ED will lead with a creative lens, ensuring Preserve RI’s legacy of excellence continues to evolve.

Fundraising and Revenue Generation

The ED will be an entrepreneurial fundraiser, dedicated to expanding Preserve RI’s fundraising footprint and uncovering new revenue streams. With energy and enthusiasm, the ED will embrace every aspect of the role, bringing a creative approach to revenue generation. The ED will understand nonprofit finance and various revenue streams including grants, individual philanthropic support, and earned income. The ED will collaborate closely with the Director of Development & Communications and Trustees to identify new fund development initiatives and revenue strategies to support Preserve RI’s strategic initiatives.

An External Brand Ambassador

As the public face of Preserve RI, the ED will passionately share its mission and vision with the greater Rhode Island community, boosting visibility and awareness. The ED will forge meaningful connections with a diverse array of community members, including state legislators, revitalizing existing partnerships and pioneering new ones.

Additionally, the ED will be responsible for collaborating with community partners on a policy advocacy strategy. This person will be energized by the opportunity to engage in impactful dialogue and collaboration with other mission-aligned organizations and individuals.

Management and Nonprofit Business Operations

The ED will bring experience in staff leadership, operational excellence, and financial management including special project and grants management, project pro forma budgeting, and revolving fund management. Leading Preserve RI, a dynamic and multifaceted organization with three historic properties including Lippitt House Museum, the ED will adeptly navigate the complexities of compliance and risk management. With an operating budget of $949,000 and total net assets of $11.9 million, the ED will maintain the organization’s robust financial health and operational efficiency, while driving forward mission and impact.

In addition, strong candidates will:

- Be an excellent communicator and listener, with the ability to foster an atmosphere of collaboration, partnership, and trust.

- Be culturally competent and dedicated to listening, learning, and amplifying the voices of all.

- Demonstrate success in building partnerships within a local community as well as with other organizations.

- Be solutions-focused and results-oriented with an ability to solve problems independently and as a team.

- Ensure program outcomes are achieving mission, vision, and intent and that a rigorous method of continuous improvement is active across all programs.

- Bring a high-level of emotional intelligence.

- Have dedicated experience in leading strategy with the ability to take a long-term, thoughtful approach to achieving organizational goals.

- Be able to attract, develop, retain, and motivate staff while maintaining a high level of performance and a leadership style that is both strong and empathetic and respects the autonomy of the day-to-day work.


Salary for the role is anticipated to range from $100,000 to $120,000 commensurate with experience.


Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Express interest in this role by clicking here. All inquiries and discussions are strictly confidential.

Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Preserve Rhode Island is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a Diversified Search Group company, is the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission- driven leadership. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has had an exclusive focus on mission-driven clients and was founded on the belief that the right leader can transform an organization and have a deep and measurable impact on our world. Koya works with nonprofits & NGOs, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Diversified Search Group is consistently recognized by Forbes on its top 10 list of “America’s Best Executive

Recruiting Firms” and is an industry leader in recruiting transformational leaders for a changing world. The firm is deliberately different in its approach, with best-in-class teams who have decades of experience in cultivating inclusive leaders, understanding the dimensions of diversity, and building equitable teams.
Learn more about Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group via the

To apply, visit:


Posted: June 20, 2024
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