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Eastern Program Manager

February 3, 2020
Since 1996, SouthWings has provided a network of volunteer pilots to advocate for the restoration and protection of the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Southeast through flight. Conservation groups working to halt destructive resource extraction and use practices, to identify and eliminate pollution sources and events, or to permanently protect ecologically valuable lands use SouthWings volunteer flights to become better informed about natural assets while collecting valuable data, including photo and video documentation, for their campaigns. Our flights also inform business leaders, key legislators, landowners, community members, and media representatives who can then influence desired private, legislative, and agency action.

SouthWings volunteers fly to uncover and mitigate environmental challenges related to climate change and watershed protection. We welcome a broad range of stakeholders to see firsthand the scope and scale of issues such as sea level rise, water pollution, community vulnerability, deforestation, and mountaintop removal coal mining. Our flights shape perspectives on the actions needed to stop and reverse these problems. We fly to hold polluters accountable and to promote environmental policy and planning, scientific research, public awareness and action, and ecosystem protection.

SouthWings currently has five full-time staff and nearly sixty volunteer pilots, whose generosity and dedication form the backbone of the organization’s service to the Southeast. The organization has a strong network of relationships with regional conservation and flight partners. It has an enthusiastic and committed Board of Directors, a talented, experienced, passionate staff, and solid finances. The organizational culture can be described as professional yet down-to-earth, dedicated to the mission, and committed to setting and achieving high standards.

The Region
SouthWings operates throughout the 11 southeastern states and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Its central office is located in Asheville, NC, with a satellite office located in New Orleans, LA. The Eastern Program territory includes the Chesapeake Bay and the eastern portions of the Southeast (from the Southern Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Coast). Covering a wide geography, this position requires frequent travel. Within this range exist many of SouthWings’ most-established partnerships, a vast spread of volunteer pilots, and some of our most committed and longstanding donors. Geographically and historically, this region is the heart and core of SouthWings’ mission.

The Position

The Eastern Program Manager will be based in SouthWings’ Asheville, NC office but will require frequent travel (up to 25% of the time) throughout neighboring states.

The Eastern Program Manager will be responsible for collaborating with partners across the region to initiate flight opportunities with our volunteers that advance conservation goals across a variety of issue areas.

Key responsibilities will include:

Program Administration

• Reviewing requests for flights from our conservation partners
• Coordinating with volunteers to schedule flight opportunities
• Gathering passenger information and overseeing paperwork collection
• Providing pre-flight preparation information to flight partners


• Maintaining and growing the organization’s relationships with environmental conservation partners in the region
• Researching opportunities to expand our network of flight partners
• Participating in collaborative regional and issue-based coalition groups
• Attending conferences and promoting SouthWings at events
• Developing promotional materials and resources for prospective partners

Evaluation and Reporting

• Conducting routine follow-up with partners to track flight outcomes and report successes that SouthWings volunteer flights have helped enable
• Researching and identifying new opportunities for SouthWings involvement in emerging issues in the region
• Participating in development of strategic priorities and programmatic goals
• Compiling annual and midyear reports that highlight program accomplishments
• Contributing program knowledge to grant writing and related reporting

Volunteer Recruitment

• Supporting volunteer pilot recruitment and retention efforts
• Contributing a program component to the onboarding of new volunteer pilots


• Supporting fundraising efforts from a program perspective
• Providing program-related content for social media and website material


• Minimum of 3 years of continuous professional experience in a position related to project management, outreach, or other positions that match the responsibilities outlined above
• Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
• Strong collaborative and interpersonal skills and experience working with diverse communities
• Excellent organizational skills
• Creative problem-solver, flexible and capable of adapting to changing priorities
• Strategic thinker, capable of moving an organization to new levels
• Self-motivated and able to work both independently and as part of a team
• Familiarity with new technological trends and applications
• Experience working with volunteers
• An interest in environmental issues in the Southeast
• An interest in or some familiarity with aviation
• A commitment to professional integrity and desire to be part of a mission-oriented organization
• Willing and able to make a long-term commitment (5+ years) to serving the organization
• Bachelor’s Degree strongly preferred


Please include salary requirements in your letter of interest.


• Generous paid time off: 15 days of flexible paid time off granted at hire (increases with years
of service), 7 annual paid holidays, 1 day per quarter for Volunteer Time Off, 1 day per quarter for Professional Development, and 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave

• Retirement contribution (determined annually by the Board of Directors, typically 5% of gross salary)
• Variety of subscriptions and pro deals, primarily for outdoor gear

Application Process

To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume via email only to:

SouthWings Hiring Committee

Please, no phone calls.

Review of applications will begin February 10, 2020 and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

 SouthWings is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to recruiting from a broadly diverse pool of qualified candidates for the position.

Download full job description by clicking here.

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