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Posted October 20, 2017.
In 1997, a group of visionaries came together to create a dynamic center of Jewish living and learning in the Southeast. With the goal of providing exceptional camping experiences for children and year-round Jewish programming for adults of all ages by celebrating a deep love of culture, religion, diversity, nature, spirit and community, Ramah Darom was born.
Since its beginning 20 years ago, thousands of kids – from young children to teenagers – have grown up at Camp Ramah Darom, shaping their Jewish identity in life-changing ways. Thousands more individuals have visited the 122-acre campus for year-round programming at the Kaplan Mitchell Retreat Center at Ramah
Darom, enjoying the beauty of the North Georgia mountains, engaging in stimulating learning, celebrating simchas, and attending school, synagogue, and corporate retreats.
Nestled in a valley two hours north of Atlanta, surrounded by 10,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest, the picturesque camping community and retreat center is 2,000 feet up in the Appalachian Mountains and features everything from a 100-foot waterfall to a five-star kosher chef. While Ramah Darom focuses on campers in the summer, it is fully utilized year round with its Ramah Darom retreat center operations and facility rentals.
Camp Ramah Darom currently welcomes approximately 420 campers in each of two sessions (total of over 800 campers) from 11 states across the Southeast and 250 staff members every summer. Most of the campers attend for four weeks; the Gesher program for rising 11th graders runs for eight weeks and third-fifth graders are offered an optional 12-day Taste of Ramah experience in addition to a four-week option. As recently as 3 summers ago, Camp Ramah Darom instituted its Tikvah Program, a fully inclusive four week camping experience for 7th to 12th grade special needs campers. In addition to the core summer camp, The Kaplan Mitchell Retreat Center at Ramah Darom strives to grow as the Jewish spiritual center of the Southeast by hosting Jewish Living and Learning programs, including a winter-break family camp; a women’s retreat; a full Passover retreat, including seders; a farm-to-table Tu B’Shevat Shabbaton; the annual LimmudFest for the Southeast; and PJ Library’s Book It To Shabbat. Ramah Darom recently created partnership programs with organizations such as the Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition to host Project Understanding, Moishe House, and the Jewish Farming Initiative launched by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
Additionally, Ramah Darom’s Retreat Center rents facility space to schools, religious institutions, other not-for- profit organizations, and for profit companies.
Ramah Darom, Inc. is in a strong financial position. For the fiscal year ending September 2017, operating revenues were approximately $5.4M and operating cash, before fundraising, covered more than 90% of operating expenses. Camp Ramah Darom accounts for roughly 70% of net operating revenues and the Retreat Center 30%. Total Liabilities were $1.0M and Equity was $20.5M. Cash and Equivalents and Investments on hand exceeded $6.2M. All of the above figures are unaudited.
After a successful 18 years as CEO of Ramah Darom, Inc., Fred Levick, has decided to retire. His retirement will occur officially in the early fall of 2018.
The CEO of Ramah Darom works out of Ramah Darom’s office in the Northwest Atlanta suburbs, just inside the Perimeter. The full leadership team of Ramah Darom, except for the General Manager, works out of the Atlanta office. The CEO is expected to make trips to the Camp in Clayton, GA throughout the year, especially when camp is in session, and to participate in Ramah Darom’s Retreat Center programs. Most of the leadership of Camp Ramah Darom resides at the camp during the summer (May to August). Leadership of the Retreat Center is at the camp property throughout the year to run and oversee Ramah Darom events and programming.
The CEO of Ramah Darom, Inc. is responsible for the overall direction and performance of the organization, working closely with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team. The CEO needs to be a visionary. S/he will provide the vision, leadership, and management necessary to profitably grow and evolve the organization. S/he will ensure that Ramah Darom has proper operational procedures, plans and people systems in place to effectively manage growth and ensure the organization’s financial health. S/he will accomplish this through a respectful, constructive, warm, open, and energetic style, guided by the Jewish mission, values, and goals of the organization.
The CEO reports to the President of the Board of Directors of Ramah Darom, Inc. The Board currently consists of 23 members. Per the Bylaws, the Board shall consist of no fewer than 18 and no more than 25 Directors. The Directors are actively involved and meet in person 2 to 3 times per year, as well as participate in monthly online Executive Board meetings, General Board meetings and committee meetings.
Reporting to the CEO are the (1) Director, Camp Ramah Darom, (2) Director, Retreat Center at Ramah Darom, (3) Director, Development and Advancement, (4) General Manager, and (5) Controller. Marketing and Communication, which previously reported to the CEO, reports to the Director, Development and Advancement.
The CEO oversees a full-time staff of roughly 25 and seasonal staff of roughly 250.
- Ensures that Ramah Darom stays true to its mission to offer exceptional experiences in Jewish living and learning to youth, adults, families, and communities year-round.
- Works to promote camper enrollment and retention and Retreat Center growth.
Strategic and Annual Planning
- Leads ongoing planning, working with the Board of Directors and Department Directors, to set the organizational direction and vision of Ramah Darom, Inc.
- Stewards the development of strategies and tactics, incorporated in the annual plan, that are aligned with Ramah Darom’s vision and mission.
General Management and Administration
- Establishes clear priorities and goals. Ensures that Directors establish annual goals, objectives, work plans, and projections consistent with overall organizational goals and strategies.
- Works within the long-term strategic plan established by the Board and adjusts the plan to currently changing situations.
- Provides direction, oversight, and support to senior operating leaders.
- With the senior management team, ensures that day-to-day operations and programs of Ramah Darom are smoothly and effectively administered.
- Working with the General Manager, ensure that facility needs are adequately addressed.
- Ensures adequate safety practices and standards are in place and protocols for emergency response are established.
- Monitors performance throughout the year and, working with the leadership team, takes corrective actions where needed to ensure that the organization is on plan.
- Provides timely progress reports and annual reports to leadership team and Board.
- Working closely with Leadership team, develops and recommends annual operating and capital budgets to the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board.
- Monitors ongoing fiscal performance of the organization with the objective of meeting or exceeding budgeted targets.
- Working with the Controller and Treasurer, determine long and short-term financial needs of Ramah Darom and insure funds are available to meet those needs.
- Ensures proper fiscal record keeping and audit trails. Overseas annual audit process in collaboration with Treasurer.
- Ensures routine periodic financial statements are provided to the Budget and Finance Committee and the Board.
- Ensures that sound risk management policies and procedures are in place.
- Ensures compliance with requirements of funders and regulatory agencies.
People Management and Development
- Ensures staff is clear on roles and responsibilities and is held accountable. Provides actionable performance feedback.
- Fosters a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, teamwork, and empowerment.
- Maintains strong internal communications among the senior management team. Regularly communicates with staff at all levels.
- Develops and maintains a staffing plan and organizational structure to efficiently achieve Ramah Darom’s strategic and operating goals and objectives.
- Hires Directors, with Personnel Committee partnership and Leadership Team involvement, as appropriate. Oversees hiring of all other key positions.
- Supervises, coaches, mentors, and develops direct reports. Provides regular staff evaluations, feedback and annual performance reviews.
- Ensures that all personnel are being properly evaluated and developed by their direct supervisors.
- Ensures appropriate personnel policies and procedures are in place and effectively administered. Ensures compliance with all legal regulatory requirements in hiring and termination procedures. Oversees disciplinary actions.
Relationship Building and Partnership Management
- Builds and sustains relationships with existing and potential partners, stakeholders, key influencers, and constituents across the South to ensure and enhance Ramah Darom’s success.
- Expands relationships with Jewish organizations across the South and nationally to increase reach beyond traditional partners.
Fundraising and Development
- Collaborates with Development and Advancement Director, the Director of Camp Ramah Darom, the Director of the Retreat Center, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Development Committee to identify long-range and annual funding needs.
- Ensures the development of strategies and plans for procuring donations and contributions, including annual and planned giving opportunities and grants. Works with the Development and Advancement Director in stewarding the execution of those plans.
- Partners with the Development and Advancement Director, Board, and other Directors to cultivate and solicit donors.
Board Relations and Partnership
- Works with Board leadership, in accordance with the Bylaws of Ramah Darom, to support the proper and efficient functioning of the Board in its governance role.
- Collaborates with the Board President to:
- Identify key issues and set agendas for Board deliberations.
- Oversee administration and record keeping of Board, including preparation of meeting materials, documentation, and records relative to actions and meetings.
- Ensure orientation and training for all new Board members.
- Assign appropriate staff support to standing and ad-hoc committees, as requested.
- Collaborates with the Board President to:
- Ensure succession plan for Board leadership and membership.
- Participate in the identification and development of prospective individuals for leadership roles in the organization.
Marketing, Communications and Community Relations
- Ensures the development of a clear, consistent image/identity for Ramah Darom and an effective marketing and communications strategy for key audiences (i.e., parents, campers, staff, donors, Jewish organizations, community leaders).
- Serve as an internal and public ambassador for the organization, articulating the mission, purpose, goals, and values of Ramah Darom.
- Serves or designates others to serve as spokespersons for the organization in the community.
General Management - a record of success leading a +$5 million for-profit or not-for-profit business as CEO, or as direct report to the CEO and evidencing readiness to step up into the CEO role. Minimum of 15 years of increasingly responsible experience, with at least 5 direct reports and responsibility for a seasonal or permanent staff of +100 persons. Experience managing a multi-faceted organization is highly desirable. Comfortable working in a hands on environment and able to switch mindset between high-level strategy and tactical execution.
History of Jewish Communal Leadership.
Fiscal Stewardship - has successfully managed revenues and expenses, led the budgeting process, and had responsibility for overall financial health and sustainability of an organization. Able to balance programming with fiscal management.
Leadership and Team Development - track record building and leading an effective leadership team aligned around mission and goals, addressing challenges and opportunities together, and collectively owning organizational success; served as coach and mentor and possesses track record of developing direct reports.
Organizational Development – led an organization where responsibility and accountability were delegated, staff was held accountable, and feedback was constant, insuring personal and professional development and organizational success.
Relationship Building – track record of building strong relationships with key stakeholders.
Annual Planning – experience stewarding development of annual plan that identifies organizational priorities and action plans for the year and putting into place systems that track progress and insure that annual plans and goals are achieved.
Strategic Planning – proven ability developing high-level strategy and then translating it into tactical execution plans and communicating and implementing them across the organization.
Development – record of success as a fundraiser, with ability to build effective relationships with potential donors and secure support from diverse sources.
Experience Working Effectively With Board of Directors.
Facilities Management – having led an organization with a significant physical plant and understanding physical plant is desirable.
Marketing – history of having led an organization responsible for marketing a product or service to key influencers, decision makers, and buyers resulting in revenue growth is desirable.
PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES AND SKILLS:
- Commitment to Jewish life and the enhancement of a vital Jewish community and passionate about the mission of Ramah Darom.
- Understands and values the Jewish camp experience.
- Strong communicator. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Communicates effectively one-on-one, in small groups, and across multiple audiences (i.e., leadership team, staff, parents, board, donors, community leaders). Good listener. Approachable. Open to new ideas, but acts decisively once information is gathered.
- Relationship builder that has built a strong network in the Jewish community.
- Excellent people skills and a team player with an ability to partner with a dynamic leadership team. A supportive and nurturing individual. Ability to successfully interact with diverse personalities from the most junior staff to large donors. Utilizes tact, collaboration, and flexibility to effectively influence and build consensus. Able to handle conflicts that come up.
- Entrepreneurial. Can operate at times with limited administrative support, be strategic at times and tactical other times, have no issue getting in the trenches if and when necessary. Creates an environment allowing for creativity to explore new opportunities and programs.
- Strong analytical skills, particularly financial (P&L management, budgeting, and forecasting). Attention to detail. Computer savvy.
- High level of intelligence and energy. Self motivated with proven ability to prioritize and juggle multiple tasks while achieving deliverables.
- Outstanding management skills. Demonstrated ability to set priorities, make decisions, communicate rationale, and delegate appropriate levels of responsibility and authority to subordinates. Flexible and well organized with appropriate attention to detail and follow-through.
- Mentor and coach.
- An ethical and caring individual. Possess personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and commitment to quality and service excellence; instills trust and confidence.
A Bachelor’s degree.
A meaningful compensation and benefits package will be developed for the successful candidate, including family health insurance, 403(b), car and phone allowances, term life insurance, disability insurance, and vacation.
Edward Shartar, Partner, Acadia Associates, 404-394-3972
The statements in this job description are intended to represent the key duties, essential nature, and level of work being performed. They are not intended to be all responsibilities or qualifications of the job.
(Photo Credit: Ramah Darom)