Executive Director Search

Become part of a vibrant Greater Philadelphia region, the noteworthy and sought-after Chester County, Kennett Township, and Kennett Square Borough in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Board of Directors of Historic Kennett Square is seeking an executive director, a highly motivated and entrepreneurial professional, ready to lead an organization committed to collaboration, community, legacy, commerce, and quality of life.

Historic Kennett Square is a 501C3 organization which directly supports the borough of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, a thriving, beautiful town with a rich history and a bright future, known to many as the Mushroom Capital of the World and home to one of the great gardens of the world, Longwood Gardens.

The Executive Director of Historic Kennett Square will be transforming the organization from a Main Street operation to an all-encompassing economic development organization to best support the needs of a growing community and economy. The Executive Director will lead, manage, plan, implement and monitor all aspects of the organization, working closely with the Board of Directors, merchants, community leaders, funders, and developers providing both vision and effective oversight to align with its mission, values, and culture. The Executive Director’s core responsibilities include non-profit management and governance, human relations, strategic planning, fundraising, strategic communications, economic development, community engagement, and fiscal acumen and responsibility.

Underlying the role and mission of Historic Kennett Square is a firm belief in the dignity of all people. We reaffirm this belief in our policies, which guide and direct our employment practices, program funding, volunteer recruitment, and service delivery. The intent of this policy is to reflect the positive value of diversity in the community.

Executive Director Position Description

Job Summary

It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to lead, manage, plan, implement and monitor all aspects of Historic Kennett Square (HKS). Working closely with the staff and Board of Directors, s/he provides effective leadership and management of HKS’s human and financial resources consistent with the strategic direction set by the Board in order to achieve HKS’s mission and vision, and uphold the organization’s culture and values. S/he is ultimately responsible and accountable for all aspects of the organization, including staff management and development, strategic planning, fundraising, administration, board relations, communications/public relations and financial management. This position also oversees the staff and success of HKS economic development initiatives.


The Executive Director reports to the President of the Board of Directors

Essential Functions

  • Strategic Planning
    • Oversee the conceptualization, development, implementation and evaluation of strategies for furthering the achievement of HKS’s culture, overall vision, mission and program goals, and direct all aspects of the operationalization of those strategies through staff.
    • Ensure that the economic development plan is inline with the strategic mission and HKS organizational competencies.
    • Oversee the creation and growth of a unified, efficient and well-functioning organization. Guide the continued evolution of HKS into a collaborative, learning organization with a clear vision, mission and strategy.
    • Provide overall vision and leadership.
    • Partner with Board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and community outreach while instilling a positive culture.
  • Fundraising
    • Plan and direct all operational and capital fundraising activities in accordance with HKS’s strategic plan and all federal, state and local regulations.
    • Develop, implement, evaluate and fine-tune strong, multi-source revenue-building initiatives in conjunction with the Board, management, and other staff and volunteers.
    • Actively represent HKS to current and prospective funders, donors, partners/contractors and regulators. Build and maintain strong cooperative relationships with local and regional leaders and organizations.
    • Through staff, plan and oversee prospecting, application, and grant writing processes, ensuring that all budgeting and spending is properly synchronized with incoming funding.
  • Administration
    • Oversee, directly or through others, HKS’s staff and the provision of HKS’s central infrastructure, including computer and telephonic system administration, financial management, facilities management, and security.
    • Recruit, lead and develop full and part-time employees who can successfully interact with all internal and external constituencies to help achieve the core objectives, while preserving and maintaining a positive reputation for HKS.
    • Develop and implement a clear People Philosophy consistent with HKS’s mission, vision and values. Foster role clarity, high performance and an effective reward framework. Encourage an overall spirit of teamwork and collaboration. Ensure that people are held accountable, and if necessary, approve disciplinary action up to and including termination.
    • Oversee and sign notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization after they have been appropriately reviewed and approved by the Board.
  • Board Relations and Governance
    • Work closely with the Board in strategic planning, policy development, articulation and implementation of organizational goals. Provide detailed information on HKS’s operations to the Board members in their capacities at-large as well as in their committee roles. Enable and encourage members to appropriately fulfill their strategic, fiduciary and generative roles and to maintain their true independence as a governing body.
    • In concert with the Board’s leadership, design, implement and sustain methods for keeping individual Board members actively interested and engaged in constructive dialog during Board and committee meetings. Work to ensure that Board members feel integral to the organization’s success.
    • Attend meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee meetings, committee and task force meetings, as appropriate. Provide interim and final reports to the Board in accordance with the regular meeting schedule.
    • Develop appropriate reports and dashboards to effectively communicate progress toward strategies and goals, personally and for the entirety of the organization.
    • Attend municipal (Kennett Square Borough and Kennett Township) meetings and other events to share updates and represent HKS. These meetings often take place outside of regular business hours.
    • Join and participate in other local organizations to act as a representative and liaison on behalf of HKS.
  • Economic Development
    • Oversee the strategic plan and success of the Director of Economic Development and staff
    • Ensure that there is an annual economic development plan that is agreed to with the HKS Board and municipal partners.
    • Report ongoing accomplishments and metrics of the office of economic development.
  • Strategic Communications and Community Relations
    • Build the brand of the town into a coalesced shared identity honoring legacy, community and commerce.
    • Create purposeful communications with regularity across all stakeholder groups.
    • Serve as primary spokesperson for the organization, maintaining and enhancing the organization’s visibility and reputation in the community.
    • Work closely with staff and consultants to develop marketing/PR strategies; providing executive approval of all collateral materials, both print and electronic.
  • Financial Management
    • Ensure the continued fiscal viability of HKS. Provide leadership to direct reports in planning, constructing, monitoring and managing HKS’s budgets within approved guidelines. Reconcile current and projected available funding with existing and planned expenditures, and make upward or downward adjustments in programming and staff complement where necessary.
    • Understand the impact of non-profit status on the reporting and monitoring of financial statements and reporting requirements.
    • Submit to the Board a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
    • Manage ongoing operations to ensure that budgets are managed and achieved. Report any material discrepancies to the Finance and Executive Committees.
    • Oversee the operations and accounting of the HKS building and its tenants.


  • Key Qualifications:
    • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s degree preferred. Additional advanced training and professional development in Management and Development Programs is a plus.
    • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience in fundraising, with a proven track record of accomplishments in major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, foundation and grants, events and social media.
    • A proven track record of annual fundraising, including the identification and recruitment of campaign leadership, planning and implementation activities, management of campaign communications, meetings and presentations, and the development of effective working relationships with leadership and volunteers. Track record of successes in major gift capital campaigns is a plus.
    • Knowledge of planned giving campaigns.
    • Experience with nonprofit organizations and knowledge of philanthropic and community resources in Chester County and surrounding areas a plus.
    • Experience in public-private partnerships and successful collaborations across industries is a plus.
    • Progressive leadership experience in the supervision and management of staff and their professional development.
    • Strong written, verbal and presentation skills are essential.
  • Personal Traits
    The successful candidate must exemplify the following characteristics:

    • A commitment to the Mission of Historic Kennett Square and a passion for serving those in the Greater Kennett Community, especially in the areas of Economic Development and traditional Main Street activities such as events, experiences, marketing and merchant relations.
    • The ability to effectively build and maintain relationships with philanthropic and community leaders, and have a proven record of accomplishments with campaigns, major gift fundraising, and management of a Comprehensive Development Program.
    • An outcome oriented and strategic thinker with a strong work ethic for high quality performance and attention to detail.
    • Discretion and the ability to keep confidentially when appropriate.
    • Adept at planning, monitoring and implementing a full cadre of Development programs and activities, including the development and implementation of traditional and innovative strategies to assure the achievement of goals.
    • The ability to present an inspiring Case for Support, be able to motivate donors and prospects to heightened levels of engagement and support, and must be fervent about follow-up and ongoing donor relations.
    • Must be able to work collaboratively as a member of a team, bringing Board, staff, volunteers and philanthropic leadership together into a singular focused effort toward the achievement of goals.
    • Accountable and self-starting leadership and strong operational efficiency
    • The Executive Director will represent HKS in the community and must reflect the mission and values of the organization and present the highest standards of professionalism in behavior and demeanor.

Qualified Candidates are encouraged to submit their resume to: ExecutiveDirectorSearch@HistoricKennettSquare.com