Executive Director Search

About Whiterock Conservancy

Within an easy drive of Des Moines and Council Bluffs/Omaha, this site can be an increasingly important get-away for urban families to create memories through nature experiences.

The Garst Family created this nonprofit and donated its diverse land so as to protect and share it into the future. The organization’s deep roots in west-central Iowa culture and landscape and Iowa’s farming heritage give Whiterock Conservancy a strong commitment to story and place, as well as innovation and opportunity. 

Located along seven miles of the Middle Raccoon River valley, Whiterock’s natural lands are open to the public every day for recreation and exploration. A 31-mile trail system is available for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riders.


This stable non-profit with $18M in assets and such diverse potential requires leadership that can develop great strategies & priorities. 


The Whiterock Conservancy is a 509(a)3 nonprofit, with affiliations to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.


Six full-time staff, plus part-time and seasonal employees and skilled volunteers, make Whiterock Conservancy hum. Currently, the ED directly supervises the Accountant, Conservation Lands Director, Development & Communications Director, Guest Services Manager, and Farm Manager. 

About Coon Rapids

The Coon Rapids community of 1,270 people focuses on quality of life with an emphasis on natural resources and recreation. Safety, good schools and good neighbors make this a great place to raise a family. 


The low cost of living in this vicinity includes a median home cost of $82,000 and median gross rent of $555.


The river valley, rolling working lands and wildlife areas make a great place to enjoy open spaces and outdoor recreation. 


The “Iowa nice” people in this region make great volunteers and respectful guests. 


There is easy access to the major metro areas of Des Moines (1 hour), Council Bluffs/Omaha (1.5 hours) and Sioux City (2 hours).

Whiterock Conservancy stewards and shares with visitors one of the largest


Purpose of position:

Tment and accountability


Priority Relationships

Focused personal conversations with specific donors is an important responsibility of this position. Also develops strategic relationships with potential partners on joint ventures that can bring important sustainable revenue to Whiterock and/or pursue long-term strategic goals.


Qualifications and Experience 
  • Passion for the natural environment and working lands, and an understanding of Iowa/Midwestern culture.

  • Experience and aptitude for leading a small staff to achieve high-priority accomplishments.

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively, with good judgment. 

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and sustain strong donor relationships. 

  • The highest level of personal and professional integrity. 

  • Exceptional and diverse communication skills.

Job setting and structure

Flexible work hours will vary to meet demands of ED responsibilities, including participation in evening or weekend activities (estimated 10-15 weekend events per year). On weekdays, ED interacts regularly with staff and visitors at Whiterock and should be always available to staff. Some work from a home office is allowed, and some travel in central Iowa is expected. Living near the Whiterock Conservancy land/facilities is ideal for the ED to be more easily present, participate in the Coon Rapids community, and handle emergencies that may arise onsite. 


The ED must be able to drive, and must provide their own transportation for work-related travel or commuting. Physical req

Whiterock Conservancy         712-790-8221

1436 Highway 141, Coon Rapids, IA 50058

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