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Job Opening – Executive Director

Position Title: Executive Director, Friends of Fonta Flora State Trail, Inc.

General Job Description: The Executive Director will provide leadership, advocacy, development, and general operations for the organization. They will oversee all affairs related to the organization’s administration, strategic plan, marketing, fundraising, fiscal management, program management, community outreach.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and enables the Board to meet its governance, financial, and legal responsibilities. They will implement the Boards’ directives. The Executive Director must be deeply committed to the goals of the organization and the execution of its mission.

This is a full-time position working remotely with the potential to have office space as the organization grows.

Responsibilities:

Communicate

  • Serve as an articulate, passionate, and visible spokesperson and as a prominent leader
  • Share information regarding the organization and the Fonta Flora State Trail (benefits, progress, etc) to the media, public, stakeholders, landowners, government entities, businesses, trail users, board and members
  • Use a variety of communication methods based on the situation – in person and online meetings, phone, email, newsletters, surveys, brochures, social media, web

Coordinate

  • Facilitate meetings among the board, trail organizations, stakeholders, tourism agencies, government entities and the like.
  • Compile and keep up to date: Reports from each jurisdiction, contact lists of different groups (stakeholders, trail groups, board members), trail section project details, strategic plan goals
  • Work with other non-profits to advance the cause – health and fitness, land trusts
  • Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities
  • Research and write grants
  • Build, maintain, and sustain trusting relationships, partnerships, and alliances
  • Develop and monitor an annual budget

Activate

  • Build excitement and supporters by making it easy to be a part of the trail
  • Plan special events, conferences, public input sessions
  • Provide technical assistance on trail acquisition and development and find solutions to trail system-wide challenges
  • Energize and engage volunteers, board members, committees, and funders
  • Enhance the organization’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan, re-evaluate as needed

 

 Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 5 years’ experience in non-profit sector
  • Knowledgeable in using
    • Customer relationship management (CRM) software, Donor Perfect
    • Accounting software and generating financial reports
    • Word Press for web site updates
    • Mail Chimp for monthly newsletters
    • Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Excellence in organizational management
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and diverse groups of people
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • High level strategic thinking and planning
  • Strong work ethic with a high degree of energy – action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable

Salary: $60,000/year

Email cover letter and resume to info@fontaflorastatetrail.com by January 10, 2022. Interviews for selected candidates will take place after that date.

The Executive Director must live in one of the three counties that host the Fonta Flora State Trail – Burke, McDowell or Buncombe.

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State Trail Funding in State Budget

The State Budget includes $29.25M in nonrecurring funds in FY 21-22 for the Complete the Trails Fund, marking the first time North Carolina has made a significant direct investment in trails.

The Complete the Trails Fund will provide grants for State Trail projects, build capacity for State Trail nonprofit partner organizations, and creates a new Trail Coordinator position with recurring funds to pay for the new position. The Complete the Trails Fund will be managed by the NC Trails Program within the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.

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Old Fort Trail Fundraiser

Monday, November 22 – All Day – For every Hillman Beer draft poured on this day in Old Fort, $1 will be donated by HB to the two projects directly associated with Old Fort.

That’s right! “Power in Pints” for the Fonta Flora State Trail in Old Fort – Downtown to Curtis Creek and Downtown to Point Lookout fundraiser. Come out to speak with board members and key people involved with the Fonta Flora State Trail projects in Old Fort 11:30-2pm and 4-7pm.

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More Signs!!

McDowell Trails Association organized the fundraising, building and installation of three new Fonta Flora State Trail signs.

They are at

  • Copper Ridge Trailhead
  • Point Lookout
  • Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway.

The signs were fabricated in McDowell County by Turtle Labs with installation by TAG Contracting in Old Fort.

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Hike & Learn Copper Ridge

On a cold, crisp Saturday morning, 20 hikers gathered at the Ride House to learn about the trail and involved organizations – F3ST, McDowell Trails Assoc and Foothills Conservancy. After the learn jam packed with info – attendees headed over the the Copper Ridge Trail to hike.

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Asheville Hike & Learn

F3ST kicked off its Fall Hike & Learn Series in Asheville, where the Fonta Flora State Trail ends. The Learn was provided by two sources – Connect Buncombe (of which F3ST is a sponsor) and City of Asheville Greenway Planner Lucy Crown.

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$100K to Old Fort

As a non-profit, Friends of the Fonta Flora State Trail is able to accept donations from individuals and hold them until needed. That was the case for the $100,000 donation used for some of the match for the $330,000 PARTF grant the Town of Old Fort received. Shown is F3ST President Judge Bob Hunter presenting the donation check the Old Fort Mayor Hensley.

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Copper Ridge Celebration

A future section of the Fonta Flora State Trail in Old Fort is now open to the public! On October 7 a ribbon cutting was held for the Copper Ridge section and attendees heard from some of the partners that helped build it. The trailhead for the 3-mile trail is located on Hwy 70 between Camp Grier and Point Lookout Trail. Special guests included NC State Parks Director Dwayne Patterson and Land Owner Dan Allison.

Join F3ST and FCNC for a Copper Ridge Hike & Learn on November 6.

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Old Fort Receives Trailhead Grant

The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) has awarded the Town of Old Fort $330,000 for the Old Fort Fonta Flora Trailhead and Park. A local match of $330,000 is required and being covered by McDowell County, Old Fort, Community Donors, and McDowell Trails Association. Amenities will include a dog park, paved 0.25 mile section of Fonta Flora State Trail, restrooms, parking, picnic pavilion, and event lawn.

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Committees Open to Public

To ensure F3ST continues to thrive, we are forming three new committees that are open to board members, advisory council members and the community. If you have an interest in getting involved with F3ST in this way, let Beth know.

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F3ST Rack Cards

Instead of a brochure with an FFST map of trailheads that will be out of date before printed, F3ST went with a rack card with a QR Code to access our Trail Access Page. The cards have been distributed to area tourism, chamber sites and local businesses. Want some for your place? Just let us know and we will deliver them!!

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FFST Land Manager Meeting

F3ST organized a meeting with FFST Land Managers and Smith Raynor, State Trails Planner for an overview of the state trail process. The goal was to make sure everyone understands what is expected in planning state trail, building state trail and having it designated. For example, what forms are required, what visits are needed and when, when trails can be marked as state trail, etc.
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County Officials Tour LJSP VC

Burke and McDowell County Officials toured the new Lake James State Park Visitor Center with Superintendent Coffey. The Fonta Flora State Trail will cross the 250-foot Cove Bridge and enter the Visitor Center.

McDowell County: Cheryl Mitchell, Clerk to the Board, Ashley R. Wooten, County Manager, Tony G. Brown, Commissioner Chairman and Burke County Bryan Steen, County Manager, Johnnie Carswell, Commissioner, Kay Draughn, Clerk to the Board

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Podcast Featuring F3ST

Executive Director Beth Heile was the guest of the popular podcast Exploration Local. She spoke about the goal to get the 100-mile Fonta Flora State Trail completed in 10 years, the efforts to get state funding and where you can explore the trail right now.

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Combined Board Meeting

F3ST met with Friends of Lake James State Park for their August 19 Board Meeting. The meeting started with a tour of the Lake James State Park Visitor Center by Superintendent Nora Coffey. The mall hall entrance of the new visitor center will include the educational exhibits – instead of being stuck in a room that may be missed. FFST will also be in the main hall – lines on the floor will represent different roads and trails.

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Canal Bridge

Even though there are orange feathers on the barrier of the NC 126 bridge, this is not designated FFST – yet. For the State to designate trail, it must be safe for users and this shoulder is not.

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FFST Map – Getting Closer

Thanks to Heather Cotton, City of Marion Planning and Development Director, we are getting closer to an interactive FFST map for the public. Today, land managers came together for Heather to explain what data they could add and edit. Hopefully, in September, you will be able to explore the trail online and then get out on the trail in person! (map shown may not be the final route – just a beta version).

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NC Year of the Trail 2023

North Carolinians have something new to look forward to in 2023. Under the leadership of Representative Dean Arp, R-69 (Union), Representative Hugh Blackwell, R-86 (Burke), Representative Pat Hurley, R-70 (Randolph), Representative Larry Strickland, R-28 (Harnett, Johnston), the NC House and now the NC Senate on August 10, 2021 passed HB 554, designating 2023 as “North Carolina Year of the Trail. This designation is supported by the North Carolina Great Trails State Coalition (of which F3ST is a member) and the group will be spearheading the plans for the year.

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F3ST Wants to Talk to You

F3ST Executive Director Beth Heile loves to talk about the Fonta Flora State Trail. She would love to be a part of your online or in-person meeting. She has spoken to Rotary Clubs, Hiking Groups, and other Civic Clubs. The options are endless – 15 minute power point or 5 minute overview. Just reach out – beth@fontaflorastatetrail.com

 

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Getting to USFS Trails

David Billstrom with Kitsbow Cycling Apparel contacted F3ST about a safer route for bicyclists leaving the Old Fort Ride House and travelling to the USFS Trails on Curtis Creek. With Highway 70 being both busy and narrow, Billstrom thought a better route from the future Fonta Flora State Trail Trailhead and Park (off Lackeytown Rd) should be explored.