The Board of Directors of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation has launched a search for a CEO to oversee all aspects of the organization. Due to an upcoming retirement, the board is seeking a proven leader with a strong entrepreneurial vision to lead its staff and alumni to carry out the important work of developing leaders for agriculture and rural communities, and build relationships and partnerships with individual, corporate, foundational, governmental, and philanthropic donors in support of the SDARL Organization’s distinct mission. Direct inquiries and applications by September 20, 2022 to Search Committee Chair Nathan Sparks at nsparks@dakotamac.com.

A detailed job posting is featured below:

Chief Executive Officer

Job POSTING  July 2022 – Deadline for applications is September 20, 2022

Opportunity to lead the premier agricultural leadership organization in South Dakota:

South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Foundation (SDARL)

The SDARL Organization has a sharp focus and clear mission: To identify and develop leadership for agriculture and rural communities to enhance the quality of life in South Dakota. Founded in 1998 by a forward-thinking group of individuals, SDARL is a private, not-for-profit organization with a proven history of developing leaders. The organization is dedicated to supplying informed, decisive, communicative, spokespersons to represent our industry and communities.

To address these goals, SDARL provides intensive study, training and travel experiences for future leaders of South Dakota, primarily through its flagship 18-month leadership development program. The 326 prior graduates and current members of this program make a strong network of leaders engaged in helping create a brighter future for South Dakota agriculture and rural areas. SDARL also provides advanced leadership education for graduates and partner organizations, and contract leadership training.

Due to an upcoming retirement, the SDARL Board of Directors has launched a national search to recruit a CEO to oversee all aspects of the organization. The Board is seeking a proven leader with a strong entrepreneurial vision to create systems and structure, lead its staff and alumni to carry out this important work, and build relationships and partnerships with individual, corporate, foundational, governmental, and philanthropic donors in support of the SDARL Organization’s distinct mission.

The Position

Currently located in Brookings, SD on the campus of South Dakota State University (possible location flexibility depending on candidate), the CEO will report to the SDARL Foundation Board of Directors and is responsible for planning and leading fundraising, building and managing staff and budgets, new business development, being a thought leader on agricultural/rural issues, and maintaining the Foundation’s external relationships.

Candidate Profile

Ideal experience:

  • 10+ years of organizational leadership experience.
  • Proven fundraising skills, including a successful track record in identifying, cultivating, and stewarding individual, foundation, and corporate donors.
  • Affinity for U.S. agriculture and its heritage, culture, and Specific knowledge of South Dakota agriculture and an understanding of SDARL’s special characteristics, values, supporters and friends are required.
  • High proficiency in leading, coaching, and retaining skilled, experienced, and committed staff.
  • Proven financial management skills (required).
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, and presentation communication
  • Post-secondary education, ideally in business or agri-business management.

For consideration as a candidate or to suggest a prospective candidate, please contact in confidence before September 20, 2022:

Chairman of the SDARL CEO Search Committee

Nathan Sparks

Dakota Mac/First Dakota National Bank

605-770-1607

nsparks@dakotamac.com

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