Here is the job description from Dan Gluesenkamp:
Horticulture Program Director
Founded in 1965, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a science‐based non‐profit organization
dedicated to increasing understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants, and to conserving them
and their natural habitats. The Society’s administrative and technical staff facilitates and supports the work of
the chapters and implements statewide programs. The Society is headquartered in Sacramento. CNPS has
more than 9,300 members organized in 34 chapters, including the newly‐formed Baja California Chapter.
CNPS Native Plant Horticulture Program
While the Horticulture Program Director is a new staff position, native plant gardening and horticulture have
been fundamental to CNPS since the earliest days of the organization. Chapter plant sales are important
fundraising tools. Garden tours and Horticulture Symposia have attracted hundreds of new members. CNPS
promotion of native plant horticulture has resulted in broad acceptance of the concept, and thousands of
individuals and businesses are now involved in native plant gardening. CNPS will continue these successful
activities, while reinvesting in native plant gardening resources and initiatives that inspire and serve long‐term
conservation of our precious plants and plant communities.
CNPS is seeking a Horticulture Program Director who will be an articulate and inspiring advocate for California
native plant horticulture. The Horticulture Program Director is a new staff position, and the successful
applicant will help chart the course of California’s oldest and most recognized native plant gardening program.
The successful candidate will join a growing professional staff and be part of a committed team that includes
hundreds of smart and dedicated volunteers. This position requires an organized, highly collaborative,
strategic individual. He/she will collaborate to update CNPS native plant horticulture strategies and program
goals, and will lead in developing ongoing financial support to maintain this important position. The Director
will support existing chapter horticulture activities (including trainings, symposia, garden tours, nurseries),
while working with leaders to share successful models and develop new initiatives. He/she will work with
other CNPS staff to develop outreach materials and communication tools, including assisting with publication
of horticulture books and supervising the completion of an online horticulture database.
The Horticulture Program Director must work closely with CNPS chapters and members to listen to their needs
and to support and coordinate the numerous successful CNPS horticulture projects underway throughout the
state. The Director will work closely with CNPS staff, partners, and volunteers to: integrate horticulture into
other CNPS programs; to apply conservation and plant science in shaping the horticulture program; and to
maintain the excellence of the organization. He/she also communicates with a wide range of organizational
and agency partners, and collaborates with these partners to promote the appropriate use of native plants in
gardens and landscaping throughout California.
Duties and Responsibilities
Program growth and development
Serve as the primary point of contact for the CNPS horticultural program.
Collaborate with a variety of partners and stakeholders (including CNPS horticulture program committee,
staff, and volunteers) to develop vision for the CNPS Horticulture Program, update program goals, and
Implement goals and strategy, in partnership with CNPS chapters and partners.
Develop science‐based standards and guidelines for appropriate native plant horticulture.
Engage with agencies, districts, and organizations to build partnerships that promote widespread and
appropriate use of native plants.
Develop funding proposals, apply for grants, and engage donors to obtain funding for the Horticulture
Program Director position and for key Horticulture Program projects.
Communications and Outreach
Become a public voice on horticultural topics, translating scientific concepts into everyday language and
compelling calls to action.
Coordinate delivery of trainings and workshops, including the very successful CNPS Horticulture Symposia.
Promote CNPS horticulture activities and events, including providing guidance in maintaining the CNPS
horticulture events calendar.
Publicize program and activities, including assisting with and coordinating development of press releases
and articles, and supporting a speaker’s bureau serving monthly chapter programs.
Work with partners to gather and disseminate the information and successful protocols that has been
developed by CNPS chapters and others, for the benefit of the general public.
Maintain current and relevant information on the CNPS website Horticulture area, and coordinate
volunteer writers to develop articles about native plant horticulture for CNPS publications including
Fremontia, Bulletin and eNews.
Lead the development of a web‐based interactive online horticulture database that makes the wealth of
CNPS horticulture information available to the gardening public.
Serve as point of contact for CNPS Press projects involving native plant horticulture, and help the
Publications Committee identify valuable book projects in that topic area.
Support members and chapters
Provide information, assistance, and support to chapter‐based horticulture efforts.
Represent chapter and volunteer needs across the organization.
Maintain excellent awareness of chapter horticulture projects and activities, and coordinate sharing of
tools and approaches among chapters.
Provide support to chapter newsletter editors and program chairs to ensure they have abundant material
focused on native plant horticulture.
Bachelor’s with a minimum of two year of experience in a comparable position, or minimum of five years
of experience in lieu of Bachelor’s degree.
Knowledge of native plants throughout California.
A proven record demonstrating broad knowledge of commercial and noncommercial aspects of native
plant horticulture, including at least some of the following: home gardening, school gardens, plant
selection, availability in the trade, landscaping design and installation, plant propagation, nursery
management, plant sales, botanic gardens or arboreta, design industry private sector companies, private
sector landscaping companies, community and homeowners associations.
Understanding of conservation benefits and concerns associated with native plant gardening, including
genetics and hybridization, phytosanitation, and tradeoffs associated with ex situ conservation.
Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work well with people of different backgrounds.
Skill at scoping projects and developing successful funding proposals. Skill at communicating with
discriminating and committed donors to ensure continued support.
Ability to independently and efficiently plan and manage multiple complex projects simultaneously.
Ability to communicate the value and benefits of native plant horticulture, in public presentations and in
writing, to a diversity of audiences.
Excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to translate scientific concepts into everyday
language and compelling calls to action, and enthusiasm for communicating with chapters and others
about the program and about gardening with natives.
Additional Desired Skills
Fluency in Spanish or other languages spoken by California gardeners and horticulture professionals.
Familiarity with website, web database, web map user interfaces and design.
The requirements described here are representative of those that must be met, and reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This
job requires prolonged sitting and use of computer and mouse. It also requires ability to participate in field
trips, including walking uneven trails with variable grade of several miles in length.
Additional Job Requirements
Working with volunteers and partners requires travel throughout California. Work travel is reimbursed.
Some evening and weekend work is required to meet deadlines or to participate in meetings.
A valid California driver’s license and proof of car insurance are required, provided annually.
This is an exempt, permanent, full time staff position eligible for benefits.
The Horticulture Program Director works under supervision of the CNPS Executive Director.
Compensation and benefits
Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience. CNPS offers benefits that are competitive
with non‐profit organizations of comparable size, including full payment of employee health insurance
premiums, retirement match, and paid vacation.
Please email cover letter and resume to Dan Gluesenkamp at dan@CNPS.org.
Subject line of email should read “Horticulture job application.”
This is a full time, Sacramento‐based position. Please explain in cover letter if you seek special arrangements
such as location other than Sacramento area, job sharing, part time, or unusual working hours.
Position is open until filled. Review of applications begins July 9, 2013.
The California Native Plant Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer