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UMCRM Director Search – Everything you wanted to know but didn’t know whom to ask...

04 Jul 2019 11:51 AM | Jen Burch (Administrator)

By now you’ve likely heard the good news that UMCRM is hiring its first Director! This is something our camp and retreat ministries family has dreamed of since beginning the association five years ago. And now we’re looking for the very best candidate to lead UMCRM into the future of its support of our camp and retreat ministries. You can help to spread the word of this opportunity by sharing this Director Profile.

Your UMCRM Board wants this search and hiring process to be as transparent as possible. To that end, I’d like to share with you more about the grant funding, the search process, the search task force, and the qualities we’re looking for in a Director for the association.

The Grant - Funding for this position comes from a grant given by a Foundation that values children, the outdoors, and United Methodist ministries. The Foundation wishes to be unknown in its giving. This is a five-year commitment that will fund the Director’s salary, benefits, travel, and office expenses. Those expenses will be fully funded for three full years, after which funding will reduce to two-thirds in the fourth and one-third in the fifth and final year. This unbelievable generosity and faith in our association will give us the opportunity to establish ourselves more fully and to develop funding to continue the position into the future. The board is deeply grateful to the donor!

The Process - The UMCRM Board has set a search and hiring timeline that includes an application deadline of August 15th and a projected start date of November 1st for the new Director. The position has been advertised broadly: in our own S’more Mail, through the communicators of each annual conference, through the communications of our sibling associations of the Outdoor Ministries Connection, and through three non-profit job sites: Indeed, Work for Good, and The Nonprofit Times. We’d like to leave no stone unturned in our effort to find the best candidate for the position.

The Search Task Force - One of the strengths of UMCRM is the ability to draw on the volunteer expertise of our members. To ensure the transparency of the search and hiring process, the board has recruited a volunteer task force to conduct the search, the interviews, and to recommend a candidate to be hired. This Search Task Force consists of three board members, two members of our association, and one participant with denominational perspective. The group includes clergy and laypeople, a range of ages, and varieties of expertise. Each UMC jurisdiction is represented. The task force is co-convened by an association member and a member of the board. It will receive all resumes and collateral material submitted directly through the email, apply@umcrm.org.

Members of the Search Task Force:

  • Todd Bartlett, co-convener - Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministry, Oregon-Idaho Conference

  • Kim Carter, co-convener - Director, Camp Tanako, Arkansas Conference

  • Abi Fuesler - Student, Brevard College Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education

  • Mike Selleck - Retired, Director of Connectional Ministries, North Georgia Conference

  • Pam Harris - Principal Consultant, Run River Enterprises

  • Jody Oates - Principal Consultant, Kaleidoscope, Inc.

Please be in prayer for these volunteers as they serve our association. Their work will be confidential and accomplished as a team. Please do not contact Search Task Force members directly; rather, honor the time and energy they have already committed by submitting your resume directly through apply@umcrm.org and by addressing any clarifying questions about the position to me at russell.davis@umcrm.org.

The Director’s Position - We have never had a Director of our association before. In the absence of a history of the position, it is easy to substitute the faithful performance of those who have served in similar positions. We may recall the way those serving us through Discipleship Ministries performed their duties, or how those in conference staff positions served well, or, perhaps, even the good work of former chairpersons of our association board. Those understandings were definitely where we started as a board in trying to define this new position.

But as we worked, we realized that the person who will best serve UMCRM moving forward won’t be a traditional executive director or consultant-type. We are seeking a leader who will be able to leverage the expertise of our membership by identifying and connecting that expertise to association strategies and initiatives, and by managing association projects to their successful conclusion. The person we hire will certainly have other attributes as well, but this is a core competency. In short, we’re looking for the “Great Go-Between” instead of the “Great Idea Person.” This is language borrowed from 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't, a research study by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) based on the famous research method used by Jim Collins in the book From Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Two measures from the ASAE study stand out for UMCRM in our Director search: 1) Dialogue and Engagement and 2) CEO as Broker of Ideas. Each of these measures of successful associations fits with our association’s efforts to develop a culture that engages the expertise of the membership in the work of UMCRM. So the idea of hiring a Director who can help the association function better, rather than being the source of expertise or the one who does all the work, is a core value in our search for the best candidate. 

I hope this is helpful to your understanding of the work of the board these past several months. We want to be transparent in everything we do, but especially as this important work moves forward. As always, I’m available to answer any questions you might have about this exciting time in the life of our association. russell.davis@umcrm.org

May God guide and honor our efforts to support our camp and retreat ministries across the country…

C. Russell Davis, Chairperson

Questions?  Please contact our Association Registrar

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