Friends annouce new Executive Director position – applications now accepted


Executive Director, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore


Friends of the Apostle Islands (FAINL) are a diverse group of sailors, kayakers, boaters, divers, lighthouse lovers, hikers, campers, fishers, beachcombers, wildlife watchers, and many others, who share a love for the 21 islands and the 12 mile section of mainland that comprise the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore of Wisconsin’s Lake Superior north shore.  Our Mission is to promote an appreciation for, and preservation of, the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  Our Efforts connect people with the history, beauty, and adventure of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; support the educational, recreational, and resource protection efforts of the National Park Service; raise funds to support critical park projects and events; and increase community involvement with the Islands.  We work cooperatively with the National Park Service staff, similar to over 200 Friends groups across the country that are associated with other National Park units.

Established in 2002, the FAINL Board and dedicated volunteers have worked to build the organization with only a part-time administrative assistant.  Now, celebrating the 50th year of the National Lakeshore, and with a strong Board of Directors and a growing base of financial support and programmatic outreach, FAINL is poised for considerable growth and impact. Secure funding, a substantial and growing endowment, and tremendous growth opportunities makes it possible for FAINL to seek its first Executive Director.  

LOCATION: Proximity to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore headquartered in Bayfield, WI. 


FUND-RAISING. Strategically lead the development and growth of FAINL’s philanthropic capacity to protect park resources, values and the visitor experience through fostering donor relationships, grant-writing, and fundraising activities.  Manage budgets effectively.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. Cultivate strong productive working relationships with FAINL board, supporters, volunteers, local elected officials, partners, businesses, as well as the park superintendent and staff of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

COMMUNICATIONS. Develop effective communications and messaging to ensure they are effective and consistent with the organization’s objectives. Write for social media, website, newsletters, e-blasts and annual reports to communicate with supporters and build our network.

PROGRAMMING. Provide leadership in the direction, management and evaluation of FAINL’s four programmatic pillars: resource stewardship, visitor accessibility, visitor services, and outreach education. Develop and organize special public events to highlight the park and/or the organization.

VOLUNTEERS. Work to build a volunteer network for assisting the park staff with projects as well as FAINL directed projects.

SUPERVISION. Supervise one part-time Administrative Assistant and other staff as hired.


  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with direction from the Board President
  • Must have a commitment to, and passion for, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  • An undergraduate degree with relevant work experience
  • Possess proven excellent written and verbal communication skills including interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively. Comfortable presenting before groups.
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience and demonstrated ability to build effective relationships and partnerships, design strategic plans, and achieve programmatic goals
  • Demonstrated excellence in project management, record-keeping, budget and data management. Well-organized with attention to detail and follow-through to meet deadlines
  • Ability to develop, organize, promote and manage public events
  • Ability to organize and lead volunteers and partners
  • Ability to work productively with the National Park Service
  • Proficiency with PC computer systems, Microsoft Office, ability to learn Little Green Light donor database software
  • Ability to work some weekends and evenings
  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising, grant writing, and donor relations a plus
  • Experience with social media a plus


This is a full-time position working from your home. The annual salary is $60,000. Benefits include contribution towards health insurance, paid vacation, and flexible work hours.


Please place your application materials in one PDF document that includes a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and your resume. Indicate your last name -first name in the file name and email it as an attachment with “Executive Director Search” as the subject line to:  Professional references will only be required of final candidates.  

The position will remain open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply by October 15, 2020.