Executive Director

Harmony Hill Retreat Center - Union, WA


Harmony Hill seeks a non-profit professional who is a creative visionary, who is courageous and authentic, who leads with passion, joy and inclusiveness and who is able to successfully engage volunteers, staff, partners, and funders in our mission, Transforming the lives of those affected by cancer and inspiring healthy living for all.

Executive Director Position Description

The core responsibility of the ED is to advance the mission of Harmony Hill through leadership, collaboration, fiscal accountability, and the cultivation of sustainable support. Harmony Hill requires a non-profit professional who is a creative visionary, who is courageous and authentic, who leads with passion, joy and inclusiveness and who is able to successfully engage volunteers, staff, partners, and funders in our vision and mission.

Our History

Harmony Hill began with Gretchen Schodde’s dream to create a retreat center where people could experience renewal and deep well-being. In 1986, Harmony Hill opened its doors as a nonprofit retreat facility focusing on wellness. In 1994, we added our Cancer Program, the heart of our mission, to support those affected by cancer, including caregivers and health professionals. In 2004, we began offering our cancer-related programs at no charge.

Our Present
Today, we serve over a thousand people each year: people living with cancer, seeking a retreat from daily life or wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes. To help support our mission, we rent our facilities to individuals and groups for everything from parties to personal retreats to conferences. We’re proud to be known for generous hospitality and nurturing staff, fabulous meals and a spectacular site. Harmony Hill is also known for being transformative, for those affected by cancer, those who chose to rent a wondrous place for retreat and change, and for the staff and volunteers that work here.

Our Future

We envision a future of growth and sustainability. A future that ensures the continuing evolution of our programs, and the stewardship of our facilities, while being an embodiment of positive, empowering, and inclusive organizational culture. We seek to double the number of free offerings at Harmony Hill to those affected by cancer. We wish to expand the diversity and modalities of our programming to be relevant on-site at Harmony Hill, in rural clinics and medical centers, in major hospitals or church basements. We seek to partner with other organizations to add to the body of evidence for the efficacy of programs like ours, which addresses the psychological and social impacts of cancer, and its effect as a powerful agent for change and engagement in the human experience. We intend to carry the message in every forum that cancer need not define a life, but it can open doors of personal discovery and growth like few other experiences.

It is the depth of this service that defines the power behind our other offerings on campus that promote opportunities for corporate and community groups to experience renewal, retreat and transforming growth. We see these programs becoming portable as well, able to travel to communities to provide professional development, stress reduction, and a place to safely grow and explore.

In addition to what you will read below, we seek a leader with vision, humor and tenacity!!

Executive Director Responsibilities

Section 1: Board Engagement

The Executive Director will take a leadership role in working to maintain a strong, informed and engaged Board of Directors; the Board and Executive Director will work together to create a strategic vision and join collaboratively with staff to make it happen.

We seek a candidate with a track record of successfully working with Boards, who understands the differing roles between ED and board, who places a high value on collaboration, open communication, and mutual respect as essential to organizational stability and good governance.

  • Implements Board policies, goals, priorities and objectives.
  • Works closely with Board, keeping the Board informed of all relevant issues; provides, in a timely and accurate manner, all financial and other information necessary for the Board to make informed decisions and attends all Board meetings and committee meetings as requested.
  • Works with Board members to aid them in developing their role as advocates, fundraisers, and ambassadors for the work of the organization.
  • Ensures opportunities for Board and staff to share vision, strategies, and tactics, and to appreciate each other’s roles and contributions.

Section 2: Operational Management

The Executive Director will oversee day-to-day operations and planning, providing supervision to direct reports and other staff as needed. We seek an applicant who is energetic and interested in the complex needs of a multi-faceted organization, who can respond to donor needs and community partners as readily as responding to an emergent facility need.

  • Facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and strengthens internal communications with staff throughout the organization; creates and promotes a positive, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization’s strategy, operational methods, and data collection needs.
  • Oversees and implements operational plans, policies, staffing and goals that align with the Strategic Business Plan.
  • Initiates planning for the 2019 Strategic Plan, building a process to ensure the inclusion of staff and faculty.
  • Manages personnel functions including job descriptions, salary ranges, hiring, evaluations, promotions, and terminations.
  • Oversees property, buildings, and infrastructure, monitors all upkeep and maintenance.

Section 3: Development

For many years, Harmony Hill has run a periodic operating deficit that is then underwritten by large gifts, often provided by the network of volunteers and long-time supporters in the immediate area. While this approach has been successful for decades, the board wishes to design annual fundraising and major donor relationships in a new way and create a cash reserve fund that will stabilize Harmony Hill’s financial cycles. The Interim Executive Director and the Board are now engaged in aggressive fundraising, in pursuit of new revenue-generating and mission-extending opportunities and are launching a campaign to raise 6-12 months of operating costs.

We seek a candidate with a joyful approach to building sustainable relationships with measurable and successful results in raising funds and in identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual, foundation and government donors.

  • Works with staff and board to build an annual development plan based upon budgetary goals and leads the team in creating strategic and tactical plans for achieving. Monitors, assesses and adjusts as needed.
  • Designs and implements an inclusive donor development program including major gifts, corporate gifts, and planned giving, covering acquisition, cultivation, retention, and appreciation with goals based on national benchmarks.
  • Manages campaigns, working directly with consultants and board members, to achieve goals.
  • Directs grant writer; reviews all proposals and reporting.
  • Provides leadership, direction and oversight of all events.
  • Is responsible for generating income to meet budgeted expenses as well as adding to reserves and where possible, building endowment funds.

Section 4: Marketing/Communication

Harmony Hill has a passionate following; however, it is clear that many more people who need our services and who might support them, are unaware of either our existence or the amazing work that takes place here. We desire beautiful and consistent marketing and communication that will inform our friends, and open doors to new long-term relationships.

  • Works with staff to create a marketing calendar based on development and program needs that reflects current best practices, including social media and ensure capacity to implement the plan.
  • Monitors and evaluates marketing outcomes, revises plans and priorities as needed.
  • Serves as an articulate and persuasive spokesperson for Harmony Hill; represent HH to all of its constituencies; cultivate strong and supportive relationships with other institutions in the region and in the community.
  • Enhances Harmony’s reputation as a leader in the field, known for exceptional programs and services that support those affected by cancer and provide transformational space and opportunities for individuals, families, and organizations.

Section 5: Programs and Services

Transforming the lives of individuals affected by cancer and inspiring healthy living for all is the mission of Harmony Hill. At the heart of that mission is to support the survivorship of people affected by cancer — including their caregivers and health care professionals — with hope, healing and tools for positive change. People living with a diagnosis should have access to practical resources for emotional, mental, and spiritual healing and our retreats, workshops, videos, and other offerings provide much-needed support. A large and generous community of supporters fund these cancer programs, allowing us to offer them at no cost to participants. In addition, we offer Health Professional programs to help physicians, nurses, social workers, and other clinicians – as well as entire workplace teams — enhance their own resilience and wellbeing. Our services also include hosting group conferences, seminars, and workshops, strategic planning meetings, team building and staff retreats, weddings, celebrations of life, and family gatherings.

We seek a candidate who will bring deep energy and innovation to this work. One who will forge collaborations and appropriately manage various relationships with other like organizations, thought leaders in the field, advocates, schools, medical systems, universities, volunteers and other community members and recognizes the value in utilizing staff in all aspects of program vision and delivery.

Cancer and Wellness Retreats (HH Sponsored On-site, off-site)

  • Cultivates partnerships with organizations that serve persons affected by cancer, and others with health challenges, to create more opportunities for fee-based retreats for caretakers, providers and medical staff.
  • Engages in regional outreach cultivating partnerships and collaborations that result in increased numbers of sponsored programs with hospitals and potential community partners.
  • Coordinates with Program Manager to assure delivery of contracted programming.
  • Participates in Cancer Retreats for planning meetings, opening circles, and meals to increase connection with the participants we serve, and cultivate relationships with faculty and volunteers.
  • Works with the Program Manager to ensure open, transparent and timely communication with all Faculty on all issues and opportunities; maintain oversight via communication with Faculty Liaison and Faculty Lead to ensure excellence in programming and Faculty.
  • Assesses program offerings based on budget, mission, and viability.

Section 6: Facilities Rentals/Guest Services (Events, organizational retreats)

As stated, Harmony Hill hosts group conferences, seminars, and workshops, strategic planning meetings, team building and staff retreats, weddings, celebrations of life, and family gatherings. This critical income stream assists us in providing all cancer-related offerings at no cost. This side of our work also allows us to offer the many layers of community opportunities to experience the power of Harmony Hill as a container for important organizational endeavors, as well as family celebrations.

  • Works with staff to develop a comprehensive plan to strengthen, continually refresh and enrich Harmony Hill’s rentals and services; work collaboratively to innovate and develop income streams via on-site sales and rental marketing.
  • Develops relationships with others outside of the organization that can strengthen programming and rentals that will contribute continued excellence in our services.
  • Develops balanced priorities of rentals versus program offerings to maximize income opportunities, and mission delivery.
  • Ensures a high caliber of service, safety, and facility conditions for all guests, through supervision and monitoring of evaluations and faculty/guest feedback.

Section 7: Financial Management

The financial management of Harmony Hill is highly competent and functions along with best practices guidelines, generating weekly and monthly reports that address all aspects of planning and budgeting, and providing essential information for projections, analysis, grant writing and programmatic decisions.

We seek a candidate who in addition to being competent in understanding the meaning of financial reports also understands the role of budgeting and sees how allocations speak to priorities, Issues of equity, staff growth and the development of organizational capacity.

  • Provides fiscal management that anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.
  • Oversees the financial status of the organization including developing long and short-range financial plans, maintains awareness of trends, making recommendations based on informed analysis, monitoring the budget and ensuring sound financial controls are in place.
  • Sets financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the needs of the program and staff.
  • Works with the accounting manager to ensure accurate and timely reports and manage critical elements of financial health including cash flow, forecasting, receivables, and payables, risk management, insurance, income vs expense and taxes.
  • Creates a budget building process and works with staff to formulate budgets for board approval, based on the assumption that an operating budget will demonstrate in numbers the organization's commitment to fulfilling its mission.
  • Works closely with Board Treasurer for review of all financial and accounting records.

Required Skills

  • BA plus professional development
  • Seven or more years of senior nonprofit management experience;
  • Solid, hands-on budget and financial management skills, including budget preparation, strategic financial analysis, reporting
  • Minimum 3 years leading a development team with a track record of successful annual campaigns and cultivation of major donors.
  • Demonstrable written and verbal communication skills; the ability to guide messaging for marketing and donor development, lead effective meetings and engage as a public speaker.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and relationship-building skills, with a track record of building strong staff teams, effective board development, and sustainable external partnerships
  • Ability to create a culture of empowerment, collaboration, leadership development and accountability with an emphasis on inclusion, diversity and cultural awarenessStrongly Preferred Skills
  • Strong organizational abilities, including annual plans and calendars for organizational functions.
  • Ability to move between strategic and tactical, set priorities and manage multiple short-term and long-term projects simultaneously
  • Utilizes a continuous improvement model of planning, implementation, and assessment.
  • Ability to make decisions, often with partial information, in a deadline-driven environment
  • Knowledge of the requirements and restrictions of a 501©(3), 501©(4), and PACs

Desired Strengths

  • Understanding tenets of servant leadership
  • Listening deeply
  • Problem solving with a team
  • Delegating and follow-up
  • Program development, both strategic and tactical elements
  • Fund development- basic types and best practices
  • Skillful communication in groups
  • Volunteer Development
  • Transparent decision-making skills
  • Relationship building at every level
  • Promoting a culture of inclusivity, integrity, collaboration, honesty, and trust

Harmony Hill is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, parental status, ancestry, disability, gender identity, veteran status, genetic information, other distinguishing characteristics of diversity and inclusion, or any other protected status.

Physical Criteria

  • The ability to lift 25 pounds
  • The ability to respond quickly to sounds
  • The ability to move safely over uneven terrain or in confined spaces
  • The ability to walk up stairs
  • The ability to see and respond to dangerous situations
  • The ability to drive in rain or snowy weather

About our Facility and Location

Located on the hillside at the southern end of Hood Canal, we inhabit a 100-year-old homestead, Harmony Hill is an 11-acre facility with a mix of original and new, built to match craftsman style buildings. We have four guest residences capable of sleeping 34 guests, a facilities building whose upstairs is the residence of our founder Gretchen Schodde, a concert and event space that can accommodate 175 guests in theater-style seating, a bungalow administration building, and a large all glass greenhouse with a full aquaponics system to let us grow food used in our kitchen. The sweeping grounds are dotted with gardens and towering Western Red Cedars and are home to our two labyrinths. Walking these have often been one of our guests more unforgettable experiences. Hiking trails run up the hills behind us and our land is abundant with forests and indigenous wildlife. The beautiful view from offices, cottages, dining hall, grounds and gardens, includes water, beaches, and mountains.

For many people, when they arrive, they feel an instant connection with the land and the sense of peace that makes Harmony Hill a treasure in the Pacific Northwest.

Please note that we request that candidates live within 45miles of Harmony Hill or be willing to relocate. There are 5 communities within that range, from Olympia to Tacoma. This request is based on wishing to support the healthy life style of our staff and insure the fullness their contribution to Harmony Hill. \

Website: www.harmonyhill.org

Location: 7362 E. State Route 106 Union, WA 98592

Salary: Dependent upon experience, range of $85,000-$98,000

Relocation Expenses: Up to $1000

Applications Accepted Until: June 21, 2019

Anticipated Start date: July 2019

Applicants must submit a resume and a cover letter addressing your interest in the position and how your experience meets the needs of our organization. There will be an interview process that includes being on site in Union, Washington.

If you have any special needs regarding confidentiality of your candidacy, please indicate such in your cover letter. We will respond to all applicants.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $75,000.00 to $90,000.00 /year


  • Financial Analysis: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Nonprofit Management: 7 years (Preferred)


  • Bachelor's (Required)


  • Union, WA (Preferred)

Work authorization:

  • United States (Required)

Benefits offered:

  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement benefits or accounts
  • Employee discounts