Horse Country Executive Director

Horse Country, Inc., a 501 (c) 6 membership organization, unites equine attractions in a tourism and thoroughbred fan development initiative. The organization aims to make fans of farms, horses, and the sport through experiences at member locations. This organization is still young, but has already garnered attention through coverage in publications such as Southern Living, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Thoroughbred Daily News, The Bloodhorse and more.

JOB TITLE: Executive Director

OVERVIEW: The Executive Director leads an internal team, manages key stakeholder relationships with members and sponsors, and maintains community outreach in service of the mission and work of Horse Country, while ensuring ongoing functions of the organization’s structure and operations.

RESPONSIBILITES: The Executive Director should have a robust understanding of all levels of the organization in order to support staff and ensure vibrant and relevant programming and marketing activities.

Horse Country platform
• Ensure ongoing functionality of online systems and integrations for primary sales channel functionality (website and/or booking system)
• Conduct on a regular basis or as needed reviews of key vendors with operations committee for selection or confirmation of providers and services
• Maintain an understanding of changing member needs and desires, guest preferences and tourism best practices to ensure vendor meets key benchmarks for user experience (front and back end), desired integrations and supports sales objectives

Horse Country Members
• Develop and maintain relationships and regular communication with key member representatives
• Provide proactive and available service to member needs including
• Offer guidance and feedback on best practices and performance

Horse Country Team
• Manage staff to ensure high levels of service to member, guest and mission including regular review of performance, responsibilities, benefits and compensation plans
• Plan and host an Annual Meeting with the Horse Country membership
• Schedule regular meetings with and provide organizational KPI updates to the Horse Country Board of Directors
• Work with Treasurer and Finance committee to develop annual budget and financial oversight
• Identify industry tradeshows and community events to elevate the Horse Country brand

OTHER DUTIES AS ASSIGNED
• Horse Country maintains weekend on-call support for guests and all staff are assigned to rotating Weekends/On call

QUALIFICATIONS
• Five (5) to ten (10) years of professional experience managing and leading a team
• Hospitality/Travel/Tourism experience preferred
• Project Management and event planning/coordination

SKILLS
• Excellent communication skills, including public speaking
• Ability to respond to member and guest requests in an efficient and professional manner
• Experience in social media, website and other computer programs

EDUCATION
• Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
• Must possess a valid driver’s license, acceptable driving record and reliable transportation

COMPENSATION
The position of Executive Director will be a year-round, full-time salaried position. Annual compensation will be negotiated and commensurate with relevant experience.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume and references (not to exceed five (5) pages by Friday, December 10 to
Gathan Borden, Horse Country Board Chair, [email protected]


Horse Country Internship

Horse Country, Inc., a membership organization unites thoroughbred farms, clinics and equine attractions in a fan development initiative. The organization aims to make fans of farms, horses, and the sport through experiences at member locations. We have already garnered attention and support internationally in industry circles and press.

Horse Country is seeking interns to work with the organization during this critical development phase. Horse Country will provide training and experience in nonprofit management through work on membership relations, marketing and communications, merchandising, operations, tourism, finance and more.

Successful candidates will demonstrate a strong work ethic and commitment to the mission of the organization. Candidates may be from a variety of backgrounds or with a variety of interest. Please detail any specific qualifications or areas of interest in the cover letter. Equine experience is not required.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Frontline customer service
• Volunteer coordination
• Member relations
• Social media & online communications (using tools such as mailchimp)
• Drafting press releases and assisting with various written press materials
• Compiling/updating media contact lists
• Working with the Horse Country brand team on development of image, brand, and mission/vision
• Merchandise program development and fulfillment
• Developing evaluation tools for visitors, members and partners
• Developing standards documents and member manuals
• Preparation of board meeting materials
• Taking and organizing committee and board minutes
• Develop presentations for community meetings

Requirements:
• Currently enrolled as a junior or senior, seeking academic credit for an unpaid internship
• Exceptional writing and communications skills; ability to work with diverse clients
• Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, familiarity with social networking sites
• Organized with the ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments
• Creative and flexible, a proven self-starter
• Ability to lift, push, pull or carry up to 50 lbs
• Comfortable with direct customer service
• Located in Lexington or surrounding area

Internship inquiries should contain the following information:
• Cover Letter
• Resume
• 1-3 Writing Samples

To Apply:

Submit your information to [email protected] The email subject line should read Internship.

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