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Cornell Cooperative Extension CCE of Ontario County: Executive Director – Canandaigua, NY in Canandaigua, New York

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being. Rooted in every county of the state, CCE Associations bring local experience and research-based solutions together, helping New York state families and communities thrive in our rapidly changing world.

CCE of Ontario County is an NYS subordinate governmental agency, under the oversight of Cornell University, with an annual operating budget of approximately $1.8 million, including staff and approximately thirteen dedicated, trained volunteers who assist with public outreach and education efforts.

CCE Ontario owns and operates 4-H Camp Bristol Hills; one of nine residential 4-H Camps in NYS. The Executive Director supports 4-H Camp by assisting with obtaining funding for facility improvements and program expansion, works with the 4-H Camp Educator to provide financial oversight, and ensures HR policies are met with the 40+ seasonal staff members.

Since 1913, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County has responded to the needs of local residents with unbiased, research-based information, tools and education that people have come to depend on and trust. Our programs are developed in direct response to community input and are based on the most current information available from Cornell and other Land Grant universities from across the nation. The mission of Cooperative Extension is to enable people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work. Extension staff and trained volunteers deliver education programs, conduct applied research, and encourage community collaborations. Our educators connect people with the information they need on topics such as commercial and consumer agriculture; nutrition and health; youth and families; finances; energy efficiency; economic and community development; and sustainable natural resources. Our ability to match university resources with community needs helps us play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families, businesses, and communities throughout Ontario County.

The Executive Director provides overall leadership for the Association - setting local program priorities in collaboration with the Board of Directors. This position also ensures equitable, diverse, and inclusive programs and practices, operational compliance and risk management, fiscal oversight, and effective people and facilities management. The Executive Director successfully navigates competing priorities while also building and maintaining tactful, collaborative relationships with multiple audiences. These audiences include the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, the association’s volunteers, other CCE Executive Directors, Ontario County Farmers, and more. This position can sometimes be “hands-on” with no task too big or too small to tackle, helping to ensure constituents value the expertise and vital work of CCE of Ontario County.

Application Instructions

In the My Information section be sure to enter your full name, address, email, and phone number(s).

Include a cover letter, resume and at least three references (at least one who is a current or former supervisor or teacher). To attach documents, under the My Experience section use the Select Files button to search for files or use the Drop Files Here box to drag documents into your application. If you plan to upload more than one document, click the Upload icon for each additional document. Please note, once your application is submitted you will not be able to change your submission or add attachments. If you would like to add or update documents to your online application after submission, please contact Kelsey James, Association Lead Human Resources Manager, via e-mail

External Applicants : (including current employees of other Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations) please refer to Applying for a Job with Cornell Cooperative Extension (External Candidate) ( for additional guidance.

All Internal Applicants : Those who are currently employed by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association indicated in this job posting must apply online via their employee Workday account, which may be accessed here:

Apply By

All applications must be received on-line by 11:59 pm on October 12, 2023. Position closing dates may change based on Association needs.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree plus a minimum of six (6) years of related experience, including four (4) years in a leadership capacity. A PhD may substitute for 1 year of experience.

  • Commitment to working with diverse populations, contributing to organizational diversity efforts, and/or evidence of cultural competence.

  • Ability to meet travel requirements associated with this position.

  • Ability to work flexible hours which may include evenings and/or weekends, as appropriate.

  • Ability to demonstrate engagement in the Association by regularly providing in-person organizational leadership and oversight; develops a credible leadership presence in the community.

  • A commitment to being a strong physical presence in the county to build community connections with constituencies, local organizations, and community leaders.

  • Ability to clearly communicate (speak, read, and write proficiently) in English.

  • Ability to meet the regular or to frequent travel requirements associated with this position; a valid NYS driver's license with the ability to drive and driving record acceptable for Association insurance coverage are required.

  • Commitment to working with diverse populations, contributing to organizational diversity efforts, and/or evidence of cultural competence.

  • Knowledge – Knowledge or understanding of one or more key CCE issues including: agriculture and food systems; community and economic vitality; environment & natural resources sustainable energy and climate change; nutrition, food safety and security and obesity prevention; 4-H youth development and strengthening families.

  • Leadership – Inspires and motivates others to perform; inspires respect and trust; provides vision; displays passion and optimism; mobilizes others to fulfill the vision; seeks to build strong cross-functional relationships between the association, the county, volunteers, and Cornell University.

  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; identifies external threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.

  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make timely decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; ensures compliance standards are met; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process.

  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change; monitors transition and evaluates results.

  • Business Acumen - Understands business implications of decisions; aligns work with strategic goals; works within approved budget; develops and implements cost saving measures; conserves organizational resources. Understands and develops diversified fund development plans such as appropriations, grants, contracts, capital campaigns, foundations, individual donors, corporate support, bequests, etc.

  • Embraces and develops competency in software and data management tools (financial systems, HR systems, etc.).

  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem solving situations and builds consensus.

  • Managing People - Provides regular performance feedback; develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth, delegates work assignments; sets expectations and monitors designated activities; provides recognition for results.

  • Proficiency with windows-based software including use of the internet and Microsoft Office Suite including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel.

  • Work Environment – In addition to the Working Conditions; Ability to work in a typical office environment which may include lifting, moving, and/or transporting office supplies, work related materials, and equipment with or without accommodation. This position occasionally works in outdoor weather conditions, including heat, precipitation and cold – especially during the fair season. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Substantial experience with public outreach.

  • Prior experience & high comfort level partnering with and stewarding Boards of Directors.

  • Experience within CCE, public (governmental), or nonprofit leadership.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of fund development, grants, and revenue enhancement.

    Position Responsibilities & Essential Functions

    Administrative Responsibilities:

Direction – 45 %

  • Working with the Board of Directors, encourage and ensure engagement with the CCE mission, vision, and values; guide the development of the Association’s Plan of Work, strategic plans, goals, and objectives.

  • Oversee the process of interpreting the Association and University program direction to assess, develop, plan, and evaluate educational programs which are reflective of the needs and demographics of the local citizens and communities. Facilitate connections between University staff/faculty and Association program staff. Evaluate the needs for expansion, reduction, or termination of programs.

  • Develop and expand relationships with local, county, state, or federal governments, key elected officials, Cornell University, other CCE Associations, agencies, organizations, industries, and community leaders that help advance the mission and goals of CCE.

  • Guide the development of the Associations finances (and fiscal stewardship), human resources (staff and volunteers), technology, marketing/communications, facilities, and risk management functions.

Management – 45 %

  • Lead the daily operations of the Association through its leadership, supervisors, and staff.

  • Frequently inform, negotiate, and collaborate with the Association Board of Directors and Cornell University on Association matters and decisions when needed or required.

  • Lead the implementation of the Association’s strategic plan.

  • Oversee programs to ensure that educational content conforms to research base, policies, and objectives.

  • Maintain and develop revenue streams to sustain and grow Association programming through a diversified fund development plan such as appropriations, grants, contracts, capital campaigns, foundations, individual donors, corporate support, bequests, etc.

  • Represent the Association before a variety of constituencies including alumni, friends, clientele, corporations, and foundations.

  • Strengthen and support Association volunteer recruitment, management, and recognition.

  • Carry out supervisory responsibilities either directly or through subordinate supervisors.

  • Ensure positive program, employee, and volunteer relations.

  • Ensure Association finances (and fiscal stewardship), human resources, technology, marketing/communications, and risk management functions are managed appropriately and in accordance with CCE standards.

  • Ensure all Association activities and operations are carried out in compliance with CCE policy, local, state, and federal regulations, and laws.

  • Participate as a collaborative member in the Finger Lakes Shared Business Network Administrative Management (AMG) group.

  • Oversee the maintenance of Association facilities and assets, such as property, vehicles, etc. including compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, delegating implementation as necessary.

  • Effectively oversee the allocation and alignment of human resources to accomplish the Association's objectives.

  • Implement and manage human resource policies established by the Board of Directors, by Cornell Cooperative Extension, or by state or federal law.

  • Ensure all staff are provided with performance development goals/support, and ensure that written, formal performance reviews are completed on an annual basis.

  • Lead the Association in ensuring that all data and information collected, accessed and/or maintained remains confidential to the extent required by policy, regulations and/or laws.

Coordination/Operation – 5 %

  • Review and approve time off requests for direct reports in a timely fashion.

  • Prepare and submit accurate expense reports, mileage reports, receipts/supporting documentation, and/or vouchers in a timely manner per established policy and procedures.

  • Lead the Association in ensuring that all data and information collected, accessed and/or maintained remains confidential to the extent required by policy, regulations and/or laws.

  • Provide data and information to assist with preparation of reports, impact statements, and success stories for funders, advisory committees, Board, and others as requested.

  • Transport self and/or program materials/resources in performing position responsibilities.

Professional Improvement – 5%

  • In cooperation with Supervisor and/or Executive Director, jointly develop and pursue a professional development plan as a means to increase competencies relative to position accountabilities and to address changes and Association priorities.

  • Collaborate in activities that are in general support of Cornell Cooperative Extension and perform other duties as assigned.

Health and Safety – Applied to all duties and functions.

  • Support the Association to maintain a safe working environment.

  • Be familiar with and strive to follow any applicable federal, state, local regulations, Association health and safety policy/procedure/requirement and standard.

  • Act proactively to prevent accidents/injuries and communicate hazards to supervisors when identified.

EEO/EPO and Policy – Applied to all duties and functions.

  • Appreciate and embrace diversity in all interactions with clientele, staff, volunteers, and the public.

  • Assist the Cornell Cooperative Extension system in reaching out to diverse audiences.

  • Aware of, and adheres to, established Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Ontario County policies, procedures, and Cornell Cooperative Extension Skills for Success.

  • Contribute to the overall success of the organization by performing all assigned duties in a professional, timely and accurate manner.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Position Details

This is a full-time (40h/week), exempt position. Compensation (commensurate with experience) paid between the rate of $80-$90k annually. Excellent benefits, based on eligibility, including:

  • Paid Vacation, Sick, and Personal leave

  • Paid Holidays

  • NYS Health Insurance Program (including free Dental Insurance)

  • NYS Retirement (NYSERS)

  • Long-Term Disability Insurance

  • Total Care Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • Tax Deferred Annuity Plan

  • Flexible Spending Accounts

  • Group Universal Life Insurance

  • Personal Accidental Insurance

  • Legal Plan Insurance

  • Long Term Care Insurance

  • Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Pet Insurance

  • New York’s College Savings Program

  • ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

No relocation or VISA Sponsorship available.

For additional questions please contact Kelsey James, Association Lead Human Resources Manager, e-mail or phone (585) 991-5425.

Job Title:

Association Exec Director


No Grade - Annual

Pay Rate Type:



Contract College

Contact Name:

Kelsey James

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a collaboration among Cornell University, the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of New York, and the residents of New York State. Per NYS Law, county and regional extension service associations are subordinate government agencies. This employment opportunity is with the entities listed and not with Cornell University.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. Individuals who bring a diverse perspective and are supportive of diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement ( . This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell Cooperative Extension as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a collaboration among Cornell University, the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of New York, and the residents of New York State. As provided in New York State County Law Article 5, Section 224, the independent county and regional extension service associations are locally operated under the direction of Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. County and regional extension service association employees are employed by their association to engage in educational work and are not employees of Cornell University. Look for us on the web at