President and Chief Executive Officer

Management
Full-time
Rural County Representatives of California
1/01/2021
trevor.hooper@russellreynolds.com

Founded in 1972, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a 37-member county service organization championing rural policies at the state and federal levels. Rural counties face unique challenges when dealing with state and federal policies. The greater distances, lower population densities, and geographic diversity of RCRC’s member counties create unique obstacles. For those reasons, “one-size-fits-all” policies don’t work. The core of RCRC’s mission is to improve the ability of small, rural California county government to provide services by reducing the burden of state and federal mandates, and promoting a greater understanding among policy makers about the unique challenges that face California's small population counties.

Stretching from Oregon to Mexico and Nevada to the Pacific Coast, RCRC’s thirty-seven member counties include: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba. Collectively, more than 75 percent of U.S. Forest Service land in California lies within RCRC member counties. Also, nearly 75 percent of California’s available water originates in the northern third of the state, while over 70 percent of the demand occurs in the southern two-thirds of the state and coastal areas. RCRC membership includes nearly 60% of California’s landmass, but less than 12% of the State’s population, lending to the need for a larger voice.

Based on the multi-entity forming documents, the President of RCRC also serves as the Executive Director of the Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA), the President of the National Homebuyers Fund (NHF), the Executive Director of the Rural Environmental Services Joint Powers Authority (ESJPA), and the President and CEO of the Golden State Natural Resources (GSNR).

The RCRC Board of Directors is comprised of a member of the Board of Supervisors from each of its 37 member counties. RCRC staff work in partnership with the Board of Directors to deliver a rural perspective when legislation and regulations are being formulated in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Their efforts help enhance and protect the quality of life in California’s small and rural counties.

RCRC provides the rural county perspective on a myriad of issues during the legislative and regulatory processes, including land use, water and natural resources, housing, transportation, wildfire protection policies, and health and human services. RCRC's advocacy efforts are based upon the RCRC Board adopted Policy Principles.

To learn more, visit: https://www.rcrcnet.org.

The Role
The President and CEO is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the association’s activities. He/She will work closely with the Board on the development and implementation of RCRC’s strategic vision and plan and the policies and programs to advance the interests of the membership. The new President will be charged with leading this important organization with a rich history in rural community representation and services.

RCRC and its affiliate entities are a highly complex organization and it will be critical that the next president have strong business acumen and possess deep experience with fiduciary responsibility at scale. The next President must be able to assess risk and determine the best use of the organization’s resources. This leader should be skilled and insightful in balancing short- and long-term needs for the organization and its members.

Further, the President will be called upon to act as an external spokesperson and representative for the membership to a wide range of key constituents and the public and will be expected to be actively engaged in public policy issues relevant to rural communities, including (but not limited to) forest resiliency, infrastructure, transportation, broadband, county finance, workforce development, and public safety/administration of justice.  He/She will be charged with helping build consensus among its 37-member Board of Directors and membership on a wide variety of matters.

The Board of Directors will expect him/her to effectively oversee RCRC’s resources, both personnel and fiscal, in an efficient and competent manner. Moreover, it is critical that he/she is an inspirational leader who will motivate, develop, leverage, and retain an outstanding staff.

Major responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Ensure successful execution of RCRC’s mission and empower staff to fulfil their roles.
Work with the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to set policy for the organization.
Ensure the financial integrity of the organization through sound financial management practices, overall administration, investment management, program development and operations, and budgeting.
Act as a chief spokesperson for the organization.
Ensure that relations with other organizations and entities are consistent with and advance the interests of RCRC and its members.
Promote RCRC at various conferences and meetings.
Ensure counties’ views are presented in the shaping of public policy, reflecting counties’ policy principles on priority issues.
Effectively oversee the human resources of the organization according to policies and procedures that conform to current laws and regulations.

Candidate Profile
For this critical position, RCRC is seeking a creative, visionary, strategic leader. It is essential that the next President have sound business acumen and the ability to balance the strategic priorities of RCRC and its members. The successful candidate will be a person of stature, capable of leading an organization whose members are facing significant challenges. Accordingly, RCRC will need to evaluate its own operations and programs to best serve the needs of its members. The ideal candidate will be results oriented with a track record of demonstrated success in leading organizations through strategic planning processes and budget management and then working towards the implementation of those goals.

The candidate must have an appreciation for leading an organization with diverse revenue streams, and an ability to conceptualize new sources of revenue. He/She must have experience managing an organization in a fiscally responsible manner. An experienced executive, the new President will be skilled at working with Boards of Directors to articulate and create an evolving vision for the future of the organization and how it can help its members generate consensus around that vision and its priorities.

The next President should bring an understanding of life in rural communities; connection to California would be a plus. The ideal candidate will have a knowledge base in local government, gained through either experience in local government, in a state association representing local government, personal connection, or some other experience. He/She should also have a solid grasp of the Washington D.C. public policy arena as well as familiarity with an association environment with multiple disciplines. Because of the RCRC’s focus on advocacy, it will be helpful for the new President to have a track record of successfully managing and leading individuals or an organization charged with advancing goals related to complicated public policy issues. Further, it is essential that this individual be skilled at leading staff in developing and maintaining strong bipartisan and grass roots relationships.

The new President will be a poised, charismatic, and energetic leader who is also down-to-earth and approachable. The individual must have outstanding interpersonal acumen and communication skills. He/She must have a track record of successfully leading and building consensus in complex environments. The President must be a diplomat who is skilled at building bridges and developing relationships in a variety of settings with diverse constituencies. The individual will possess intellectual breadth and rigor that conveys confidence and credibility, both within the organization and externally. The successful candidate must be a person of the utmost personal and professional integrity with a high level of energy. He/She must possess the right combination of self-confidence balanced with humility and a healthy sense of humor.