Hiring! The Search for the Director of Advancement for The Landing School of Boat Building & Design

Pillar's New Search

Pillar Search is pleased to announce the search for the first-ever Director of Advancement for The Landing School of Boat Building & Design in Arundel, Maine.  This is a truly unique and exciting role for an experienced Advancement professional with a passion for education and experience using innovative and varied fundraising techniques to build a culture of advancement that takes The Landing School to the next level.


This is a part-time role targeted at 12-20 hours per week initially, and the possibility to increase hours in the future. The Director of Advancement will have the flexibility to work remotely and visit the school 1-2 times per month.  


“The Landing” is a short stretch of the Kennebunk River in Arundel, Maine where The Landing School is located. It was once an internationally famous shipbuilding area and the home of more than 20 shipbuilding firms dating back to the 1600’s. In December of 1978, the first class of 9 students at The Landing School launched a Chamberlain dory-skiff, reviving the boat building trade along The Landing.


Today, each of The Landing School’s ten-month-long programs culminates in a diploma for students who successfully complete their courses within the high standards set by the faculty. In 2009, the State of Maine Department of Education and The School’s accrediting agency, ACCSC, approved The Landing School as a degree-granting institution. A student who successfully completes two technical programs and 15 credit-hours of general education courses is eligible to receive an Associate’s degree. The Landing School has been recognized by ACCSC as a 2014 ACCSC School of Distinction / ACCSC School of Excellence.


Education from The Landing School reinforces and preserves traditional design and construction methods while advancing the art of boat building, design and maintenance through the integration of modern techniques and contemporary materials. The marine industry values this unique training and has lauded The Landing School internationally with a reputation for graduates of exceptional quality.

Brittany announcement The Landing School


The Landing School seeks students who are not “usual”, who are not satisfied with the status quo; they look for passionate students who imagine vividly and want to create cool things.  Their students have come from forty-one U.S. states and ten countries.  They are high school graduates, college graduates, second career seekers, veterans, and adult learners. 


Within the transformational environment of The Landing School students find strengths they had not imagined. The practical skills offered by our curriculum are designed to provide graduates not simply with a better job prospect but more importantly with a rewarding career in the marine industry as an innovative designer, boat-builder or systems technician. Graduates of The Landing School are able to work professionally on today’s vessels and imagine tomorrow’s, pushing the boundaries of the industry’s evolving technology while understanding and appreciating the rich maritime traditions of the past.


As an employer, The Landing School offers a supportive community of faculty, staff, and fellow students who all work together to regularly achieve the impossible.


For more information about The Landing School of Boat Building, please visit http://www.landingschool.edu.  



Like many of Maine’s coastal towns, Arundel (once part of neighboring Kennebunkport) first prospered as a shipbuilding center and fishing village, and later became a destination for summer residents. Today, Arundel is one of Southern Maine’s fastest growing communities. Its current population is approximately 4,200.  

The Opportunity:

The Director of Advancement will be the chief fundraiser, and as the first person in this role will create and implement an innovative and comprehensive fundraising program and culture of philanthropy throughout The Landing School. This will include broadening philanthropic funding by engaging students, parents, and alumni, and working with corporate donors and foundations, the community.


The Director of Advancement will report to the President of The Landing School. A key member of the executive team, this role will work closely with the board of trustees. Please note that this role will not directly manage staff.


Overview of the Ideal Candidate:  

The Director of Advancement will have a minimum of 10-15 years of experience in fundraising, including several years in senior leadership roles, and demonstrate the ability and vision to deliver results. Experience in multiple areas of fundraising is required, including annual fund, major giving, legacy gifts, grant writing, running capital campaigns, and creating a philosophy of lifelong giving in alumni.


The Director of Advancement will have the proven ability to advance a school or non-profit both internally and externally, and will be a skilled relationship building who is creative, outgoing, self-starter, motivated and engaging. The candidate must be comfortable working in a small organization and willing to wear many hats as needed.


A degree is required. Knowledge of the marine industry is strongly preferred.


The Landing School is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.


For Immediate Consideration:

This search is being managed by Pillar Search. To apply, please send your cover letter and resume, including salary requirements, to Cindy Joyce at cindy@pillarsearch.com.


With personalized service and proven results, Pillar is your partner in executive search and human resources consulting. With over 20 years of experience, Pillar provides national retained search services for exceptional non-profits and foundations and early-stage or rapid growth for-profit firms. All share the characteristic of desiring top talent who want an occupassion, not just an occupation.     In addition, Pillar offers human resources consulting services, which was born of clients requesting help on projects beyond executive search, and includes human resources audits, creating a handbook, assessing organizational design, training, team building, and employee communications.    A woman-owned business, Pillar is based in Boston, MA, and works on both a local and national level. To contact Pillar, please click here.


Pro Bono Posting: Major Gifts Officer with The One Love Foundation, an Outstanding Nonprofit!

The One Love Foundation is committed to philanthropically funding the development and distribution of its educational tools and initiatives in the interest of sparking a movement to end relationship violence. As such, fundraising is a critical element of their work. They are hoping to hire an experienced fundraiser to identify and engage donors in their mission.  The One Love Foundation’s ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic fundraising professional who believes wholeheartedly in their mission and is eager to identify, cultivate, and solicit individuals capable of making major gifts.


This is a unique opportunity for a dedicated, results-oriented, relationship builder to make a significant impact at an innovative nonprofit. One Love is in a phase of rapid growth. The position requires strong entrepreneurial skills to leverage their small donor base and to build new relationships in their focused regions. This is not a traditional major gift officer position, but rather an opportunity to help a relatively new nonprofit grow and deepen in regions across the country.


Responsibilities of the job include:

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual and corporate donors at the major gift level ($2,500 – $100,000+).
  • Develop customized strategies to cultivate and solicit donors.
  • Identify new fundraising opportunities that match One Love’s mission and priorities.
  • Work with the Managing Director, Partnerships to establish, develop and implement fundraising goals.
  • Create and develop compelling proposals to donors that effectively make the case for support.
  • Assist in the development of Regional Leadership Councils (Boston, Dallas, New York & San Francisco) and lead efforts to engage and empower these important stakeholders and donors.


To Apply:

Send the following to jobs@joinonelove.org

  • Put: “I’m your next Major Gift Officer” in the subject line
  • Include an attached resume in PDF format



Another Successful Executive Search from Pillar for WildAid!

Pillar's Search Success

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Pillar Search is proud to have successfully partnered with WildAid on the search for their Managing Director of U.S. Operations and the placement of Rebekah Owen.


Founded in 1999, WildAid is an environmental organization based in San Fransisco, CA focused on reducing the demand for wildlife products. WildAid works with media, governments, celebrities and local partners and communities worldwide to make wildlife conservation a global priority.


As Managing Director of U.S. Operations, Rebekah will be responsible for recruiting and hiring all U.S. staff and managing their well-being. She will bring her experience and talent to bear on improving the global organization infrastructure to accommodate continued growth and geographic expansion. Rebekah will plan and lead the organization’s non-programmatic fundraising and non-programmatic organizational communications strategy. Additionally, she will serve as counsel on short- and long-term fundraising, financial, staffing, and administrative decisions.


Rebekah joins WildAid from Asante Africa, where she held the role of Chief Operating Officer. Prior roles include Executive Director, Business Management Operations and Strategy at Kaiser Permanente and Manager, Capital Planning and Analysis with Mervyn’s. Rebekah holds a MBA from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.


With personalized service and proven results, Pillar is your partner in executive search and human resources consulting. With over 20 years of experience, Pillar provides retained search services for exceptional non-profits and foundations and early-stage or rapid growth for-profit firms. A woman-owned business, Pillar is based in Boston, MA, and works on both a local and national level. To learn more about how Pillar can assist with your search needs, please contact Cindy Joyce at cindy@pillarsearch.com.

Onboard or Onward: Ensuring the Success of Your New Executive Hire

“About 40% of executives who change jobs or get promoted fail in the first 18 months.”

Fortune Magazine

Where does it all go wrong? Too often, the onboarding process is where things fall apart. I am not talking about “orientation”, which often is done day one and generally involves the basics of assigning a building pass, conducting a benefits overviews, meeting the team and reading a few policies. Onboarding is a longer process, and if done well (typically in partnership with Human Resources and managed by the new executive’s manager, or the Board Chair if they report to the Board of Directors) can almost guarantee fit. It is holistic and gradual. It is also very deliberate, and will require constant check-ins and open communication.  Here are five key activities that will help to ensure that your new executive will be successful in their new role:

Start to Onboard Before They are Actually ON BOARD!

The time between an offer being accepted and the executive starting is sensitive. They may be dealing with a counteroffer, having to say goodbye to much-loved colleagues, and are nervous about this new venture. Keep in touch. Reiterate your excitement to have them joining the team, and have a few people in the organization reach out. If there are organizational overviews, annual reports, strategic plans or other things that that they can read up on ahead of time, get those to them during this time so that they start to feel like part of the team.

Send an announcement out to the staff and the board a few days before their start date explaining their background and the job they are filling. This will help make them seem more familiar to the team when they come through the door, and as an added benefit they will not have to review their resume and background with absolutely everyone in their first week or so.

Relationship Before Task 

Ideally, new executives will meet with their team and people across the organization. One-on-one meetings are great, but remind those who will be meeting with the executive to get to know them before delving into the inner workings of their role or the issues they face. Building rapport with new colleagues and direct reports is critical in the early days.

Learn By Doing 

Too often, in an effort to get all the information to a new hire as soon as possible, they are introduced to processes way too soon. Guess what? They will not remember how to do an expense report or change their password or complete a sales report 30 to 60 days in when they actually need to do it if they are taught how to do it their first week. Have the right people meet with them at the start to review the process at a high level, and then have them set up a time to do it later when they can sit down with real data and learn from it real-time.

The Buddy System 

What we learned in grade school still applies: the buddy system works when the new kid starts. This should not be the executive’s manager, but a peer or high-performing direct report who has longevity and the personality to be an effective buddy. The buddy can manage the nicety of taking them to lunch on day one and being available to explain the intricacies of culture, relationship dynamics, and certain pitfalls to avoid, which are things that the executive may not be comfortable asking of higher-ups.

Check In Early & Often

I too often hear that executives join, get a ton of attention the first day or two, and then are largely left on their own. It does not feel welcoming, and it runs the risk of them going in a direction that is difficult to course-correct later on. Meet with them daily, even for 10-15 minutes, in the first few weeks. Move on to twice weekly, weekly….you get the point. Let them know where they are doing a great job. Let them know where they need to take a different approach. But LET THEM KNOW. Being clear on what is a success will lead to more success.

While by no means a complete onboarding process, following the steps above will help to ensure that your new executive hire is one of the 60% who will be a success in the first 18 months.

Cindy Joyce is an Executive Recruiter and the Founder of Pillar Search, an Executive Search and HR Consulting firm located in Boston that works with clients nationwide. She can be reached here.