Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer


  • Full Time
  • Lisle, IL, USA
  • $225,000-260,000 USD / Year

Website The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum, globally recognized for its century-long commitment to tree-focused science, conservation, and education, seeks a strategic and collaborative leader to serve as its Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). This role oversees financial activities in coordination with the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Board of Trustees, and the Finance and Audit & Risk Committees. Additionally, it serves as a senior strategic partner to the CEO, contributing to the development and implementation of business and operations strategy. The responsibilities also include providing strategic direction and leadership across Finance, Facilities, Information Technology, and Sustainability. As a member of the Leadership Team, this role plays a pivotal role in shaping institutional direction, strategic planning, and policy development.
Position Summary: Lead all financial activities of the Arboretum, in conjunction with the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Board of Trustees, and the Finance and Audit & Risk Committees of the Board. Play a critical role in developing and implementing business and operations strategy for the Arboretum. Provide strategic direction and leadership to Finance, Facilities, Information Technology, and Sustainability. Serve as a member of the Leadership Team, which is responsible for Arboretum leadership initiatives, institutional direction, strategic planning, and policy development.

Essential Functions:

Lead annual and long-term financial planning to ensure fiscal integrity and support of the Arboretum’s strategic plan. Oversee budgeting and budget performance. Recommend progressive financial structures and strategies, consistent with institutional risk tolerance, to maximize program activity and mission delivery.
Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the CEO and leadership team and make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations.
Support the Treasurer and the Finance and Audit and Risk Committees in meeting financial governance and oversight responsibilities. Responsible for the overall assessment and management of institutional risk. Ensure sufficient mitigation strategies are in place to minimize loss.
Serve as the primary agent of financial control at the Arboretum. Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems, ensuring compliance with appropriate generally accepted accounting principles, and regulatory and audit requirements. Ensure that appropriate internal control safeguards are in place, and oversee coordination of all audit activities.
Serve as the primary staff liaison to coordinate with the Arboretum’s investment advisor in executing endowment investment policies and decisions of the Finance Committee.
Provide strategic guidance and leadership to Facilities, ensuring well-maintained buildings and infrastructure, and the efficient, optimal use of financial resources in doing so.
Provide strategic oversight for Information Technology, ensuring robust cybersecurity, data management, and the cost-effective implementation of technology and services to meet the needs of internal partners and external audiences.
Serve as the institutional manager of legal services, selecting key resources to support the Arboretum in ensuring appropriate legal review of all contracts and agreements and managing risk.
Provide leadership and work with the Director of Sustainability to advance strategic initiatives, coordinating the use of financial resources to execute projects and providing guidance and robust oversight of ongoing capture of benefits.
Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning, and make the Arboretum exceptional.
Other duties as assigned.
Supervisory Responsibilities:

Serve in a supervisory capacity of one or more employees, providing leadership guidance and communicating the organization’s goals. This includes:Hiring, training, coaching and developing team members, by providing recognition and feedback, and evaluating performance
Ensuring that team members adhere to the Arboretum’s policies and procedures, and maintaining a safe and compliant work environment
Building and maintaining positive working relationships with team members, colleagues, and other partners to foster a collaborative and supportive work environment
Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required, MBA preferred, CPA a plus. 10+ years of broad financial experience required. Experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership required. Experience managing the finance function (accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting) within a diverse organization required. Demonstrated experience working as a true business partner with the senior leader of a large division or CEO of a business or organization, with clear experience translating a strategic vision/plan into a successful operating model and financial plan. Strong analytical and financial modeling skills are required. As a leader of the Arboretum, exhibit behavior and work ethics that provide a model for other employees. Special emphasis must be placed on a positive attitude, energetic effort and initiative, active public relations and service, and deep commitment to institutional mission. Effective oral and written communication skills required.

Success Factors: Strong strategic capability, with the ability to deliver both business and institutional strategy. Exceptional leadership skills with the ability to motivate others and drive multiple initiatives simultaneously. Ability to support the pursuit of innovation with business integrity. Very high and uncompromising standards for financial control and integrity. An interest in and appreciation for the Arboretum’s mission is necessary for success in this position. Ability to embrace the brand, mission, and program diversity of the organization. Proactive, hands-on professional with a collaborative style and a strong service mentality. Strong interpersonal skills and adept at negotiation, mentoring, and influencing. Ability to work effectively with senior managers and interact with a diversity of employees, donors, and visitors with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Physical Demands: Requires some local and national travel.
Work Environment: Work is performed primarily indoors, in an office setting.
Equipment: General office equipment.
The anticipated hiring range for this position is $225,000-$260,000.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.

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