Sudden Valley Community Association General Manager

City of Bellingham, WA | Full-time

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The Sudden Valley Community

The Sudden Valley Community Association (SVCA) is a sustainable and collaborative community where natural beauty, recreation, and civic engagement create a strong sense of belonging for its diverse membership. The Association’s mission is to foster a livable and inclusive community through exceptional service, transparency, and responsible stewardship of its shared resources.

SVCA is a 501(c)4 tax-exempt homeowner’s association formed under RCW 24.03, governed under various RCWs and local ordinances. SVCA is comprised of 3,131 billable lots, 2,678 homes, and over 8,000 residents. Sudden Valley is one of the largest HOA communities in western Washington, situated on the shores of Lake Whatcom, just outside of Bellingham, Washington. Sudden Valley is proud of its community and offers activities for all ages and abilities, including the following amenities. 

  • Clubhouse, featuring Administration office, restaurant, and Golf Course Pro Shop
  • Community Center, the hub of the Recreation Department, providing a fitness center, relaxation areas, children’s playroom, infant room, meeting rooms, event space, café, game lounge, and free Wi-Fi
  • Marina, featuring wet slips, dry slips, canoe and kayak storage, children’s playground, tennis court, pickleball court, basketball court, and an off-leash dog park
  • Twenty parks and many miles of trails
  • Two outdoor seasonal pools
  • County Library
  • The only golf course in Whatcom County along a lake, designed by the renowned course architect, Ted Robinson
  • Two Community Gardens
  • RV Storage Facility
  • Disc Golf Course

The Position

SVCA is seeking a dynamic leader to be their General Manager. The General Manager is the Chief Operating Officer of the SVCA and oversees all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Association. The SVCA General Manager is responsible for implementing the decisions, strategies, and policies of the Board of Directors.

The General Manager works in partnership with the Management Team, ensuring collaboration and cooperation between all aspects of the Association. The SVCA prioritizes member satisfaction and values staff. The General Manager and Management Team are responsible for ensuring all aspects of the organization are supported, creating opportunities throughout the year for members and employees to offer feedback and suggestions.

The General Manager attends all Board meetings and supports Board-directed committees and activities. Utilizing the annual survey results and recommendations of the Board, the Long-Range Planning Committee, Finance Committee, and the Management Team, the General Manager will prepare the annual budget with the Accounting Manager and Board Treasurer.

The General Manager, directly or through managers, appoints, supervises, and provides for training and development, manages performance, and ensures accountability of all employees. The General Manager shall promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace through the implementation of collaborative work programs. This position ensures compliance with labor agreements, the Association and department policies, state and federal laws and regulations, and local ordinances.

The General Manager leads and supports a staff of 31 full-time employees and up to 40 part-time and seasonal staff. The General Manager works in partnership with the Management Team consisting of the Operations Manager, Accounting Manager, Maintenance Manager, Golf Director, and Parks and Recreation Manager. In collaboration with the Board of Directors and staff, the General Manager administers the SVCA strategic plan and identifies strategic priorities.

The General Manager ensures the Association is properly protected and is responsible for enforcing restrictive covenants, bylaws, policies, rules and regulations, and applicable ordinances while ensuring the Board is fully informed to the affairs of the Association as provided by the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and laws of the State of Washington. The General Manager shall keep the Board informed on any potential risks or liabilities.

Maintenance, repair, and security of Association property are part of the General Manager's role and include overseeing work on all construction, reconstruction, alterations, and improvements. The General Manager ensures a current and complete inventory of all Association property and provides the Board with recommendations to ensure adequate upkeep of all SVCA assets.

The General Manager shall be responsible for executing Board-approved Capital Improvement Projects. Working on behalf of the Association, the General Manager will cooperate and coordinate with outside contractors and negotiate and execute contracts in the community's best interest and compliance with SVCA policies.

The General Manager represents SVCA in a professional manner and always acts in the community’s best interest. The General Manager is responsible for all Association public relations, engages the community in the affairs of the Association, and keeps the community informed through multiple communication channels.

Priorities

  • Support the Association’s purpose, mission, and vision by implementing the decisions of the Board and the strategic priorities identified by the strategic planning team.
  • Establish trust, and ensure effective communication with the Board of Directors, Association staff, and community members. Develop an understanding of the current structure and services provided. 
  • Conduct ongoing organizational assessments. Identify opportunities, implement changes, and create a structure that supports the Association’s vision, mission, and strategic priorities ensuring success now and into the future. 
  • When needed, recruit new employees that align with the organizational structure and positively contribute to effective operations. 
  • Drive stability and consistency in systems, policies, and procedures. Work to streamline processes, identify opportunities for efficiency, drive uniformity and ensure accountability in business operations.
  • Continue to drive financial stability. Develop sustainable budgets, maintain fiscal accountability, and plan for long-term projects and initiatives. Ensure the Board of Directors and the community understand the financial impacts of decisions to balance fiscal reality with the Association’s needs.
  • Ensure continued progress on the 2021 strategic plan. Provide updates and properly communicate to the community. Collaborate with the Board, staff, and community on future strategic planning workshops to establish annual goals, objectives, and action items.
  • Review revenue, collections rates, and expenditures monthly and work quarterly with the Accounting Manager and Treasurer to determine any necessary adjustments to ensure a balanced budget.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with staff, Board members, consultants, vendors, and governing agencies. Create opportunities for engagement, ensure transparency, and support partnerships that benefit both the community and the Association.
  • Negotiate and ensure compliance with the collective bargaining agreement between SVCA and the union. Create a work environment that is reflective of SVCA’s strategic priorities and core values.

The Successful Candidate

The Sudden Valley Community Association seeks an experienced executive leader to stabilize and lead the organization as we continue to grow as a community. The successful candidate is confident yet diplomatic in all interactions and can clearly and effectively articulate the position and the needs of the Association. The General Manager easily identifies trends and problems hindering progress and develops and implements best practices to drive necessary change.

The General Manager sets the tone for the organization and brings a sense of calm and stability. The successful candidate has a strong history of developing effective relationships and partners with the Board of Directors to provide sound advice and guidance when needed. The ideal candidate maintains objectivity in decisions affecting the Association. The preferred candidate values honesty and integrity and believes in fostering mutual respect at all levels.

The successful candidate brings a strong background in strategic planning and execution with experience in delivering sustainable and community-based services. The ideal candidate has excellent financial acumen with a strong commitment to financial sustainability and management. A creative problem solver, the General Manager supports sound decisions while maintaining the flexibility to meet the changing needs of the community. The ideal candidate is a transparent communicator with a history of engaging in effective, meaningful communication with community members. The General Manager represents SVCA with integrity and enjoys being an active member of the community.

The General Manager is a highly effective leader who models behaviors expected throughout the organization, including collaboration, accountability, and a commitment to excellent customer service. The successful candidate develops strategy, sets goals, and provides clear expectations while holding the staff accountable. The General Manager has a strong background in managing and empowering employees and believes in supporting the professional development, growth, and retention of staff.

Sudden Valley’s Strategic Priorities

SVCA is governed by a Board of Directors and has a budgeted total gross revenue of nearly $6 Million for 2022. SVCA’s strategic priorities serve as guiding principles for decisions and actions taken by both the Board and staff. These priorities are supported by the Association’s core values.

SUSTAINABILITY. We strive to be a sustainable community that manages our human, natural, and financial resources to meet current needs while ensuring that these resources are available for future generations. Ecologically, we will seek to gain an understanding of our impacts on the watershed and climate. We will promote good stewardship in all we do, conducting our business in a socially and fiscally responsible manner. We consider the true costs of our decisions and actions.

COLLABORATION. We are a collaborative community, and our members are its heart and soul. We continually strive to build collaborative and ethical decision-making into our budgeting and planning processes. We are a compassionate community where the well-being of everyone is a top priority, and all people and living things are treated with respect.

NATURAL BEAUTY. It is both our duty and, in our self-interest, to be strong guardians of the quality of Sudden Valley’s natural environment. We are conscious of the impacts our community has on our surroundings. We also recognize the effects our environment has on the lives of our residents and employees.

RECREATION. With our parks, trails, green space, pools, lakes, golf course, disc golf course, recreation center, and rec programs, the Sudden Valley community enjoys a variety of recreational opportunities. Sudden Valley provides recreational opportunities that are accessible and inclusive because we believe all our residents should have access to recreation and leisure opportunities.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. Through civic participation, our community works together to protect our shared Values. Our engaged and informed membership and employees actively contribute to the community decision-making processes. Community feedback is embraced and considered, allowing the SVCA Board and management to best meet the needs of the community.

QUALITY OF LIFE. We value the quality of life in our community and protect it through our relationships, bylaws, policies, and procedures. Livability (social, economic, ecological) and a sense of belonging are required elements of a sustainable community and a successful, collaborative planning process. Fiscal soundness and prudence enable us to deliver the services and maintain the resources our community needs and desires.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVENESS. We are a community that values differences and creates a welcoming, inclusive environment that encourages innovation, increased participation, and an elevated sense of community and belonging for all.

Sudden Valley’s Core Values

C – Collaborative, Compassionate, Consistent

A – Accountable, Adaptable, Aligned

R – Responsible, Respectful, Resourceful

E – Ethical, Equitable, Evidence-Based

S – Sustainable, Service-Minded, Safe

Qualifications

Ten years of professional experience with municipal or large-scale association management is required. Leadership and management experience are essential, as is prior experience working with a Board of Directors or Council. A strong understanding of budgets and financial management is required. Strong business acumen with demonstrated change management and customer service is essential.

A master’s degree in public administration, planning, business administration, engineering, or similar professional development training with an emphasis on leadership skills is desired. A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required. An equivalent combination of education and experience enabling the incumbent to perform the essential functions of the position will be considered.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 8,072
  • Median Household Income: $86,064
  • Median Home Value: $314,300
  • Median Age: 42.6

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation and Benefits

The General Manager contract is at the discretion of the Board of Directors with an expected hiring range of $125,000 – $160,000 and will depend on the qualifications of the selected candidate. Sudden Valley Community Association also offers a comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with first review of applications October 11, 2021.

Questions

For more information or questions regarding the Sudden Valley Community Association or the General Manager position, please contact Heather Gantz at hgantz@raftelis.com.

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