Sound Rivers' Executive Director Announces Retirement


Posted on June 13th, 2017

Harrison Marks, Executive Director of Sound Rivers, announced his retirement from the organization to be effective later this year. Harrison said of his plans, “My wife, Suzie, and I are looking forward to a new adventure that will begin with a year on our boat, a lifelong dream.  The search for my replacement is well underway and I have no doubt the Sound Rivers’ Board will select a new Executive Director who will take the organization to new heights and new beginnings.”

“My brief time at Sound Rivers has been richly rewarding because of you, the members, volunteers and donors who are committed to clean water and healthy ecosystems throughout the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico region.  Thank you for the privilege of being here!”

If interested in applying for the Executive Director position please see details below, and use this link to apply.


Sound Rivers Inc., a 501(c)(3) conservation and environmental advocacy corporation in eastern North Carolina, is seeking an executive director.


Sound Rivers was founded in 2015 with the merger of the Neuse River Foundation & the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, two of the state’s oldest grassroots conservation organizations. Sound Rivers combines the deep history of advocacy of the Neuse River Foundation, established in 1980, and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, established in 1981. The mission of Sound Rivers is to monitor, protect and enhance water quality and related ecosystems in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins while supporting environmental justice.  This union creates a powerful advocate, uniting with concerned citizens to work to protect these two cherished waterways. Our staff of six people including three full-time Riverkeepers, monitors these waterways and serve as scientific experts and educational resources to schools and communities within the watersheds. Our goal is to help assure clean water to our communities for consumption, recreation, nature preservation and agricultural use.


Hours: This is a full time position that requires work on some nights and weekends and regular travel within the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico watersheds.

Reports to: Board of Directors

Salary: $50,000-$60,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and is established relative to comparable non-profit organizations

Benefits: Benefits include annual leave, sick leave, and a health care stipend.

Position description: The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of Sound Rivers.  The executive director reports to the board of directors, hires and manages staff, and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives.

To this end, the executive director will:

Oversee, raise resources for, participate in, and support the work of Sound Rivers’ Riverkeepers in pursuit of the organization’s mission.

  1. Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy that achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
  2. Engage the board of directors to be an effective, diverse body that governs the affairs of the organization.
  3. Direct and supervise the administration of all Sound Rivers’ projects and programs, including but not limited to research, public education, advocacy, volunteer recruitment and training, publicity, governmental relations, participation in litigation, membership development, and fund raising.
  4. Execute and maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
  5. Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations, and with other environmental and conservation organizations whose goals are consistent with Sound Rivers.
  6. Represent Sound Rivers to government agencies, organizations, and the general public.
  7. Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers, and ensure that sound human resource policies are in place and are consistently followed.
  8. Lead and be responsible for fund raising, including cultivation and maintenance of major donors; grant writing; and management of contracts to carry out projects that advance Sound Rivers’ mission.
  9. Maintain and implement sound financial practices to permit the organization to carry on its work.



  1. A minimum of 5 years’ experience that involves supervision of a diverse staff and management of funds
  2. Experience in fundraising
  3. Leadership and networking skills and experience
  4. Must live in or be willing to move to the Neuse or Tar/Pamlico river basins
  5. Experience with, or willingness and capacity to learn, other core functions of the job such as volunteer management, policy advocacy, government relations, work with media, and management of litigation as a client.


  1. Post-graduate degree or equivalent
  2. Knowledge of, commitment to, and enthusiasm for the programs and program areas of Sound Rivers
  3. Excellent public speaking, communications and interpersonal skills
  4. Experience or an interest in working in communities of color and low income communities
  5. Experience in environmental advocacy or policy
  6. Grant writing management experience
  7. Experience working on or with a board of directors


Please send your complete application package to by July 17, 2017. 

If you have additional questions about the position or the hiring process please e-mail exdirectorhiring@soundrivers.orgFor more information about Sound Rivers, please visit


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