Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Philadelphia 19103, Pennsylvania

JoB Description

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit organization that leads a community of more than 25,000 members, volunteers, and organizational partners connected by a passion for horticulture and committed to applying horticulture every day to transform lives and communities in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Founded in 1827, PHS offers programs, activities, workshops, and publications for people of diverse interests and skills.
PHS's growth over its 190 year history reflects the changes in horticulture itself, from an early focus on specimen plants and ornamental gardens viewed alone in their majestic beauty, to a more holistic understanding of plants as a tool for urban transformation. Since PHS began its highly effective urban greening programs in the mid-1970s, the impact on communities throughout the region has been dramatic. PHS understands that plants and gardens are linked to the health of people, the environment, and the economic vitality of Philadelphia. Programs like Tree Tenders, Plant One Million, Philadelphia LandCare, Civic Landscapes, and City Harvest are changing the conversation on cities from a focus on challenges to a story of hope and transformation, one of renewal and civic pride.
Each year, PHS produces the Philadelphia Flower Show, America's largest and longest-running horticultural event, which features stunning displays by the world's premier floral and landscape designers. Proceeds from the Philadelphia Flower Show, including donations from foundations, corporations, government agencies, and individuals, support PHS programs and greening initiatives. PHS has also hosted Junior Flower Shows for school-age children since 1975, fostering an awareness of horticulture and the natural environment among young people and encouraging active participation in growing, gardening, and sustainable practices.
PHS invites people of all skill levels to participate year-round in educational workshops and events, and as members, volunteers, and exhibitors. Together with its amazing partners, PHS is shaping the region through greening.

PHS is seeking candidates for the role of Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO is responsible for all strategic financial matters and the oversight of the daily financial business of PHS. The CFO will serve as a change agent in refining PHS' financial functions, fostering a customer-service and analytical orientation, and an ethos of organization-wide collaboration built on strategic decision making.
The CFO is accountable for delivering measurable results that achieve and exceed revenue and margin targets. S/he reports to the president and is the treasurer to the PHS Board of Directors.

Primary responsibilities include participating in setting PHS's strategic direction, building and monitoring multi-year budgets, setting and monitoring goals for all revenue sources (e.g. ticket sales, gifts, grants, government contracts, fee for service contracts, etc.), and creating and managing controls for all activities, including the Philadelphia Flower Show. The CFO supervises the accounting and information technology staff of approximately 10, establishes the financial reporting system, and makes presentations to the board and its finance and investment committees. This position oversees all compliances for government contracts and private grants, as well as acts as a liaison with independent auditors. The CFO recommends and implements appropriate policies and internal control procedures to protect the assets and ensure accountability and solvency. S/he will be empowered to optimize the organizational design of the advancement team in consultation with the president. In addition to overseeing finance and technology services functions, the CFO serves as strategic partner to the president and other members of the PHS senior leadership team on organization-wide matters.

PHS is looking for a CFO who can transform the Finance Department to support the organization's future. This can include, but is not limited to, redefining roles and reporting structures, reshaping financial management practices, establishing an effective project accounting system, creating new financial reporting tools to support managerial decision-making, eliminating/simplifying/automating processes, and other significant transformations. Important areas of need include financial planning and analysis, project accounting, revenue and expense monitoring and forecasting, and contract approvals.


Required qualifications and experience:

  • commitment to and passion for the mission of PHS;
  • bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or business management, master's degree preferred;
  • minimum of 10 years of experience in progressively responsible financial leadership roles, with comprehensive budget and financial planning experience together with experience in analysis and reporting, budgeting, asset management, audit compliance, and federal and state tax regulations and reporting procedures;
  • proven administrative, managerial, supervisory, problem-solving, and planning experience within a complex nonprofit environment; experience serving a nonprofit organization with multiple funding sources and diverse program offerings, and involving grant accounting, compliance, and reporting is strongly preferred;
  • demonstrated success as a manager of people who is able to lead and support a diverse administrative team and is willing to roll up her/his sleeves;
  • ability to think holistically about the interplay among business practices, financial resources, and institutional planning; ability to lead and navigate during a time of change, promptly addressing problems and other issues as necessary;
  • successful experience in providing enterprise-wide leadership in financial analysis and reporting to support decision-making, budget development, and budget management;
  • strong business acumen and mastery of accounting principles;
  • ability to analyze, interpret, and clearly explain complex issues and their financial and/or operational implications;
  • strong familiarity with information systems, and the ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about strategy and process;
  • knowledge of the insurance industry with experience in risk management.


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director, Diversified Search
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174
[email protected]


Contact: Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.

E-Mail: [email protected]

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I have been having a lot of conversation with my masters students about the role nonprofits might play in the fight for social justice.  Obviously, there are nonprofits whose explicit mission is all about social justice, working on behalf of a group being denied that essential American promise of the ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness, and all that entails.  For those nonprofits, there is no question, but only up to a point:  the point at which the current fight doesn’t fit within the parameters of their mission.  Then they are in the same boat as the vast majority.

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