New TSRA Career Opportunity: Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

$115,780 – $162,098, annually


The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a new leadership and management position and reports directly to the Community Manager and in her absence serves as Acting Community Manager. The COO will lead and manage the specific operations and services of departments assigned by the Community Manager. These departments will initially include member services, Information systems and security. The COO also will manage specific and complex projects assigned by the Community Manager. The COO will also work with various Member operating committees and, possibly, Board policy committees or subcommittees or task forces.


Competitive benefits package includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance for employee and dependents, vacation and sick leave, 401K and annual bonus potential. Salary range $115,780 – $162,098, annually.

Range of Duties and Expectations

  • In the absence of the Community Manager, assume these top- level leadership and management responsibilities and perform at the same skill and competence level.
  • Provide effective leadership and management of departments assigned to the COO by the Community Manager and ensure service and operational goals are achieved, a productive and high work quality culture is attained, staff competencies are maximized and staff feel highly valued, best and modern business practices are implemented, succession planning occurs, service performance is measured with successes celebrated and problems corrected.
  • Plan and manage planning, capital and administrative projects assigned by the Community Manager so they are completed within timelines set, stay within budgets and are of the highest quality and meet project objectives.
  • Work effectively with Member operating committees as well as Board policy and subcommittees or task forces assigned by the Community Manager.
  • Competently review, interpret, develop, modify and implement Association administrative policies and their application to specific situations in departments; and successfully resolve conflicts involving multiple departments in matters/issues not addressed by existing Association policies and procedures.
  • Support the Community Manager and Chief Financial Officer by reviewing department, project and program expenditures/revenues during the year and in light general economic/fiscal trends identify potential problems and recommend solutions.
  • Recommend resources, including funding, staffing and facilities, for new and existing programs, particularly those arising outside the annual priority-setting and budget processes and involving inter-department Board and policy and operating committee coordination.
  • Review and make relevant and timely recommendations, in coordination with Human Resources Director and Association Counsel, regarding personnel actions requiring approval of the Community Manager.
  • Personally build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other Association employees, the Board of Directors, volunteers and members at large using principles of good customer service.
  • Effectively represent the Association with the membership and to external agencies and organizations; participate in outside community and professional groups and committees; provide technical assistance as necessary.
  • Research and prepare thorough and analytically sound technical and administrative reports; prepare well written correspondence.
  • Perform other important and related duties as assigned.

Organizational Relationships

Receives leadership direction from the Community Manager in terms of performance expectations and feedback on performance and may receive policy direction from the Board of Directors in the absence of the Community Manager. Responsible for directing the work of department head reports and teams.

Qualifications Guide

Any combination of experience, education and training that would provide the required leadership, management and operational knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Education and Experience: At least six years of increasingly responsible experience in organizational and/or project leadership and management.

Knowledge and Abilities: Equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in business or public administration or a related field.


Submit cover letter and resume no later than Friday, April 16. Select candidates will be asked to submit responses to supplemental questions by Friday, April 23, which will be due by Friday, April 30. Interviews are currently planned to occur by mid-May, with a scheduled start date in early June.

Six Reasons to Apply

Reason #1: The Sea Ranch is known world-wide for its commitment to living lightly on the land and its unique architecture

Approximately 125 miles north of San Francisco and stretching over 10 miles of magnificent, rugged coastline in Sonoma County lies the extraordinary rural community of The Sea Ranch (TSR). The Sea Ranch is a community known world-wide for its concern for the environment and its distinctive, thoughtfully sited architecture and its strong focus on rural coastal living with an emphasis on ecologically sensitive land management. The Sea Ranch community aims to “perpetuate the rich variety of this rugged coastal, pastoral and forested environment for the benefit of all who acquire property at The Sea Ranch.”

The Sea Ranch offers a serene outdoor lifestyle with spectacular ocean, meadow and forest views, stunning bluffs and beaches, and wildlife that ranges from monarch butterflies to migrating whales. Most importantly, it is a place where nature and the built environment exist in harmony. It is internationally acclaimed for its distinctive architecture designed to integrate with the natural surroundings, sensitive land planning, and community-based stewardship of the environment.

Developed in the early 1960s by Al Boeke and designed by noted landscape architect Lawrence Halprin with architects Joseph Esherick and Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker, TSR was a visionary community developed with the intention to understand, respect, and protect this remarkable natural environment.

Today TSR is 80% built out with approximately 2,227 individual lots on nearly 3,500 acres. Almost half of that acreage is designated as common areas comprised of forests, meadows, coastal bluffs, hedgerows, and waterways. Residents, known as Sea Ranchers, originally were mostly free-spirited artists and intellectuals. Primarily a second home community at the beginning, the population has evolved to include retirees with a broad range of knowledge and experience living alongside part-timers and a growing population of full-time employed professionals. This is a caring community whose members share a “sense of place” that reflects a deep connection to the land and commitment to the founding principles, along with an extraordinary spirit of volunteerism and community involvement.

With its natural beauty and appeal as a place to relax and rejuvenate, The Sea Ranch has become a popular vacation destination. Between 20-25% of its homes are rented as vacation homes—a percentage that has remained remarkably consistent over recent years. Residents, as well as vacation rental guests, enjoy numerous amenities including patrolled security, a library, playground, swimming pools, tennis courts, a Scottish-style golf course, fiber optic high speed internet service, and over 50 miles of trails that feature inspiring marine, meadow and woodland landscapes.

Reason #2: The COO position is new and will work in partnership with the Community Manager

The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) was formed in May 1965 as a non-profit corporation and is governed by a seven-member volunteer Board of Directors elected from among the membership to serve three-year terms. The Association’s primary purpose is to own, maintain, and manage common areas and facilities of the planned unit development, and to enforce the rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Directors, as well as to discharge other duties and responsibilities required by the Association’s bylaws and the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.

The Board of Directors sets overall policy for The Sea Ranch Association and appoints members to policy committees. TSRA Board delegates the management of the Association and its volunteer operating committees to the Community Manager.

The Community Manager oversees seven individual departments and department leads are direct reports. The Chief Operating Office will be responsible for overseeing certain departments, committees and external agency relationships, day to day operations and manage the most complex projects and plans, especially those related to administrative and functional improvements.

The organizational structure includes seven departments reporting directly to the Community Manager: Finance and Human Resources; Design, Compliance and Environment Management; Administration and Management Services; Safety and Security Services; Information Technology; Facilities and Resources; and Utilities. All committees work closely with the Community Manager and designated staff except for the Design Committee, which is autonomous.

The Board of Directors sets overall policy for The Sea Ranch Association and appoints members to policy committees. TSRA Board delegates the management of the Association and its volunteer operating committees to the Community Manager. The Association is supported by monthly assessments to owners of its 2,227 individual lots. The Sea Ranch Association operates on a fiscal year beginning the first of May and ending on April 30th. The Operating Budget for FY 2021-22 is $7.45 million and focuses on improving Association operating infrastructure and professional standards, maintaining current services, finishing projects previously approved, and while pursuing Board approved goals.

Reason #3: There is a broad range of high level and interesting work to do

This career opportunity is available due to the Board of Directors and Community Manager’s desire to improve operational standards under oversight by the Community Manager. The Chief Operating Officer reports directly to The Community Manager who is the chief administrative officer of the Association and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. The COO will work in partnership with the CM to enhance and maintain the Sea Ranch Association’s operations, facilities, environment, and community in a manner that both maintains TSRA’s unique heritage and charts a viable path to the future.

The Chief Operating Officer directs and manages the activities of assigned Association departments and provides administrative and policy guidance to the Association department heads to plan, organize and direct the activities of The Sea Ranch Association and to provide highly complex staff assistance to the Community Manager.

The COO receives administrative direction from the Community Manager and may receive policy direction from the Board of Directors in the absence of the Community Manager. The position also exercises direct supervision over management, professional, technical and clerical personnel.

Reason #4: The Sea Ranch is tackling diverse and complex issues

Current projects, many of which include both the Board of Directors and the top leadership team, include:

  • Offsetting carbon footprint by developing solar array
  • Determining facility needs for future administrative offices
  • Building pickleball courts
  • Improving design review processes
  • Automating customer service and other business operation systems
  • Ensuring mission achieves vision and aligns with values
  • Modernizing the website and member interface
  • Exploring carbon sequestration on redwood forest
  • Expanding external partnerships
  • Updating land use, forest management, environmental plans
  • Co-workers committed to unified goals

Reason #5: An applicant with leadership experience and competencies can make a difference

The successful candidate will be skilled at alternative problem-solving approaches is innovative and flexible. Ideally, this will be a person who:

  • Is open and honest with unquestionable integrity
  • Has excellent verbal and written communication skills – being able to communicate easily with a variety of people from different walks of life is essential for the COO’s success

Has a minimum six years of experience at a service provider organization, preferably in the public sector or a homeowner’s association

  • Understands the difference between management and leadership, and is skilled in both
  • Balances a “hands on” approach with an appropriate level of delegation, and knows how and when to be a coach and mentor
  • Will effectively represent the Association to public agencies and other external entities
  • Has experience working with audit and legal professionals; has sensitivity to potential and actual legal issues
  • Enjoys working in a community with residents who care, are well educated, and involved
  • Has a strong customer service orientation and encourages the contributions of volunteers
  • Has an inclusive style, gives clear direction to staff, establishes goals and holds staff accountable
  • Is a good listener and facilitator, is diplomatic, has a calming effect on people, and can say “no” without offending
  • Will build trusting and respectful relationships with the Board, Community Manager, Staff, Members and other groups
  • Brings a track record of achieving goals and has a “can do,” positive attitude
  • Is comfortable working in a community that has a strong environmental and design philosophy and places a high priority on quality of life issues
  • Is fiscally conservative and has been responsible for managing a complex budget
  • Generates ideas but avoids getting out in front of the Community Manager or Board
  • Has knowledge of and experience with utilities, facilities, infrastructure and landscape maintenance, as well as planning and building
  • Is confident, keeps their ego under control, and has a sense of humor
  • Has a solid work ethic, follows through on commitments, has common sense, and does not take things personally
  • Uses technology effectively as an operational and communication tool

Minimum qualifications:

Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Education and Experience: At least 10 years of relevant experience, including a minimum six years of increasingly responsible administrative experience in organizational leadership  or senior level executive position in a service provider organization with management responsibility overseeing staff, operations and budgets.

Knowledge and Abilities: Equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in business or public administration or a related field.

Reason #6: The position provides a competitive salary and good benefits

Competitive benefits package includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance for employee and dependents, vacation and sick leave, 401K and annual bonus potential. Salary range $115,780 – $162,098, annually.

Candidates should be aware of the high cost of housing on the northern California coast.