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Executive Director

Heartbeet Lifesharing

Hardwick, VT, USA Remote

Full time


Nov 17

Executive Director Heartbeet Lifesharing

218 Town Farm Road, Hardwick, VT 05843, www.heartbeet.org 


Founded in 2001, Heartbeet is a vibrant Lifesharing Camphill community and licensed therapeutic community, nestled in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of Vermont in the hamlet of Hardwick. Heartbeet includes adults with intellectual differences (friends) and integrates social life, arts and culture, meaningful work, and person-centered approaches, to create an environment that fosters well-being for all. Heartbeet is also a working farm, practicing biodynamic/regenerative agriculture for the renewing of soils and ecosystems. It is a community where everyone, regardless of ability, can find meaning, dignity, and reverence for life.

Community members live and support each other, in beautiful, extended family households, forming a mutually supportive environment that enables each individual to discover and develop his or her unique abilities and potential. Long term co-workers, adults with intellectual differences, non-resident employees, and volunteers who come for a year or more of service, learn, play, and work together. Community members care for and grow with one another, celebrating the myriad of joys and challenges of life. Each person adds to the richness of interdependent living.


The Board of Directors of Heartbeet Lifesharing seeks a dynamic individual with a collaborative leadership style, excellent communication and team building skills and a deep commitment to the values of Camphill, to lead a highly respected and effective organization as it seeks to deepen and grow its impact.

The Camphill movement is an international effort creating communities which strive to meet the needs of children, youth, and adults with intellectual differences through life sharing that is immersive and inclusive. Inspired by the non-denominational teachings of Rudolf Steiner, a Camphill Community is a place where people with and without intellectual differences live and work together, living a life of dignity, equality, and purpose. It is a different type of community where the values of service, sharing, spiritual nourishment and recognition offer a model of renewal for wider society. Camphill communities are both innovative and lasting. Heartbeet currently has 14 adult friends, 10 non-resident employees and 18 residential coworkers.

There are 15 Camphill communities and affiliates in North America, with a total population above 1300, and over 100 communities worldwide. For more information, please visit, www.camphillfoundation.org and www.camphill.org. Heartbeet Lifesharing currently comprises 51 residents and non-resident employees in total.

Organizational Programs and Services

The community life of a service-oriented community such as Heartbeet Lifesharing can also be viewed through the traditional lens of a series of innovative programs and services designed to support the friends and to constitute an environment of well-being for all.

Life At Home

Each home at Heartbeet is unique. Householders are responsible for co-creating and maintaining beautiful therapeutic homes for people of all abilities. Households typically consist of 3-4 adults with intellectual differences, 2-3 volunteers serving 12-24 months, and 1-2 house leaders (and their children, if any). Heartbeet aims to create a stable, health-enhancing, joyful environment where individuals can meet as whole human beings and find their needs met holistically and collaboratively.

Life On The Land - Biodynamic Agriculture

Our farm is centered around the care of our animals, including pasture- raised chickens, pigs, and small dairy and beef herds. Our work in the garden keeps us busy sowing, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, and storing of a broad array of annual vegetables as well as some perennial vegetables and fruits. The 2/3-acre plot is a human-powered, no-till, permanent raised-bed system.

The Culinary Arts crew produces breads and other baked goods, makes yogurt and kombucha, and prepares community lunches, often using ingredients grown or raised in Heartbeet. We create a supportive environment of mutual leadership and growth where we become each other’s teachers, and everyone can learn new kitchen-based skills.

Life Infused With Arts - Arts and Artisan Studios

Community members develop skills and express themselves creatively through our craft studios. All natural materials are used to create beautiful products including wall hangings, cards, frames, and birdhouses, many of which have been sold at craft fairs and galleries providing Heartbeet artisans with the experience of contributing their work and creativity to the wider world.

Artisan Woodworking at Heartbeet focuses on creating a socially warm and inspiring space where each individual can bring and share their ideas and learn new skills. Wood is our medium to transform each person’s gift into useful, beautiful, fun, and simple items, from picture frames and carved signs to cutting boards, bird houses and more.

In Felting we use richly dyed sheep’s wool to collaborate on one-of-a-kind felted paintings, garlands, and dolls. These projects, particularly the very fine paintings produced in our studio. allow us to express the richness of the world around us and in the worlds in our imaginations. The results are stunning.

To ensure the best health for our community members and the land and animals we care for, we use regenerative Biodynamic agricultural practices. Our person-centered approach to therapeutic work on the land allows each farmer and gardener to contribute according to their unique strengths, and to continue to deepen their agricultural skills.

Northeast Vermont is a region with progressive and interesting small companies and non-profits. A number of our friends maintain employment and internships with these fascinating local partners.

Strategic Opportunities and Challenges

Heartbeet Lifesharing has had only two executive directors in its 21 years and faces an important and exciting juncture in its organizational history. During 2020 and the first half of 2021 Heartbeet made the passage through the pandemic while navigating a leadership transition and the transition of a number of its pioneer generation community members.

Heartbeet has gathered an amazing new constellation of talented, committed resident coworkers and non- resident employees to move the community forward into its next strategic arc of growth and development. A key challenge and opportunity for the new director will be to identify and implement the appropriate supports (building from current practices) to accompany, train, mentor and inspire these individuals towards their fullest potential as professionals, colleagues, and future leaders.

Worldwide, Camphill Communities are actively experimenting and innovating with new forms and practices for person centered support, social enterprises, and partnerships. Heartbeet’s new executive would most likely initiate a strategic planning process in the second half of 2023 to identify and prioritize key opportunities. The development of a day placement program to serve the local region, expansion, and diversification of residential options into the local town of Hardwick, increased partnership with progressive local companies and the development of food/agriculture based social enterprises have all been recently discussed as strategic options.

The next executive director can work from a position of strength regarding Heartbeet finances, fundraising, and licensing relationship to the state of Vermont. The next leader has the opportunity and obligation to build on this progress, growing and focusing such resources to take Heartbeet’s work to the next level.

Profile of the Ideal Candidate

Heartbeet Lifesharing offers prospective candidates the opportunity to lead a highly-regarded organization, which, as part of the Camphill movement in North America has helped shape the field of intellectual differences for the better. Heartbeet Lifesharing’s mission, values and unique approach have attracted an excellent board and staff who are energized, youthful, dedicated, and multi-talented.

Maintaining the strength and effectiveness of Heartbeet Lifesharing’s person centered programs and initiatives; energetically, transparently, and effectively leading Heartbeet Lifesharing’s board and staff; and managing important relationships with funders and other partners and stakeholders are clear priorities for the Executive Director.

The candidate is a superior listener who is ready to take calculated risks to advance Heartbeet’s mission. The Executive Director will lead through offering respect, empathy, collaboration, and innovation, while building a leadership ethos and culture that is fundamentally – team first.

The ideal candidate will be able to identify and activate opportunities for both greater impact and sustainable funding and will bring experience nurturing a culture of collaboration, innovation and excellence and will rapidly build trust in a collaborative team environment marked by mutual care and dedication.

The Executive Director will be responsible to provide both guidance and effective partnership with the board, staff, and other regional leaders in Camphill North America to further Heartbeet’s mission and vision. The candidate will have or commit to develop deep sensitivity and understanding of the special nature of Camphill in its international, national, and local expressions, structures, and work with adults with intellectual differences. An appreciation for the anthroposophical basis of Camphill life will be expected.

Skills and Experience

A Passionate Advocate for Heartbeet Lifesharing’s Mission and Values

The Executive Director will be leading a strongly mission based organization. Camphill coworkers, families, donors, and board members' commitment to the importance of dignity, equality, purpose, and person-centered approaches, in the lives of individuals with disabilities run deep, and thus demonstrable evidence of such ethical commitment is a requirement for this role.

A Collaborative, Empathetic, Engaged Leader

The Executive Director will discover a board and staff that is talented and effective. The ideal candidate will have worked in a leadership position with demonstrated success in inspiring staff, in delegating effectively and in generating trust and respect across an organization. He or she will also have experience working successfully with a board of directors to achieve its full potential impact. The Executive Director needs to be hands-on in his/her grasp of the work, but comfortable and competent in empowering others to make their strongest contribution.

A Strategic Thinker

The ability to take a comprehensive view of Heartbeet Lifesharing’s offerings and to assess effectiveness at a strategic level is an essential skill for the new Executive Director. Heartbeet Lifesharing is seeking a strategic thinker, who will focus on continuous improvement and on developing, sustaining, and implementing a shared vision that both board and staff embrace. Experience in partnering with a board and other constituents to forge and implement a strategic plan will be an asset for the new Executive Director.

An Exceptional Communicator and Collaborator

The Executive Director is the public face of Heartbeet Lifesharing. The Executive Director must be completely comfortable in that role and highly effective in external communications. Heartbeet Lifesharing’s Executive Director must be able to listen carefully, speak persuasively, educate, and respond effectively, while bringing intelligence, humility, and value to both internal and external discussions. He or she must have the ability to articulate powerfully the purpose, contributions, and impact of Heartbeet Lifesharing.

Solutions and Opportunity Focused – During Times of Change

The policy and funding environment for the field of intellectual differences nationally and in Vermont consistently undergo substantial and rapid change. The ability to think creatively about Heartbeet Lifesharing’s capabilities and assets and to identify and implement new programs, partnerships and internal systems and processes, will be a significant asset for the Executive Director.

Technical & Sector Skills

Staff Development

The Executive Director must be a skilled leader with demonstrated experience leading and supervising staff towards agreed upon goals, in an environment of respect, positivity, and collaboration.

State Contracting

The Executive Director should have a grasp of issues and strategies for creatively engaging with state agencies for contracted services and be able to work with the Finance Manager and Board Treasurer to develop realistic and reliable budget projections on this basis.

Financial Competence

The Executive Director must have a firm grasp of financial issues, be able to work with the Finance Manager and Board Treasurer to develop realistic and reliable budget projections, and have the competence and experience to implement Heartbeet Lifesharing’s strategies within realistic financial parameters.

A Creative Fundraiser

The ability to think creatively about Heartbeet Lifesharing’s capabilities and assets and to articulate a vision for the organization’s future, in a manner that connects powerfully with donor interests, will be a significant asset for the Executive Director. This implies experience and understanding of the elements and demands of donor cultivation and stewardship.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BA or BS Degree
  • Willingness to re-locate to the region of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
  • Seven or more years’ progressive management experience, with proven leadership experience in
  • at least one of the following areas: administration and management, fundraising, communications
  • and public relations, program leadership, or organizational change and development
  • Professional or personal familiarity with the field of intellectual differences is preferred but not
  • required
  • Experience as a nonprofit Executive Director is preferred but not required
  • Experience with fundraising and development is preferred but not required
  • Familiarity with Anthroposophy as developed by Rudolf Steiner is preferred but not required

Life In Vermont

Vermont is a year-round haven for outdoor fun. There are ponds and pools to swim in, lakes and rivers to paddle, and waterfalls to explore. Autumn shows Vermont at its most glorious, with ‘leaf-peepers’ from around the world visiting to enjoy the fall foliage display. In cooler months, we look forward to winter days of adaptive skiing and snowboarding. The town of Craftsbury is home to the world-famous Craftsbury Outdoor Center where community members can enjoy cross country skiing. Our land provides trails for walking, hiking, and snowshoeing. Our pond provides a place to cool off in summer and skate on in winter.

Northern Vermont also offers diverse cultural activities. We often take day trips into Burlington, a small, bustling city on the banks of Lake Champlain and home to the University of Vermont. Ten minutes down the road, you will find the Highland Center for the Arts, and about 30 minutes up the road from us is the renowned Bread and Puppet Theater. Prior to the pandemic, Heartbeet itself had become a cultural center for many of our Vermont neighbors, who visited our community for weekly classes from yoga and meditation to painting and felting.

Application Process

To apply, please send your resume and letter of interest to the attention of Interim Executive Director, Gregg Davis, for the Search Committee: executivedirector@heartbeet.org

Please include your resume along with a cover letter with salary requirements, where you learned of the position and a description of how your qualifications and experience match Heartbeet Lifesharing’s needs. Only electronic submissions sent to Gregg Davis will be considered.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit materials by January 10, 2023. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with priority given to those received by this date.

Heartbeet Lifesharing will offer a competitive salary package commensurate with experience, along with benefits.

Heartbeet Lifesharing is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.

A note to potential candidates: Studies have shown that women, trans, non-binary, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization, and we are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a background less traditional to our field of work, and that’s welcome. We would strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.

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