Careers at the Nursery

Job Summary:

The CEO is an employee of and reports to the Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation Board of Directors. The CEO also performs the functions of the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation. The CEO is a voting member of the Board and currently acts as Treasurer.

The CEO provides direction to all Corporation departments and staff to ensure the Board’s policies and objectives are efficiently and effectively implemented in accordance with all applicable laws. Provides day- to-day direction of the Ferguson Forest Centre and Ferguson Tree Nursery (FTN) including but not limited to production and sales planning and support, personnel and human resource management, facilities management, strategic planning, budget preparation, cost management, and reporting.


The Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation is a non-profit corporation operating the Ferguson Forest Centre.

The Ferguson Forest Centre is comprised of 1100 acres of multi-use forested land located in Kemptville, in the Municipality of North Grenville, 50 kilometers south of Ottawa. The Centre is governed by the not-for-profit Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation and operates on 360 acres of land leased from of the Municipality of North Grenville, and 740 acres of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources land, comprised of forest and trails. The 300-acre Ferguson Tree Nursery manages the Centre and provides funding for its operation and maintenance. The Centre boasts walking and hiking trails, an arboretum, dog park, snowmobile and skiing trails, a giving garden, a children’s walking trail with animal displays and a shaded picnic area with a canoe and kayak launch adjacent to the South Branch of the Rideau River.

The nursery produces native forest tree seedlings predominantly for Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Our customer base consists of forest industry companies, public and private forest managers, provincial and federal research institutes, Conservation Authorities, municipalities, private landowners and other nurseries. Seedling planting results in something for everyone: clean air through carbon sequestering, clean water through intact forest systems, enhanced wildlife habitat with increased biological values, stable healthy soils and end products for revenue generation.

Work Performed:

The C.E.O. is responsible to the Board of Directors for:

  1. Assisting and advising the Board of Directors on the creation and implementation of FFCC policy and direction;
    1. Updating and advising the Board of Directors on FTN operational, budgetary and directional status and issues,
    2. Updating and advising the Board of Directors on FFCC Corporation budgetary requirements and Corporate initiatives;
  2. Implementing policies and direction instituted by the FFCC;
  3. Performing treasurer’s duties as well as support for the Corporate secretary;
  4. Coordinating Corporate objectives with operational needs of the nursery;
  5. Providing guidance to the Board of Directors on the non-nursery development of the facility and implementing its directions where funding is available;

The CEO is responsible for the financial health of the nursery through:

  1. Ensuring nursery operations are efficiently, profitably and safely operated;
  2. Maximizing/optimizing revenue and growing the Centre’s assets.
  3. Developing budgets, capital needs and work plans for FFCC Board approvals;
  4. Operating within the overall Board of Director’s approved budget while retaining the ability to redirect funds as required for the successful operation of the Nursery.
  5. Developing, investigating and recommending new product and production options to the Board of Directors;

The CEO is responsible for Staff Management through:

  1. Day-to-day supervision of the Nursery General Manager, Sales Representative, Office and Sales Administrator and the Maintenance Coordinator, as well as, the general management and overall administration and operations of the Corporation;
  2. Establishing and administering the contracts for the Nursery General Manager, Sales Representative, Office and Sales Administrator and the Maintenance Coordinator;
  3. Providing direction and managing the performance, including annual performance reviews, of the Nursery General Manager, Sales Representative, Office and Sales Administrator and the Maintenance Coordinator.
  4. Human Resources, Health and Safety, Benefits and Payroll support for staff and the Corporation as required;

The CEO is responsible for Nursery Operations through:

  1. Ensuring the Corporation's administration and operations are effectively and efficiently undertaken in a sustainable manner compliant with all applicable laws;
  2. Setting targets for Corporate objectives that are commensurate with marketing requirements and operational capabilities provided by the nursery operations;
  3. Sets production targets in consultation with the Nursery General Manager, Sales Representative and Office and Sales Administrator for the Ferguson Tree Nursery;
  4. Overseeing and approving the operation of the Ferguson Tree Nursery with the assistance of the Nursery General Manager;
  5. Overseeing and approving the sales and marketing plan;
  6. Developing and maintaining a procedures manual, with the assistance of the Nursery General Manager, for the operation of the nursery;
  7. With the assistance of the senior staff, ensures compliance to all applicable laws and regulations, and adherence to high ethical standards.

The CEO is also responsible for:

  1. Signing authority for operational and corporate requirements, which is audited monthly by the Board;
  2. Managing the leased lands and OMNRF properties in accordance with provincial agreements;
  3. With the support of the Maintenance Manager, manages recreational, educational and conservation activities on the total FFCC facilities.

Consequence of Error/Judgment

This position has a high level of autonomy and discretion. The Board of Directors of the Corporation does not involve itself in the day-to-day operations of the nursery.

The CEO is responsible for executing the Board’s direction and ensuring the overall success of the corporation in meeting its mandate and its ability to manage the resources of the corporation. The development of partnerships with all stakeholders in both the public and private sector is critical.

The consequence of error for this position is considered high.

Supervision Received

The CEO is expected to seek advice and guidance from Corporate Directors as required.

Supervision Given

The CEO position directly supervises the Nursery General Manager, the Office and Sales Administrator, the Maintenance Manager and the Sales Representative positions.

Education/Work Experience

Post secondary degree from a recognized educational institution in forestry, horticulture or agriculture with five (5) years of business management experience in a growing facility and five (5) years of practical horticultural or forestry experience is preferred;

A combination of relevant alternative education, training and or experience may be deemed acceptable at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may or may not adjust the position's compensation based on any accepted education, training and or experience alternatives.

Related experience seen as an asset;

  • Ten (10) years work experience in nursery/forestry operations
  • Experience in financial management
  • Experience reporting to a Board of Directors
  • Experience with various software packages such as QuickBooks and MS Office


  • Proven leadership ability
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Proven ability to manage people
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relationships
  • Proven ability to manage significant financial resources
  • Proven problem-solving ability
  • High standard of ethical behaviour

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