Director of Organizational Development

Job Title
Director of Organizational Development
Grand Rapids,  MI
Other Location


The John Ball Zoo is the most attended cultural attraction in the state of Michigan outside of Detroit. With gate attendance of up to 120,000 guests per month, the zoo provides a direct economic impact of more than $40 million annually and employs up to 300 people per year. At over 128 years old, John Ball Zoo is the oldest zoo in Michigan.


John Ball Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit zoo-based wildlife conservation organization focused on saving animals from extinction. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the world’s most stringent accrediting agency for zoos and aquariums with less than 10% of zoos achieving that distinction.


Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of Organizational Development will be responsible for managing and supporting the assessment of organizational needs and the design, implementation and evaluation of programs that facilitate the professional development and continuous learning of team members, particularly executives and emerging leaders. The Director of Organizational Development will champion the following; strategic planning, performance management, compensation, internal communications, benefits, wellness, organizational culture and engagement while overseeing the HR, Safety, and Volunteer departments.


Principal Responsibilities:

  • Manage organizational development (OD) strategies and processes.
  • Assess OD needs of operating, business and functional units. Design and execute key programmatic elements of the OD process.
  • Lead the design, development and implementation of programs, policies and strategies tailored to meet OD needs and program goals. Evaluate strategies and programs to measure the achievement of established goals.
  • Assist with the provision of expert facilitation and coaching to supervisors and managers regarding OD methods and tools. Provide consultative services to the business units regarding mentoring.
  • Manage the individual development planning process for executives and emerging leaders.
  • Prepare budgetary recommendations that meet departmental goals and provide for effective management of resources.
  • Set strategy for total rewards programs, oversee compensation and benefits design, monitor the external job market and optimize the human capital expense budget of the organization.
  • Support current and future business needs through the development, engagement, motivation and preservation of human capital.
  • Set direction for talent management strategy and work to ensure the Zoo hires the best, fosters internal mobility, ensures succession, engages employees and fosters innovation to create a culture of excellence.
  • Oversee and provide leadership and direction to Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety, and Volunteer department personnel.


Key Skills and Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in related field with 7+ years of progressive HR/Organizational Development experience preferred. Active certification as SHRM-SCP/CP or SPHR is preferred.
  • Ability to interact positively and objectively with co-workers, Zoo and park patrons, volunteers, contractors and members of the general public from a wide range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and with widely divergent levels of educational attainment and social skills.
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, service methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Ability to align staff and gain support for key initiatives. Ability to reach outcomes that gain the support and acceptance of all parties.
  • Excellent organizational, multi-tasking and communication skills.
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated success in a servant leadership role.
  • Live the organizations behavioral values of safety, communication, teamwork, integrity, excellence, and fun.
  • Connect to the zoo’s core values of conservation, education, community and celebration.


What You Can Expect from Us:

  • A seat at the Executive Leadership table, and the opportunity to be a contributing voice in shaping the direction of a community-focused organization with the presence and resources to make a difference. If you want to make an impact, this is your chance!
  • Professional development resources and tools necessary to further develop both you personally and the organization as whole.
  • A people-first culture where each contributor is recognized for the value they bring to the organization and those we serve.
  • A generous compensation package, including a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits offerings, including medical, dental, vision coverage and 401(k) retirement plan with employer match.


If this sounds like the perfect challenge for your next opportunity, apply today for consideration. No calls or emailed resumes please. To learn more about the fantastic work our team is doing, visit us at:


The John Ball Zoo is an equal opportunity employer.

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