Washington State Association of County Engineers (WSACE) Seeks Managing Director

The Managing Director of the Washington State Association of County Engineers (WSACE) – a 501(c)6 professional organization – is the chief operating officer of the Association. In this capacity, the Managing Director facilitates the Association operations under the general direction of the Board of Directors of the Association and the joint supervision of the WSACE President and the Executive Director of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC).

WSACE Managing Director Job Description

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This position is responsible for oversight of administrative and financial functions and helps lead strategic planning initiatives. The Managing Director works closely with the Board of Directors and Board Committees to strengthen the organization’s operations and programs including membership, professional development, and policy/advocacy.  The Managing Director is the main point of contact for WSACE members and represents the Association in county road, bridges, transportation and public work matters with both the state legislature and executive branch agencies. Transparency, extensive collaboration, engagement and effective communications are critical success factors for the position.

The Managing Director must develop and foster positive organizational relationships with the Washington State County Road Administration Board (CRAB), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Commerce, the Governor’s Office, Legislators, Non-Partisan Legislative Committee and Caucus Staff, and other partners and stakeholders.


Administration and Operations

The Managing Director is responsible for the daily operations of the Association. Plan, lead, organize, manage, and administer the programs, positions, policies, and activities of WSACE.  Assure optimum use of the Associations resources to enhance the effectiveness of the Association and its members.

  • Establish and provide regular updates to the WSACE Work Plan which identifies annual projects and programs, and short and long-term goals to facilitate positive impact to the Association and counties.
  • Work in concert and create partnerships with the legislature, counties, cities, WSDOT, CRAB, and other agencies and associations in developing programs and positions that effectively serve the counties and citizens of the State of Washington.
  • Represent the Association on various federal, state, county, and local boards and committees with advisory, policy, and regulatory responsibilities with respect to issues of funding, labor, environmental, natural resources, technology, right of way, and other issues as deemed pertinent to the counties and county engineers.
  • Plan, formulate, and recommend for approval by the WSACE Board of Directors, the basic policies, bylaws, rules of procedure and programs which will further the objectives of the Association.
  • Regularly apprise the WSACE Board of Directors of program activities and obtain overall direction and support from the Board.
  • Assist the President and WSACE Board of Directors in the planning, promotion and administration of all official meetings of the Association, including meeting scheduling, logistics and recording minutes.
  • Serve as ex-officio and attend all meetings of the WSACE Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.
  • Develop the day-to-day administration, specific procedures and programs for implementation of the general policies and bylaws established by the Board of Directors of the Association.
  • Establish and supervise the organizational structure and personnel for the Association office, with the approval of the WSAC Executive Director.
    • Monitor and adjust workflow, methods and procedures.
    • Maintain complete and accurate files and records of the Association’s activities.
    • Purchase equipment and supplies
  • Assure compliance with and fulfill the responsibilities of the WSAC/WSACE Memorandum of Understanding.

Advocacy and Policy Development

The Managing Director is responsible for the planning and development of policy and advocacy strategies in coordination with WSAC and WSACE processes.

  • Monitor state and national legislation associated with county road, transportation, and public work systems.
  • Provide regular advocacy communications and updates to WSACE members.
  • Evaluate proposed legislation to determine its implications on county road, transportation, and public work systems and prepare summaries and recommendations to WSACE members and WSAC.
  • Meet with legislators and caucus staff to provide positions on proposed legislation.
  • Testify at legislative hearings concerning legislation related to or associated with county road, transportation, and public work systems.
  • As appropriate, develop and implement advocacy training for the Board and association members, empowering county engineers and other leaders to effectively advocate on behalf of their jurisdiction and WSACE.

Member Communications and Partnership Development

The Managing Director is responsible for the communications, marketing efforts and partnership development for all programs, services, events, and achievements, including web and social media content.

  • Serve as the primary contact for WSACE members and represents the Association on county road, transportation and public works systems with other organizations and partners;
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with all county engineers and various related local, state, and national agencies and organizations to ensure representation of diverse viewpoints and interests.
  • Oversee event planning processes, including site selection, negotiation of contracts, exhibition sales and service for annual conference(s). Assist conference planning committee(s) and WSAC staff in planning annual conferences and other retreats, workshops, and forums, including conference registration and logistical planning.
  • Communicate with members regarding membership programs, services, and associated benefits.
  • Maintain the contact and membership database.
  • Serve as a communicator to WSACE members regarding information from the National Association of County Engineers (NACE).


The Managing Director is responsible for the financial operations of the Association.  In coordination with WSAC finance staff assure internal controls, compliance and obligations of the Association are met.

  • Develop, recommend, and upon approval, implement and monitor the annual WSACE budget, in cooperation with the WSACE Secretary/Treasurer and WSAC finance staff.
  • Manage the receipts and disbursements of all monies of the Association in accordance with policies and procedures and assure proper tax preparation and filings.
  • Provide regular and annual financial reports to the WSACE Board of Directors.
  • Assure compliance with 501c(6) non-profit status.
  • Lead grant research and writing efforts, including implementing and monitoring grants and contracts for compliance and implement such contracts and commitments as may be authorized by the WSACE Board of Directors.
  • Act as custodian for all Association records.
  • Explore, develop, and assist in the soliciting and development of additional revenue for the Association, including membership dues and assessment structures.


Education and Experience Required

A Masters or Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Business, Public Administration, Planning, or related field is required with seven (7) years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience, which includes five (5) years of management experience in a public entity or public works organization, including supervisory responsibility.

In place of the above requirements, the incumbent may possess any combination of relevant education and experience which would demonstrate the individual’s knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities listed above.

Licenses, Certifications, and Other Requirements

  • Valid Washington State Driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire and a driving record which meets the requirements of the Washington State Association of Counties’ insurance carrier.
  • DESIRED: Licensed Professional Engineer.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

It is highly desirable, but not required, for the Managing Director to possess a thorough knowledge of the theory, philosophy, and current issues of the funding, maintenance, and operation of county roads and bridges, county engineering, public works and the ability to effectively interpret these matters to others.  Other desirable knowledge, skills, and abilities include:

  • Knowledge of
    • County public works department management and administration;
    • Local, state and federal statutes and regulations;
    • Complex transportation funding issues and challenges;
    • 501c(6) organization requirements and other laws pertaining to non-profit associations and public lobbying;
    • County government and the political process;
    • Budgeting and reporting techniques, grant writing, methods of program assessment and evaluation.
  • Skills in
    • Communicating effectively both orally and in writing;
    • Defining problems, collecting data, establishing facts and drawing valid conclusions;
    • Application of research and analytical methods within areas of communications and policy;
    • Analysis and preparation of information in common electronic and software programs.
  • Able to
    • Exercise a high degree of independent and professional judgment in defining and resolving issues, policies and procedures and negotiate within scope of authority;
    • Establish and maintain trust, confidence and effective working relationships with WSACE Board and association members, partners, contractors, stakeholders and the public;
    • Engage in conflict management, customer service, including ability to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries /complaints in a professional manner and with tact;
    • Apply common sense understanding to solve practical problems;
    • Be a strong, outgoing communicator within individual, small group, and presentation settings;
    • Communicate effectively to diverse groups, stakeholders, partners and appointed and elected officials;
    • Provide effective leadership, management, and administrative skills;
    • Effectively navigate political processes and agendas;
    • Travel within Washington State and nationally, to attend meetings, workshops, and to represent WSACE.

Salary and Employment Information

The anticipated salary range is $99,398 – $125,558, and will be directly dependent on successful applicant’s qualifications and experience.  WSAC offers a generous employee benefits package including 11 paid holidays, 100% employer paid medical, dental, vision, a health reimbursement account, and 401k contributions.

All employees are at will.

To Apply

Individuals interested in applying for this position shall electronically submit a letter of interest and resume to Karlyn Shannon, Director of Finance and Administration, Washington State Association of Counties, kshannon@wsac.org.   This position is open until filled with first reviews beginning April 1.  Interviews are anticipated the week of May 7.

If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Eric Johnson, Executive Director, Washington State Association of Counties, at ejohnson@wsac.org.

Eric Johnson has has served as the Executive Director of the Washington Association of Counties (WSAC) since 2008. Johnson, a former Lewis County Commissioner, has more than 25 years of public service at the local and state levels and most recently served as the Association’s Assistant Executive Director before being named as the Executive Director. The Washington State Association of Counties is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides its members research assistance, professional training, legislative advocacy, and a forum for discussing matters of common concern to counties. Members include the elected commissioners, executives and council members of Washington’s 39 counties.