General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Search


Bellingham, Washington

Conceived in the late 1960’s and often referred to as one of the most beautiful places in the Northwest, Sudden Valley is one of the largest Home Owners Associations in the State of Washington. Home to approximately 7,000 residents, Sudden Valley sits on the shores of Lake Whatcom. The drinking water source for much of Whatcom County, Lake Whatcom covers fifty-five square miles with depths of up to 350 feet. The Sudden Valley eighteen hole golf course designed by Architect Ted Robinson presents two very distinct nines. The front nine plays along the shore of the lake, while the back nine is an adventure through tree lined hills. Other amenities include a community center with fitness center, coffee shop, multiple activity rooms, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts and parks, an adult center, a marina, a dog park, a basketball court along with miles of trails.

General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Position Overview

Reporting to the Sudden Valley Community Association Board of Directors, the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer (GM/COO) recommends and participates with the Board in the formulation of policies consistent with the Association’s mission, vision, policies and goals and objectives. The GM/COO must possess critical leadership skills and a knowledge of association governing documents as well as municipal codes and laws. The GM/COO must be highly skilled in public relations, contract negotiations and oversight, financial operations, as well as having a clear understanding of facilities operation and maintenance.

Community Association Facts

  • Ownership: Member Owned
  • Board Size: Nine (9) Members
  • Committees: Three (3) Standing, Eight (8) Ad-Hoc
  • Number of Properties: Single Family Homes 2,373
  • Condominiums: 243
  • Unimproved Lots: 536
  • Total Properties: 3,152
  • 2019 Operations Budget: $1,912,083
  • 2019 Contribution to Reserves and Capital: $2,423,215
  • Direct Reports:
    • Roads: All the roads (40 miles) are owned and maintained by the Sudden Valley Community Association.
    • Security: 24/7 Patrol (contracted)
    • Website:

The Position

The GM/COO serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Sudden Valley Community Association, Inc. and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Association working with a nine member Board of Directors that sets policy for the Association. He/she will have a passion for Association Management and have experience with shaping and enhancing community association operations. The ideal candidate will understand and strive for superior service and exceptional standards of quality to deliver excellent Property Owner experiences. An eye for detail is critical.

The GM/COO will be an outgoing, genuine and personable leader who will look forward to meeting and working with Property Owners on a regular basis. Visibility along with the genuine enjoyment of building relationships and being in an active environment are key attributes for the GM/COO.

The GM /COO will enjoy inspiring Department Managers and Team Members and must demonstrate proven leadership skills in team building, team member motivation and training.

The GM /COO will have strong communication and facilitation skills, both in writing and verbally. He/she will represent the Association in the community and will exhibit the highest level of personal and professional conduct both within and outside the Association. The GM /COO will provide continuity for the Association and exhibit strong executive leadership to all areas of the operation, including the Board and Committees, who govern and advise respectively.

Key Characteristics Desired for the New GM/COO:

  • Strong, energized, respectful, competent, approachable.
  • Dynamic leader.
  • Understands the difference between management and leadership and is skilled in both areas; recognizes that leadership involves vision, taking prudent risk and driving the organization towards continuous improvement and success.
  • Has an inclusive and participatory style that concludes with clear and concise direction to staff and is followed-up by establishing goals/timelines and holding subordinates accountable for performance.
  • Has strong operational knowledge, 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; is diplomatic and has excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Is a good listener and facilitator; is diplomatic and has a calming effect on people; can say “no” without offending.
  • Radiates personal warmth, sincerity, empathy and caring towards residents and guests.
  • Brings a track record of achieving goals and has a “can do” positive attitude.
  • Has strong financial and accounting acumen, is fiscally conservative and has managed a complex budget.
  • Is politically savvy, but not political.
  • Is an idea generator for the Board but recognizes the difference between generating ideas and getting out in front of the Board.
  • Has knowledge and experience in facilities, infrastructure and landscape maintenance as well as planning and building.
  • Is confident, keeps his/her ego under control and has a sense of humor.
  • Has a solid work ethic and high integrity, follows through on commitments, has common sense and does not take things personally.
  • Believes in technology and uses it.
  • Intuitive strength in building consensus.
  • Actively participating and “thought partnering” with the Board, Committees and Contributors to SVCA’s success.
  • Responsive rather than reactive.
  • Progressive management and leadership practices leading to promoting a positive, engaging and competent service culture.

Initial Priorities for the New GM/COO:

  • Get to know Key Association Members and Team Members as quickly as possible, engaging them in a sincere and enthusiastic manner.
  • Get a firm grasp on the Association budget and financials.
  • Meet individually with each Member of the Board of Directors to determine how the GM/COO can best serve the policy setting arm of the Association.
  • Meet with Government Officials whose positions impact the Association to establish channels of communication.
  • Ensure that effective and necessary communication systems are in place for Association Members, Community Volunteers, Management Team and Support Team.

Candidate Qualifications and Experience

The expectation is that the integrity of the GM/COO is foremost and that he/she will provide innovative, visionary and strategic leadership to the Board of Directors, Committees, Association Members and Team Members. He/she will be capable of recognizing and proactively anticipating trends and relevant impact to SVCA.

The ideal candidate must possess skills and a keenness toward budgeting and financial management in order to lead the Association in meeting its budgeting and financial objectives. The successful candidate will ensure that SVCA is consistently striving to provide the best programs and service in the area, continually enhancing SVCA’s overall position in the Northwest market.

A college degree and certification as a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) and/or Master Community Manager (MCM) are preferred with five plus years’ experience in association management or an equivalent field. Salary Range: $130,000-$160,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Association will provide typical CAI/CMIA benefits and offers an excellent benefit package. The Board will consider entering into a two year Employment Agreement with the successful candidate. Prospective GM/COO Candidates should email a resume and a detailed cover letter addressed to the Board of Directors outlining how they align with the above noted qualifications and expectations for the position.


Experience Level:

Job Status:
Full Time

Job Location:
Bellingham, Washington

Salary Range:

Contact Name:
Jeff Evans

Contact Email:

Comany Address:
Sudden Valley Community Association

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