Skip To The Main Content

Our media releases and additional news articles can be found on this page. If you are a member of the media or would just like to learn more about our organization, click here for our SOP fact sheet.

If you'd like to sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter to stay up to date on our latest work for the Fort Leonard Wood Region, you can click here to sign up.

Click the links below to view our latest eNewsletters.

September Wrap Up
August Wrap Up
July Wrap Up

Job Announcement: Leonard Wood Institute and Sustainable Ozarks Partnership Executive Director

by Erin Younkin | Mar 11, 2016

Executive Director Position

The Leonard Wood Institute (LWI) seeks to hire an Executive Director who can lead the institute in the development of new technologies that will benefit to the Army and other Government entities; create new technology collaboratives with private sector researchers for the benefit of the region and the Government; and lead the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) in its efforts to support a strong and sustainable Fort Leonard Wood and a vibrant Fort Leonard Wood region. 

About LWI and SOP 
LWI is a tax-exempt, non-profit research organization founded in 2004 that is focused on fulfilling the technology needs of the U. S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCoE) and Fort Leonard Wood (FLW), Missouri and improving the technology base of the region.  LWI was created to enable and manage collaborative and innovative efforts to assist in developing solutions that meet Army requirements, primarily focused on the missions associated with MSCoE, by providing a mechanism to connect the expertise of private sector researchers and small, technology producing companies and university-based researchers with identified Army needs.

Through its Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) subsidiary, LWI is also focused on strengthening the quality of life and communities in the FLW region, and works to help retain or enhance missions on FLW.  SOP functions as a community-based, installation support organization that works on regional strategies of interest to Fort Leonard Wood and provides information and advocacy on issues related to the long-term sustainability of FLW.  SOP is formally a Standing Committee, pursuant to the LWI Bylaws.

LWI exists as a Public Benefit Corporation organized under Chapter 355 RSMo, the Missouri Nonprofit Corporation law, with a 501c (3) tax exempt status from the IRS.  LWI was incorporated at Fort Leonard Wood and its current address is: 197 Replacement Avenue, Fort Leonard Wood, and Missouri 65473.  Its website is The SOP website is:

Job Location
This full-time position is based in the University of Missouri Technology Park at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and works under direction of the LWI Board of Directors and in coordination with the SOP Board of Directors.  The LWI Board of Directors is composed of volunteer directors from the FLW region and other parts of the country.

The position of Executive Director is supervisory in nature and is responsible for two very different and diverse roles: as leader of an extensive and diversified R&D program and as leader of a community/installation support organization that focuses on the long-term sustainability of FLW.  Under LWI’s Employee Handbook, the Executive Director is categorized as a Professional Level 5 position.

This individual will assume overall responsibility for the actions of the Leonard Wood Institute directing and implementing the vision of LWI, which includes its SOP subsidiary.  The executive director will work closely with the staff of Fort Leonard Wood, LWI Board of Directors, LWI corporate members, SOP Board Members, partners, and local - state - federal government interests.  Specifically the director is expected to: 

  • Achieve a self-sustaining financial foundation for LWI/SOP, including through Army-related applied R&D projects; grantsmanship at the federal, state and local levels; fundraising in the region and state; and building of effective partnerships with other organizations that are beneficial to LWI/SOP.
  • Create and maintain the LWI organization’s business structure and culture to include motivating, developing, empowering and setting the climate for productivity and efficiency.
  • Focus on FLW technology needs and opportunities for LWI enhancement.
  • Build effective relationships with entities within the 4 county SOP/FLW region.
  • Direct action of the LWI/SOP staff to meet and further develop the organizations’ strategic goals.
  • Review the technical merit of Cooperative Agreement-related funding proposals and provide guidance to increase the success rate of proposal acceptance and funding.
  • Build and manage the external relationships in academia, industry and the military.
  • Work with companies and universities by coupling their capabilities, core competencies and technologies to military missions. 
  • Advise and report to the board of directors on programs, projects, organizational health, opportunities, direction, and funding.
  • Build and maintain Strategic Plans, and associated action plans, for LWI and SOP

The executive director will have the ability to identify key issues and to think creatively and strategically in facing internal and external challenges. The director must show effective leadership and the ability to coach, mentor and motivate a staff of business, technical and community development professionals, have experience in grantsmanship and technology transfer and have effective oral and written communications.


  • Presently possess or qualified to obtain a federal personnel security clearance.
  • Minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor’s Degree in a science, technical, or engineering discipline, or a Bachelor’s Degree in a business or public policy discipline plus experience in a business, government or non-profit organization that deals with technical issues.  A master’s or doctoral degree is strongly preferred.
  • The candidate will know military culture and be familiar with military procurement and contracting. Experience at senior military or industry decision-making levels is strongly preferred.  Prior uniformed military service is desirable but not required.
  • The candidate must be a creative visionary who has successful experience in handling management and leadership responsibilities and can show the ability to lead into the future.  A solid understanding of fiscal responsibilities and technology transfer are positives.
  • The successful candidate will be entrepreneurial by nature, highly self-directed, team-oriented, self-sufficient, and possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • The candidate must understand and value the proposition that FLW can be assisted in meeting its mission and achieving its long-term sustainability through support and active engagement with a community organization. 
  • Prior experience with or knowledge of a community/installation support organization or a similar non-profit or civic organization is highly desired.

The LWI Board of Directors expects to offer a one year employment agreement to the successful candidate. The agreement will be renewable at the end of the 1st year. 

Financial compensation is negotiable and depends on the level of demonstrated qualifications of the candidate.  It is anticipated that the starting salary will be approximately $110,000-$120,000 per year. 

In addition to salary, compensation will also include benefits from a 401(k) Safe Harbor Retirement Plan (one year vesting), healthcare insurance, a generous leave schedule, and the possibility of performance bonuses.  

Further Information:
Applicants should send a resume and cover letter in .PDF format to  Applicants may also send questions about the job announcement to the same address.

Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, March 21, 2016.

It is anticipated that applications will be narrowed to finalists by no later than Monday, March 28, 2016.  Personal interviews may be conducted thereafter.  The LWI Board of Directors anticipates making an offer of employment on or before April 29, 2016.

Background Information on LWI and SOP
LWI is guided by a strategic plan that guides its operations.

The LWI Vision Statement is:

To increase the capabilities of Missouri businesses, universities, and research organizations to provide technology-related products or services to the Army and Department of Defense (DoD), the result of which will be a stronger technology base in Missouri for meeting military technology needs and a more vibrant economy in the region and state.

LWI’s Mission Statement is:

LWI secures funding for, competitively awards, manages, and collaborates in projects to develop technologies and services that meet Army or Department of Defense (DoD) capability requirements and in so doing create jobs for the region and state.

LWI fulfills this vision by:

  • Enabling and managing government/academic/industry collaborations in core Maneuver Support and Protection disciplines that support Joint Operations and Army transformation;
  • Accelerating technology transfer to and from military and corresponding civilian applications;
  • Exploring other initiatives of value to DoD, MSCoE, FLW and other stakeholders; and
  • Expanding access and utilization of valuable FLW capabilities and assets by seeking to involve Government S&T and Program Management organizations in R&D, demonstration and evaluation regimes.

LWI currently manages a collaboration-based research and development program that benefits the Army, as well as other DOD and defense community stakeholders. Through an innovative Cooperative Agreement (W911NF-14-2-0034) with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), LWI is able to address Army (and other Service) research needs.  LWI is able to research topics of interest to the Army or other Services, with the active involvement of ARL, by rapidly locating and engaging qualified researchers who have expertise in the subject area provided to LWI by the military, and then providing funds to the project from the Army, or through MIPRs from other military organizations. 

LWI performs research using its own team, and also executes sub-award agreements with other organizations, including universities and small businesses. The total amount of funding capacity remaining in the Cooperative Agreement is approximately $21 million, with 3 years remaining in its current period of performance.

In addition to the Cooperative Agreement with ARL, LWI holds a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL), and a MOU with MSCoE that provide opportunities for collaboration

SOP Background and Goals
The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership, or “SOP”, is a membership-based, non-profit organization representing community leaders and other stakeholders in the 4-county region around Fort Leonard Wood (FLW).  SOP was formed by the Leonard Wood Institute (LWI) and other regional partners in 2013.  It operates as a part of LWI and shares LWI’s non-profit status, staff, office space, and administrative support. 

SOP is governed by Board of Directors, and is led by a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. SOP Directors are regional leaders from local government, non-profit organizations and businesses in the 4-county region. Fort Leonard Wood, the US Forest Service and State organizations are ex-officio members. SOP is funded by private donations, grants, and income from service contracts.

The SOP was created in reaction to a need identified by FLWs Integrated Strategic Sustainability Planning (ISSP) process. The ISSP called for a regional organization to encourage and support sustainable development to the benefit of all within the region. Concerned community members, leaders from businesses, local and regional governments, state agencies, and civic organizations from the four counties (Laclede, Phelps, Pulaski, and Texas) that surround Fort Leonard Wood came together to create the SOP. All of these key contributors were interested in having an organization that could also represent the region with one voice on issues that are vital to the long-term retention and sustainability of Fort Leonard Wood.

SOP Community and Installation Support Mission
SOP is the region’s cooperative effort to work on improving the quality of life and business opportunities in our region that are important to our residents and employers alike, and also of interest to Fort Leonard Wood.  Through working on community issues, and advocating for Fort Leonard Wood’s sustainment and growth, it is SOP’s desired outcome that Fort Leonard Wood will be preserved or enhanced over the long term.

SOP has been working diligently on establishing an enduring organization, implementing methods of working, building credibility with Missouri’s congressional delegation and state leaders, and learning how it can work effectively as a leader in focusing on issues of importance in the region. It has also been trying to catch up with some of the more established organizations around the country that have been working to create the right conditions for years that lead to military installation growth and sustainment.

SOP’s community and installation support mission is to:

  • Coordinate and facilitate the growth of a diverse, sustainable economy for the region
  • Function as the central point of contact for regional partners
  • Facilitate and publicize regional consensus while respecting individual interests of the members
  • Advocate for local and regional development initiatives
  • Advocate for Fort Leonard Wood sustainment and growth
  • Foster the region’s continuing commitment national defense and homeland security.



Strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region