Sr. Operations Manager, Forest Nursery & Seed Division

Olympia, WA /
Supply Chain – Nursery Operations /
About DroneSeed:
DroneSeed is transforming a 300-million-acre global landscape deforested since the 1990s.  Our mission is simple: we want to make reforestation scalable.  With the largest forestry company in the world planting only 1-million-acres per year (400-million to 700-million trees) it would take several hundred years to replant this deficit with current tools.  That’s where our technology using drone swarms, survey and data collection, and proprietary seed delivery vessels can substantially help.  We work primarily in post-wildfire environments to support revegetation using heavy lift drone swarms.  We’ve pioneered seed vessels and tailored them to survive in different ecosystems.  Our aerial survey and data collection process allows us to microsite terrain and deliver the right seed prescription to precise ground locations. We continually integrate rapidly evolving aircraft and hardware technology which enables us to operate in some of the world’s most challenging terrain environments.     

We also use our tools to support critical elements of the forest regeneration pipeline, specifically for production of seed and seedlings for reforestation. This is a growing part of our business, and demands the same urgency and and focus on scalability that we apply to our pioneering drone operations. 

DroneSeed is focused on a future in which seed, seedlings, and drone operations are utilized to reforest after wildfire and generate carbon credits. DroneSeed is focused on becoming the largest generator of carbon credits from natural based solutions. Carbon credits are already a $200B+ industry in the EU and the $4B US industry is expected to grow as already major forest managers have converted areas to ‘Carbon Farms’ to finance operations in other areas. In addition to the financial opportunity, DroneSeed is focused on the ecological imperative to develop better tools to reduce the growing reforestation debt in which 13% of US Forest Land has few to no trees--much of this on government land.   

DroneSeed is a Techstars alumni founded in 2016 to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. We work with 3 of the 5 largest timber companies in the United States, other private landowners, State and Federal entities, and are backed by partners like Social Capital, Spero Ventures, the 1st CEO of DocuSign, and others focused on solving the world’s hardest problems. 

What you'll be doing:

As a Sr. Operations Manager you will be responsible for all operations at a high volume forest nursery and seed business that provides seed services, seedling production and distribution, as well as contract administration for an international client base. Specific responsibilities include implementing the crop growing strategies and techniques set by leadership, ensuring that task deadlines and goals are met, training new employees, tracking data and creating reports on KPIs, opening and closing the facility, coordinating and communicating with other departments, and performing general cultivation tasks with employees as needed. Additionally, you will have responsibility for managing the end to end seed procurement, storage, and distribution process for internal, contract and retail needs. If you’re deeply committed to our mission and capable of leading teams to rapidly scale our high volume forest nursery and seed operation, we’d love to speak with you. 

Role & Responsibilities:

    • Own the planning and production schedules of both container and field grown (bareroot) crops with annual and multi-year trajectories
    • Manage teams responsible for packing, storage, and distribution of biological (plant) products to customers
    • Manage teams responsible for the end-to-end seed collection process
    • Develop solutions to identify and address phytosanitary issues or nutrient deficiencies to achieve quality and output goals
    • Develop a strategic plan to optimize space for surging customer demand
    • Lead expansion efforts to rapidly increase growing capacity
    • Identify and advocate for additional resources needed for overall operational success
    • Develop a multi-team schedule and manage timekeeping to ensure objectives are met with high-quality service

Desired Skills & Experience:

    • Bachelor’s Degree in forestry/horticulture/agriculture/plant sciences or equivalent (Graduate degree is a plus)
    • 6+ years of experience in Nursery/Horticultural/Agriculture production
    • Extensive experience laboratory, greenhouse, and field work for plant propagation
    • Excellent problem solving skills with demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage multiple initiatives
    • History of success leading teams to implement rules, regulations, policies, and procedures 
    • Demonstrated experience in scaling a team or business
    • Scrappy, willing to dive in and do whatever it takes, regardless of the job description
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English (Spanish is a plus)
    • Data driven with a penchant for innovation & continuous process improvement
Benefits of working at DroneSeed: We're focused on making a positive impact on the environment.  We value a highly diverse team, have an awesome office culture, support and encourage collaboration, and have locations in Seattle (Ballard) and Olympia. Taking care of your health comes first. We cover 75% of your medical, dental, and vision premiums.  We have a flexible vacation policy, so take the time off you need; we don’t track vacation or sick time.

Other Information:
Candidates must be eligible to work at the DroneSeed Forest Nursery located near Olympia, WA.
DroneSeed is an equal-opportunity employer and we are committed to building a diverse team.  If you’re deeply committed to our mission and capable of leading the expansion of a high volume forest nursery and seed operation, we’d love to speak with you.