Vice President of Family Programs & Relations - Laird Norton Company

Seattle, Washington, United States Full-time

About Laird Norton

Based in Seattle, the Laird Norton Company (LNC) is a 7th generation family-owned enterprise with investments in real estate, wealth management and corporate investments. What began in 1855 as a frontier logging operation in the Midwest, has evolved into one of the longest-standing family enterprises in the United States. Today, the Laird Norton name represents a company with diverse business interests, enduring values and a deep commitment to enriching the communities where we live and work.

The Laird Norton Family consists of 491 family members,385 of them shareholders, living in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.  The Laird Norton Family Office is responsible for the stewardship of the Family’s business interests and shareholder and family communications, education and engagement.   Family programs and services are provided to our family members to ensure our Laird Norton Family legacy is continued for our future generations.

LNC is led by an independent CEO who is responsible for the strategy and business operations for our Company and its subsidiaries.  Our Family Office is led by a Family President who is a family member and the primary representative of the owners’ interests as it relates to family programs and governance matters.  The Vice President of Family Programs & Relations reports to the Family President.

Primary responsibilities:


Provide leadership, supervision, and daily administration of the family office operations.


The Vice President of Family Programs & Relations is responsible for directing and overseeing family program design, planning, execution, logistics and communications activities with responsibilities to include the following:


Build and manage programs that engage family members

  • Oversee all current and new member education programs. Responsibilities include creating event agendas, defining program content, and securing speakers, all in collaboration with the Family President. Plan and facilitate programs that reinforce and perpetuate the Family’s traditions and values and honors and celebrates our history.
  • Stay abreast of family membership and ownership trends.  Oversee maintenance of family databases and track, analyze and forecast family trends as it relates to familial needs, risks and challenges
  • Manage and plan the annual Laird Norton Family Summit.  Working in collaboration with the Family President, Summit Committee Chair and volunteer committee members, establish program goals and objectives, event schedules and activities.  Plan program, coordinate content for learning sessions, facilitate vendors and contracts, secure speakers and manage event budgets and expenses.  Collaborate with Board Chairman and Family President on content for Members Meeting presentation.
  • Organize and facilitate volunteer committees across a variety of program areas, including event and program planning and logistics. In collaboration with the Family President, attend FCC meetings and coordinate regional family meetings, outreach efforts and activities.
  • Maintain awareness of LNC’s business operations and best practices in the field of Family Business. Contribute ideas for future programs and policies to support family unity and promote our continued legacy.

Lead Family Communications

  • Ensure delivery on the comprehensive communications strategies and protocols. Communicate with and inform family members; keep them apprised of programs, events, and activities designed to promote family relationships and continued engagement
  • Establish and manage family communication tools to reach a diverse audience including family publications, notifications, news bulletins, invitations, and reports.  Responsible for managing and keeping content current on the LN Family website including the family member directory. 

Serve as a member of the LNC leadership team

  • Manage the Family Office budget. Coordinate with the Family President the establishment of the annual Family Office budget; responsible for actively tracking and managing office expenses.
  • Work collaboratively with LNC leadership team.  Coordinate with all members of LNC’s business departments.  Participate in team events and activities and attend management meetings and serve on LNC inter-office committee.   
  • Serve as representative and custodian of family traditions.  Provide information to LNC staff members on Family matters when appropriate. Responsibilities include management and oversight of our LNC Archives. 

Skills, Background and Qualifications:

Desired Qualities:

Effective communicator:  Expresses oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication (verbal and written, one-on-one and in groups); capable of communicating and interacting with a diverse group of individuals over a multitude of mediums.

Builds Effective Relationships: Builds and maintains positive relationships; Actively participates and contributes as a member of the LNC team and is committed to collaborating on assignments and achieving results.

Professional Credibility:  Demonstrates leadership; ability to work with confidential information in a professional manner; takes responsibility for setting and meeting goals, objectives, obligations, and solving problems while representing the values of the organization.

Ethics, Trust and Engagement:  Models and upholds the values of candor, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness. Strives to be a good steward and a community builder.

Planning and Prioritization:  Effective at managing and prioritizing multiple, competing demands; Ability to maintain a balanced perspective and neutrality when met with competing demands.  Conveys enthusiasm, possesses a positive attitude and demonstrates grace under pressure.


  • Ten or more years of related communications development and leadership work experience.  Experience may be in corporation, shareholder relations, family or private business, family office, on issue or cause-related work, in a mission-driven organization, or in an alumni relations role in an academic environment.
  • Proven track record of program development and delivery innovation, completing project tasks and accomplishing milestones.
  • Demonstrated success developing and executing comprehensive strategic communications programs in a highly complex, collaborative and multi-faceted environments.
  • Ability to work independently, problem solve, take initiative, set priorities, handle multiple projects, and exercise good judgment in a dynamic environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience preferred.
  • Must be willing to travel occasionally as required for program engagement.


Application process and timeline

All applications will be given serious consideration. Applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt and will be held confidentially. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but full consideration will be given to materials received by October 19, 2018.

Screening of qualified candidates will continue through October and early November. Laird Norton interviews will be conducted in November and early December.  We anticipate a start date on or around January 1, 2019. 

Please combine your resume and cover letters into one document.  In your cover letter, please share how your professional interests and experience align with the opportunity at Laird Norton.  In your cover letter please answer the questions:

  1. Why are you interested in the Vice President role?
  2. What about your background and experience makes you an ideal candidate for this newly created role?