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5 minutes with: J. Mark Jenkins


By Neil Amato

The not-for-profit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy hired J. Mark Jenkins, CPA, CGMA, to be a world-class collaborator.

The conservancy oversees more than 80,000 acres in and around San Francisco. It manages visitor services, environmental restoration projects, design and construction, and education programmes in the parks that make up the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Finance tasks include keeping programme departments apprised of donations, reexamining business processes and implementing software to streamline the invoice system.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2012 had more visitors than three of the most popular US national parks — Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite — combined. Of 17 million visitors in 2012, 30% came from outside the US.

“Our tagline — ‘parks for all forever’ — is not limited to the geographic region that we serve,” Jenkins says.

His job entails a spirit of entrepreneurship, a trait Jenkins says is sometimes overlooked at not-for-profits. One example: creating a better visitor experience at Alcatraz Island. About 30% of the conservancy’s $50 million in annual revenue comes from audio tours on Alcatraz, the former federal penitentiary known as “The Rock”.

“This past March, we had a modest fee increase and added an additional boat service to extend the hours,” Jenkins says.

He expects that change to increase visitors to the island by about 100,000 in the current fiscal year. The fee increase and additional visitors will add an estimated $4 million in revenue. These funds will support preservation efforts on the island and throughout the parks.

Résumé: J. Mark Jenkins, CPA, CGMA, is vice president of finance at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, a not-for-profit organisation in San Francisco. He has served in a variety of finance roles at other organisations and worked in audit at Deloitte for 13 years.