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Breitenbush Hot Springs

Posted: 5/18/2017
Location: Portland Metro
Closing Date: open until filled
Industry: Business, Finance, Management
Type: Full Time

Breitenbush Hot Springs is one of Oregon’s oldest worker-owned cooperatives. Located 1.5 hours east of Salem, Breitenbush is nestled in a quiet valley that happens to be one of the most geothermally active areas on the west coast. Academics have suggested that our piece of land has been continuously inhabited by humans for thousands of years.

Breitenbush is not normal. We are both a business and an intentional community. Our 70+ staff and 35,000 guests per year draw on a deep sense of purpose and collective ownership, not conventional measures of wealth. We are looking for a bookkeeping maven who feels the same way. If you’ve ever wanted to live in the forest, in community, and have bookkeeping chops, let’s talk!

Important Note on Compensation:
Let’s cut to one of the most unusual parts of Breitenbush: almost everybody at Breitenbush makes the same amount of money. Currently, that’s $9.75 per hour, Oregon minimum wage. That will go up to $10.25 per hour on July 1, 2017. For the sake of transparency, it should be noted that there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. For example, the three managing directors (Business Director, Marketing Director, and Finance Director) make $14.79 per hour. However, for the right candidate, our compensation package is very rich.

Though it is hard to measure, many of us that live and work here relate to the total compensation package as feeling closer to $20/hour. Below is a list of benefits.

• Free housing
• Free utilities (including long distance phone and high-speed internet)
• Employer covered health care with a health care reimbursement account (all premiums paid by the cooperative and very low deductibles)
• Dental Care (100% premium covered by employer)
• Long term disability insurance (after one year)
• Very generous vacation package (Paid, Wellness, Birthday, and extended leaves)
• Meals & Organic groceries at cost (including a free meal once a week and free leftovers from our commercial kitchen)
• Discounted massages
• Household items (Dr. Bonners soap, toilet paper, etc)
• Community living in the Cascade Mountains
• Hot springs, sauna, yoga and more
• Commute to work across a footbridge that spans the Breitenbush River
• Co-op member and ownership opportunity which including dividends (profit sharing)

Specifics About the Bookkeeping Role:
The Bookkeeper role at Breitenbush is a full cycle bookkeeping position. The position works directly with Breitenbush’s Finance Director. The core of the role revolves around the following list of tasks:

• Process Payroll for 70 – 130 employees every two weeks, including sending in payroll tax payments and any necessary garnishments in a timely manner.
• Process Accounts Payable invoices
• Be familiar with the budget for the year and question unbudgeted purchases
• Be familiar with 1099 processing requirements, ensuring A/P vendors are correctly reported and the data file is clean and correct for year-end reporting
• Post Journal Entries for daily revenues
• Prepare cash advances and process expense reports weekly
• Recover funds lost due to Non-sufficient fund payments from guests
• Interact with both the Office Team and all Team Coordinators to ensure systems are working smoothly and communications are sufficient and clear
• Prepare journal entries
• Record HAT license, insurance, and CEU’s payments
• Record clothing allowance payments
• Cash count at end of each month
• Calculate and pay store consignments at end of each month
• Event closeouts processing
• Print new meal sheets every two weeks
• Quarterly store inventory
• Setting up direct deposit for staff
• Creating membership loan accounts for staff
• Calculating/paying parting gifts and housing deposit refunds
• Maintaining staff vacation/sick leave benefits
• Renew vehicle registrations online/get stickers to Maintenance
• Journal entries for staff postage purchases
• Stop payments on missing/lost checks
• Other tasks as needed

Qualified candidates will ideally have previous bookkeeping experience, strong general computer knowledge, and a familiarity with accounting principals. Applicant would also be proficient in Excel, detail oriented, self-motivated and have the ability to work independently. Good communication skills are a must.

More about Breitenbush:
Breitenbush is an intentional community and worker-owned cooperative. We, the members of the community, all live on 154 acres in this rugged and beautiful mountain setting and serve thousands of guests year-round. Our emphasis is on service to our guests, each other, and to the greater global and universal community. Working at Breitenbush requires dedication to this service ethic, a sense of joy and excitement about your work, acceptance of personal responsibility and accountability, a desire for creativity and productivity and a willingness to communicate openly and honestly.

We are a small community – especially in the late fall, winter and early spring when fewer than 85 permanent staff typically live here. Our community includes persons of all ages. Many children have been born at Breitenbush and we provide childcare to support their presence in our community. Our staff is organized into teams: Office/Guest Reception, Kitchen, Maintenance, Systems, Projects, Information Services, Guest Hosting & Security, Housekeeping, Childcare, Administration, Events & Marketing, and Healing Arts. We elect a very active Board of Directors from amongst our membership to which our Business Director is accountable.

Living and working here, while very rewarding, is also challenging for some. Housing is rustic and most people share bathroom and cooking facilities. To protect native wildlife, no dogs are allowed on Breitenbush property and the number of cats allowed is limited.

We generate our own electricity from the river and use geothermal wells to meet our heating needs. The hot springs and wells provide the mineral water for our hot tubs and steam sauna. We have over 100 buildings on the property which include the lodge, a large dining and conference building, a kitchen and dining space, a massage/healing arts building, staff dwellings, guest cabins, the Sanctuary, the Forest Shelter, Buddha’s Playhouse and River Yurt among others.

Most of the structures at Breitenbush Hot Springs were part of a hot springs resort built in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s when using the hot mineral water was considered an important way for people to heal from various maladies. In the early 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, the land was a favorite place for people to camp or have a simple cabin and enjoy the beautiful natural environment and hot waters. Then, for ten years the property was idle.

Alex Beamer purchased the property in 1977 and spent several years restoring the old resort and getting it ready to host guests again. People who wished to put their energies into this project, and who worked well with the people already here, were invited to come and join in restoring the facilities. In 1981, the Breitenbush community started hosting guests who participated in a variety of workshops, celebrations and personal retreats.

In 1985, the community purchased the land from Alex. In 1989, a worker-owned cooperative was formed.

Application Guidelines/Contact:
To apply for this position, visit the Breitenbush Hot Springs website and fill out our online application:

In addition to your application, please answer the following questions and email the answers, along with a cover letter and your resume to

• What is it that most appeals to you about this job or working at Breitenbush?

• Describe your ideas and/or experience related to intentional community and/or cooperative living?

• Having read the skills we are looking for, can you comment on your strengths and weaknesses in relation to those skills?

• People make minimum wage at Breitenbush and housing is awarded by seniority. The entry level homes are very small A-Frames (10 x 12) with no bathrooms or kitchens (there are common facilities for these). Can you tell us how you feel about making minimum wage and starting to live in a very small home?

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