Executive Director

Westport South Beach Historical Society Executive Director

Job Description

The Executive Director of the Westport South Beach Historical Society (WSBHS) serves as the chief executive of the Westport Maritime Museum and the Grays Harbor Lighthouse, and as such, is responsible for the general and fiscal leadership and management of the entire organization, including programs, collections, partnerships, fund-raising, budgets, and external relations. This person plays a leading role, working closely with the Board of Directors and volunteer staff in developing and articulating the strategic direction of the Museum and in implementing the resulting strategies and initiatives.


The Executive Director shall submit an annual work plan to the Board of Directors for their approval at the beginning of each year. He or she shall be responsible for the daily operation of the Museum and Lighthouse.

Specific duties will include:

• Prioritizing schedules and determining the scope and content of work assignments for staff and volunteers.

• Provide staff and volunteer training.

• Recruit, hire, and manage, staff and volunteers.

• Provide project and event management; plan and coordinate activities.

• Represent WSBHS in the community, with other agencies, and at professional meetings & conferences.

• Oversees the preparation of orders for materials, equipment, and supplies essential to the operations of WSBHS.

• Attends monthly Board meetings of the WSBHS as a non-voting member and makes recommendations regarding museum and lighthouse policies, and carries out the directives of the Board.

• Plans future direction of the museum and lighthouse operations, making recommendations to the board.

• Prepares and administers the annual budget with input from the WSBHS Finance

Committee and oversees all accounting functions including those necessary for auditing, budgeting, financial analysis, capital asset and property management and payroll in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, board policies and procedures, and all other applicable rules and guidelines.

• Researches funding sources and prepares grant proposals; administers grants received and prepares reports to funding agencies and assist in other fund raising activities directed by the Board.

• Plans and supervises development of interpretive exhibits.

• Prepares and distributes informational materials, including press releases and brochures.

• Presents lectures and programs to service organizations, school audiences, museum visitors, and professional organizations.

The Executive Director must interact effectively with many constituencies: students, participants, funders, members, school and civic organizations, and local and state units of government. He or she is expected to take a leadership role in monitoring public history trends and recommending appropriate programming to keep pace with a changing environment. This individual must be a pro-active, visible symbol of WSBHS.

The Executive Director must have a deep passion for preserving history and an enthusiasm for passing that ethic on to others.

Key issues and challenges for the Executive Directors in their first year include:

• Increasing local and regional public awareness of the unique mission and programming offered by WSBHS so that it is broadly recognized and attracts people to the museum and lighthouse as visitors, members, volunteers, and donors;

• Working with volunteer leaders to build the volunteer resources including strengthening local volunteer pool and revising the existing work camper program;

• Working with volunteer leaders and Board of Directors to further efforts to move forward on the Lighthouse Restoration;

• And analysis of current Museum and Lighthouse gift shop and admission operations to determine if operational improvements can reduce labor requirements while yielding better income opportunities and cost control.

• This position requires an outstanding leader with exceptional communication skills.

Excellent fundraising skills, a strong public presence, and enthusiasm for making the case for WSBHS to a variety of donors and partners. This individual must have the ability to work with the Board to create and carry out a unified vision for what the Museum can and should do. The ability to articulate a vision must be combined with the drive to achieve results.


Physical and sensory requirements (with/without the aid of mechanical devices):

• Ability to ascend and descend to all levels of the museum and lighthouse

• Lift a minimum of 20 pounds & stand for long periods of time.

• Available to work weekends and evenings as needed with equal compensatory time.

Recognizing this is a seasonal operation which peaks June - August and shall require additional efforts during the high season.

Basic computer proficiency is required, including Microsoft Office skills (Word, Office,

Excel), use of and familiarity with email and social media, and general internet research abilities.

Written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to prepare written documents including correspondence, grant proposals, press releases, marketing copy, and volunteer communications.

Budgeting, mathematical, and financial analytical skills sufficient to oversee the management of a $150,000 annual budget.

Desirable Abilities and Experience:

Ideally, he or she will have at least five years overall nonprofit experience as a leader or manager within a historical society, public museum, or a similar non-profit organization. Candidates who have not led an organization or have experience outside of the non-profit realm, but can demonstrate the above skills and a high potential to grow into this profile, will also be considered.

Success in this role requires moving the organization ahead while preserving those cultural qualities from which the organization has derived its success. The ideal candidate is a hands-on leader and motivator committed to fostering a positive and forward thinking environment.

To Apply For This Position:

Please include current resume when applying for this position.

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