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Executive Director, Windsor Historical Society, Windsor, CT

The Windsor Historical Society is at an important juncture as it transitions from a long-term executive director who built a firm base of financial stability and strong and professional operations to a new leader empowered to maintain and strengthen the Society's legacy of bringing Windsor's history to life through innovative programs and exhibits and extensive library collections.

The next Executive Director of the Windsor Historical Society will inherit a tremendous opportunity to further leverage the Society's many strengths to take its innovative programming to a new level, broaden its reach and engage more diverse segments of the community in learning about the rich history of Windsor.

 

Responsibilities

  • High priorities for the new executive director include:
  • Managing effectively and efficiently the daily operations;
  • Maintaining a collaborative work environment that has a strong team culture of mutual support and respect;
  • Developing and implementing a human resource strategy to recruit, support and retain the highest quality staff;
  • Facilitating the development of a robust and diverse board of directors with an eye to engaging members more fully in fundraising and critical governance functions;
  • Continuing to foster and retain relationships and build new partnerships with initiatives and organizations throughout Windsor and in the historical museum arena and related fields;
  • Continuing to implement the strategic priorities outlined in the 2017-2020 strategic plan and thinking strategically about the long-term positioning of the Society;
  • Assessing the current collections and managing the limited space considerations;
  • Maintaining relationships with current donors and building new relationships to increase revenues;
  • Maintaining a strong public presence within the city, state and broader field community to advance the Society's positive profile. 

 

Challenges

Outreach and Community Engagement:

A number of factors pose challenges to engaging all segments of Windsor's diverse community:

With busy lives and an ever-expanding range of entertainment and information at their digital fingertips, residents under 40 are an audience whose attention is difficult to capture and who may be unlikely to attend the Society's events.

Many people may perceive the Society as focusing on white colonial history; the organization is challenged in its attempt to reach out and engage all segments of Windsor's diverse population.

Windsor has a fairly high turnover of residents and those who are more transient feel less connection to the history of the town.

 

Resource Development:

Many nonprofits in town are tapping the same funding sources; those passionate about history are aging out, leading to a decline in funders, membership, and volunteers; and corporate funding priorities have shifted toward education or youth programming. Most of the larger corporations in Windsor are located in the outskirts of town and don't feel connected to the community.

 

The Historical Museum Market:

Competition for attention is stiff - nearly every town has its own historical society, and some of the more substantial ones - with large budgets and varied and attractive programs - are within an hour or so of driving distance from Windsor. Additionally, Connecticut's historical organizations tend toward independence and there's little/no interest in collaborating or partnering in ways that could increase visitor-ship and revenues for all involved. On top of this, Windsor has an unusually high number of civic and nonprofit organizations who are all competing for residents' time and attention.

 

Space for Collections:

As the Historical Society's profile has grown, so have its collections. Despite the Society's cautious criteria for accepting pieces that align with the mission, items continue to stream in, thus placing more strain on its storage capacity.

 

Qualifications

Profile of the Ideal Candidate

The next Executive Director of the Windsor Historical Society will be able to build on the many strengths of the Society in order to lead it in innovative directions. She/he/ they will be passionate about history, will possess an understanding of historical museum management and will be dedicated to Windsor and its rich historical heritage. The person who assumes this position will be a leader with high emotional intelligence and excellent communication and public speaking skills, and a relationship-builder who can easily and genuinely connect with people and is astute at building strategic partnerships.

 

Minimum Credentials

Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree in a relevant field preferred. At least five years of experience in a senior leadership role in a similar size organization in the field of museum management or a related field. 

 

Qualities

Passionate advocate for the mission

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated passion for history in general, and will be able to translate that passion into an articulate and compelling story.  She/he/they will be able to ignite passion in others.

 

Keen emotional intelligence

The ideal candidate will have keen listening skills, empathy, self-awareness, and the ability to connect with people of different styles, professional levels and backgrounds.

 

Demonstrated core values of integrity and honesty

The essential quality of personal humility and an intuitive understanding of when to give credit to others while exercising effective leadership is a must. The ideal candidate will be open-minded, approachable, and fair.

 

Flexibility and balance

The ideal candidate will be able to face difficult challenges with competence, grace, and a sense of humor.

   

Innovative and entrepreneurial approach

The ideal candidate will continually scan the environment for key trends and new opportunities, can leverage opportunities and support for initiatives, and has an innovative approach to solving problems and overcoming challenges.

 

Skills and Experience

Experienced nonprofit manager

The ideal candidate will have significant professional experience in supervision and management of staff, in administering a multi-source budget, and in efficiently and strategically aligning and maximizing resources. Experience working in the historical museum or related field is preferred.

 

Respectful, inclusive and effective leader and developer of staff

The ideal candidate will be able to inspire, develop and empower staff and create a productive team-based culture that welcomes inclusion and diversity. She/he/they will be able to build and maintain a climate of trust and respect where each worker feels appreciated for her/his/their strengths and contributions.

 

Demonstrated success in diversifying and expanding revenue streams

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in fund development and will have the ability to lead the board and staff in executing a comprehensive fundraising plan.

 

Application Instructions

To view the following position and apply, please visit the following link.  

 

About The Windsor Historical Society

In the field of historical societies across the nation, the Windsor Historical Society is looked on as a thought leader in its development of creative, diverse and responsive programming and exhibits. Its public programs include lectures, family events, a genealogy support group, writing contests and an oral history project currently underway in partnership with Windsor's local TV station. It has a strong partnership with Windsor Public Schools and provides tours, student exhibitions, classroom presentations and student scholarships.

Its collection of approximately 11,000 items is extensive, varied and always growing. In 2015, the Society renovated the Strong-Howard House - supported by a $750,000 capital campaign - and, in a stroke of innovative genius, re-interpreted the home to appear as it looked in 1810, complete with all reproduction furnishings so that it could be a hands-on exhibit, which has since gained national recognition.

 

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