Small Museum Association

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Museum Director

06 Jul 2021 3:03 PM | Lauren Taylor

The Museum 

  • The Hieronymus Mueller Museum (HMM) opened its doors in the Central Illinois city of Decatur in 1995.  In 2005, HMM  relocated and built  its 8,000 square foot site next door to the Mueller Company.  The museum annually averages about 1,500 visitors.  HMM is a private organization and is primarily funded through the Mueller family’s Hieronymus Mueller Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.  The family’s objective for the museum is to share with the public the history of the Mueller Company, the Mueller family, and its employees.

    The history is a rich one and represents a classic American dream story.  Hieronymus Mueller immigrated to America in 1852 and founded Mueller Company in 1857. The company remained in family ownership for 132 years.  The family sold it in 1986. Hieronymus Mueller strived to make everyday life better through invention. That notion represents the HMM brand. Hieronymus Mueller and his sons obtained 501 patents including water pressure regulators, faucet designs, the first sanitary drinking fountain, a roller skate design, and a bicycle kick-stand. He became enthralled with automobiles, importing a Benz from Germany in 1892.  Hieronymus Mueller was awarded patents for a reverse gear, water-cooled radiator, newly-designed spark plugs, and a make-and-break distributor. He built seven automobiles. The enduring industry that the Mueller Company became nationally known for is water and gas distribution. Its most recognizable product is the Mueller fire hydrant. The company produces over half the hydrant volume in the United States, both under family ownership and to this day,  Today Mueller Company operates as a division of Mueller Water Products, a NYSE-listed company.

    The Board and staff operate HMM, the Board at the strategic level and the staff at the tactical level. The Board is comprised of four Hieronymus Mueller descendants, a Mueller Company representative, and a community volunteer who is also a Mueller Company retiree. Board meetings are held quarterly via telephone, as most board members are remote. The staff is comprised of a Director, Assistant Director, Museum Associate, and Consultant.

    Looking forward, the Board seeks to grow significantly HMM’s first and repeat visits and geographic awareness.  To facilitate this, the Board has authorized that the director will be a full-time position for the first time in HMM’s history. The Board has identified four core strategies in place for the Director to execute: (1) Collection , (2) Visitor Experience , (3) Community Engagement, and (4) Marketing.    


    The Role 


    The Director of HMM will draw from considerable experience, professional skills, and education to advance the museum’s mission of collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of the Mueller Company and the family and descendants of Hieronymus Mueller.  The Director will develop substantial knowledge of the overall family story and effectively represent this to the public through community engagement events, museum tours, newsletters, and social media outreach.  A successful candidate will be able to lead, manage, and collaborate with staff, conduct daily and long-term administrative operations.  While working closely with and reporting to the Board of Directors, the Director will implement the core strategies by delivering tactics that grow first and repeat visits, enhance the in-person and virtual museum experience, and enthusiastically help move HMM into the next phase of its growth.




    Sole Responsibilities


  • 1.     Administrative
  • ·      Budget planning and management
  • ·      Project management & prioritization
  • ·      Board relations (communications, meetings, etc.)
  • ·      Professional relationship with service providers (CPA, legal, government, website design, etc.)
  • ·      Building maintenance and site operations
  • ·      Accounts payable
  • ·      Record keeping
  • ·      Time management (deadlines)
  • 2.     Leadership
  • ·      High energy
  • o   Always be selling the HMM story to visitors, the community (business, civic, and cultural), and other museums.
  • ·      Entrepreneurial motivation
  • ·      Mentoring 
  • Dual Responsibilities with Assistant Director

  • 1.     Museum Management (Collection & Experience)
  • ·      Oversee curating and archiving
  • ·      Apportion and organize public floor space to align with objectives for permanent collection, internal exhibitions, visiting exhibitions, and events 
  • ·      Exhibitions and their content
  • o   Create a playbook and process for selecting and executing internal and visiting exhibitions  
  • ·      Museum partnerships 
  • ·      Visitor experience: tours & literature


  • 2.     Community Engagement 
  • ·      Events 
  • ·      Speaker presentations
  • ·      Partnerships
  • ·      Volunteer Program
  • ·      Recruiting and training
  • ·      Mueller Company Relationship
  • ·      Sponsorships/Scholarships
  • 3.     Marketing
  • ·      HMM Website
  • ·      Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter
  • ·      Advertising: print, online
  • ·      Reach: local, regional, national



    • Minimum B.A. degree from an accredited college with preferred course work in museum studies, historic preservation , business administration or related field
    • Three years of experience in a museum or like institution
    • Knowledge of and experience implementing standards and best practices for non-profits and museums. 
    • Success in growing first and repeat visits for a museum, attraction, or business
    • Adept at preparing budgets and managing a profit & loss statement
    • Experience in developing and executing a tactical plan that supports Board approved objectives and strategies
    • Experience in community engagement and public relations
    • Must possess essential computer literacy skills: Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
    • Familiarity with web design and graphics
    • Strong working knowledge of various social media platforms
    • Strong written, verbal and research skills


    What We Offer 

    • ·       Annual Salary Range:

    $60,000+ DOE

    • ·       Vacation:

    10 days, earned on a monthly accrual basis

    • ·       Paid Holidays

    New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day

    How To Apply


    Send your resume and cover letter to Search Committee at  Please, no phone calls.

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