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Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry Executive Director

03 Nov 2022 12:02 PM | Nora Venezky (Administrator)

Executive Director Job Description

Location: Seneca Falls, NY
Position Type: In-Person

Organization History

The Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry was founded in 1998. Its mission is to captivate and educate audiences of all ages with the rich industrial and waterways history of Seneca Falls. With exhibits and collections highlighting the history of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and the industrial growth that occurred along its banks there are many amazing stories to tell.

The museum is housed in a three-story 9,000 square foot facility that sits between the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and Seneca Falls’ main street. The building is owned by the Town of Seneca Falls and they maintain the facility. In 2010 the museum was contracted by the Town to also operate the Seneca Falls Heritage Area Visitor Center and we continue to do so today, with the Center serving as home to the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry, the visitor center and boater amenities (showers, laundry, bathrooms).


Executive Director Position Overview
The Executive Director is responsible for the management and oversight of the Seneca Falls Heritage and Tourism Center and Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry operations. This includes responsibility for day-to-day management and direction in accordance with the organization’s mission and strategic plan, as well as development and supervision of staff and volunteers. The Executive Director works closely with and under the supervision of the Board of Directors to achieve the dual objectives of the Museum and the Visitor Center.
Key Skills/Competencies Required

·         Leadership

·         Oral and Written Communication

·         Fundraising

·         Project Management

·         Problem Solving

·         Personnel Management

·         Strategic Thinking

·         Organization and Prioritization

·         Grant Writing

·         Financial Management

·         Creativity

·         Professional Communication

·         Excellent Work Ethic

·         Computer Literacy

Primary Responsibilities
Leadership & Management

1.      Manage daily operations of the Museum and Visitor Center including staff and volunteer schedules.

2.      In concert with the Board, develop a strategic plan that will (spring of 2023) set the vision of the organization and move its mission forward. 

3.      Actively engage and energize Board members, museum members, volunteers, committees, partner organizations, funders, and donors.

4.      Develop and maintain a strong collaborative and team-focused culture.  

5.      Supervise and manage staff and volunteers: 1 Curator & Education Manager, 1 Part-Time Museum and Marketing Associate, 1 Seasonal Part-Time Tourism Ambassador, 1 Seasonal Part-Time Docent, and an established volunteer base.

6.      Ensure facility maintenance by Town contractors and employees. Develop strategies to optimize the building’s use.

7.      Oversee the museum/center’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) project, anticipated to start in 2023. This includes major capital upgrades to the building’s façade and interior layout. The Executive Director will work with the town to oversee the museum’s share of this project.

Finances and Fundraising

1.      Collaborate with the outside bookkeeping service to handle the finances of the organization.

2.      Lead the Finance Committee and Treasurer in developing an annual operating budget and overseeing the financial health of the organization.

3.      Monitor cash flow and the profit and loss statement. Make cash deposits and track museum spending.

4.      Plan for resource development and oversee revenue-generating activities such as fundraising, grant writing, membership, tours, and gift shop sales.

5.      Identify grant opportunities and work to bring in government, non-profit, and foundation grants to support operations and programs. Monitor grant implementation and outcomes and ensure required tracking, documentation and reporting.

6.      Maintain all necessary registrations, certifications, and payments to comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulatory requirements for non-profits.

Communications and Community Engagement

1.      Represent and promote the organization in community affairs as official spokesperson. Provide television and other media-related releases, statements, interviews, etc.

2.      Regularly attend Town of Seneca Falls board meetings and form strong partnerships with board members and Town staff.

3.      Promote the Town of Seneca Falls as a tourism destination. Maintain and print the Seneca Falls Museum Trail Brochure. Create a visitor center experience that highlights what Seneca Falls and the Finger Lakes region have to offer.

4.      Oversee the creation of marketing and promotional materials including newsletters, e-mails, web-site, and social media. 

5.      Oversee efforts of the Marketing Associate to develop a marketing plan and strategies designed to support the organization’s overall strategic plan.

Programming & Outreach

1.      Develop an annual calendar of events, exhibits, and programs to further the mission of the organization.  

2.      Support the Curator & Education Manager’s development and implementation of educational and public outreach programs and exhibits. Oversee group tours and field trip visits and assist with programming and delivery as needed.

3.      Develop an exhibit plan for the museum and oversee the creation of new exhibits and displays.

4.      Coordinate a plan to continue work on documenting and preserving the museum’s collections and archives.

5.      Coordinate key annual and special events including the Music in the Park series, Wine on the Water fundraising event, and community-wide events (Canal Festival, It’s a Wonderful Life Festival, Convention Days, etc.).

6.      Oversee the Summer Camp in a Box program and work with partner organizations to develop an annual program.

Professional Development

1.      Identify and participate in relevant associations and educational activities and events to keep abreast of the latest developments in museum and nonprofit management.

2.      Assist staff with professional and personal development goals as well as objectives to meet the needs of the organization.  


Bachelor’s Degree in Museum Studies, History, Tourism, Nonprofit Management, Archives, Business Development and Organization, or similar field. Master’s Degree preferred.

Experience desired

·         5 years paid and/or volunteer experience managing a museum, visitor center, or other non-profit organization.

·         Development and implementation of educational programs and special events.

·         Management and development of employees and volunteers.

·         Accounting.

·         Marketing.

·         Grant writing and fundraising.

Technical skills desired

·         Excellent verbal communication skills to include effective public speaking.

·         Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to compose business documents, financial reports, news releases and marketing materials with emphasis on accuracy and proper grammar.

·         Familiarity with office technology.

·         Proficiency in MS Word and Excel, Google Suites, Collections Management Database (ehive), Little Green Light (or other donor management software), QuickBooks, Wordpress, Constant Contact, Canva or other graphic design software. Willingness and ability to evaluate, learn, and master new programs and applications.

Physical Requirements

[negotiable, consistent with ADA requirements] Ability to perform or supervise tasks involving

·      Climbing stairs and ladders.

·      Use of tools and doing minor repair/construction work.

·      Infrequent lifting up to 50 lbs.

·      Standing, walking, and sitting for extended amounts of time.

Salary: $40,000-$45,000 based on experience

Benefits: Competitive PTO and Paid Holiday Package

This posting will remain active until the Executive Director position is filled, To apply, please email your resume (or CV) and a cover letter to No phone calls please.  We will notify qualified applicants if we wish to schedule an interview.

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