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Executive Director at Holland Museum

06 Mar 2024 3:05 PM | Ricki Levine

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The Holland Museum

The Holland Museum is a dynamic organization working in a reciprocal relationship with the community of Holland in beautiful West Michigan along the Lake Michigan shore. Telling the stories of Holland through exhibits and programs, the Holland Museum connects people with the community’s past, and encourages them to share those stories in their own lives.

The Holland Historical Trust, dba the Holland Museum began in 1937 as the Netherlands Museum. It was housed for 53 years in a residential structure that at one time had been the hospital. In December 1992, the museum was renamed the Holland Museum and moved into the landmark 1914 federal post office building which retains much of its historic character.

Three additional facilities complete the Holland Museum, the Cappon House, home of Holland’s first Mayor, along with a barn on the property, the 1867 Settlers House located several doors down, and the 1924 Holland Armory building, purchased with a gift from the daughter of the Armory’s founder, Col. Henry Geerds. In addition, the Smithsonian Spark!Lab is a permanent exhibit that allows children and families to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment and problem-solve thorough traditional STEM activities complemented with art, history, and creativity.

The Holland Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The annual budget is in the $850,000 range, there is a staff of 11 FTE, and visitors total about 8,500 annually.

Summary of Responsibilities

The Executive Director will provide leadership in preserving and promoting the area’s heritage including both the unique contributions of the Dutch settlers and the important stories of other resident and immigrant groups. They will become an integral part of the community’s cultural and educational life by forging mutually rewarding partnerships with community organizations of all sectors. The Executive Director will be charged with advancing the existing strategic plan and initiatives using a collaborative and entrepreneurial approach.

·         Works in partnership with a responsive and experienced staff and Board of Trustees to oversee all aspects of the institution, sustain its excellence and broaden its impact.

·         Directs the Museum’s operations, to ensure the alignment of revenue opportunities, development, exhibits, education and public programming, finances, external communications, and staffing.

·         Creates a strong and stable financial foundation for the Museum. Develops and implements new fundraising strategies.

·         Focuses all activities and programs with an eye on the Holland Museum’s mission, and a focus to remain in alignment with AAM’s Accreditation standards.

·         Ensures that necessary human resources are developed by fostering a culture of mutual respect and appreciation between board and staff, building accountability through clear expectations, regular performance evaluations and providing professional development and enrichment opportunities for staff.

·         Oversees management, maintenance and capital projects of the property, facilities/grounds, and collections of the Museum, engaging outside expert advice as necessary. With staff, develops strategies to optimize their use.

·         Works in collaboration with staff, oversees curation and installation of all Museum exhibitions and the development and coordination of public programs.

·         Engages target audiences in co-creation of programs and exhibitions; incorporates new technology and media into exhibitions and programs to enliven the visitor experience.

·         Expands offerings for students of all ages in coordination with other educational institutions.

·         Coordinates /collaborates with schools, organizations, and businesses to create programming that meets community needs of target audiences.

·         Ensures the Muesum’s historic resources, collections, and archives are representative of and accessible to the community.

·         Oversees the ongoing process to digitize and make artifact collections and archives available online.

·         Serves as proactive spokesperson, ambassador, and chief advocate for the Museum. Establishes strong partnerships in the community to leverage good will, financial support, and program and service development. Enhances the Museum’s public image to expand interest and support.

·         Works closely with the staff to create an effective communications plan to raise the profile of the Museum. Directs and oversees development of marketing initiatives.

·         Oversees promotion of the Museum through innovative media outreach including press releases, website management, social media, museum mailings, etc.

Desired Leadership Attributes

·         Demonstrates and communicates passion for the organization’s mission, vision, strategic plan and accomplishments with stakeholders, potential donors, and funding entities.

·         Exhibits outstanding interpersonal skills to build collegial rapport and effective relationships both internally and externally. Relates well to people of diverse backgrounds in a collaborative and welcoming manner.

·         Demonstrates success in development/fundraising, networking, and capacity to develop strong community relationships. 

·         Creates a strong and stable financial foundation for the Museum. Develops and implements new fundraising strategies with staff and Trustee partners, to bring in revenue from public, corporate, foundation, state/federal and individual sources to assure the financial health of the Museum.

·         Cultivates a supportive, respectful organizational culture and ensures a diverse and inspiring workplace encouraging innovation and collaboration.

·         Demonstrates commitment to highlighting the historical and contemporary experience of underrepresented communities. Ensures that Museum exhibits and programming engage with critical national conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. 

·         Harnesses technology to attract and serve younger audiences, cultivating new members while retaining current members.

·         Explores and expands mutually advantageous collaborations and partnerships with a broad range of organizations with complementary missions and goals.


The successful candidate will have:

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

  • ·         BA degree required, MA/Ph.D. preferred in Museum Studies, Public History, History, Art History, or a discipline related to the Museum’s mission and collections.

·         Ability to provide strong leadership, vision, and strategic direction. Experience developing and implementing strategic plans, in concert with a Board of Trustees.

·         Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, nonprofits, or similar organizations, as well as a history of involvement in relevant professional organizations.

·         Strong record of success in fundraising, grantwriting, membership, and audience development.

·         Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking.

·         Excellent museum operations management skills. Demonstrated ability to supervise, as well as work successfully with, museum staff, volunteers, trustees, and diverse public constituencies.

·         Demonstrated success in developing and managing annual operating budgets and long-term planning models. Strong business management and computer skills required.

·         Excellent planning, time management and decision-making skills.

·         Willingness to work a variable schedule, including weekends and evenings, when needed.

·         Experience with and comfort utilizing Microsoft Office Suite including Teams for internal collaboration.

The Board of Trustees is most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. Trustees may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

Salary: $85,000-$110,000 + benefits including employee health insurance, paid time off, and professional development. 

The Holland Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. We welcome and encourage applications from all qualified individuals.


Please use this link to submit your application, cover letter and resume:

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