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Executive Director of the Ravalli County Museum

03 Aug 2020 3:42 PM | Peggy Riemer

The Board of the Ravalli County Museum and Historical Society (RCM) seeks a dynamic leader to help us tell the story of our historic Bitterroot Valley. Join our talented, enthusiastic Board to interpret the legacy of Lewis and Clark, multiple indigenous peoples and a colorful cast of characters - cowboys, vigilantes, fur trappers, traders and missionaries - that peopled our valley since the beginning of the American west. And if you find this is exciting, take a look at our natural history.  Our beautiful Bitterroot River nestled between two mountain ranges winds down the middle of the Valley watered by glaciated canyons - some bearing the original markings of the unique glacial lake Missoula. All this natural beauty is inhabited by five species of trout as well as wolves, bear, elk, moose, mountain sheep and goats and two species of deer. No wonder Lewis and Clark chose the Bitterroot Valley to rest while contemplating their journey west over the rugged Bitterroot Mountains.

The RCM is housed in the historic Courthouse designed and built in 1900 by architect A.J. Gibson.  In 1974, the Bitterroot Valley Historical Society successfully advocated for the repurposing of the building as the new site of the Museum.  The Courthouse now houses what is considered by many to be the finest little Museum in Montana.  Permanent collections include American Indian artifacts from local tribes such as the Salish, Crow, Nez Perce and Kootenai Native Americans.  The Museum houses agricultural and homesteading artifacts, scientific tools, military uniforms, and files documenting the development of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Research Lab.  In addition, our permanent collections include an extensive compilation of Bertie Lord photos and over 12,000 photos from the famed still photographer Ernst Peterson.  Rotating exhibits in the former courtroom add to the ambience of this local cultural center, rich in the history of the Bitterroot Valley.


    The RCM, a small, rural museum with an annual Budget of $245,000, is located in a fast growing region.  The RCM is heavily dependent on part time staff and volunteers. The Museum seeks a creative, strategic and transformative thinker to oversee daily operations: curating, acquisition, exhibits, educational programs and fundraising; financial budgeting, controls and reporting; staff development and supervision; and, facility management of the County owned/supported historical courthouse building.


The prospective candidate must:

·      Collaborate proactively and transparently with the Board to define and execute RCM’s short and long term goals and to execute fundraising for the Museum.

·      Demonstrated ability to supervise as well as to work cooperatively, diplomatically and effectively with museum staff, volunteers, the Museum Board and diverse public constituencies

·      Create a culture of excellence, openess and teamwork among staff, volunteers, consultants and Board to benefit the mission of the Museum.

·      Nurture partnerships with current donors and forge new partnerships to enhance the museum’s visibility and secure it’s financial stability for operations and programs.

·      Strong business management skills.

·      Connect with the community, build coalitions, and become the principal spokesperson for the Museum

·      Provide a meaningful visitor experience with the Museum’s current and future onsite/online exhibits, programs and events. 


·      Bachelor’s degree, five years work experience at a senior managerial level and three years museum experience.

·      Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for non-profits and museums.

·      Competence in managing museum operations including personnel matters. 

·      Evidence of success in developing, managing and growing an annual operating budget. 

·      Excellent planning, time management and decision-making skills.  Working knowledge of speadsheet, database, email, calendar/scheduling, word processing software and social outreach.

·      Strong record of success in fundraising and audience development.

·      Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking

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

Join our team and interpret history while you live it.  Enjoy a diverse community of remnants from the past - cowboys, herders, farmers, miners, loggers, descendants of 19th century copper millionaires mingling with scientists/researchers from two labs, retirees, entrepreneurs and, yes, a few tourists. If history is also your hobby, spend your free time searching out ghost towns, indigenous sacred sites and trails, Lewis and Clark campfire sites, abandoned (and current) fire towers, and glacial debris (see a Glacial erratic displayed in front of the museum). Experience this diversity while enjoying the benefits of a modern, safe place with access to an international airport, major university, and local junior college.


The salary starts at $38,000 and is commensurate with experience.

The RCM is an equal opportunity employer


Please email, in PDF or Word format your cover letter and resume to:

Please, no telephone inquiries

Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2020 or until the position is filled

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