Director of Experience and Education - Air Zoo

Supervisor:                         President/CEO 

Salary Range:                    $55,000 - $75,000            

What we do:

With over 100 rare aircraft & spacecraft, amazing hands-on exhibits, amusement park rides, full-motion flight simulators, a state-of-the-art theater experience, educational programs, and much, much more, the Smithsonian-affiliated Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience in Portage, MI, is unlike any you’ve ever seen!  The Air Zoo brings science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) to life through our roots in history and aerospace science and provides guests with an unmatched experience each time they walk through our doors. Voted the #1 Museum in Michigan by AmericanTowns Media and, most recently, one of the 10 Best Aviation and Aerospace Museums in the country by USA Today, the Air Zoo is one of southwest Michigan’s top attractions for families, military/history/aerospace enthusiasts, educational service providers and special event coordinators.

Our Core Values:

·         Our guests’ needs, wants and desires come first, always
·         A can-do and will-do attitude from every team member
·         Invested in momentary and long-term success
·         Learning oriented in BOTH directions
·         Fearlessly innovative

Position Summary:          Oversee all aspects of sales, programming, and overall experience for the Air Zoo. This position is the inspiration for exceptional delivery of internal and external events by engaging inter-team support on-site and being the external connection between the Air Zoo and our local, regional and national community driving new educational and special event groups to come to and connect with the Air Zoo. Assist the Education team to develop and assess new programs as the tie to our surrounding communities, providing learning experiences to young people throughout the region and the Guest Experience/Membership team to develop and implement a best-in-class “show” for our internal and external guests. 

Primary responsibilities include creating and implementing the sales strategy for the Air Zoo; expanding and diversifying the Air Zoo’s Education and Event sales opportunities; developing and delivering the Air Zoo value proposition to all guests, staff, volunteers and community stakeholders; and inspiring a high functioning team of fearlessly innovative managers and provide them with strategic thought and action.

You’ll help to create and support a culture that fosters leadership growth and empower and engage the leaders of the Air Zoo by creating a strategic direction for the Guest Experience, Membership, Events and Education teams through opportunities both at the Air Zoo and throughout our community, and provide strategic thought and action across a broad array of Air Zoo activities including regular functions of the Air Zoo’s Leadership team and the Board of Trustees.

You must be a motivated, energetic, innovative leader ready to creatively build and deliver every facet of the Air Zoo’s experience and educational value to everyone in southwest Michigan and beyond.  This is a great opportunity for a self-driven, high-energy, highly accountable person to significantly impact a very unique, exciting, and continuously growing organization.  Visit for more information.  Email cover letter and resume to  Equal Opportunity Employer. Veterans welcome to apply.

Director of Experience and Education Job Description:


Project and Team Management (Lead Manage and Hold Accountable / LMA)
a.       Maintain a culture that supports the organization’s mission and core values
b.       Develop managers to highest potential through supervision and coordination of individual teams
c.       Communicate job expectations; planning, monitoring, coaching, counseling, appraising and reviewing job performance and enforcing policies and procedures

Organizational Leadership
a.       Establish and monitor budgets for each department
b.       Develop and own departmental outcomes and metrics
c.       Establish and deliver to organizational metrics
d.       Represent Guest Experience/Membership, Events and Education teams at all Board of Trustees meetings and retreats
e.       Provide thought leadership in shaping mission, vision, values, strategies, and goals of the Air Zoo

Sales and Relationship Leadership
a.       Develop, implement, and manage the Air Zoo sales plan, both short-term and long-term, and ensure that all activities are aligned to the goals and objectives of the plan as well as the Air Zoo’s overall strategic plan
b.       As the primary outside sales representative for the Air Zoo, cultivate and foster relationships with all current and potential corporate, nonprofit, personal and educational customers
c.       Build and expand earned-revenue-generating programs by developing relationships, scheduling and engaging in in-person visits, and preparing correspondences and acknowledgements
d.       Work with the Marketing team to develop materials that will maximize the Air Zoo’s earned revenue generation for Events and Education.
e.       Build community relationships with a focus on sales and program partnerships
f.        Support development of a remarkable experience for every guest of the Air Zoo with every action and every interaction.

Guest Experience Team Oversight
a.       Establish and cultivate a culture of Best in Class customer service with every action and interaction
b.       Develop and support Guest Experience standards, dress codes and operational safety policies and procedures, including cash handling and reporting
c.       Ensure safety by empowering and engaging all internal and external constituents to follow safety processes for buildings, grounds, contents, guests and team members
d.       Understand operation of ticket and membership sales with ability to support, as necessary
e.       Technology support of point-of-sale software and hardware
f.        Establish culture of continuous improvement
g.       Oversee that internal CRM database is consistently updated and used effectively

Event Team Oversight
a.       Approve contracts and provide direction for booking inquiries as necessary
b.       Provide direction for facility, event, and equipment pricing and sales
c.       TIPS/TAMS alcohol training to support special event delivery, as needed
d.       Support managers to negotiate contracts for vendor management and event partners
e.       Technology support for event software and hardware

Education Team Oversight
a.       Work with an internal/external Learning Committee, soliciting ideas from the Committee and recruiting help in executing those ideas
b.       Support for new and ongoing education programs
c.       Support education delivery, as needed
d.       Cultivate relationships with community educators to delivery learning experiences
e.       Create a strategic direction for education opportunities both at the Air Zoo and in the community
f.        Be a sounding board for the Education team to direct and empower learning experiences for young people throughout the region

Basic Qualifications: (Minimum of 5 years experience in the following)
a.       Ability to analyze current sales and service processes to identify customer and employee pain points
b.       Develop process improvements and organizational changes required to improve customer and employee experience across teams
c.       Strategically develop and deliver projects on time in a delightful way with impeccable communication and follow through
d.       Delivering on sales goals while providing exceptional customer service
e.       Experience in education or similar operational environment
f.        Experience working with senior-level executives within an organization
g.       Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to engage, inspire, and influence a broad array of individuals and organizations
h.       Inspiring, motivating, “will do” attitude with a passion for positively impacting community through STEM education
i.         Driving work ethic with consistently high level of initiative in all work to be performed
j.         Demonstrated ability to build and nurture partnerships to the benefit of all stakeholders
k.       Strong working knowledge of database applications and accompanying computer skills
l.         Bachelor’s degree. Understanding of nonprofit and science center environments, particularly with an education focus, is a plus.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule of evenings and weekends, as needed
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with staff, volunteers and public
  • Must be flexible with the ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Ability to handle stressful situations and effectively solve problems
  • Ability to interact with the public in a positive and enthusiastic manner
  • Extensive planning experience
  • Superior interpersonal skills to foster effective working relationships at all levels
  • Full understanding of customer service philosophy and procedures of the Air Zoo
  • Must have strong organizational skills
  • Ability to undertake multiple concurrent tasks and work in an environment where interruptions are common
  • Must maintain confidentiality
  • Position requires limited local, regional, and national travel
  • Must be able to transport and/or remove heavy containers and boxes
  • Must be able to reach overhead
  • Well-groomed appearance and compliance with the dress and personal appearance policies
  • Professional work and punctuality habits
  • Ability to work with a widely diverse group of individuals
  • Demonstrate experience coordinating community resources
  • Expert working knowledge of MS Office and database programs
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and the ability to meet minimum driving requirements

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed.  They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required.

    Posted on 10/3/2019

     The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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