Executive Director – Berrien County Historical Association

            Compensation: Base salary $40,000

            The Berrien County Historical Association (BCHA) located in the heart of wine country in beautiful Southwestern Michigan, seeks a full-time, innovative and dynamic Executive Director to oversee the Association’s growth and lead its strategic directives. The ED is responsible for administering a management agreement with the county to serve as steward of an 1839 historic courthouse complex, the oldest and most complete historical governmental complex in Michigan, as well as oversight of BCHA collections, programming and staff. Minimum requirements: Bachelors in History or Museum Studies or related field (Masters preferred); 2-5 years experience running a museum or major museum department; proficient in Microsoft Office. Candidate should be proficient with collections management processes and experienced in staff and volunteer management, financial management, membership growth, project management, budgeting, grant administration and fundraising. Weekend hours are required. Base salary $40,000. To apply, email your resume and cover letter to Committee Chair at search@berrienhistory.org.


            1. Oversight of all History Center property and programs including: historic buildings, museum, on and off site exhibitions, collections, archives, educational programs, publications, memberships, volunteers, museum store and special events.
            2. Fiscal control of the Association’s assets and liabilities through budget preparation and management of payroll, accounts payable & receivable and banking.  Serves as Board’s liaison with outside bookkeeper and designated accounting firm including preparation of all materials necessary for monthly financial reporting to the Board, the annual audit as well as submission of the Association’s IRS Form 990.
            3. Design & execute a fundraising plan in line with the Association’s Strategic Plan in order to attain financial stability by nurturing major donor relationships, securing program grants, sponsorships, memberships, contributions, paid programming events and other resources including active participation in all Board fund raising programs and events including the signature event and annual appeal.
            4. Development and implementation of a promotional/marketing program including news media exposure, social media messaging, web site development/maintenance, public speaking opportunities, collaboration with other organizations (e.g. history centers & libraries), site tours, etc.
            5. Recruitment and maintenance of a well-qualified, motivated and engaged staff (both paid and volunteer) through interaction, engagement, appropriate task assignment, supervision, evaluation and discipline within the guidelines of the Association’s personnel policies.
            6. Serve as Board’s liaison with Berrien County’s Parks Department, County Commission & Administration, Building & Grounds Department in negotiating and executing a suitable management agreement with the County in order to secure a stable funding source for the Association’s programs & activities.  Further, together with the Board, to identify & advocate for site improvement/maintenance/preservation efforts to be undertaken through County cooperation, coordination, and/or financial assistance.
            7. Provide leadership for the Association internally through policy recommendations & Board development and externally via participation in the larger Berrien County community through service with outside organizations and offering consultation and technical assistance to other organized history associations.
            8. Facilitate a phased tactical implementation of the Association’s Strategic Plan through engagement with the Board and Association membership.
            9. As directed by the Board, investigate and pursue any other endeavors that advance the mission of the Association to preserve, promote and interpret the history of Berrien County.
            Qualifications for Berrien County Historical Association Executive Director:


            • A Bachelor’s degree in history, museum studies or a related field with 2-5 years experience in museum administration and collection management. 
            • Ability to use standard office equipment including Microsoft Office and various web-based social media.
            • Willing to be on-call in emergencies and to work weekends as required.
            • Must be able to lift and carry objects and materials up to 40 lbs.  Able to maneuver stairs without difficulty.  Must be able to work in confined spaces and on ladders.  Must have sufficient visual and hearing capabilities to respond to public needs and for detail work.


            • Master’s degree in history, museum studies or a related field.
            • Record of leadership experience with evidence of continuous professional development/advancement.
            • Demonstrated supervisory experience with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, an oversight Board & Association membership, employees, volunteers and other institutions.
            • Experience in developing and implementing budgets, fundraising efforts as well as preparing, presenting & implementing grants along with completing follow-up requirements of the grant maker.
            • Able to work independently to organize, develop, plan and produce projects and programs.
            • Ability to interpret history and communicate that knowledge in a variety of written and oral formats to various audiences from children to senior citizens.
            • Knowledge of techniques for selection, evaluation, preservation and exhibition of historic objects, photographs, documents and related materials.
            • Working knowledge of legal and ethical issues of collections management, modern museum registration techniques and policies as well as copyright law.
            • Working knowledge of QuickBooks, Past Perfect, In Design and other relevant software.
            • Skills in compiling data and reports, creating files and evaluating institutional operations.


            Posted on the MMA website 5/28/2019.

             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      lcbrisson@michiganmuseums.org

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