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Windsor Historical Society seeks Executive Director (New York, NY)
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: Renee Danger-James
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Windsor Historical Society seeks Executive Director (New York, NY)

The Executive Director (ED) will serve as the chief executive officer of the Windsor Historical Society and will be a strategic and people-oriented executive who values community engagement and leads with a clear sense of purpose and direction. As the face of the organization, the ED will build authentic relationships with the community by regularly communicating with civic leaders and public officials and developing and nurturing partnerships with community groups, and the greater Windsor nonprofit and business communities to ensure the Historical Society is seen as a cultural and educational resource. Reporting to the board of directors, the ED will oversee all society operations and be an active presence and support for the staff. This individual will ensure widely held museum and public history best practices are followed in the care and stewardship of collections and all matters related to the society's operations and strategic priorities including WHS’s commitment to inclusion and community building.

Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic and Visionary Leadership
Guide and ensure the implementation of WHS’ strategic plan and inclusion action plan leading diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion efforts to engage the community and transform the society’s collections, programs, and the stories it tells to reflect Windsor’s diverse community.
Develop, steward, and maintain strategic partnerships throughout the community to enhance the society’s reputation, relevancy, and standing locally and regionally in support of its mission, vision, and strategic goals.
Participate in local, regional, and national industry meetings and organizations to share and implement current best practices and industry standards with staff.
Serve as the chief advancement officer for the institution, working collaboratively with the board and staff to design, set, and achieve operational and strategic revenue and communication goals.
Embrace other strategic and visionary leadership responsibilities, as needed.

Administration and Operational Excellence
Provide day-to-day management and supervision of WHS operations and programming according to its bylaws, policies, and strategic plan.
Develop strategies, procedures, and goals that will support the staff’s creative and professional development and encourage a workplace environment that fosters employee engagement.
Assume primary responsibility for the preparation and approval of the annual financial budget and operating plans, collaborating with the treasurer and finance committee; and serving as liaison to auditors, endowment managers, and other contractors.
Ensure that the necessary organizational structure, policies, systems controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for sustainability.
Embrace other administration and operational excellence responsibilities, as needed.

Revenue Enhancement and Community Engagement
Lead staff and board in development operations and activities including fundraisers, annual appeals, membership programs, and planned giving strategy.
Maintain strong relationships with the funders, developing effective donor stewardship and cultivation methods with the board and staff.
Manage grant application calendar and work with society staff to prepare and submit grant applications, monitoring compliance and reporting within grant parameters.
Supervise media and external communications including production of quarterly newsletter annual report, press releases, website, and all official publications.
Embrace other revenue enhancement and community engagement responsibilities, as needed.

Governance and Board Relations
Build and nurture strong relationships across the board of directors; providing support to best utilize the board’s talents and resources, effectively mobilizing volunteers in support of the society’s mission.
Partner with the board in prospect identification, cultivation, recruitment, and orientation of new board members.
Facilitate the flow of all information between the board and the society staff; attend monthly board, executive committee, and other committee meetings.
Serve as an effective partner to the board’s policy-making role by researching and recommending best practice policies, procedures, and plans and lead the organization in the successful implementation of board decisions.
Embrace other governance and board relations responsibilities, as needed.

Collections Stewardship, Exhibition, and Program Planning
Establish diverse exhibitions and program plans that support the society’s vision and operational goals in collaboration with the curatorial staff.
Seek opportunities to develop and strengthen exhibitions and programs through partnerships with other historical and cultural organizations, collectors, and educational institutions.
Ensure the sound and responsible management of the collection, research, and archives, including legal, social, and ethical obligations.
Embrace other collections stewardship, exhibition, and program planning responsibilities, as needed.

Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be a collaborative, people-oriented, emotionally intelligent leader who values teamwork, continuous improvement, and collaboration with others. An active member of the community, this individual will enthusiastically interact with a diverse constituency with cultural acuity to develop partnerships that support WHS and enhance the community. The Executive Director will have the capacity to adapt to frequent change while maintaining focus on the organization’s goals and priorities. They will bring a balance of professional expertise, credibility, and interpersonal skills along with a strong capacity for self-management and the highest levels of personal accountability and integrity. Versatile and receptive to new ideas and methodologies, this individual will be an intellectually curious, innovative, and harmonious professional with a proven track record of success.

Other key competencies include:
Interpersonal Skills – The ability to build rapport and develop and nurture relationships with people across the organization and throughout the community, demonstrating a sincere interest in others.
Diplomacy – The aptitude to handle situations gracefully and with sensitivity, and communicate effectively by listening, observing, and appreciating cultural and personal perspectives.
Self-Starting and Personal Accountability – The capacity to prioritize and complete tasks necessary to meet or exceed the agreed-upon expectations of the role, and to assume accountability for personal actions.
Leadership and Teamwork – The capacity to articulate a vision and create a sense of purpose and direction for internal and external stakeholders, build trust by demonstrating respect and integrity, and create an environment where team members are appreciated and supported, enabling their success.
Resiliency – The agility to quickly recover from adversity or setbacks and move past obstacles with a sense of humor and without delay.

At least five years of progressively responsible leadership experience within a museum, arts, educational, historical, or nonprofit organization is required. A master’s degree in history, museum studies (or equivalent experience), is recommended. Previous senior leadership level with supervision responsibilities is desirable. Candidates should demonstrate success and commitment to principles associated with diversity, equity, and inclusion. They must possess a passion for community outreach and resource development as well as knowledge of the needs, best practices, and standards of the field and the ability to generate enthusiasm, inspire others, and translate vision into workable priorities.

Compensation and Benefits
Windsor Historical Society offers competitive compensation with an anticipated annual salary range between $85,000 and $100,000. Benefits include paid time off, holidays, sick leave, personal days, and health and dental insurance with WHS covering 75% for individuals or 50% of costs for family plans.

Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please visit

For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including the anticipated salary range, please contact:

Renée Danger-James, Vice President
1040 First Avenue, Suite 352
New York, New York 10022-2991
Tel       888-234.4236 Ext. 212

The Windsor Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to treating all applicants and employees fairly based on their abilities, achievements, and experience, without regard to sex, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other classification protected by law.

Posted: May 21, 2024
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