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Facilities Operations & Exhibits Director for Food + Farm Exploration Center

  • Full Time
  • Plover, WI
  • Starting Salary Range $75,000 USD / Year
  • Salary: Starting Salary Range $75,000

Food + Farm Exploration Center

Organization and Position Overview

The Food + Farm Exploration Center (Exploration Center), in partnership with Farming for the Future Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to educate current and future generations about agricultural innovation and sustainability. The Exploration Center will promote agricultural literacy, increase the understanding of the origins of food, and deepen the relationship between farmers and consumers. Slated to open Summer 2023, the Exploration Center will be a state- of-the-art manifestation of the Foundation’s educational mission. It will be a centralized place for people to come together on a journey into the world of modern agriculture, meet the people behind food production, build science and engineering skills, connect, play, and learn. It will be a teaching farm, a children’s museum, a science center, and a community workshop all rolled into a tantalizing celebration of food and farming.

The Exploration Center will create common ground where people can learn more directly from the industry without taking away from the important work of feeding the growing population. It is important for people to know where their food comes from, and farmers are eager to share those stories. The Exploration Center is connecting with area education and agricultural experts to develop the most impactful programming possible. Located in Plover, a suburb of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the Exploration Center will be the cornerstone of innovation and exploration as it relates to food grown for human consumption. The Village of Plover is a welcoming community with a beautiful river and county parks, a wide variety of things to do, and a growing cosmopolitan area.

Under the direction of the Food + Farm Exploration Center Executive Director, the Facilities Operations and Exhibits Director (Director) will lead staff, set programmatic and operational priorities, articulate and celebrate the vision, and implement long-term strategies. The Director will be an experienced visionary and skilled leader, able to work with a multitude of constituencies including staff and volunteers, current contributors and prospective donors, stakeholders, and programmatic partners.

The Director will possess a positive and creative approach to leadership. They will enhance the Exploration Center’s programming and facilities to ensure long-term success and vision. Familiarity or experience with youth and family interactive programming, science, technology, and agricultural programming is preferred, along with the ability to lead a highly functional team with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Serving as a member of the senior staff leadership team, the Director will work closely with the Exploration Center’s current fundraising counsel, the building partner, the design partner, and the exhibits and experience designers. An optimal candidate will have experience with or an understanding of organizational and facilities management, program development, fundraising, visitor services, and/or hospitality and event management. The Director will participate in the creation and implementation of the Exploration Center strategic plan by working in collaboration with the Executive Director, the senior leadership team, the Board of Directors, and cabinet leadership members. The Director will exude the strategic vision of the Exploration Center, will have strong leadership skills to champion that vision, and the operational skills to make it all happen and succeed.

To learn more, please visit us at: .

Essential Responsibilities

Management Functions

  • Participates in the development, recommendation, and administration of policies, procedures, and processes in support of ongoing operations.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with diverse supporters and community partners, including individuals, corporations, foundations, other nonprofit organizations.
  • Oversee recruitment, hiring, and management of a talented team of exhibit technicians, external exhibit and construction partners, contractors, vendors, and volunteers to bring new permanent and temporary exhibit experiences.
  • Maintain effective interpersonal, cross-functional relationships with the
  • Exploration Center management team members, employees, volunteers, vendors, and community partners.
  • Set financial goals and manage an annual budget, track and report on project results, expenses, and revenue; Collaborate on grant proposals for exhibit funding.
  • Engage in nation-wide networking and participation in ASTC/ACM and keep current on best practices in production agricultural, science, and STEM education and exhibit technologies.
  • Collaborate with leadership team in developing long-term strategies and visioning, and report on exhibit environment and facilities benchmarks and concerns to help provide high-quality, mission driven hands-on experiences within the Exploration Center.
  • Participate in management team meetings.
  • Maintain clear and transparent communication with the Board Chair and Executive Committee.
  • Ensure the Executive Director has the necessary information to report to the board so they can effectively perform their fiduciary and governance responsibilities.

Building and Exhibit Operations

  • Supervise and coordinate facilities, planning, maintenance, improvement, and future growth.
  • Direct the operations of the Exploration Center’s facilities and activities including but not limited to: IT, HVAC, safety & security, exhibit maintenance, etc. In addition, manage proposals, negotiations, and contracts and direct operations with third parties related to facilities management (IT, HVAC, Electrical, Exhibit Maintenance, Security) and act as primary contact for each.
  • Participates in the design, review, and planning of new construction and exhibit projects.
  • Responsible for the construction, maintenance, repairs, upkeep, and more, of the facilities and grounds, to meet the needs of the organization and ensure proper security systems and plans are in place for all who enjoy the spaces.
  • Negotiate all building insurance contracts and act as the primary contact for insurance broker.
  • Collaborate with leadership to market and elevate the Exploration Center’s mission, presence, and brand locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Oversee the design, fabrication, installation, maintenance, remediation, and evaluation of state-of- the-art interactive exhibits and exhibit environments.
  • Collaborate on implementation of strategies for exhibit evaluation that include formative, summative, and developmental strategies based upon active collection of visitor data and staff involvement.
  • Oversee the Exploration Center’s Maintenance Shed as a safe shop environment following state and federal guidelines; keep necessary records, assist with shop upkeep, and support cleaning, supply stocking, and equipment maintenance functions.

Qualifications and Experiences

  • An expressed interest in production agricultural innovation and sustainability, scientific developments, and STEM education.
    5 years of increasing responsibilities, including supervisory experience, and demonstrated success in a science center, children’s museum, or similar facility that includes event space.
  • Experience with non-profit and/or educational organizations preferred.
    Self-starter with a demonstrated work ethic, sense of integrity and emotional intelligence.
  • Must possess excellent project management skills including attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, and ability to interface directly with donors, board members, volunteers, and other constituents.
  • Energized by change, growth, and the unknown as the start-up Exploration Center continues to grow and roles evolve and shift.
  • Knowledge of exhibit design and fabrication techniques, graphic production, and multi-media/AV systems used in interactive exhibits.

Instructions for Applicants

Interested applicants should please email the following pieces of information, combined into one document, to no later than 1:00 p.m. CST on March 3, 2023: A letter describing your qualifications for this position and your interest in the Food + Farm Exploration Center, a detailed and updated resume and the names of, your relationship to, and the contact information for , three professional references.

* References will not be contacted until a candidate has been notified.

Food + Farm Exploration Center Commitments

  • The annual salary range for this leadership position starts at $75K.
  • Four weeks of PTO offered, and eight paid holidays.
  • A Reimbursement option for Healthcare and Dental Services to all employees.
  • A 401K plan is offered following one year of employment.
  • Offers of employment are contingent upon results of thorough background and reference checks.
  • All inquiries about and interactions with candidates are kept in strict confidence.
  • This position will remain open until filled.

Food + Farm Exploration Center provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing, or service in the military.

Food + Farm Exploration Center is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the organization and are valued for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives. This commitment is embodied in company policy and the way we do business at Food + Farm Exploration Center and is an important principle of sound business management.

Leading Transitions is committed to the vitality of mission-based, nonprofit, philanthropic and community-centered efforts and organizations, and their leaders. The firm’s inclusive practices provide the flexibility and creativity necessary to adapt to the intricacies and dynamics of any community. We believe that periods of change are transformational and bring great new opportunities.


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