The Northwest Montana Historical Society and the Museum at Central School in Kalispell, Montana is seeking a full time Executive Director to start on or about March 15, 2016.

The Executive Director, under the supervision and guidance of the organization’s Board of Directors, is responsible for all administrative and operational functions, including financial planning and budgets, grants and fund raising, event planning, promotion and publicity, exhibits and collections policy and planning, supervision of personnel, building and grounds maintenance and repairs, annual report and quarterly newsletter.  The Executive Director provides leadership to, and accepts oversight from, a volunteer board.

The Organization:  NMHS informally formed in the 1960s, incorporated as a 501 c 3 non-profit in the 1980s, and opened the Museum at Central School in 1999, housed in the elegantly renovated four-story, 22,000 square foot Richardsonian Romanesque stone and brick school building originally constructed in 1894 to educate the students of the Flathead Valley.

NMHS and the Museum, now entering their 19th year, enjoy strong community support, including 800 dues-paying members and 60 volunteers, hosting upwards of 240 annual events, educational programs, and tours attended by more than 19,000 people, funded by an average annual budget of $150,000.  Diversified revenue sources include donations ($40,000), event revenue ($20,000), room rental income ($19,000), membership dues ($15,000), grants ($16,000 average), gift shop ($14,000), admissions ($7,000), and a half dozen smaller revenue sources.

Starting Date:  On or about March 15, 2017

Salary:  Full time, overtime exempt, with some evening and weekend events.  Salary around $40,000 DOE and negotiated benefits.


Ability to:

  • Organize, plan and conduct a program of museum development with strong leadership skills to guide the institution through a period of growth and transition.
  • Demonstrated success in team building, audience development, and collaboration with other cultural and community organizations.
  • Proven ability to manage collections and raise funds.
  • Excellent managerial, planning, organizational and administrative skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills.
  • Supervise and coordinate work for volunteers and staff.
  • Schedule and promote events.
  • Manage and administer finances, and write grants.
  • Gather, organize, analyze, and present a variety of data and information.  Prepare clear, concise and accurate records and reports.
  • Effectively represent the museum in contacts with the public, community organizations, and other agencies.  Promote community awareness of the Museum and its programs.

Knowledge of:

  • Flathead Valley and Montana history.
  • Exhibition development techniques.
  • Public and community relations.
  • Maintenance of filing and information retrieval systems, including Past Perfect museum software, and Publisher or In Design newsletter programs
  • Budgeting and finance techniques.
  • Supervisory and training techniques.
  • Museum objectives, organization and administration.

Training & Experience:

  • Any combination of training, experience and education likely to provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  Background in non-profit organizations is helpful.

Application Procedure:  

Deadline for Applications:  Received via mail or in person by January 13, 5 PM

Please submit a cover letter of interest* and a current resume to:

Laurie Happ, President of the Board
Museum at Central School
124 2nd Ave E.
Kalispell, MT 59901

history@yourmuseum.org (e-mail for questions only—please submit application in hard copy by mail)
Check us out at www.yourmuseum.org

*We specifically ask that your letter of interest address your ability to perform the multiple aspects of the job as described in this announcement.

The Northwest Montana Historical Society is a 501 c 3 non-profit, and an equal opportunity employer.

Additional Information:
The role of a regional museum director is a many faceted one.  We seek an Executive Director who is master of many skills and capable of extreme multi-tasking.  Knowledge of a wide variety of museum-profession fields is obvious, from collections management to interpretation, exhibits, financing, marketing, museum ethics and the law, and the routine maintenance of the building and grounds.

But also more intangible qualities are required to effectively lead and move an institution forward:  to work with all kinds of people, to have the self confidence and enthusiasm to be the museum’s public face, to get support for its programs, to always look ahead and develop strategies to help the museum grow, to accept new approaches and take advantage of all opportunities, and to have the temperament and patience to deal with the many, many unexpected interruptions and demands that arrive on a day-to-day basis.

The ability to put one’s personal stamp on a museum is one of the greatest advantages and satisfactions of the job:  but more fundamental to any director’s leadership success is personal and professional integrity and good judgment.  A Director must be true to the institution’s mission, understand its history and traditions, and be absolutely cognizant of its resources.  The most important aspect of a Director’s job is to consistently stretch the museum’s limited resources without straining the capabilities of the institution, staff, and volunteers.

For those unfamiliar with the Flathead Valley, we are, with little qualification, the last best place.  Clean air, clean water, big sky, uncrowded, yet growing at a sensible rate.

Located in Northwest Montana, Flathead County encompasses 3,262,720 acres or 5,098 square miles. Approximately 94% of the land mass is National or State Forest Land, Designated Wilderness, Agricultural, and Corporate Timber Land, thus confining development to the remaining 6% of the area.

A short distance from all developed areas is a singular gem of the National Park system, Glacier National Park (the Crown of the Continent), plus designated hiking areas and bike trails, 2 ski resorts, 8 golf courses, Flathead Lake, and Hungry Horse Reservoir. There is an abundance of recreational opportunities and aesthetic values.

There are 3 incorporated cities in the County. Kalispell, where the Museum at Central School is located in the downtown historic district, is the largest, and has a population of approximately 19,927. Two additional major municipalities include Whitefish, with a population of 6,357, and Columbia Falls, with a population of 4,688.

Countywide, the population has increased from 74,471 in 2000, to an estimated 90,928 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents a 22.1% increase in 10 years. Native residents are now greatly out numbered by new residents. A large percentage of new residents are retirees and middle aged professionals.

Attraction development has greatly increased in recent years contributing to the influx of tourists and tourism based services, and moving the economic base towards Recreation and Tourism, and creating new jobs in the service industry.

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