A Unique Opportunity
The New England Air Museum (NEAM) offers prospective candidates the opportunity to lead a well-respected museum in strong financial health to its next level of success. Effectively leading NEAM’s staff and managing important relationships with its board, volunteers, members, funders, public officials and other stakeholders are clear priorities for the new executive director. The new executive director will have the opportunity to build on the existing programs to ensure relevancy and value to future generations of visitors. The executive director will also be evaluated on his/her ability to serve as a motivating and effective public spokesperson for NEAM, while broadening its visibility, impact, effectiveness and financial support.
The Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association, established in 1959, owns and operates The New England Air Museum, a 501(c) (3) organization located in Windsor Locks, Conn. The museum is the largest aviation museum in the region, with a collection of more than 100 aircraft. A 23-member volunteer board of directors, representing the fields of aviation, education, government, and business governs NEAM. NEAM’s 2014 budget is projected to be approximately $1.5 million. NEAM employs four full-time employees, and 20 part-time employees, and is supported by more than 160 volunteers. Funding sources include individuals, foundations, corporations and the state.
Overview of the Organization and its Programs
NEAM serves approximately 55,000 visitors a year, including school visits and special events. There are three key programs: Formal Education programs which include SOAR for Science, Women Take Flight and Space Expo; Museum Visits and Events which include docent-led tours, the Flight Simulator and Open Cockpit Day and Restoration and Preservation. There are special events, facility rentals and travel opportunities throughout the year. NEAM holds one of the most extensive aviation archives in the Northeast.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
As NEAM transitions from its long-serving leader, who is retiring after leading the museum for 28 years, the challenges and opportunities for the new executive director will include:
- Encouraging an organizational culture that reflects the values of facilitative leadership; excellent communication; and resourcefulness to enable the organization to thrive.
- Leading the creation of a strategic roadmap; taking into account industry-wide best practices for museum and collections management; and innovations in technology.
- Building earned and contributed revenue streams of existing programs, including the development of a robust fundraising program.
- In partnership with the board of directors, increasing outreach, resource development and participation in museum activities and events.
- Implementing systems and processes to take better advantage of technology, organizational best practices and planning.
- Maintaining museum’s relevance in a rapidly changing world.
- Taking full advantage of a world-class collection of airplanes and research library to make history come alive and provide a diversity of learning opportunities.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- Minimum of five years’ experience as an executive director or senior administrator with proven record of success.
Profile of the Ideal Candidate
- Respectful, inclusive and effective leader and developer of staff and teams
- Strategic planner; problem solver and creative risk taker
- Skilled fundraiser
- Accomplished general manager and administrator
- Financial acumen and discipline
- Passionate spokesperson and communicator
- Flexible with a sense of humor
- Other desirable skills and attributes: passion for the story of aviation.
This search is being conducted by Third Sector New England's Executive Transitions Program with Transition Consultant Marie Dalton-Meyer.
Please include a cover letter with salary requirements, where you learned of the position and a description of how your qualifications and experience match NEAM’s needs. Only electronic submissions sent through this link will be considered.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit materials by August 29. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted until the position is filled, with priority given to those received by this date.
Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.
The New England Air Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.