President and CEO
Fredericksburg Area Museum
Status: Full-time, exempt employee
Salary: $90,000 – $100,000
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Reports to: Board of Directors with close partnership with the Board Chair
Deadline: Apply by February 28 for best consideration. Early applications encouraged.
About Fredericksburg Area Museum
Chartered in 1985, the Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM) has worked to preserve history, interpret cultural heritage, and build community in the heart of Fredericksburg. FAM connects people to the history of Fredericksburg and its surrounding counties by telling stories from its earliest inhabitants through its contemporary residents.
With commitment to inclusion, integrity, credibility, and relevance, FAM collects and preserves the region’s history and culture, while also facilitating an understanding and appreciation of how the past has shaped the community and the nation at large. FAM is uniquely positioned to ignite inspiring conversations and learning that forge a greater future.
FAM holds a long-term lease on the City of Fredericksburg’s historic Town Hall/Market House (circa 1816). FAM engages with regional residents and visitors through a range of exhibits, events, scholarship, and educational resources for teachers and students. The historical legacy of the Fredericksburg region is extensive. It was originally inhabited by Native Peoples, and became known as a colonial tobacco port, home to six American Revolutionary War generals, and George Washington’s boyhood residence. As a primary transportation corridor—past and present—between the North and South, Fredericksburg’s history is entwined with the purchase and sale of enslaved people, and it was one of the first cities to be sacked during the Civil War.
FAM is particularly focused on the elevation and reinterpretation of African American history within the region. In 2017, the City of Fredericksburg began public discussions of removing a public auction block used in the sale of enslaved Africans that still stood in the historic district. The city removed the artifact in 2020 and entrusted FAM with its display in the museum and in a digital exhibition. In 2022, with local and state government support, FAM launched a three-year project led by a scholar of African American history to produce exhibitions, programming, scholarship, workshops, and walking tours that contextualize the museum’s historical resources within the city. Voices Strong, Voices True: Our Untold Story is an ongoing initiative, with an extensive exhibition on local African American history planned to open in 2025.
FAM is an integral part of the dynamic culture of Fredericksburg, a thriving area with several higher education institutions, extensive outdoor recreation opportunities, a beloved minor league baseball team, and a tradition of supporting creative artisans.
Visit www.famva.org to learn more.
The President and CEO will bring strong operational skills to the business of running a regional history museum, balance the needs of internal and external stakeholders, build a stable revenue model to sustain and expand relevant programming, and guide a small professional staff.
The next President will be a charismatic and diplomatic leader tasked with engaging new audiences, raising visibility, and expanding FAM’s base of support. They will be a passionate spokesperson, conveying enthusiasm for preserving the region’s culture heritage, history, and current affairs to civic leaders, community groups, and prospective donors from across the region. The President will understand FAM’s unique contributions to the community, and bring new vision to realizing the museum’s full potential.
FAM’s FY22 budget was approximately $500,000; the next leader inherits an organization with a stable immediate financial position and strong reserve. To continue to build upon this foundation long-term, they will be an agile and eager fundraiser with an eye toward growing FAM’s base of donors, community partners, and corporate sponsors. They have an opportunity to expand earned revenue through memberships, signature events, and facility rental strategies.
With the support of the University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development, FAM is currently undertaking a strategic review inclusive of an environmental scan to understand industry trends and identify operations-related performance metrics. The President will work with staff and board to implement this strategy.
The position reports to a 15-member Board of Directors composed of civic, cultural, and business leaders. The President oversees a small professional staff that includes two curators, an education coordinator, a membership manager, and a part-time contracted bookkeeper.
Like all leaders of small nonprofits, the next President should bring a balanced approach as both a visionary and operational executive. They should have the capacity for organized, focused work, an ability to manage multiple projects under deadline, and openness to changing situations and opportunities. Specific areas of responsibility include:
Strategy, Leadership, & Governance
- Set strategic direction for FAM’s mission, vision, and goals in collaboration with the Board of Directors, staff, and community stakeholders across the region.
- Exhibit leadership in the Fredericksburg area community through dynamic civic engagement, visibility and representation of the museum, and partnership development with local and regional leaders and institutions.
- Collaborate with the Board of Directors to achieve good governance, including recruiting and onboarding new board members, and advising in key programmatic, management, and resource development activities.
- Maintain and expand FAM’s local and regional reputation as an expert in historical and cultural preservation.
External Relations & Fundraising
- Lead a comprehensive fundraising strategy that includes annual and long-term plans to expand fundraising and earned revenue activities that support existing and new programs, general operations, and long-term financial goals.
- Cultivate relationships with individual, corporate, and institutional funders, including identifying new prospects, engaging lapsed donors, and creating stewardship systems to recognize donors at all levels. Serve as primary solicitor for support from major institutional, corporate, and individual donors.
- Direct a marketing and visibility plan that creatively integrates fundraising and programmatic goals, as well as community-related public relations initiatives.
- Serve as primary spokesperson during and outside working hours, effectively representing FAM at external engagements and events to enhance the organization’s profile among civic organizations, key partners, donors, government and elected officials, education leaders, and the media.
Organizational Development & Administration
- Manage and develop a team of museum professionals with the skills and expertise to administer programs with a high degree of creativity, professionalism, and sustainability.
- Strengthen and support human resources practices, including onboarding, reporting structures, policies, benefits administration, and performance management.
- Develop and support effective decision-making and clear internal communication practices to align staff across different departments and to facilitate productive working relationships.
- Optimize technology to support cross-departmental collaboration, document retention, program management, reporting, and evaluation.
- With a contracted bookkeeper and the board’s Finance Committee, ensure sound financial systems, bookkeeping, accounting procedures, and internal controls are in place and implemented. Ensure reliable, regular, and timely financial information, as well as comply with annual audit and tax filing requirements. Manage endowment and investment portfolios.
- Administer budget preparation, monitor income and expenses, assure input from individual departments is integrated into budgetary assumptions, support long-range budget planning and analysis, and provide the staff, Finance Committee, and Board of Directors with comprehensive and regular reports.
- Support the management and maintenance of FAM’s historic facility.
Exhibitions, Community Engagement, & Education Programs
- Provide executive leadership in managing compelling, culturally relevant, and innovative public history programs, education initiatives, and community engagement efforts in collaboration with museum curators and educators.
- Monitor planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs, special projects, and services, including the popular Sounds of Summer music series.
- Work with the education team to maintain and sustainably grow outreach to schools within the city and surrounding area.
- Build relationships with the City of Fredericksburg and other area cultural venues to build a sustainable, visitor-friendly suite of activities and events that highlight the richness of the region as a tourist destination.
Experience, Skills and Qualities
The position of President will be a challenging and rewarding opportunity that requires a diverse set of skills and experiences. The Board is seeking qualified candidates that can lead the organization with vision, skill, and creativity. While we understand that no single candidate can possess every qualification listed below, the following are priority areas:
- Passion for preserving history, interpreting cultural heritage, and building community through small, community-centered museums.
- 10+ years of leadership roles in nonprofit, public sector, academic, or small business settings; experience in museums or cultural institutions is highly valued but not required.
- Skilled fundraiser able to secure long-term relationships and cultivate major gifts with individual donors.
- Proven track record stewarding community relationships: aptitude and appetite for active participation in civic organizations, particularly those focused on tourism, municipal advocacy, and small business development.
- Business acumen, including a working understanding of contract negotiations, IT and finance systems, budgeting, marketing, and HR.
- Successful record of setting vision for, managing, and implementing strategies that scale programs, initiatives, or organizations to a new phase of growth.
- Polished and persuasive written and verbal communication skills.
- Demonstrated experience working effectively with a Board of Directors, including engaging them in fundraising opportunities, participating in board recruitment, and orienting them to FAM’s unique culture, programs, and communities.
- Accomplished manager with a gift for fostering a culture of accountability, successful delegation, high performance, and effective internal communication with a small team.
- Capable steward of public-private partnerships, including with policy and budget matters associated with local, county, and state-level governments.
- Comfort with engaging a wide variety of stakeholders in many different settings with confidence, integrity, cultural awareness, and curiosity.
- Professional or significant volunteer experience in a setting connected to museums, history, and/or cultural heritage within the Mid-Atlantic region is considered a major plus, as is work experience within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The budgeted salary is $90,000 to $100,000, with a generous benefits package that includes employer-matched retirement savings, health, dental and vision insurance, paid time off, and support for continuing education. A budget for relocation assistance can be provided.
The Board of Directors has retained the services of Good Insight, a national executive search firm serving small nonprofits. Interested applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter that describes their interest in and qualifications for this role, emphasizing related leadership experience. Visit www.good-insight.org/careers to upload application materials. Direct confidential inquiries to Claire Huschle, Senior Consultant at FredericksburgAreaMuseum@good-insight.org.
For best consideration, apply by February 28, 2023. Qualified applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search.
The employee is regularly required to sit, stand, bend, stretch and kneel for long periods of time; frequently required to talk, hear, and use repetitive hand motions; and should possess the ability to push, pull, and lift up to 50 pounds unassisted. To request reasonable accommodations for an application, please contact FredericksburgAreaMuseum@good-insight.org.
Equal Opportunity Employer
FAM is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
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