A state-wide organization with 11 historically significant properties spanning four centuries of New England history, Connecticut Landmarks is dedicated to telling stories through its collections in an effort to make the state’s rich history accessible to all. Each of the landmark sites allows for deeper exploration and greater appreciation of the Connecticut experience. Originally founded in 1936 as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society, the organization offers a range of programming, including captivating house tours, lovely historic gardens, historic celebrations, remarkable collections, educational outreach, and special initiatives for youth.
Throughout its 84-year history Connecticut Landmarks has been a steward of conservation, active in placing sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Challenges such as urban-renewal demolition, zoning issues, reassembly, and relocations have been met to ensure survival of the properties. Connecticut Landmarks is a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a global network of historic sites, museums, and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movements for human rights and social justice.
Hallmarks of Connecticut Landmarks’ extensive public programming and community outreach include historic event celebrations such as Juneteenth (emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans) and other tributes to honor regional heroes such as Caroline Ferriday, whose commitment to aiding Holocaust victims was lifelong. Additionally, Connecticut Landmarks administers an intensive youth employment program, which gives high school students the opportunity to develop job skills, learn about cultural and historical assets, and contribute to the future of the organization’s historic sites.
Governed by a 22-member board of trustees under the leadership of Co-Chairs James D. Parry and Deborah Ullman, Connecticut Landmarks has a staff of 65 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees, with 10 in the central office located in Hartford at the Amos Bull House. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, Connecticut Landmarks had a $14.3 million endowment and reported revenues of $981,037.
A state-wide organization, Connecticut Landmarks’ administrative office is centrally located in the state capitol of Hartford. Hartford is part of New England’s Knowledge Corridor, an interstate partnership created to increase cooperative marketing and public policy efforts that transcend political and state boundaries, in a region of more than 1.7 million people and 160,000 college and university students. The Knowledge Corridor includes the Hartford, Springfield, and New Haven metropolitan areas and seven counties, all linked by a shared economy, history, culture, and features, including Bradley International Airport, rail lines, Interstate 91, and the Connecticut River.
Hartford and its surrounding communities feature hundreds of parks and open spaces that offer residents, businesses, and tourists a variety of recreational activities. These include fields for organized sports, scenic pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians, swimming pools, boat launches, equestrian trails, golf courses, playscapes for children, gardening, and other healthy opportunities for social interaction. Pioneering landscape architect and Hartford native Frederick Law Olmsted was essential in early planning of the City of Hartford’s parks system, which is integral to the history and evolution of American public parks.
Connecticut is the most southern state in New England. Within its compact borders are rolling wooded hills, urban skylines, beaches, rivers and streams, and picturesque towns. A thriving center for both business and education, there are prominent universities, colleges, and corporate headquarters throughout its metropolitan communities and small towns.
The first people in the area that is now Connecticut can be traced back more than 10,000 years. Native American communities, including the Mohegan, Pequot, and Niantic, lived in this region. Dutch traders arrived in 1614 and created Connecticut’s first European settlement in 1633. Both the Dutch and English settlers founded settlements in Connecticut in the early 1630s. Connecticut was the fifth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Sources: edited from census.gov; nationalgeographic.com; portal.ct.gov; hartford.gov; knowledgecorridor.org; westernmassedc.com
Reporting to the board of trustees, the Executive Director will have day-to-day oversight of all operations, with an active presence across the state. They will build collaborative partnerships to ensure that annual and strategic goals are achieved. The Executive Director will also serve as the organization’s representative to the general public and community at large and will function as the liaison between grantors, governmental representatives, and community partners. The Executive Director will provide significant oversight and guidance to the organization’s budgeting and financial management efforts. Complying with federal and state rules and regulations, this individual will ensure that Connecticut Landmarks continues to find innovative approaches and funding sources for preservation and restoration and new programs that support its mission.
Roles and Responsibilities
Community Engagement and Revenue Enhancement
- Develop, steward, and maintain appropriate strategic partnerships throughout the community to enhance the organization’s reputation, brand, relevancy, and standing locally and regionally in support of its mission, vision, and strategic goals.
- Serve as the chief fundraiser for the institution, working collaboratively with the board and staff to achieve operational and strategic revenue goals, planning and leading a future capital campaign.
- Internally and externally communicate organizational direction and vision to build commitment and support for Connecticut Landmarks’ mission, driving contributed and earned revenue strategies.
- Provide leadership as a visible spokesperson who is an enthusiastic and effective speaker and communicator with an energetic and engaging personality.
- Increase the organization’s reputation and visibility in the communities in which its properties are located.
- Lead staff and board in comprehensive development activities and maintain strong relationships with government leaders, private donors, and the funding community, developing effective donor stewardship and cultivation methods with the board and staff.
Governance and Strategic Visioning
- In partnership with the board, develop and implement the organization’s Strategic Plan to support its mission and determine its short- and long-term programming, financial, and partnership goals.
- Provide support to best utilize the board’s talents and resources and work closely with board members to develop a strategy that effectively mobilizes and utilizes their support of the organization’s vision and its programs.
- Advise the board regarding all financial, programmatic, and management challenges facing the organization and actively maintain a collaborative working relationship with clear and timely communications.
Leadership and Organizational Administration
- Oversee all day-to-day operations, with a special emphasis on facilities and program activities, to ensure the highest quality sites and an excellent visitor experience.
- Provide leadership and guidance to the leadership team to maintain an organization with the highest ethical standards, ensuring that the necessary organizational structure, policies, systems controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
- Develop and maintain solid financial operations, prepare an annual operating budget with senior staff and the Finance Committee, provide timely ongoing updates on financial operations to ensure the most effective use of resources, and ensure effective financial management, adhering to annual budget goals and established financial policies and procedures.
- Actively engage with a national network of preservation and museum professionals, participating in relevant field meetings and organizations to share and implement current best practices and industry trends with members of the staff and board.
- Empower team members to collaboratively develop consistent best practices for optimal communication and organizational excellence across all sites.
Collections Stewardship, Exhibition, and Program Planning
- Oversee exhibition development/installation and publication production, manage core mission-related activities, maintain historic preservation standards, and converse knowledgeably with preservationists.
- Maintain the sound and responsible management of the collection, properties, and all archives, including legal, social, and ethical obligations to provide proper care.
- Support the development, management, and care of the permanent collection in collaboration with the collections staff and relevant board committee.
- Seek opportunities to develop and strengthen collections and programs through partnerships with other historic and heritage organizations, collectors, and educational institutions.
Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be a versatile and resourceful leader who values frequent interaction and collaboration with others. An active member of the community, this individual will be people-oriented and will appreciate others’ skills, experience, and input in developing goals and achieving successful outcomes. The Executive Director will bring a balance of professional expertise, credibility, interpersonal skills, and commitment to internal and external stakeholder satisfaction, along with a strong capacity for self-management and the highest levels of personal accountability and integrity. A confident fundraiser with a record of success in grant writing, major gift solicitation, and events, this individual will be versatile and tenacious. The Executive Director will be an intellectually curious, innovative, and harmonious leader with a proven track record of success.
Other key competencies include:
- Self-Management and Personal Accountability – The ability to prioritize and complete tasks necessary to meet or exceed the agreed upon expectations of the role and to assume accountability for personal actions.
- Planning and Organizing – The proficiency to set and prioritize relevant, realistic, and attainable goals and objectives and to anticipate effects, outcomes, and risks and then manage resources according to set priorities.
- Customer and Donor Focus – The dedication to consistently place a high value on visitors and donors and to objectively listen to, understand, and respect feedback, anticipate needs, develop appropriate solutions, and exceed expectations.
- Diplomacy and Tact – The capacity to demonstrate respect for others, treat others fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and maintain positive relationships.
- Resilience – The agility to quickly recover from adversity or setbacks and move past obstacles without delay.
Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) as well as evidence of significant and increasing responsibility in a senior management role within a historic, education, museum, or member-based organization. At least five years of supervisory experience with a proven track record as a collaborative leader of both staff and volunteers is necessary. Knowledge of the historic site field, with connections to the museum world and awareness of best practices, is preferred. Candidates must also demonstrate strong communication skills and proven effectiveness in collaborating with boards and working with diverse groups of individuals. Qualified applicants must have the ability to travel to various sites throughout the state and beyond and work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.
Compensation and Benefits
Connecticut Landmarks offers a competitive compensation and benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plan, paid time off, holidays, and professional development.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Ms. Wyona Lynch-McWhite
Senior Vice President
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225
Connecticut Landmarks is an equal opportunity employer and celebrates diversity in all forms.
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