Children’s Museum Houston | Chief Executive Officer – Denise Smith Consulting – Houston
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM HOUSTON
Chief Executive Officer
For over 40 years, Children’s Museum Houston (CMH) has transformed communities through innovative, child-centered learning that improves the trajectories of children in Greater Houston. Children’s Museum Houston is a critical part of this city, an important partner in our community, a trusted resource for parents and educators, and a fun educational experience for children. The racial and ethnic demographics of Museum visitors mirrors those of the community, and CMH offers programming in bilingual formats. CMH maintains the most extensive free admission practices of all of the nation’s children’s museums with over 30% of the visitors attending for free. Accessibility of these experiences is critical.
For the city, CMH is part of Greater Houston’s educational fabric, serving as a treasured institution that is necessary for a vibrant, thriving, inclusive Houston – a safe and joyful physical space for all families and children to engage in the kind of learning experiences we want for all children. Serving over 1 million people a year, CMH is touted nationally as one of the premier children’s museums, winning numerous awards for its innovation and creativity.
For community partners, CMH is a reliable and trusted partner to community institutions, matching our capabilities and objectives with other groups to further the wellbeing of children and ensure their bright futures. CMH staff work alongside community-based partners at 1,200+ locations throughout Greater Houston and serve over 120,000 people annually at the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.
For parents and educators, CMH serves as a powerful link to families, equipping and empowering them in their roles as first teacher to their children, through both on-site scaffolding and via off-site workshops, trainings, and toolkits. Helping parents ensure that their children experience this joy and love of learning drives CMH’s work.
For children, CMH deepens their understanding of the world around them by engaging them in hands-on inquiry and problem-solving through rich, socially-mediated, stimulating environments that engage children’s natural curiosities in ways that inspire and advance their learning.
CMH is seeking the next CEO of the museum to ensure that these critical roles continue to be met and the impact deepens. CMH has a dedicated staff of over 90 people, strong Board leadership and tremendous community partners. Working closely with an outside consultant, CMH has just completed a five-year strategic plan that confirms among key stakeholders, including funders and policy influencers, the on-going need for CMH to serve Houston’s families. This plan includes ensuring world-class interactive exhibits, high-quality out-of-school-time learning engagement that prioritizes equity of educational opportunity, and support for parents as their children’s earliest teachers. Over the next five years, the CEO will strengthen partnerships to further its program excellence, present new exhibits and lead a capital campaign to solidify and deepen the Museum’s impact.
The CEO will provide the leadership and planning necessary to ensure that Children’s Museum Houston is strategically positioned to maximize its attendance and community-based outreach for current and future generations. Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the CEO will be based in Houston, TX. The CEO will manage a $10MM+ annual budget, 90+ employees, 2 physical locations including retail and food services, and over 1,200 community partnerships throughout Greater Houston. Cultivating these valuable relationships with a range of stakeholders including philanthropic organizations, local and national nonprofits, educational organizations, city officials and individuals will be crucial.
The CEO will spend time working with the broader community to accomplish the following strategic initiatives:
- Continue to strengthen its core: reinvest in the physical museum through major exhibit updates
- Become families’ go-to partner in child-centered experiential learning in Houston
- Drive deep and targeted impact in extended/out-of-school time learning in service of educational equity and learning for all
- Continue to rebuild and strengthen our organizational and team foundation
To enable the attainment of these initiatives, the CEO has the following responsibilities:
Strategic Leadership & Organization Management
- Lead the organization to optimize the potential of updated facilities, eliminate boundaries to access, and develop enduring ties to the community
- Continue to serve as an engaged, committed and credible partner in the Greater Houston area
- Set annual targets, organizational priorities, and operational plans that drive impact and align the team and the organization at large
- Drive a positive organizational culture through communication, meaningful relationship development and an on-going cycle of feedback and improvement
- Build and coach a strong, results-driven team, increase internal staff capacity, and ensure that direct reports are maximizing their potential as a team and as organizational leaders
- Calibrate the business model, human and financial resources, and program opportunities to ensure that operations thrive and that CMH continues to exhibit relentless operational excellence
- Champion the educational philosophy of the Museum as an essential out-of-school-time resource that positively advances children’s learning trajectories
- Stay abreast of current trends in out-of-school-time learning organizations and anticipate potential changes in program design
External Relations & Communications
- Serve as the external face of CMH with a wide range of partners to advance the organization’s mission, reputation and funding
- Lead and advance healthy, transparent and collaborative relationships with the board, staff, community leaders and the many individuals and entities that support the Museum
- Work with local media to expand public awareness of CMH programs and successes and publicize the activities of the organization, its programs and goals
- Continue to grow a sustainable, diversified local and national funding base that includes investments from individuals, corporations and foundations
- Play primary role in cultivating, soliciting and stewarding key funders to increase participation and contributions
- Ensure financial stability and sustainability by maintaining healthy cash flow and adequate reserves through revenue generation, fundraising and development
- Develop a transformational capital and endowment campaign with the support of the Board
Diversity, Equity, Accessibility & Inclusion
- Engage in setting DEAI initiatives to ensure that CMH is increasing its effectiveness in serving children, staff and the community across lines of difference
- Continue and expand programs to serve low income, underserved and underrepresented communities, including those served by social service agencies and people with special needs and disabilities
Financial Management/Business Operations
- Establish annual financial goals, internal systems and operational processes that are responsive to current realities and accommodate future needs
- Work with the staff and Board in preparing annual budgets and periodic financial reports while ensuring that the organization operates within budget guidelines
- Manage earned income strategy to increase revenues
- Oversee annual strategic planning and priority setting for CMH
- Ensure smooth operation of 2 physical museum locations (1500 Binz and Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center), a retail location and a cafe at 1500 Binz, an office building, and a parking garage; all operating six days per week (7 days during school holidays)
- Maintain the current systems and continually update to allow for efficient operation and compliance with HR, tax, audit, IRS regulations, and any other legal requirements for a 501(c)(3)
- Work closely with the Executive Board, Board of Directors, Advisory Board and its Committees to ensure ongoing communication of progress, successes, risks and challenges and to provide information necessary to make informed decisions in a timely and accurate manner
- Help build and maintain a diverse and inclusive non-profit Board that is representative of the community, highly engaged and willing to contribute to, and advocate for, the Museum’s mission
We are seeking a leader with experience, knowledge and demonstrated success in contexts relevant to leading Children’s Museum Houston. The CEO is a person who is passionate about the role that CMH can play as an early childhood education leader and partner in the local and regional community. The ideal candidate will possess many of the following qualities, experiences and skills:
- Passion for and/or lived experience with CMH mission
- High emotional intelligence, integrity, charisma and confidence
- Ability to compellingly convey CMH’s mission, impact, and needs across the community in an authentic way; exceptional written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
- Team player and team builder with outstanding interpersonal, communication and listening skills
- Demonstrated adaptability and creativity; desire to be innovative; builder of people, teams and systems
- Direct experience with key themes and concepts in early and primary grades education programming and education systems
- Success in gaining the trust of a wide spectrum of community stakeholders, educational partners and an involved Board
- Demonstrated experience in fundraising to include increasing the recurrence and predictability of contributions and engaging long-term institutional and individual donors
- Strong business and financial acumen; experience managing large budgets and awareness of business operations
- Familiarity with diverse business functions including marketing, public relations, human resources, accounting and building maintenance
- Ability to articulate vision and strategy and the tactical skills to manage the systems and processes necessary to implement the strategy
- Good analytical and problem-solving skills, with an ability to use data to make decisions and recommendations
- Strong commitment to the growth and professional development of staff
- Fun and energetic! A leader who can engage with families and young children and that exhibits a sense of humor and perspective
- Connection to the Houston community, preferred
- 10+ years of progressively responsible leadership of a similar size, successful nonprofit and/or related entity
- Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in business, public administration, non-profit management preferred
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should apply here. We will receive letters of interest and resumes until November 11, 2022. Children’s Museum Houston offers a competitive salary and benefits package that includes vacation, medical, dental and vision insurance. CMH also provides access to short-term and long-term disability insurance, and life insurance. We provide compensation that takes into account each candidate’s prior experience and responsibilities. This position is located in Houston, TX.
Children’s Museum Houston seeks to fully represent our community and constituencies, particularly low-income communities and communities of color.
Children’s Museum Houston is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a veteran, disability, or other federal, state or local protected class.
More about Children’s Museum Houston
To apply for this job please visit denisesmithconsulting.applytojob.com.