Executive Director Job Description & Application Information

Palmer Museum of History and Art

January 2018

The Executive Director (ED) of the Palmer Museum of History and Art works with the Board of Directors to develop and maintain a vibrant and informative Museum and Visitor Center. The ED administers Board policies and cooperates with the community to ensure the Museum’s place as a center of the Palmer area and the Visitor Center's role as an inviting representative of the community and environs.


  • Bachelor's degree or higher in museum studies or a related area, e.g. art, education, non-profit work

  • Managerial experience including budgeting

  • Commitment to lifelong learning


  • Experience working with a Board of Directors

  • Grantwriting and fundraising expertise

  • Knowledge of and commitment to Palmer region


Application Information

 The office of Executive Director is in the Palmer Museum and Visitors’ Center, 723 S. Valley Way, Palmer, Alaska. Salary is $37,500 with a $1500 per year allowance for professional development.

If interested in this opportunity, submit a Letter of Application and Resume to director@palmermuseum.org.

Review of applications begins on January 25, 2018. The position is open until filled.

Job Description

The Museum interprets area history and culture through collection of artifacts, presentation of information, acquisition of art, and participation in events. The ED:

·         Works closely with Board to develop and execute strategic plan for Museum

·         Energizes broader Palmer community to actively support the PMHA as the caretaker, and promoter of Palmer’s history and culture

·         Solicits and develops museum programs that reflect the organization’s mission

·         Maintains PMHA collections according to proper museum practices including updating storage materials, equipment and facility when necessary and as funding allows

·         Researches, develops, and coordinates outreach opportunities (currently including: the PMHA Image Access Project, PMHA Traveling Trunk Program and the Beyond the Classroom exhibit program)

·         Supervises and maintains up-to date trainings on museum stewardship to keep up with new developments and museum trends including attendance to the annual Museums Alaska conference (and the AASLH Annual Meeting, WMA Annual Meeting and AAM Annual Meeting when financially feasible)

·         Assists with the development of an updated City of Palmer walking map

·         Supervises and coordinates with the Collections Manager on collection needs and develops ideas or suggestions for improvement.

·         Submits grants for materials and methods to preserve the collection.

·         Advertises, plans and coordinates the PMHA annual Art Acquisition

·         Assists Board in selecting annual Art Acquisition by preparing/researching for any pertinent supporting information to assist with the selection process

·         Plans, schedules and books exhibits for annual Temporary Exhibit Program

·         Collects resources and materials, installs and de-installs temporary exhibits

·         Prepares and submits Art Acquisition Fund grant to Museums Alaska


The Museum/Visitor Center facility is seen as a welcoming, clean, and well-organized place. The ED ensures:

·         Maintenance if a clean working environment including the purchase of janitorial supplies for the facility

·         Each visitor is welcomed and aided.

·         Personnel are well-informed about local and state visitor resources.


Members of the PMHA Board of Directors are partners in Museum organization, activities, and direction. The ED:

·         Develops and provides monthly Director reports for the Board

·         Informs the Board of any significant changes in operations, community issues and/or areas for improvement

·         Works with the Board to ensure activities and initiatives address the Museum mission.

·         Coordinates a Board committee on Collections to include a member from the City of Palmer, a Board member, and a Museum member, as well as the Collections manager and ED.


The Museum is seen as a partner in local efforts to bring visitors to Palmer. The ED:

·         Manages ongoing strategic partnerships with local entities (including art organizations, non-profit entities, foundations, City of Palmer, Palmer Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses)

·         Develops, analyzes and presents organizational projects/goals, statistics and updates for City of Palmer, Palmer Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations (upon request)

·         Maintains museum web-site and social media accounts to reflect current programs and services being offered by the organization

·         Assists the Board with annual PMHA events including: Annual Celebration and Colony Christmas Open House

·         Attends local meetings to gather and share information: Palmer Chamber of Commerce, Mat-Su CVB Luncheons, VAHLC luncheons, Anchorage CVB Luncheons and VAA meetings

·         Networks with other non-profit executive directors in community

·         Regularly updates City of Palmer Community Development on Museum projects and needs

·         Works with local partners to sponsor community wide events such as the Palmer Midsummer Garden and Art Fair, Colony Days, and Art Walk.

·         Schedules and maintains tour bus and Museum led tours’ annual calendar

·         Solicits and secures annual advertisements in tourist publications

·         Assists in development and management of VIC Rack Card Program

·         Assists in developing an audio component for Palmer’s Historic Walking tour.

·         Sets direction and creates alignment around responsibilities

·         Schedules and occasionally conducts school tours



PMHA seeks funding for current operations, collections maintenance, and expansion efforts. The ED:

·         Develops fundraising strategy

·         Researches and applies for appropriate grants:

·         Manages existing grants including project budget and closing paperwork

·         Assists in coordinating annual membership drive; maintains membership records.

·         Assists the Board with annual fundraisers including: Palmer Wine Walk and Untold Stories


PMHA operates a gift store that represents local and Alaskan products.

·         Maintains the Museum Gift Store including: soliciting vendors, securing merchandise, taking inventory and setting up displays

·         Coordinates participation in local craft shows.

·         Employs the Museum and Visitor Services Coordinator as manager of day-to-day operations and gift store supervisor


PMHA adheres to responsible fiscal policies. The ED:

·         Maintains museum operations within the parameters of the PMHA annual budget and Board fiscal policies.

·         Works with the Board to develop annual budget and prepare annual budget/operations plan for City of Palmer

·         Maintains and files all PMHA 501(c)3 non-profit organization state, borough and city filings including business licensing

·         Manages relationship with REM Data accounting partner and assists with annual tax filings, PMHA employee state filings, and City of Palmer tax filings

·         Records, codes and submits invoices/receipts to REM Data in a timely way.

·         Supervises and submits all PMHA timesheets to REM Data

·         Solicits and manages Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation & Employers Liability Insurance


PMHA employs a well-functioning staff. The ED:

·         Posts job announcements in appropriate locations

·         Updates job descriptions as needed

·         Follows ethical processes to hire and supervise personnel

·         Coordinates and supervises all staff trainings

·         Delegates appropriate activities/authority

·         Conducts annual performance evaluations of staff