A competitive nationwide search is underway for an Executive Director for the Steel Yard (www.thesteelyard.org) in Providence, RI. The expected date of employment is no later than April 1, 2013, with full assumption of duties no later than April 15, 2013.
In 2002, the Steel Yard’s founders had the simple idea that re-connecting people to how things are made would open endless possibilities for fostering creativity and building community. Ten years later, the Steel Yard is a nationally-recognized non-profit industrial arts organization with a two-acre campus on the National Historic Register site of Providence Steel and Iron, a former steel fabrication facility. Every day we acknowledge the deep industrial history of Providence and Rhode Island, and work to harness it once again to promote economic revitalization through creative means. With over 9,000 square feet of workshop and studio space – including an iron foundry; metalworking shop; ceramics, jewelry, and blacksmithing departments; and outdoor multi-use work and exhibition space – we offer a dynamic array of industrial arts and technical training programs designed to increase opportunities for artistic and cultural expression, workforce development, and small business incubation.
Steel Yard programs cater to working artists, students, community members, trades-people, arts educators and entrepreneurs – and contribute substantively to the local economy. Public Projects produces our own line of one-of-a-kind street and park amenities, including art bike racks, tree guards, and trash cans that can be seen throughout New England; and in turn keeps local artists employed and fosters a significant volume of business within the state. Workforce development programming in the metalworking trades prepares Rhode Islanders for careers in design and fabrication. Community courses serve over 300 people annually in our five core arts disciplines. Below market rental opportunities provide both temporary and long-term studio and office space for individuals, companies and non-profits in the arts and culture sectors. And our site is host to a burgeoning calendar of internally- and externally-generated events.
All of this is managed by a small staff working with an annual operating budget of only half a million dollars. Yet, we have access to a $100,000 line of credit to facilitate Public Projects’ growth and, by January of 2013, we will owe less than $250,000 on our 1.5 million dollar site. The Steel Yard built this legacy and created the opportunities before us with multiple revenue streams, including income from Public Projects sales, community courses tuition, signature fundraising events and site rentals; as well as institutional grants and cash and in-kind corporate and private donations.
Facing our second decade, we recognize that the Steel Yard is at an exciting and significant moment in time. We recently completed a $1.2 million dollar brownfield cleanup project, one that received numerous local and national design and preservation awards, including EDRA Great Places. Now, we’re focusing on continuing the renovation of the studio buildings, and considering new programming. We intend to shape the Steel Yard’s future growth by focusing on the values of inclusion, interaction and sense of experimentation that have contributed to our success.
Does the Steel Yard need an excellent administrator who can manage a small, yet sophisticated organization? Yes. But we want more. We’re looking for an Executive Director who will join with the staff and Board to lead the effort to fulfill the Steel Yard’s full potential as a creative hub. If you’re interested in being part of this dynamic process, read on.
The Executive Director, working in concert with the Board, staff, and community, will play a central role in guiding the Steel Yard through the next decade. It is expected that the incoming Executive Director will work with the Board to undertake a new strategic planning process within the first eighteen months of her/his tenure.
The range of compensation for the position is $60,000- $75,000. The Steel Yard offers health and dental benefits (75% for individual plans/50% for family plans) and the opportunity to take free or reduced-fee Steel Yard courses.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
● Program Development: The Executive Director will work with staff to enhance the Steel Yard’s programs, develop new programs, and optimize the use of data to analyze strengths and weaknesses. Specific responsibilities to be assumed for current programs:
o Workforce training: Complete research and evaluation of grant-funded work aimed at increasing post-program paid internships.
o Courses: Complete internal review and revamp course structure.
o Public Projects: Oversee rapid, recent growth by identifying opportunities for expansion of current operations, as well as potential for expanded retail production.
● Resource Development/Fundraising: The Executive Director will be responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive strategy for increasing, strengthening and diversifying the Steel Yard’s funding sources. This work will include expanding government, corporate and foundation giving; cultivating and growing the individual donor base; and maximizing special events for fundraising purposes. The Executive Director will engage the staff and board as needed to achieve resource development/fundraising goals.
● Ambassador: The Executive Director, as the chief advocate for and champion of the organization, will enhance the image and promote understanding of the Steel Yard to our local, regional and national audiences and stakeholders. S/he will represent the Steel Yard at appropriate functions and make effective public presentations. S/he will raise the profile and build awareness of the organization via:
○ Partnerships and Collaborations:
■ Establish and maintain contacts and cultivate collaborations to ensure the representation of the Steel Yard’s concerns with key individuals in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
■ Assure professional relationships with individuals and organizations that share a stake in the Steel Yard’s mission, and cultivate new partnerships.
○ Communications and Marketing:
■ Develop and implement effective marketing/communication strategies, objectives and tactics.
■ Oversee sustainable marketing outreach to raise the visibility of the Steel Yard among our various constituencies in the arts, business, and civic communities.
o Upgrade and leverage the website and other online and social marketing vehicles.
● Human Resources Management: The Executive Director is the principal human resources officer for the Steel Yard and will:
o Ensure that necessary human resources are developed by fostering a culture of mutual respect and appreciation.
o Build accountability through clear expectations and regular performance evaluations.
o Strengthen staff capacities by modeling best practices and providing professional development opportunities.
o Oversee staff relationships with contracted employees and volunteers.
o Effectively manage the organization according to authorized personnel policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws and regulations.
● Real Estate and Capital Improvements: The Executive Director will ensure that all facilities meet future needs by developing, managing, and maintaining them in ways that allow for strategic growth. Specifically, s/he will:
o Complete the renovation of the studio buildings.
o Revisit existing plans and create a fundraising strategy for development of under-utilized portions of the property.
o Expand the facility rental program.
● Financial Management – The Executive Director will:
o Ensure sound fiscal accountability and sustainability and direct financial activities and decisions based on plans and policies developed in concert with the Board.
o Work with the staff, Board and, particularly, the Board Treasurer, to create and recommend the yearly budget for board approval, and prudently manage resources within the budget and governmental regulations.
o Oversee all bookkeeping, accounting, and financial activities.
● Board Development and Support: The Executive Director will work with the Chair and Board to build membership, serve as the primary staff liaison to the Board, staff Board committees as needed, and foster a culture of mutual respect and appreciation between Board and staff.
Our ideal candidate is:
● Passionate and knowledgeable about the role of the arts in community development, and ensuring economic, social, and environmental justice through the industrial arts.
● Bold, decisive and able to consider many points of view.
● Comfortable with a range of constituents, and able to represent the organization’s mission with warmth and enthusiasm.
● An energetic entrepreneur who will develop new sources of revenue and know how and when to take risks.
● Able to work under pressure and meet concurrent deadlines.
● Skilled in managing and supporting staff, and promoting healthy organizational culture.
● Comfortable with unknowns, and able to move issues and projects to consensus and action.
● Experienced in managing a complex budget with a diverse mix of revenue sources and an operating line of credit.
● Familiar with successfully running a business and/or a fee-for-service program.
● Skilled in working with and furthering the ongoing development of an effective board.
● A good writer and commanding public speaker.
● Computer literate, particularly in a Mac environment.
The ideal candidate will also bring a sense of humor, an entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility and energy to the position.
To apply: email a one-page cover letter and resume to email@example.com
Deadline for application: 5:00 pm EST on October 23, 2012.