Executive Director

Company Name: 

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum


1101 W McKinley Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768

Job Description: 

Summary of Position
The Board of Directors of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum seeks a strategic, entrepreneurial leader to guide the Museum through its next phase of growth. This is an opportunity to create real change in a museum, building upon significant strengths toward a more dynamic and sustainable future. The Executive Director will be responsible for initiating a strategic plan process that results in a new vision for the Museum, and in collaboration with the Board, prioritizing and implementing the strategic plan to achieve greater relevance and change in the visitor experience, revenue growth and diversification, and increased awareness outside of the racing community.

About the Museum
The Museum is a small but vibrant attraction celebrating the history of hot rods and drag racing, car culture, and technological and esthetic advancements over the 75-year history of hot rods and racing in Southern California. The Museum was born from the efforts of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), which is one of the larger motorsports sanctioning organizations in the world, and a group of long-time NHRA staff members led by NHRA founder Wally Parks. The Museum founders envisioned a place that would celebrate the growing interest in the evolution of hot rods, hot rod customization, and drag racing while preserving and making available the history of racing for all to see and experience.

Today, the Museum’s mission is to celebrate the impact of motorsports on American culture. The Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets the vehicles, stories, and artifacts that represent America’s affection for, and the influence of, automotive speed and style in all its forms. The collection includes dragsters, land speed vehicles, race cars, customs, hot rods, and other one-of-a-kind vehicles.

Although founded by the NHRA, the Museum has been a separate non-profit organization with its own governing Board of Directors since 1998, the same year the Museum opened to the public. The Museum is located in a historic 28,500 square foot Art Deco exposition building on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Fairplex, which is also home to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and the birthplace of organized drag racing in Southern California.

The Museum has an annual operating budget of $1.5 million and employs 3 full-time and 5 part-time paid staff. Attendance is approximately 30,000 per year. Museum revenues are derived from contributed and earned sources, but the majority of revenues are derived from two major annual hot rod reunion events. The NHRA continues to provide in-kind services and support to the Museum through a range of administrative support.

About Pomona and the L.A. County Region
Pomona is a city of 150,000 people located 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, between the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley. Pomona enjoys the proximity to other L.A.-region communities, exceptional sports, culture, and entertainment, and beautiful weather year-round.

Formerly rich agricultural land where citrus, olive, and grape farms flourished throughout the 1800s and in the 20th century, today Pomona comprises many adjacent thriving communities. The Museum is located in North Pomona, a community with quiet neighborhoods and a historic downtown area.

The L.A. County region, with its large, diverse population, thriving entertainment industries, expansive cultural offerings, great museums, major universities, outdoor recreation amenities, and exceptional weather, offer abundant opportunities for lifestyle choices. The communities within an easy drive of the Museum offer quiet, small-town living away from the metropolitan center.

Though the L.A. County region is more expensive than other parts of the country, the Greater Pomona area comprises many neighboring cities such as La Verne, Glendora, San Dimas, and Claremont, only minutes from each other and from the Museum that offer affordable property covering a wide range of prices and lifestyles, as well as excellent public and private schools. This region is home to the elite Webb School in Claremont, grades 9-12; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; the (7) Claremont Colleges; and Azusa Pacific University. The locale is about an hour away from beaches, mountains, and deserts.

The Executive Director reports to the Museum Board of Directors and has full authority and responsibility as the chief executive officer of the Museum. Responsibilities include:
• Providing visionary leadership and strong administrative oversight of all aspects of Museum operations
• Leading the staff, Board, and stakeholders in the development and implementation of a strategic plan to establish a future vision and priorities for the Museum
• Shaping the direction of Museum exhibits and programs, and ensuring they reflect the evolving needs and expectations of target audiences
• Growing and diversifying revenues by working with Board and staff to build a robust fundraising program and maximizing existing earned income opportunities and developing new sources
• Managing and growing the annual operating budget to effectively support the Museum’s vision; managing the Museum in a fiscally responsible manner
• Providing direction, mentorship, and leadership to the Museum staff in support of the organization’s mission, vision, and goals; ensuring a supportive work environment
• Working closely with the Board of Directors, communicating with full transparency, and maintaining strong working relationships with Board members
• Continuing and nurturing a productive partnership with NHRA leadership and staff
• Providing a high degree of visibility in the community, strengthening community relationships, and serving as chief spokesperson for the Museum
• Enhancing the Museum marketing program to raise awareness and grow audiences
• Collaborating with Museum staff to maintain American Alliance of Museums (AAM) standards and prepare for potential accreditation in the future

Ideal Candidate Characteristics
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
• Enthusiasm for the Museum’s mission and an appreciation for motorsports
• Proven track record of leadership abilities, a high level of initiative, and creative and flexible problem-solving skills
• Entrepreneurial spirit, including the capacity to develop innovative strategies for programming, audience-building, and income generation
• Record of success in financial management, fundraising, community relations, marketing, and Board development
• Ability to motivate, direct, and mentor staff
• An open and transparent communication style that keeps the staff and Board informed on relevant issues in real time
• Capability to develop and maintain positive relationships with collaborating partners and other community constituents
• Knowledge of museum practices and standards, and familiarity with AAM’s accreditation process
• A strong work ethic, good sense of humor, high energy level, and strong commitment to teamwork

A minimum four years of leadership and management experience in progressively more responsible positions in a nonprofit or museum setting. Possession of a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required; a Master’s degree in a related field is preferred.

The Museum is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.

The Museum offers competitive compensation commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application Procedure
Individuals applying for this position should send a letter of interest and resume to:

Museum Management Consultants, Inc.

Position is open until filled