Position Summary:

Reporting directly to the president and CEO, the position is designed to lead the Institute's strategic vision as an industry leader in transformative family learning experiences.  The Vice President of Design and Programming is responsible for the entire spectrum of experience programming which includes: design, education, exhibition, audience research, grant management, venue content specialists, and volunteers for Thanksgiving Point Institute, including, but not limited to, developing and managing a comprehensive, integrated programming plan, developing and managing annual budgets for the design and programming department, oversee project management of capital campaign projects, working with outside exhibit and architect partners, and assisting the CEO, other senior managers and Utah State University Extension liaison employees in identifying and actively pursuing and managing innovative experiential venues and program opportunities.

Thanksgiving Point's mission is to cultivate transformative family learning.  Consequently, all experiences should be centered on engaging, interactive inquiry-based participation, not merely passive observation or didactic delivery.  Current core experiences include Ashton Gardens, Farm Country, Museum of Ancient Life, and Museum of Natural Curiosity.  Planned experience is Butterfly Biosphere.


We are seeking an innovative professional to provide leadership, vision and oversight of existing formal and informal programs while developing novel partnerships and collaborations with the broader education, academic and entertainment communities to maximize the educational and entertainment impact of Thanksgiving Point's unique offerings on guests and program participants.


The overall responsibility of this position is to foster a dynamic, interactive learning environment throughout Thanksgiving Point that maintains both high standards of educational quality and high visitorship.


Essential Responsibilities:

The Vice President of Design and Programming will be responsible to develop and manage a comprehensive, integrated programming plan including all aspects of education, exhibitions and value added events and activities targeted to members of Thanksgiving Point Institute.  The right candidate will be excited by the opportunity to employ all her/his accumulated skills and experience in a unique, dynamic growth environment.


Position involves partnering with Utah State University Extension, and with education outreach providers throughout the state.  


Responsible for developing an annual and long-range integrated strategic plan, in collaboration with Senior Management Team.


Responsible for developing and executing annual strategic exhibitions goals.


Responsible for developing and executing annual strategic education goals.


Responsible for developing and administering annual budgets for the department including education, exhibitions, audience research, garden maintenance, and volunteer programs.


Responsible for ongoing, long-range, comprehensive experience plan, with brand and mission consistency and execution.


Responsible for the development of creative, innovative special events programming in collaboration with other departments across property.


Responsible to manage all grants for the Institute from federal, state and foundations and leads all grant writing and development for fund raising to support mission-based experiences and programming.


Management responsibilities include managing Director of Audience Research and Evaluation, Director of Education, Director of Interactive Exhibitions, Art Director, Paleontologist, Horticulture Specialist, Grant Manager, and Volunteer Coordinator.


Responsible to develop, cultivate and manage community relationships with like educational/cultural organizations throughout the state.


As a member of the Senior Management Team, develop relationships and work closely with other Institute Senior Management Team members and Board of Directors, as appropriate.


Other responsibilities as assigned by the Chief Executive Officer.



Required Education, Skills, Experience:

Masters or Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university.


Knowledge of museum/science center administration, particularly as it relates to education and exhibition in cultural institutions, and the ability to coordinate a team to execute disparate activities and events.


Experience managing federal, state, and foundation grants.


Demonstrated understanding and implementation of inquiry and successful inquiry-based education and experiences, and of field-wide best practices.


Excellent verbal and presentation skills.


Excellent attention to detail and follow through.


Strong organizational skills with excellent prioritization skills.


Ability to plan, develop and coordinate multiple projects.


Ability to work well under pressure and time constraints.


Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office applications.


Must be able to work a flexible schedule including nights and weekends.  General schedule will be 8 a.m. 5 p.m., Monday Friday, but regular early morning, late evening and weekend assignments are required.



Preferred Education, Skills and Ability:

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master's or Bachelor's degree plus a minimum of 10 years programming/education/exhibition planning work experience required.


Successful and demonstrable experience in a for-profit or not-for-profit charitable environment with expertise in development and management of exhibition and education programming.  Proven success in strategic development and budgeting.


The successful candidate will be highly motivated with excellent communication and leadership skills. The ability to participate in a team-oriented, vision-driven organization and support Thanksgiving Point Institute's mission, branding and strategic initiatives is critical.