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Executive Director

Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass

About the Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass

On April 5, 1959, the John Nelson Bergstrom Art Center opened to the public. Today Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass (BMMOG) and its collections are operated and cared for by a private foundation, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Inc. The museum leases the building from the City of Neenah. In an effort to meet the needs of its growing public, museum renovations and expansions took place in 1965, 1978,1991 and again in 1997 when the museum shop was brought to the entrance.

Today, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass focuses solely on glass. Its mission is to help the visitor understand the chronology of art glass from ancient glass to contemporary studio glass through its primary collections of glass paperweights, Germanic Glass drinking vessels, Victorian Era Art Glass and Contemporary Studio Glass.  The museum glass collection numbers over 4,500 objects and is revered in glass collecting communities worldwide.

Evangeline Bergstrom, whose paper weight collection served as the foundational gift for the Museum, gave the Tudor mansion she and her husband built in 1929-30 to serve as the Museum site, which opened in 1959 as the City of Neenah Municipal Museum Foundation and John Nelson Bergstrom Art Center.  The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass remains in this beautiful Tudor home today.

In its initial inception, the Museum housed various artifacts and exhibited temporary exhibitions of many kinds of art over the years. In 2011, a strategic decision was made to devote the Museum exclusively to glass art, with a focus on collecting and displaying contemporary art, as well as the historic pieces that provided the foundation for the impressive collection.  Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass now receives over 20,000 visitors annually to learn about glass art and experience it in hands-on and communal ways reflective of our evolving culture, learning styles, and community demographics.

The eight + staff members compliment their skills with that of dedicated volunteers who serve as docents, a shop sales force, glass studio volunteers, hospitality and other valuable roles.  Some docents have committed their time and talent to the Museum for over 30 years.

BMMOG continues to expand community engagement through launching audience targeted programs such as the multi-generational Art Activity Days and the millennial focused evening Art After Dark. The Museum has organized and run a community highlight each summer for the past 47 years, the Annual Arts Festival, drawing people from all over the Fox Valley and beyond. Community partnerships have engaged an underserved population through educational programs such as SPARK!, developed for those in the early stages of cognitive change and their care partners, and  Fortified by Fire, providing studio experiences for at risk youth and developmentally disabled, as well as families who have experienced domestic violence.

The Museum has explored expansion plans for the future, both off-site, and in its current home.  These include a future vision that shapes and improves the visitor experience with contemporary, interactive and communal engagement.  In this vision, education is a key platform to serve visitors, with expanded space for increased learning opportunities.

The long-term dream of a working glassblowing studio on site would provide both demonstration and hands-on opportunities.

For additional information about Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass, please visit: https://bmmglass.com/  

 

The Museum Mission

Engage, Excite, and Educate our regional and global audiences using our world-renowned glass paperweights, glass collections and changing exhibitions.

 

The Vision

The Place for Exciting Discoveries in Glass

 

Values

  • Developing warm, family-friendly relationships with our community

  • Celebrating creativity, innovation, and expression of ideas

  • Pursuing excellence

  • Fostering an environment of acceptance

  • Promoting life-long learning

  • Embracing integrity

                                            

About the Opportunity

The Executive Director of Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass will be a transformational leader who brings a fresh vision of how the community – far and near – can benefit from the Museum’s exceptional glass art collection in a way that engages, inspires and educates.  The Executive Director will represent the museum to its major constituents, which include national and international glass art collectors and donors, visitors, and the local community. The Executive Director will be responsible for driving the fund development efforts to sustain and grow the impact of the Museum and its esteemed collection, though grants and major gifts to support operating expenses and the future vision of upgraded and expanded facilities.  The Executive Director will also serve as the liaison to the city, maintaining the partnership and working collaboratively to develop ways in which the Museum can better serve community needs.

The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Directors, overseeing and empowering museum staff and volunteers, creating a culture of transparent communication and a unified mission among all stakeholders. They will manage the day to day museum operations and ensure the professional standards of an accreditation according to the guidelines of the American Association of Museums, which will be an immediate priority, with an upcoming reaccreditation in 2021.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Promote an organizational culture that fosters a passion for the mission, collaboration, open and frequent communication, creative thinking, and a common organizational vision 

  • Lead the vision for the future of Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass; work with staff and board to identify the best path for the long-term health of BMMOG and guide staff in the successful and collaborative implementation of that plan and vision 

  • Enhance long-term strategic fundraising efforts by identifying funding sources and establishing strategies to develop relationships with individual and corporate donors, with an emphasis on increasing BMMOG’s endowment, and funding new exhibits and facility maintenance requirements 

  • Serve as the face of Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass; build and maintain relationships throughout the local Northeastern Wisconsin community and the larger glass community 

  • Grow recognition of the Museum through relevant programming, educational opportunities, and curatorial expertise 

  • In conjunction with the Assistant Director, provide oversight of the financial operation of Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass, including creating and managing the annual budgets, monitoring actual financial performance relative to budgets, and providing required reports to the Board 

  • Cultivate a robust, professional partnership with the Board of Directors, characterized by a deep commitment to the performance of the organization, the highest standards of transparency, as well as timely, relevant, and meaningful information reporting, serving as an effective liaison between board and staff

  • Provide thoughtful leadership to the staff including mentorship and professional development opportunities, and fair and transparent feedback on a consistent basis 

  • Develop a plan to drive Museum attendance and community exposure, both local and within the glass community 

  • Participate in relevant art organizations and conferences such as the Glass Arts Society, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM), SOFA, and others

 

Skills, Qualifications, and Experience

  • Experience leading a nonprofit organization, including experience working with board members and leading/managing a staff
  • Strong interpersonal skills to compellingly communicate the vision and value of the Museum across a variety of key stakeholder groups, building relationships across business and philanthropic communities, city leaders, the academic community, the public, and the media

  • Proven experience in successful fund development, donor relations, advancement and philanthropy with a consultative, collaborative and strategic approach. Experience leading a capital campaign and endowment strongly desired 

  • Proven ability to foster a healthy organizational culture, with the management skills to encourage teamwork and collaboration to meet goals, and the emotional intelligence to inspire, support, and develop staff 

  • Experience leading the development of a strategic plan with board and staff, with the project management skills to ensure it is successfully implemented 

  • Strong financial and operational acumen; direct experience with budget development and management, and P&L oversight 

  • A proven penchant for continual learning, to creatively evolve to meet the needs of the future and the ability to successfully lead those new initiatives 

  • Previous or current experience overseeing a successful accreditation process at an institution greatly desired 

  • An understanding of Northeast Wisconsin’s culture and the greater arts community 

  • Master’s in Museum Studies, Arts Administration, or a related field desired. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college required 

  • A working knowledge of glass art and the glass art community is desired, not required 

  • Ability to travel to meet collectors and donors, and attend art shows and conferences as needed

 

Desired Attributes of the Executive Director 

  • Mission-Focused: Connection and passion for the mission of Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass with the ability to articulate the mission across all key stakeholder groups 

  • Relationship-Oriented: Astute in cultivating and managing respectful relationships with community partners, staff, board, donors, artists, and collectors

  • Collaborative: Able to mobilize these valuable partners through meaningful and participatory engagement

  • Team-Builder: Ensure the right people are in the right roles at the right times; foster commitment, trust, and collaboration among the team; work in close partnership with the staff, empowering them to do their best work 

  • Brand Steward: Acts as the face of Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass in the local and national/international glass art community, to positively build awareness 

  • Visionary: Able to conceptualize an innovative and sustainable future for the Museum that educates and engages the community in new ways 

  • Exceptional communicator: Able to communicate with intelligence and passion at the appropriate times in the appropriate manner, stating clear expectations and holding people accountable through regular check-ins 

  • Business Acumen: Possesses a high-level of broad business and management skills to effectively oversee the organization as well as manage a budget to generate financial support 

  • Results Driven: Dedicated to shared and measurable goals. Ability to develop strategic goals, implement them, and benchmark success based on results 

Job Location

Situated along the shores of Lake Winnebago, Neenah is a friendly, charming community where residents enjoy the lifestyle of a small town and the convenience of living in the Fox Cities metropolitan area, the fastest growing urban center in Wisconsin.

The Fox Valley metro area’s business climate has been ranked the third best market for business development among all small metropolitan areas in the nation, and includes iconic companies such as Kimberly Clark and the Neenah Foundry. Along with Neenah’s outstanding public services, residents enjoy a healthy and diverse economy, high quality medical care, excellent schools, churches, beautiful parks, shopping options, and bountiful recreational, cultural and community activities.

For more information about Neenah, please visit:

https://www.ci.neenah.wi.us/

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/east-central/winnebago-county/neenah

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60124-Activities-Neenah_Wisconsin.html

 

Application and Selection Process

Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass has exclusively retained The QTI Group to conduct the search for its new Executive Director. The QTI Group is a comprehensive human resources advisory services firm founded in 1957. QTI is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and has nine branch offices throughout the state of Wisconsin, including Appleton.

Qualified individuals interested in being considered for the position, are invited to submit their cover letter and resume by May 18th, 2020, together in one document to: https://tinyurl.com/EDBMMOG

Inquiries can be submitted to The QTI Group:

Jennifer Winding, Executive Search Director

608-257-1057 / Jennifer.winding@qtigroup.com