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Holden Forests & Gardens-Chief of Education and Guest Experience-Mon, 04/02/2018 - 12:08pm

Chief of Education and Guest Experience


Holden Forests & Gardens
Cleveland Botanical Garden
11030 East Blvd
Cleveland , OH 44106

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Job Description 

Responsible for the Holden Forests & Gardens customer journey, global visitor experience, delivery of knowledge, and revenue/attendance generation across the Arboretum and Garden campuses with the goal of creating life-long stewards and advocates of the natural world.

Opportunities for New Chief of Learning and Engagement
• Outstanding opportunity to join a recently merged and growing organization with more than 400,000 annual visitors and 20,000 members. The CLE will play a vital role in positioning Holden Forests & Gardens as a leader locally, regionally, and beyond
• Build a new program model and team through a newly defined executive leadership role.
• Unique opportunity to lead education and engagement at two distinct yet complementary campuses in a 10-acre urban setting and 3,500-acre rural setting
• Establish and lead a new culture of engagement with high standards of excellence for a mission that is more relevant today than ever before.
• Partner with passionate executive level colleagues and staff and have a voice in development of a new strategic plan for the future of Holden Forests & Gardens.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Accountable for meeting/exceeding revenue and attendance goals for all program areas under direct supervision including annual attendance goals.
• Working with CEO and leadership team establish annual attendance and revenue goals for Holden Forests & Gardens.
• Partner with CFO and CEA to ensure support of their respective earned and contributed revenue goals.

Make the mission relevant and alive through formal and informal programs serving students, teachers, multi-generational public audiences, community groups, members, and donors.
• Oversee all education programs reaching schools, community groups, and public audiences.
• Oversee an annual calendar of special exhibitions and programs that attracts new and repeat visitation as well as membership.
• Oversee events management that serve public, member, and donor audiences in partnership with colleagues across departments.

Oversee a guest experience that welcomes diverse audiences, ensures the highest standard of customer service, generates repeat visitation, and inspires greater engagement in the organization.
• Develop and executive customer service standards for admissions and guest services.
• Partner with the CPF on daily management and upkeep of guest facilities at both campuses.
• Collaborate with colleagues on management of building space and use to accommodate the diverse set of needs across departments.

Partner with staff and leadership team colleagues to develop stories, messages, and delivery methods that respond to the needs of today’s audiences and the needs of the communities served by Holden Forests & Gardens.
• Work with research, horticulture, and conservation to identify key mission stories to advance through programs and exhibitions.
• Collaborate with external affairs on consistent brand messaging and audience-driving marketing plans for all programs.

Supervise education, special exhibitions and programs, guest services, and events for Holden Forests & Gardens, across the Arboretum and Garden campuses.

Education and Experience 

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 10 years of programming, education, and leadership experience and a proven track record of success preferably in a cultural, environmental, educational, or related organization. This individual will embrace Holden’s mission, goals and objectives and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Attributes
• Commitment to mission (demonstrated willingness and ability to support the mission of Holden Forests & Gardens to advance and inspire a deeper understanding of plants to enhance life).
• Education/Exhibitions (depth and breadth of experience in formal and informal education as well as large, engaging public programs and exhibitions; interest in following trends in education and audience engagement to meet changing community needs)
• Guest Experience/Customer Service (experience with creating and support standards of excellence in service to all audiences)
• Strategic Planning (experience in developing and implementing strategic plans for sustainable success, and ability to develop and implement tactical plans to advance overall strategy).
• Leadership/management experience (effectively built and managed a professional staff team to success; fostered positive professional development).
• Non-profit relationships (experience working with high level volunteers, committees/advisory groups.)
• Technology (high comfort and ability using the latest technology to maximize programming, outreach, and communications; strong experience and comfort with data-driven analysis to guide strategy and decision-making)
• Community engagement (effective interactions with the public and community groups; excellent public speaking and presentation skills).
• Financial Acumen (experience in effectively working with finance office to ensure accurate, timely financial reporting and analysis; experience in financial controls and compliance management)

Application Instructions 

Please contact Hugh Fisher, VP of Human Resources at

Full Name 
Kim Wazlavek