DHR International has been exclusively retained to conduct the search for Vice President, Operations for the Peace Center in Greenville, SC. The Peace Center is the dominant performing arts attraction in the region and is embarking on an ambitious, multi-year expansion of new performance spaces. The Center seeks a Vice President, Operations to oversee a substantial percentage of operational expense budget, staff, and contribute to the organization’s overall strategic direction.
The Peace Center is a major, nonprofit performing arts center serving a growing and sophisticated audience in Greenville, South Carolina. It is the dominant performing arts attraction in the region. Built on a six-acre campus, with an aesthetic mix of leading-edge architecture and historic preservation, the campus is at the hub of Greenville’s nationally-recognized downtown.
The Center is composed of the 2,100-seat Peace Concert Hall, the 400-seat Gunter Theatre, the 1,350-seat outdoor TD Stage, Graham Plaza, Genevieve’s lounge and cabaret, the Ramsaur Studio, and the Huguenot Loft. Each performance space is architecturally and acoustically remarkable. The Center presents a season of twelve to fifteen weeks of first-run touring Broadway. Classical music, dance, jazz, country, bluegrass, folk, pop, and comedy artists are also presented on the Peace Center’s stages. The presentations are initiated internally, rarely do outside promoters rent the spaces. There is an active community engagement program and a number of ongoing arts initiatives including a songwriting series, a classical music conversation series, and others. Many of Greenville’s producing arts organizations are resident companies although there is ample opportunity for Peace Center arts events on the stages. The Center also owns real estate that is contiguous to its properties, and over the next five years as the leases on those properties end, it plans to repurpose, renovate, and integrate those spaces into additional arts-related venues.
The Peace Center was founded in 1990. With an annual operating budget of over $25 million, more than 85% of the revenue is earned from ticket sales and event rentals, and the organization consistently operates with a surplus. There are over 50 full-time staff members, dozens of part-time employees, and over 250 volunteers. The Peace Center is a member of the PACC and IPN.
The Peace Center is embarking on an ambitious, multi-year program of developing and activating new performance spaces from the other structures it owns contiguous to the campus. Buildings will be repurposed to create welcoming, engaging music/entertainment spaces and are conceived as a cultural campus for the entire community. The expansion will activate non-traditional performance spaces to complement the existing concert hall, theatre, amphitheater, and lounge/cabaret. The Vice President, Operations will play a key role in planning and preparing, outfitting, and overseeing these spaces.
SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
This position is responsible for a broad swath of management and leadership of the Center’s activities. As a member of the executive team (Vice Presidents of Marketing, External Relations, Programming, Community Impact, and Finance & Administration) this position reports to the President & CEO. The Vice President, Operations owns part of the responsibility for the overall strategic direction, long and short-term planning, and mission of the organization. The Vice President, Operations is specifically responsible for the spaces and people engaged backstage, front of house, the volunteers, the renters and their guests, vendors and the technical crews, and the artists who perform at the Center. As the Vice President responsible for a substantial percentage of the operating expense budget and, directly and indirectly, the largest head count, the position must also balance the departmental needs against the overall organizational needs. This position is responsible for ensuring the optimal customer experience, a welcoming experience for visiting artists and renters, for the safety and security of the campus and its users, and is the primary interface with external activities that affect the Center (city agencies, neighborhood activities, etc.).
- Work with the President & CEO and the executive team in setting and guiding the strategic direction for the organization.
- Lead and manage all aspects of front of house, backstage, production, engineering and building services, food and beverage, non-performance rental activities, security, guest services, volunteers, lessees, resident companies, and city agencies;
- Set goals, timelines, and deliverables for all activities within the purview of the position; propose and establish effective staffing structure, budgets, employee development, etc.;
- Participate in the campus expansion activities; work with the President & CEO on the planning and renovation;
- Standardize and establish operations-wide policies, procedures, and operation protocols that promote organization culture and vision.
Operations, Productions, and Physical Plant
- Ensure the execution of operating policies consistent with institutional objectives; uphold standards;
- Work successfully with the Center’s senior management team in support of their departmental needs with respect to both use of the building and contractual/operational policies and procedures;
- Ensure that the commercial potential of the Center, particularly its rental income, is maximized;
- Work with the staff to ensure the highest quality of customer service through training and oversight of the managers responsible for managing front of house, security, engineering, maintenance, and other departments that affect the public;
- Ensure that organization activities and operations are carried out in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and laws governing business operations;
- Act as the primary interface with outside organizations and agencies that affect the Center, for example, fire department and city safety department;
- Direct the operation of the production department and all events or productions held within the Center venues;
- Direct the operation of the staff that oversees safety and security of all patrons and staff on the Center campus;
- Direct the operation of the Engineering Department and the maintenance of all facilities within the Center’s campus;
- Direct the operation of the Food Service department – overseeing and servicing all special events, rentals, or special functions held at the Center.
- Working with the President & CEO and executive staff, develop and manage the annual departmental budgets;
- Forecast and manage facilities sales revenue budget and organize the department’s annual planning and goal setting;
- Oversee artists’ contracts, ensure riders are fulfilled and with the Vice President of Programming, ensure that contract responsibilities are met and that the return on bookings meets budget goals.
- In addition to the expansion of the campus, ensure that capital equipment, building service equipment, engineering, etc. are up to date and well-maintained;
- Ensuring that the buildings and facilities are well maintained and that there is on-going process of capital equipment replacement.
KEY SELECTION CRITERIA
The ideal candidate should have the following experience and qualifications:
- Ten or more years of theater or venue senior management experience, with at least five years’ managing the operation of a complex performing arts center or related experience – ideally with an organization that presents live arts events in multiple performance spaces, operates restaurants, and rents spaces to outside users;
- A track record of maximizing the earned income potential of a nonprofit arts and cultural organization or related commercial arts business;
- Complete understanding and proven ability overseeing complex performing arts production, including management of production staff, front of house and back of house personnel, box office, restaurants, concessions, and other revenue generating activities;
- Capital projects management and theater renovation experience is important;
- Significant experience with program budget development and oversight;
- Working knowledge of data analysis, performance, and operation metrics;
- Experience creating constructive working relationship with the executive team and with an accomplished, dedicated, and committed staff;
- Experience managing a fairly large and diverse staff; the ability to hire and retain talented people, to establish and uphold standards, set examples, and to delegate responsibility;
- A degree in theater or arts management is desirable; an advanced degree is a plus.
The successful candidate should be:
- An experienced, proven leader with the ability to project confidence, humility, emotional intelligence, high energy, and empathy;
- A hands-on, engaging individual who also possesses the ability to see the entire picture of the organization, its mission, its position in the community, and in the arts world;
- A mission-driven individual with a belief in, and commitment to, the mission of the Peace Center;
- An individual with a strong interest in and passion for the diverse communities of Greenville and the region;
- A good listener and strategist, comfortable receiving input from many sources and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan;
- A creative problem solver who can present practical solutions; design and explore systems and procedures to fit current and long-term needs; anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities;
- A person who is strategic, politically aware, and financially astute; a consensus builder who can be decisive and flexible;
- Determined yet respectful of others’ concerns; someone with the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to achieve objectives when barriers arise; a skilled negotiator who does not drive him/her selves or others into a corner;
- A charismatic communicator; able to build enthusiasm for the Peace Center, its performances and programs, and for innovative approaches that advance the reputation of Peace Center as a performing arts leader in the South East;
- Collegial and collaborative, with an ability to share information easily; able to be tough-minded if required to ensure that goals are met;
- Emotionally mature with a very good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
Potential candidates may apply by submitting a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. All applications will be reviewed and responded to in a timely manner. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.