ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Charleston Gaillard Center seeking a Chief Financial Officer

Charleston Gaillard Center

A leader in the performing arts in the Southeast, the Charleston Gaillard Center commissions, supports, and presents ambitious, multidisciplinary cultural programming and provides access to the best local, national, and global artists and companies on its stage. Through programming on its public campus and extensive arts education initiatives, the Gaillard Center serves as a platform to participate in community building and essential dialogue.

The Gaillard Center was established as a non-profit in 2015. Its campus includes the world-class 1,818-seat Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall, a 26,000 square-foot Exhibition Hall that includes the Grand Ballroom and Salons, and a Terrace Lawn.

In addition to its own programming, the Gaillard is the home of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and is a significant performance space for the world-renowned Spoleto Festival USA. The Gaillard is also the major provider of children’s performing arts education, reaching over 3 0,000 students annually.

The City:

The Charleston MSA population (now over 800,000 residents) is growing almost twice as fast as the rest of South Carolina; over 45% of the population is 34 years-old or younger and about 25% is African American. As more people become part of this community, the region continues to grow its capacity to innovate, engage, and entertain. The city maintains much of its heritage and cultural identity but has evolved dramatically from a historical town and quiet vacation destination to a diverse and contemporary, burgeoning urban metropolis. Charleston has demonstrated an appetite for new, cutting-edge works, as evidenced by the thriving nature of Spoleto Festival USA. The community has also demonstrated a strong pride and allegiance to local artists and talent, as evidenced by the fervent support of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. There is a robust live entertainment ecosystem, as the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center, the College of Charleston Sottile Theater, the Charleston Music Hall, the Dock Street Theater, the Festival Hall, and others all present performing arts. The Gibbes Museum of Art, the South Carolina Aquarium, and the new International African American Museum are other notable cultural organizations in Charleston.

Scope and Responsibilities:

The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for managing and directing the Gaillard’s financial and business affairs, human resources, and ticketing functions. The Chief Financial Officer will work closely with the President/Chief Executive Officer, members of senior management, and the Board of Directors.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • With the President and CEO, evaluates strategic opportunities and develops programs and systems to materially maximize the financial health and stability of the enterprise.
  • Works with the finance committee of the board, and the President and CEO, to develop short term budget programs as well as long-term financial projections and modeling.
  • Is the financial interface between the Gaillard and the relevant city government agencies.
  • Manages organizational fiscal operations, including budget preparation and monitoring, financial reporting, cash flow management, and forecasting.
  • Oversees human resources functions, including compliance with local, state, federal, and contractual regulations, and laws; payroll; benefits; and recruiting, including focusing on DEIA plan to increase staff diversity.
  • Responsible for evaluation, procurement, renewal, and claims of all company insurance policies.
  • Facilitates communication across the organization to improve operational effectiveness and to evaluate budgetary performance and operations.
  • Oversees financial reporting processes, including monthly and year-end close, financial preparations for Board meetings, grant reporting, and internal reporting.
  • Responsible for managing the annual audit and required state and federal filing processes. Ensures timely and clean financial audits, including the Federal Single Audit when necessary.
  • Establishes and maintains auditor, banking, brokerage, and other vendor relationships.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state, and local legal requirements by researching existing and new legislation, and consulting with outside advisors.
  • Reviews business contracts and agreements.
  • Oversees the ticket office department to ensure the proper handling of ticketing functions are maintained and patrons, artists, agents, internal staff, and others are properly communicated with for ticketing and reporting purposes.
  • Oversees the Gaillard’s financial support roles with the Rivers Performance Hall Foundation.
  • Special projects and other duties as designated by President/CEO or Board of Directors.

Key Selection Criteria:

Potential candidates will have ten (10) or more years of related experience, with a career track that demonstrates increasing levels of tenure and job status from one or more of the following roles:

  • Strong strategic as well as financial planning skills
  • Ability to take a leadership role as an active partner in new business development, projecting financial models and other information required for appropriate organization decisions.
  • Finance executive in a non-profit cultural center, arts festival or presenting hall or a commercial venue.
  • Finance executive in a nonprofit arts or cultural organization with a gate or box office-based earned revenue function.
  • Finance executive from an agency or financial service provider with a proven understanding of the nonprofit arts field.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize financial data and offer strategic alternatives.
  • Experience working with current information technology to manage finance and accounting systems.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability, team management, and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills, plus excellent organization skills.
  • Experience in a senior financial management role, partnering with executive staff, resulting in the development and implementation of creative financial management strategies.
  • Significant experience in or knowledge of nonprofit accounting, grant accounting, compliance, and reporting.
  • Flexible and a self-starter; able to multi-task while also being detail oriented.
  • Ability to professionally interact with the Board Finance Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Board of Directors.
  • Experience in organizational and project budget development, administration, and monitoring.
  • Experience in accounting and tax issues associated with non-profit organizations.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with a Board of Directors, senior management, and staff.
  • Strong financial and accounting knowledge of GAAP standards, process, reporting, and financial systems.
  • Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution.
  • Superior management skills.
  • Preference is given to individual with experience working in a performing arts or venue management environment.
  • • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance/accounting, or arts management is required; master’s degree in related field is preferred; a CPA is a plus.

Personal / Professional Attributes:

  • Leadership.
  • Financial accountability.
  • Creativity.
  • Strategic focus.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Quality orientation.
  • Teamwork.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities in a deadline-driven environment.
  • Visionary thinker combined with a practical approach to problem solving.
  • Impeccable personal ethics.
  • A belief in and alignment with the CGMC’s values of access and relevance.

Additional Details:
Charleston Gaillard Center is offering a competitive salary and benefits for this position.

Contact Information:
James Abruzzo
Managing Partner, Global Nonprofit Practice
New York, NY
T: +1 212-883-6800

Brian Shallcross
Chicago, IL
T: +1 312-471-6839
M: +1 630-730-4980

To apply for the position, please email a resume to Brian Shallcross at

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