The Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) is a networking organization that serves to foster professionalism, mutual support, and communication. A non-profit membership association, SEMC strives to increase educational and professional development opportunities and improve the interchange of ideas, information, and cooperation. SEMC members at all stages of their career find professional support and camaraderie from the SEMC leadership and members as they deepen their knowledge of museums, strengthen their practice and skills, promote diversity, and serve SEMC fellow members. Since 1951, professionals throughout the SEMC region (which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands,) have looked to the organization for the latest in training, best practices, and networking.
The Southeastern Museums Conference seeks a dynamic, creative and networked Executive Director (ED) to lead one of the six regional museum associations in the country. This position, which reports to an active Council of Directors consisting of regional museum professionals, is responsible for the success of SEMC and serves as the chief administrative officer initiating or implementing policies and programs approved or defined by SEMC’s Council. The ED, with the President and Council, provides strategic vision for the organization and will lead SEMC in fulfilling the goals of its recently completed Strategic Impact Plan (2020-2022). The Executive Director will ensure that SEMC continues to inspire the full spectrum of professionals in its region – from emerging to late-career – to reach a higher level of accomplishment through up-to-date information from the field, educational outlets, job opportunities, and collegial growth.
The Executive Director is SEMC’s primary ambassador and chief fundraiser and will act as a champion of museums in the southeast region promoting them to regional and national audiences. The ED is responsible for the implementation of the Strategic Impact Plan which includes the expansion and diversification of its development programs, emphasizing membership, individual/major donors, planned giving, grant-writing, institutional partnerships, sponsorships, and the success of the Annual Meeting with both financial and relationship management goals.
The Executive Director is responsible for the financial functions of SEMC, including the creation and management of the annual budget and oversight of data management protocols and donor recognition. The Executive Director must have skills to oversee the day-to-day operation of the SEMC Central Office combined with broad view thinking abilities to lead the membership. The Executive Director must successfully manage membership services, an annual conference, and a regional newsletter and be knowledgeable of professional standards, national trends, and current challenges in the museum field. As the main spokesperson for SEMC and as a leader in the field, the Executive Director holds significant internal and external relationship management responsibility and must be able to work collaboratively with other organizations and represent SEMC to museums, state and national agencies, universities, corporations, and foundations, along with state, regional and national museum associations. late-career
The Executive Director with the Executive Committee maintains the organization’s partnership with the Atlanta History Center (AHC) and meets regularly with AHC’s finance staff for oversight of SEMC’s finances. The Executive Director will work to create a positive membership experience for all by communicating clearly and transparently, being approachable and adaptable and always solution-oriented. The Executive Director should be a problem solver who strives for creative, strategic, and operational excellence.
Professional Development Programs
The Executive Director plans and implements SEMC’s annual conference, mid-year Council meetings, committee meetings, and other organizational meetings and works with the Program and Local Arrangements Committees and SEMC Executive Committee to prepare agendas and budgets. Duties include coordinating all logistics of the meeting, committee work, marketing, and facilitating content of all programming in collaboration with Council and conference committees. The Executive Director oversees SEMC’s other professional development programs, including Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI) and SEMC Leadership Institute, to ensure that best policies and procedures are implemented. The Executive Director maintains an organizational presence at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) annual meeting, Association of African American Museums (AAAM) annual meeting, and the 12 southeast state museum association annual meetings as available.
The Executive Director increases the membership base by adding individual, institutional and corporate members and develops and implements programming to enhance membership services. The ED will collaborate with the Council and Committees on organizational messaging and external communication strategies to attract new members to SEMC and inspire current members to renew and increase their giving.
The Executive Director serves as the SEMC development officer and obtains financial support for operations and programs from corporations, foundations, and individuals in addition to revenue from the Annual Meeting. The Executive Director will also work with SEMC’s Council on fundraising for the stability and sustainability of the organization. The Executive Director will work with the local arrangement committee to provide guidance and implementation on local fundraising for the Annual Meeting. The ED will lead ongoing efforts to cultivate donors and new revenue streams to sustain the SEMC endowment, Jekyll Island Management Institute, and SEMC Leadership Institute and work to expand and diversify membership, sponsorship, institutional giving, and events through strategic and proactive donor and stakeholder engagement throughout the southeast. The Executive Director works with the finance department of the Atlanta History Center to produce SEMC monthly financial reports and build a strong culture of accountability through regular communication and proactive, accurate reporting of development goals to the SEMC Council. The ED will prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis, and integration of data; and ensure the integrity of SEMC’s data. The ED will proactively develop, implement, and track the performance of long- and short-term strategies for fundraising in partnership with the SEMC Council. The ED will manage prospect lists and develop and execute fundraising and engagement strategies as laid out in the SEMC development plan.
The ED will create a relationship management and donor recognition protocol that deepens donor relationships supports expanded fundraising activities and provides a greater linkage between donors and SEMC programming.
The Executive Director encourages Southeast participation in AAM’s Museums Advocacy Day and works with AAM advocacy staff, the Council of Regions, and 12 state museum organizations regularly. With the President, the ED represents SEMC at a regional and national level and will gather and disseminate governmental advocacy information to SEMC’s Council and members.
The Executive Director serves as the primary spokesperson for SEMC and must be an outstanding communicator to coordinate written and verbal SEMC communications including social media. The Executive Director oversees the publication of Inside SEMC and SEMC Annual Report; publishes the Annual Meeting Program, Corporate Guide/Resource Expo Prospectus, Annual Meeting Save-the-Date postcard, and SEMC’s regular communication through weekly E-News and social media. The Executive Director will work to evaluate and diversify SEMC’s communication structures, including social media and the website, to build awareness and engagement.
The Executive Director is the primary administrator of the Southeastern Museums Conference and will present an annual budget to the Council and work with the Council to review, update and implement the SEMC Strategic Impact Plan. The ED will ensure that the appropriate organizational structure, policies, safety responsibilities, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
The position includes working with public and private agencies, attending and facilitating Council and committee meetings, and managing the SEMC Central Office and staff which currently includes a full-time Manager of Communications and Member Services. The Executive Director initiates and encourages interaction with the membership and field, including prompt response to phone, e-mail, social media, mail inquiries with information, technical assistance and referrals; maintains and disseminates information to members regarding professional policies and practices; plans and executes all communications to general membership; maintains organizational records and Central Office; executes such contracts and commitments as may be authorized by the Council; provides special assistance to membership as possible and creates a collaborative, professional environment focused on inspiring and partnering with the Council as well as supporting the identification and recruitment of new Council members. The Executive Director will embrace other leadership and administrative roles and opportunities as required.