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Visitor Experience and Volunteer Manager [Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest]

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on October 5, 1972 in job announcements |

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, located in Central Virginia, seeks a creative, hard-working individual to be our next Visitor Experience and Volunteer Manager.  Poplar Forest was Thomas Jefferson’s retreat home.  One of only two homes he designed and built for his own use, it is a National Historic Landmark, a Virginia Landmark and was recently added to the United States nominations to become a World Heritage Site. The property is regarded as an important example of historic restoration and archaeological research, and is open for tours, events and school programs. The Museum seeks a creative, dynamic team player that will help the organization interpret Thomas Jefferson’s story at Poplar Forest. 

Job Title: Visitor Experience and Volunteer Manager

Reports To: Director of Interpretation/Education

Education Requirements and Background: Position requires a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, public history, museum studies, education or equivalent with at least five years experience in coordinating tour services and volunteer services.  Works closely with Director of Interpretation/Education and oversees four part-time interpretation assistants and close to 100 volunteers.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:  

• Research, develop and implement Poplar Forest interpretative tours

• Help in development of programs and special events at PF

• Monitor, supervise, and assess/evaluate interpretative tours

• Recruit, develop and implement docent/volunteer training

• Book adult groups and offsite programs

• Schedule volunteers for group tours, school tours, regular shifts, public programs and special events

• Oversee the visitor service initiatives that focus on the visitor’s experience and safety at       Poplar Forest

• Work closely with other departments as needed to prepare for the Poplar Forest visitor season

• Prepare the house and grounds for visitation and maintain it during visitation

• Excite community, civic organizations and other groups through on and off site presentations and programs

• Assist in the Museum Shop as needed

• Act as property supervisor on week days and on assigned weekends

• Train, schedule and assess/evaluate interpretation assistants

• In the absence of the Director of Interpretation/Education, assume the role of acting director

• Perform other duties as required by the Director of Interpretation/Education in carrying out the responsibilities of the department

Necessary Skills:  The successful applicant must be a creative individual and a team player; have excellent organizational and communication skills as well as strong interpersonal and planning skills; ability to communicate clearly and effectively and engage with a variety of visitors and volunteers; and ability to resolve conflicts in a constructive and professional manner. The applicant will have knowledge of interpretive methods and practices.

Additional Requirements: Flexible hours are often required, including weekends and evenings, due to public programs and special events. Must be able to lift, push, or pull a minimum of forty pounds. Applicants will be required to complete an application and consent to a background check prior to hire.

Other Requirements: Will conduct self in a professional manner at all times.  Will, at all times, attempt to meet the needs of Poplar Forest visitors, making every attempt to accommodate visitors, thus ensuring that Poplar Forest visitors have a favorable and successful experience.  Will, at all times, demonstrate a positive mentality coupled with enthusiasm for Poplar Forest’s mission. Will continually assess and evaluate public programming, activities, and special events, and implementing necessary changes for their continued success. Will strive to look for new audiences and be aware of needs that would promote the development of visitor service programming which would be useful and beneficial to audiences of all age and career groups.

To Apply: No phone calls, please. Submit resume with cover letter and three references to Octavia N. Starbuck, Director of Interpretation/Education. By mail: Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, P. O. Box 419, Forest, Virginia 24551; by email or fax: octavia@poplarforest.org | fax 434-525-7252

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Applications must be received by October 25, 2012

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