The Holland Historical Trust (HHT), which operates the AAM-accredited Holland Museum, seeks an experienced and enthusiastic leader to guide the organization as it adapts to the changing economy. The HHT operates with an annual budget of $600,000. The staff includes 7 full-time and 5 part-time employees, supported by an active corps of over 100 volunteers.


HHT’s vision is “to shape the future of the greater Holland area by celebrating and building on those qualities that made it thrive in the past.” The HHT is comprised of four historic buildings in the Downtown Holland Historic District on the scenic eastern shore of Lake Michigan.


The new Executive Director will have a track record of success in fundraising and resource development, community relations, marketing and public relations, and financial management. S/he will also have the vision to lead a regional history museum and the ability to inspire and empower staff, board, community members and donors.




  • Serve as the chief strategic and operating administrator and public ambassador working with community leaders and small but enthusiastic and dedicated staff to reposition the museum for enhanced relevance to and engagement with the community’s diverse citizenry and tourists.

  • Work with board and influential community leaders to create a sustainable funding model to include greater participation from surrounding units of government, corporate and private donations, endowment and possible area-wide millage support.

  • Revitalize education program and strengthen relationships with area schools.

  • Strengthen internal policies and procedures to define staff roles, responsibilities; develop, encourage and inspire staff and large volunteer team with clear vision and goals.



Job Requirements


  • Minimum 4 years of management experience heading a museum or similar nonprofit, or as head of a department of at least 2 FT staff

  • B.A. in history, museum studies, arts management, historic preservation, or similar field

  • Outgoing, sociable personality; enjoys meeting people

  • Passion for learning the community’s history, how it relates to the present and future, and sharing that vision with the public

  • Ability to communicate with a variety of constituents, including civic and political leaders, donors, staff, volunteers, and members of various ethnic communities

  • Ability to motivate and manage paid staff and volunteers

  • Experience working with a board

  • Track record of successful fundraising, including familiarity or experience with municipal/county support

  • Energy and persistence to provide long term financial stability for the HHT

  • Understanding of the values of and desire to become actively involved in a community that is home to many descendants of its original Dutch settlers as well as to more recent immigrants and seasonal residents.





  • Experience with a local history or community-based organization

  • Experience in a broad range of fundraising including grant applications for major exhibits, corporate sponsorships, endowment and millage campaigns

  • Interest in or knowledge about Dutch history and art and the Dutch settlement of America

  • Familiarity/experience with re-positioning and branding a museum

  • M.A. in history, museum studies, non-profit administration




About the HHT


Founded in 1937, the HHT recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. It comprises four buildings, including two historic homes: the recently restored Cappon House, an 1873 Italianate home of the City’s first Mayor, and the 1867 Settlers House, the small home of a local ship builder, which provides an excellent contrast. Two floors of exhibits are housed in the 1914 neoclassical former Holland Post Office.  The 1924 Holland Armory houses offices, collections storage, and a large space for facility rentals and programming.

The collection’s strengths are 17th-19th century Dutch art and related materials.  The Local History Collection contains items related to the settlement, people, and industries of the Holland region. It also holds smaller collections of artifacts from the Odawa tribe and more recent material that tell the stories of Holland’s Hispanic and Southeast Asian residents. The Museum Archives include 5,000 linear feet of historic documents, books, images and maps from the mid-1600s through the present.




About the area


Holland is charming community of 35,000 with a high quality of life. It surrounds Lake Macatawa on the shore of Lake Michigan. The population of the Greater Holland-Zeeland community is approximately 100,000 and is part of a million-plus population region that has been one of the most innovative and dynamic economic growth engines in the Midwest for many decades. West Michigan has been a furniture capital with a strong design heritage for over 100 years and today is home to the three largest office systems furniture companies in the world. Considered one of the most philanthropic communities in the nation, Holland has a reputation for high levels of collaboration among business, government and institutional leadership.

Money Magazine called Holland “one of the nation’s top five places to retire,” and Forbes Magazine named it one of the “Top Five Cities in the U.S. with the lowest crime rate.” The National Trust for Historic Preservation considers Holland one of its “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” and awarded the city their “Great American Main Street” honor.


Chicago is 2 ½ hours away, and Grand Rapids (famous for its annual Art Prize competition) is only 20 minutes away. The city is home to Hope College, a highly ranked four-year liberal arts college with over 3,000 students. Holland is best known for Tulip Time, an annual celebration of Dutch heritage and culture that draws 500,000 visitors each May.

Holland and Zeeland were founded by Dutch Americans, and the area has a large percentage of citizens of Dutch American heritage. Much of the religious conviction remains, as does traditional Dutch architecture. Today Holland is home to diverse cultures that have brought new traditions and events to the community but share similar values.

There are many cultural and recreational activities to choose from in Holland all year. Visit the Farmers’ Market, enjoy shops and restaurants, sail the waters of Lake Michigan, go for a hike, or enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Take in an art exhibit, play, musical theatre performance, art film, or symphony performance. In the spring, enjoy Tulip Time and the Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP) Fiesta.





To Apply:

Nominations welcome.  EOE.  Apply in confidence: Email résumé (Word document preferred); cover letter; list of 3 references with contact info; and salary requirement to: Gail Nessell Colglazier, Museum Search & Reference at  by April 19.

For more information, visit