Holden Forests & Gardens seeks a Director of Guest Services.

We are seeking a Director of Guest Services to join our team. The Director of Guest Services (DGS) will oversee all administrative, managerial, and performance-based aspects of Guest Services (GS) for Holden Forests & Gardens’ (HF&G) two campuses: the Holden Arboretum located in Kirtland, OH, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden located in Cleveland, OH. This includes strategic planning and execution of GS goals as they relate to the overall mission of HF&G and its guest experience. The DGS will be expected to proactively propose, plan, and implement new ideas to improve and enhance the guest experience. GS staff are responsible for directly facilitating a safe, educational, and beneficial guest experience, and communicating the mission and messages of Holden Forests & Gardens. The DGS reports directly to the Chief of Education and Guest Experience.

Essential Duties / Responsibilities

  • Organizes and administers the overall operation of the GS department, and oversees the GS staff and GS volunteers.
  • Develops and documents all policies and procedures relevant to all GS operations.
  • Assembles, analyzes, prepares, and present reports and/or relevant data to the CEGE, other members of the Leadership Team, other management staff, and board.
  • Assures data integrity and implementation of best practices for HF&G’s cultural management and POS system.
  • Develops and maintains budgets and budgetary goals.
  • Ensures budget responsibility and performance targets are met and tracked via the development and implementation of a broad system of departmental and employee performance metrics, reporting products, and tracking systems.
  • Works with the HF&G Chief of Police and police / security staff to implement and conduct periodic reviews of all security and emergency procedures.
  • Manages the recruiting and hiring of GS division personnel including full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary, volunteer, and contracted labor.
  • Oversees the development, coordination, and delivery of all job-specific training and on-going education programs for the GS staff, including incorporating program-relevant knowledge in coordination with HF&G staff. Develop and deliver basic guest service training to other HF&G staff and volunteers as required.
  • Ensures that all GS staff maintain excellent guest service standards and adhere to HF&G policies, systems, and procedures.
  • Handles visitor concerns, comments, and complaints that cannot be settled at the supervisory level, including managing and responding to patron’s complaints regarding any ticket or admissions issues.
  • Relays visitor concerns about pricing, experience, and exhibits, as needed, to the CEGE and other HF&G management staff.
  • Coordinates with the Exhibits and Experiences team in development of new guest experiences; analyzes and designs guest flow patterns, procures and oversees event-specific floor staff and volunteers, and oversees routine operations during run-of-show.
  • Sets priorities and handles a large variety of complex tasks and in a fast-paced, dual-campus environment.
  • Builds relationships with GS leads and peers at other local, regional, and national public gardens, arts, and cultural organizations. Demonstrates field-leadership.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • This position requires at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of five years progressively responsible management experience in customer service / guest service. Prior arts and cultural organization management experience is preferred.
  • Demonstrable proficiency with Microsoft Office 365 (desktop and/or cloud-based versions); especially Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work with integrated cultural management database / POS systems and/or enterprise CRM and POS systems as a power user; specifically, through daily operation of point-of-sale features, data entry, data retrieval, and data analysis. Prior experience with Blackbaud Altru is preferred.
  • Project management experience and familiarity with PMI best practices and PMBOK is preferred.
  • A passion for science, nature/or and conservation.


  • A willingness to regularly work non-traditional hours, think independently, take initiative, and meet deadlines.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, proficiency in mathematics, excellent attention to detail, exceedingly well-organized, conflict resolution ability, leadership, team-building and motivational skills, and a professional and flexible manner.
  • Commitment to sustainable operations and integrating best practices into the GS ethos
  • Ability to interact well with a wide range of people and personalities of all levels within and outside Holden Forests & Gardens.


  • The schedule involves a 5-day work week which will include frequent weekend work. The schedule will also require a combination of early morning and late evening hours as well as some holidays.
  • Valid Driver’s License and acceptable driving record required to be covered on Holden Forests & Garden’s vehicle insurance policy

Physical Demands

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, bend, stoop, kneel and crouch; use hand to finger, handle or feel objects, tools, and controls, reach with hands and arms, and have the ability to talk and hear. The employee must have the ability to exert 5 to 25 pounds of force occasionally.
  • Additionally, qualified candidates must have the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals; ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts and percentages; ability to read and comprehend documents and write reports and business correspondences; ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, guests, and the general public; ability to interact with the public and team members in a positive manner; ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists; ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, and diagram form.
  • May occasionally require spending a significant amount of time outside in all seasons and weather conditions.

Salary Range: $63,000-$82,000

Job Classification: Full-time

To apply: Review of applications with begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. 

Qualified applicants should submit a resume online: https://workforcenow.adp.com/mascsr/default/mdf/recruitment/recruitment.html?cid=db704977-d8c5-4be2-a36a-23f4002eddc0&jobId=48692&lang=en_US&source=CC3&ccId=19000101_000001

Holden Forests & Gardens (Holden Arboretum / Cleveland Botanical Garden) is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce. We seek skilled, knowledgeable and experienced individuals to join our staff and enhance our reputation as one of the country’s foremost arboreta. Deadline to apply: January 17, 2019.

Posted: December 17, 2018
Deadline: January 17, 2019