Executive Director - Pacific Bonsai Museum

Washington, United States
$100,000.00 - $110,000.00
Jun 29, 2021
Jul 28, 2021
Position Type
Arts, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time

Pacific Bonsai Museum is located in Federal Way, Washington, about 25 miles south of Seattle and twelve miles northeast of Tacoma, Washington.


One of only two museums in the United States solely dedicated to bonsai, and one of only a handful of bonsai museums worldwide, Pacific Bonsai Museum maintains a collection of 150 bonsai that are among the finest examples of bonsai anywhere in the world. The collection is also the most geographically diverse bonsai collection in the United States, with trees from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.


A grand outdoor setting with the elegance of a fine art museum, Pacific Bonsai Museum features ~60 trees on exhibit at a given time, open to the public six days a week. This cultural gem offers contemporary and traditional bonsai exhibitions, group tours, education programs, field trips, and public events.


Our Vision:

Pacific Bonsai Museum is dedicated to being the preeminent bonsai museum in the world.


Our Mission:

Connecting people to nature through the living art of bonsai.






Leadership & Management:


  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve organization goals.


  • Actively engage and energize visitors, members, Board members, committees, partnering organizations, funders and other community members.


  • Serve as ex-officio member of the Board of Directors; work with Board Chair and Board committees (Board Development, Finance, Fund Development, and Community Outreach) to establish organization mission, vision, values, strategies, plans, and policies.


  • Help develop, maintain, and support strong governance with the Board of Directors including working with the Board Chair and Board Development Committee to recruit Board Members.


  • Lead, manage, coach, develop, and retain staff of seven including curator (artistic director), program and fund development manager and communications manager.


  • Establish vision and expectations for Museum programs including exhibits, education, events, and outreach.


  • Ensure effective systems are in place to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the Board, funders, and other constituents


  • Lead and actively participate in the Museum’s ongoing work to be an anti-racist organization; foster inclusion, diversity, equity and access in all aspects of the Museum.




Development & Communications:


  • Serve as the primary fundraising leader, building program capacity and expanding an endowment for long term growth and sustainability of the Museum.


  • Develop plans and relationships, raise funds for all donor segments including: Individuals: membership, annual giving, major gifts, events, special campaigns, foundations, government, and business.


  • Grow membership, fund development, and other revenue generating activities to support existing and future programs, operations, and expansion.


  • Continue to refine all aspects of communications—from web presence, social media to external relations to ensure a strong brand and awareness and that digital, print, and all Museum communications are aligned with Museum mission, goals, values and brand.




Community Connections and Engagement:


  • Actively engage in the community and use external presence and relationships to develop and cultivate new opportunities and connections with corporate, individual and foundation donors.


  • Build partnerships with other community based arts and culture organizations, botanical gardens, youth education, and bonsai organizations.


  • Serve as Museum representative to elected and other government officials in the City of Federal Way, King County, Washington State, and United States


  • Maintain positive working relationships with landlord and neighbor, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden.




Strategy, Planning & New Business:


  • Design and implement a strategic business planning process for the expansion of the Museum helping to introduce new visitors, business partnerships and sponsors, events, programming and other initiatives designed to introduce the Museum to the community more broadly.


  • Serve as an external local, regional, and national presence that communicates and promotes the unique nature of the Museum and our role in the international bonsai and museum professional community.




 Finance and Administration:


  • P&L responsibility for the Museum; develop the annual budget and design regular reporting tools that help the Board and staff manage our business. Ensure the organization operates efficiently within our budget.


  • Provide financial oversight through audit, 990, financial reporting, policies and procedures.


  • Ensure a strong administrative infrastructure (HR, IT/Technology/Data Security, Finance, Legal/Compliance, and Risk Management) that supports current operations and positions the organization for long term growth and stability.


  • Oversee hiring, orientation, training, development, evaluation, and recognition of staff and volunteers. Ensure staff have clear performance measurements and are rewarded fairly for their work.


  • Maintain strong working relationships with contract accountant and insurance brokers.






  • Ten or more years of relevant leadership experience. Experience should include managing a larger, more complex organizational structure and a budget of $1 - 3M.


  • Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field, and preferably advanced education, training or experience in the areas of business or nonprofit management.


  • Demonstrated experience working to cultivate and develop major donors and other funding opportunities. Experience with endowment fundraising strongly preferred.


  • Successful development of membership-based programs is strongly preferred.


  • Demonstrated ability to partner effectively with an independent Board of Directors. Able to manage Board relationships in a diplomatic and professional manner, and ability to escalate high priority issues as needed.


  • Ability to effectively review, analyze and present business and financial information to help the organization make the best decisions.


  • Ability to listen and communicate effectively with a variety of audiences -- supporters, staff, Board, volunteers, and community partners. Ability to develop strong and trusted relationships with each of these audiences.


  • Genuine passion for and commitment to our mission.



Reports to: Board of Directors

Salary: $100,000-$110,000 DOQ

Staff: 7





Please forward a resume, cover letter, references, and a writing sample that reflects your writing style to:




No phone calls or email inquiries, please. All applicants will be sent an automated reply notifying them that their application was received. Applicants selected to participate in the interview process will be notified in August.


Applications will be reviewed beginning August 9, 2021. Must be available to begin working on January 3, 2022.

Pacific Bonsai Museum is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or protected veteran or disabled status.

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