DIA CFO

Employer
Detroit Institute of Arts
Location
Michigan, United States
Salary
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Dec 8, 2021

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Position Type
Executive
Fields
Museum
Employment Type
Full Time
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Founded in 1885, the Detroit Institute of Arts moved to its current site on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue in 1927. The museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a state-of-the-art conservation services laboratory.

The DIA’s collection is among the top five in the United States, with more than 65,000 works. Among its notable acquisitions are Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry fresco cycle, which Rivera considered his most successful work, and Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait – the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum collection.

A hallmark of the DIA is the diversity of the collection. In addition to outstanding American, European, modern and contemporary, and graphic art, the museum holds significant works of African, Asian, Native American, Oceanic, Islamic, and ancient art. In 2000, the DIA was the first museum in the country to establish a center for African American art as a curatorial department. Furthermore, the museum provides its visitors with the unique opportunity to learn the history of African American art with galleries dedicated solely to this area of the collection.

Over the past several years, the DIA has been working to advance in the areas of talent and culture, focusing on people operations, team member learning and development, workplace culture, and diversity and inclusion.

In the fall of 2019, the DIA was awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the area of diversity. As part of the grant, the museum proposed a three-year Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) journey. This work will guide the DIA in becoming a museum of relevance where a diverse team serves a diverse audience. The ultimate vision is to create a culture of belonging that is felt with its visitors and all stakeholders. In the fall of 2019, the DIA selected The Kaleidoscope Group as its consultative partner for the foundational IDEA work. Through this foundational work, the DIA team will increase internal capabilities to lead this work far into the future. As the DIA moves forward on this transformative journey, it will incorporate the IDEA lens in all museum work.

 

OVERVIEW

Reporting to the Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for instilling financial discipline within the museum to ensure that resources are effectively allocated to align with mission impact in the near term and sustainability in the long term. The CFO is a key member of the leadership team, with overarching responsibilities for finance, accounting, investments, procurement, and retail operations. Overseeing the DIA’s $36 million unrestricted operating budget, the CFO is responsible for planning, implementing, and managing the financial activities of the DIA. The CFO must establish strong working relationships with the Board of Directors and Executive Committee and is the staff lead with the Finance, Audit, and Investment Committees.

The CFO will ensure that all financial and operational aspects of the museum reflect its commitment to IDEA and are in alignment with the institution’s core values, as well as with its overarching mission and vision. Therefore, having the technical as well as the human skills necessary to structure the business activities of a highly complex, multidimensional cultural institution is of the highest priority. 

 

PRIORITIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The Chief Financial Officer will:

  • Take ownership of the DIA’s finances, which include banking relationships, pension accounts, and investments; communicate financial information and recommendations in a timely manner;
  • Quickly gain the trust and confidence of the Director and the Board of Directors, as well as with the Finance, Audit, and Investment Committees and serve as their partner for financial operations;
  • Gain a comprehensive grasp of the DIA’s current budget; formulate and maintain a budget which is realistic and in alignment with the goals and ambitions of the institution; provide strategic thinking, guidance, tools, and resources necessary to help departments develop their budgets, monitor and manage revenues and expenses, and bring new ideas to the table;
  • Become familiar with the museum’s endowment; in partnership with the Investment Committee, identify investment priorities, goals, and long-term strategies; develop reports for the Committee that provide an accurate view of the overall endowment and up-to-date performance numbers; explore potential investment opportunities in a variety of asset classes;
  • Maintain an ongoing dialogue and establish a close working relationship with the development department; serve as a supporting partner in the fundraising for and development of capital projects;
  • Direct the audit process; oversee the internal completion of all reports necessary for an expeditious external review; establish appropriate communications and a strong working relationship with the DIA’s outside auditors;
  • Recruit, mentor, develop, and lead a team which reflects the DIA’s commitment to IDEA; oversee the DIA’s efforts within the purchasing department to establish and maintain effective supplier diversity programs and other initiatives which promote IDEA in the workplace;
  • Review and enhance as necessary the museum’s financial systems to guarantee timely and accurate financial reporting and analysis; instill a sense of transparency, financial accountability, and ownership and facilitate financial discipline at the departmental level;
  • Maintain strong and positive relationships with city and county officials; partner on critical infrastructure and capital improvement projects.

 

 

IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

Providing both strategic and hands-on financial leadership, the ideal candidate will have or be the following:

  • Proven senior-level, problem-solving and planning capability and sizeable financial or investment responsibility in the public, private, or nonprofit sector; a team player who uses their knowledge of finance and investments to drive strategic business decisions; familiarity with the complexities of a multidimensional cultural institution, though a bonus, is not a requirement;
  • Financially skillful and seasoned, with a strong business acumen, and at least five years of experience as a senior finance executive at a $15-plus million organization, or a senior finance role in a much larger organization with assignments in all core financial functions;
  • A strategic thinker with the ability to plan and execute goals and objectives across multiple departments; significant analytical experience in developing and executing annual budgets and multiyear plans; and the ability to course-correct as necessary;
  • The ability to provide financial reporting, analysis, and forecasting in a clear and concise manner; the ability to develop financial models and analyses, and experience in applying analytics to institutional decision making;
  • Ten years of progressively responsible experience in finance and accounting required; experience leading and managing people and teams required;
  • Outstanding communication skills – articulate and persuasive verbally and in writing; able to speak to finance and investments in simple and accurate terms; able to effectively relate to the Board and its committees, staff, outside professionals, and the community in general;
  • Master’s degree in finance, accounting, or other business field with MBA and/or CPA strongly preferred.

The CFO must also be or have:

  • Demonstrated high level of emotional intelligence; excellent leadership skills and the ability to lead diverse teams to meet museum strategic goals; demonstrated competencies in IDEA;
  • Resourceful and results oriented; politically savvy, with the ability to change directions yet make tough calls and/or compromise as necessary; adept at planning, prioritizing, organizing, and following through;
  • Dedicated and self-motivated executive who can take charge, work cross-functionally and affect change; decisive, resourceful, and responsive; a skilled yet fair negotiator; someone who can impart credibility, integrity, and enthusiasm;
  • Emotionally mature, with an intact ego, good judgment, and a sense of humor.

 

The DIA is an equal opportunity employer.

 

Please send applications and nominations to Mark Tarnacki at DIACFO@PhillipsOppenheim.com.

 

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