Director of Visitor Experience

Hiring Organization: Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Grosse Point Shores, MI
Application Deadline: August 9, 2019


Reporting to the President & CEO, the Director of Visitor Experience leads, guides and directs the activities associated with crafting a one of a kind guest experience for visitors and guests at Ford House.

Leads the daily operations of the Visitor Center and related visitor-centered areas including visitor services, admissions, shuttle drives, group sales, rentals, museum store, and food service. Supervision of full-time and part-time staff as well as volunteers. 

Responsible for the preparation of the Visitor Center and other visitor-centered areas (public spaces, exhibitions, retail, rental space, etc.) for daily operations and logistical management of these areas with support from other departments.  Leads the strategic direction and operational policies associated with the various systems and policies used to manage these areas. 

Oversees the department that welcomes all visitors and facilitates the visitor experience.  The Director is the “ambassador for the museum” engaging daily with visitors and guests through public activities, services and events and ensures a highly positive and memorable experience for visitors.

Will also be responsible for the overall development, training and evaluation of visitor experience customer culture at Ford House.   Develop and lead strategies to ensure a welcoming, inclusive, accessible and memorable environment for a diverse range of guests and visitors.  Goal of creating a positive visitor experience, increasing return visits, and increasing earned venue.


  • Directs and oversees several areas of earned income including visitor services, admissions, ticket sales, facility rentals, group tours, retail, and food service.
  • Provides leadership and support to enable staff to fulfill their operational and strategic goals. This includes hiring, job expectations and goals, monitoring and evaluating performance, developmental opportunities, compensation recommendations, approving budgets and overseeing expenditures.  
  • Responsible for oversight, training and delivery of all visitor experience areas of Ford House and for shaping new directions for visitor experiences.
  • Ensures access to exhibits, transportation and other logistical arrangements are in place and performing at the highest levels possible.
  • Hire, train and lead a small team of seasonal and year-round staff, volunteers, and interns.
  • Ensures the Visitor Center and its associated areas are prepared daily for visitor engagement and activity. Liaison with other directors and departments regarding needs of Visitor Center. 
  • Primary liaison to contracted restaurant manager and service provider.
  • Assures Ford House is informed on and prepared for operational duties and responsibilities with large ground events, site rentals, programs and services.
  • Experienced in adapting to challenges, providing support, and guiding communications in a constantly changing environment.
  • Proven ability to inspire, coach, train, and develop staff members to consistently provide exceptional customer service and drive for results.
  • Serve as the eyes and ears of the museum and coordinate, as appropriate, with the museum’s security and public service, facilities and maintenance, landscape, collections and education departments to prevent or remedy issues which might adversely impact visitor experiences.
  • Oversees visitor research and audience segmentation strategies, identifying potential new audiences and/or visitor services needs and determining most appropriate way to achieve goals.
  • Develop the annual department budget and monitor expenses and revenues throughout the year.
  • As a member of the Ford House management team, participates and assists in special programs, projects, and activities as needed. Represents and promotes Ford House’s mission, vision and values to the community. 
  • Work a flexible schedule as business necessitates, including weekends, evenings, holidays and special events.


  • 4 year college degree in a relevant field are minimum requirements, a master’s degree is preferred.
  • A minimum of 5 years of demonstrated management experience, preferably in a fast-paced, customer- focused environment is required; professional experience of ten or more years in directly related job duties is strongly preferred.
  • Proven track record of facility management.
  • Creative, strategic thinker with proven project management experience.
  • Must be a motivator, clear communicator in written and oral form, of good humor, able to juggle tasks, handle issues with diplomacy and inspire others to present the best in visitor/staff relations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with other staff, volunteers, visitors, and community representatives.
  • Experience developing and managing visitor experience programs and events.
  • A demonstrated record of creativity, flexibility, and adaptability.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and effectively manage concurrent projects and deadlines.
  • Excellent written, oral communication, interpersonal, and customer service skills- for a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to present information in a variety of formats, to a variety of audiences, and to communicate Ford House’s mission with passion.
  • Initiative and ability to work independently, and also embrace guidance offered by leadership.
  • Strong computer skills and interest in emerging technologies.
  • Demonstrated record of budget management.


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