Organization: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Location: Kansas, MO

Express Interest

About The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (the Nelson-Atkins or the Museum) is where the power of art engages the spirit of community. The Museum welcomes and provides free admission to all, delivering unparalleled opportunities to enjoy, appreciate and understand the finest visual arts and the varied cultures they represent – on campus, online and throughout Kansas City.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of ArtOperating an annual budget of more than $30 million, The Nelson-Atkins maintains collections of nearly 40,000 works of art and welcomes over 500,000 visitors a year. Recognized as one of the finest encyclopedic art museums in the United States, the Museum’s vast holdings provide the opportunity to create new connections and unique experiences at every turn.

The museum’s collections span art of the ancient world, Africa, Asia and the Americas to modern and contemporary works. In June 2015, the Nelson-Atkins welcomed the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection, comprised of 29 masterworks by the leading Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists of the 19th century — among them Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges Seurat, Alfred Sisley and Vincent van Gogh. Well known for its European collection, this transformative gift has become a distinctive jewel among the Museum’s holdings. The Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, “Kansas City’s unofficial backyard,” is one of the museums best features, including the Nelson’s iconic Shuttlecocks.

As an institution of national and international renown, the Nelson-Atkins establishes and adheres to the highest professional standards and practices in research, scholarship, presentation, interpretation and care of its collections. The Museum serves as a vital partner in the educational, social and cultural life of Kansas City, using its collections and programs to build an environment where people can gather, share and contemplate the greatest creations of humankind.

At a time in which digital technology is pervasive, the Nelson-Atkins has become an oasis of face-to-face experiences; at the same time, the Museum embraces the new possibilities that digital tools create to share their collections beyond their walls and enhance the experience inside the museum. The Nelson-Atkins is a defining component of any visit to Kansas City and a dynamic partner in the region’s educational, social and cultural life. The Museum occupies a special safe place for all to engage with the greatest art and scholarship while providing a place for self-discovery and civic discourse.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of ArtAn unprecedented critical mass of local cultural activity provides an opportunity for the Nelson-Atkins to assume a leadership role as innovator and catalyst, connecting with traditional and new audiences and differentiating itself through the great art collections in its care. It is a moment for the museum to become a transformational force; a place both for individual contemplation and social interaction, and one that provides life-transforming encounters with original works of art.

A cultural gem for the Kansas City community, the Nelson-Atkins is a progressive, community-centric museum that has the world watching. The Museum is renowned both nationally and internationally, and poised to grow in years to come. Under the leadership of Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director & CEO, Julián Zugazagoitia, the Museum is on an ambitious path of growth and expansion.

At the core of the Nelson-Atkins’ vision of the future is the goal of playing a central role in Kansas City life by catalyzing connections to neighbors; an ever-expanding range of visitors; and community, civic and cultural partners in the city and the larger region. Kansas City has a wealth of cultural resources with an increasing local presence and global influence. Together, along with the Nelson-Atkins, they have fueled a cultural renaissance in the city.

For more information and history on The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Vice President, Earned Income & Guest Services (VP) is a senior level position that will provide leadership for increasing earned income across the museum operations, enhancing the museum brand, reputation and growth in the market and ensuring excellent guest services. The position is responsible for driving integration and alignment among all earned revenue-related areas; leading short and long-term planning for guest services and earned revenue generation.

The VP reports to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and has Manager, Museum Store, Manager, Event Planning, Manager, Guest Services & Security, Manager, Security Command Center, Manager, Event Fundraisers and Manager, Volunteer Services as direct reports.  The VP will also manages the 3rd party Food Service contract and vendor services. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Event Planning: Oversees the event-planning department in areas of scheduling, development, and coordination of events, including lectures, facility rentals, workshops, meetings, music programs, luncheons, receptions and dinners for internal and external clients.
  • Museum Store: Directs the administrative and operational management of the museum’s retail location including the online store in areas of merchandise planning and display, promotional strategies, revenue optimization, and customer service in an effort to satisfy the needs and desires of the Museum visitor.
  • Volunteer Services: Directs and supports the Museum’s volunteer program overseeing the development of initiatives designed to increase the museum constituency, while providing services through volunteer work for departments and staff.
  • Food Service: Oversees the overall operation for the restaurant and food service production provided through a third-party vendor services. Ensures the museum’s high-quality standards are consistently met in quality, service and health and safety.
  • Guest Services: Directs and supports the museum’s guest services ensuring a welcome environment and a high-level of service to and for the museum’s guests, patrons and volunteers. Ensures that all experience the power of art engaging the spirit of the community.
  • Management: Provides overall direction for placing, training, supervising and motivating assigned staff, and interns. Development and overall responsibility for managing revenue and expense budgets. Ensures compliance with museum policies and procedures.
  • Other: Completes all other duties as assigned or requested for the general support of the organization.

This position is challenged by the diversity of responsibilities. The VP is required to manage a wide variety of operational functions, in a rapidly evolving institution. The VP must be able to successfully plan and implement various earned income and guest services processes and programs for all divisions/departments within the institution.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

Strategic Leadership and Business Acumen

The VP will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. A tactical executor, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The VP will have demonstrated ability to lead and manage multiple revenue generating functions. S/he will be an assertive and decisive leader with the ability to translate the Museum’s priorities and goals into clear objectives for the staff and volunteers. The VP will be a results-oriented leader, experienced at articulating and implementing revenue generating strategies related to or within the mission. With the ability to engender trust, honesty and integrity, the VP’s management style will be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for recognition of teamwork.

Building Relationships and Using Influence:

The successful candidate must establish rapport and cultivate relationships across all levels of the Museum. As a leader that exudes an ‘executive presence’, s/he must be highly articulate and a strong communicator. This individual will foster trust and collaboration among team members and will possess the ability to manage through change with flexibility and poise. S/he will be a strong leader, communicator and collaborator who is skilled at listening to and learning from leadership, staff and volunteers. S/he is a persuasive negotiator. S/he will embrace the culture of the Museum, while always having an eye on opportunities to foster best-in-class practices in a productive manner with colleagues. The VP will naturally inspire fellow leaders, staff and volunteers to develop deeper relationships, leading the charge by example. S/he will be a proactive communicator at all times.

Passion for the Mission

If not already an art lover, this executive will have an openness to embracing the Museum. S/he will embrace the Nelson-Atkins’ culture while continually innovating alongside the leadership team, Trustees, staff and volunteers to help expand its brand and reach. The VP will have a strong work ethic, emotional intelligence, a sense of humor and evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth. S/he will embrace the Nelson-Atkins culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. The VP will be an empathic, charismatic leader who has strong faith in humanity and treats others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree preferred.


Marissa Martin and Chartise Clark of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Chartise directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit