Position Announcement: Chief Executive Officer, Discovery Center Great Lakes

About the Organization

Located in Traverse City, Michigan, over twenty percent of the world’s freshwater is accessible from our unique site on West Grand Traverse Bay. This property is our inspiration to create a place that connects people emotionally, physically, and intellectually to freshwater and the Great Lakes by providing:

  • Access to all ages, abilities and needs
  • Recreation
  • Education
  • History & Culture
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Scientific exploration

With the support of Rotary Charities, Discovery Center Great Lakes (DCGL) will hire a CEO to advance the organization through the start-up phase to sustainable operation and continued growth. Currently, several fresh-water-focused partner organizations are co-located on part of the property and there is room for expanded operations to support the full mission of the organization. To learn more about the organization visit www.discoverygreatlakes.org.

The CEO will work to realize the physical and organizational vision of a place that connects and inspires people to protect the Great Lakes and natural resources which are precious, unique and vital to our community and our lives.

Candidate Profile

The CEO is an inspirational leader and a skilled facilitator with passion for bringing people and ideas together to develop and execute a vision. This is a hands-on role for
someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and put in the work necessary to
create a nationally-recognized, community-developed Great Lakes education, protection, and recreation gem that has a long-term positive influence on the Great Lakes region.  

The CEO serves as the chief executive of the Discovery Center and all its facilities including the campus, pier, harbor and collaborative. The position reports directly to
the Board of Directors.

In addition to the physical development of the Discovery Center, the CEO also is responsible for development of the board, the organization and the cohesive working relationship with all the Discovery Center partner organizations and the ongoing operation of all programs and facilities.   

Key Activities

  • Strategy and Planning – Collaborate with
    stakeholders to clarify and implement strategy for the organization. Ability to
    articulate a clear and compelling vision.
  • Property/facilities Development – Oversee
    planning and project management of physical facilities.
  • Funding and Revenue – Secure funding to support
    activities, raise outside capital, create revenue models.
  • Leadership – Cultivate a culture of
    collaboration, be viewed as a partner and leader in community.
  • Board Engagement – Work successfully with the Board
    of Directors to fulfill the vision and mission.
  • Collaboration – Develop relationships with
    partners, including government and other for and non-profits.
  • Financial acumen – Ensure financial performance
    and viability.
  • Attract, create and retain a high-performing
  • Oversee and manage business operations of
  • Serve as chief external spokesperson.


  • Prior experience in a startup or growth
  • Experience with Property Development and/or
    Project Management.
  • Community leadership.
  • Proven ability to grow financial revenue and
    funding sources.
  • Financial and business acumen.
  • Track record of successfully executing toward a
  • Undergraduate degree is required. Advanced degree
    and/or relevant experience is preferred.

Licenses or Certifications:

  • Valid state Driver’s License

Physical Requirements:

  • Maintain dexterity, vision and coordination, sufficient to perform essential functions.
  • Must be able to lift and move up to 20 lbs.
  • Requires the ability to be mobile (including, but not limited to walking, bending, squatting, crouching, twisting, kneeling, reaching, etc.).

Compensation for this role will be competitive and
commensurate with experience. Discovery Center Great Lakes offers benefits that
include a 401K, group health plan, life insurance, and paid time off.

To apply, please submit resume and cover letter to dcglceo@gmail.com.

Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2019. All
correspondence will be considered confidential.