Director of Operations

Mid Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Ganna Walska Lotusland

Ganna Walska Lotusland



Director of Operations. Fulltime, Exempt Salary      Reports to:  Executive Director      

Salary:  DOE & Budget


Ganna Walska Lotusland, a 37-acre horticulture display garden in Santa Barbara is hiring a Director of Operations to join our leadership team. Lotusland is seeking an innovative and experienced full-time Director of Operations to plan, organize and manage the overall operations of the property, including developing sustainability initiatives and a long range Master Plan. The Director of Operations will play a key role in envisioning and realizing the future of our property.


Lotusland is a local, regional, and national attraction for those seeking inspiration and a beautiful escape from the everyday. We welcome applicants who reflect the diversity of our community and can help us become a more inclusive garden for staff, volunteers, and guests.

The successful candidate will demonstrate good judgment in managing projects, budgets, and people, all in a busy public garden setting. Lotusland is beginning a series of capital improvement and historic renovations to existing buildings and infrastructure as well as the addition of new sustainability features and infrastructure improvements. This key leadership position will oversee day-to-day facilities operations and exhibit installations, coordinate construction and capital projects, and help to design and implement initiatives related to sustainability. In addition, the Director of Operations will prepare and deliver presentations, representing Lotusland at donor and project meetings and events. The qualified candidate must have exceptional project management experience in a nonprofit environment, demonstrate a passion for and experience with sustainable building management, and the ability to work in a fast-paced atmosphere.

The primary day-to-day functions include planning, implementing, managing and executing all operational activities of the organization. The Director of Operations will play a key support role through detailed analysis and solution-driven decision-making that ultimately support a healthy bottom line.


1. Provide leadership in the development of the continuous evaluation of short and long-term strategic financial and operational objectives.
2. Ensure credibility of finance by providing timely, consistent and accurate analysis of department and project budgets, financial trends and forecasts.
3. Provide input and insight into policy and process development to better utilize the organization’s resources and negate liability.
4. Advise and evaluate potential impact of long-range planning and new programs and strategies.
5. Establish and maintain strong relationships with Executive Leadership Staff and Board of Directors to identify their needs and help with creative business solutions.
6. Provide recommendations to enhance financial performance and business opportunities.
7. With a sense of urgency, ensure that information is assimilated across disciplines and departments to provide leadership and support in decision-making and advancement.
8. Research and vetting of vendor relationships to best benefit the Gardens.

  1. Works with the Executive Director to analyze internal processes and recommends and implements procedural or policy changes to improve operations.
  2. Works with staff to monitor the facilities to ensure that it remains safe, secure, and well maintained
  3. Analyzes the need for new organizational policies and reviews current policies and procedures.
  4. Works with other department heads as a member of the Leadership team. Maintain office records, contracts.


Safety and Emergency Preparedness

  1. Design and draft comprehensive disaster preparedness and emergency response plan helps a museum to assess and manage risk, protect human life, and recover from disaster.
  2. Reviews emergency planning with other department heads.

Trains staff, volunteers in regular safety and preparedness sessions.


1. Research and deploy technology solutions that will decrease cost, increase efficiency, support staff and increase visitor engagement.
2. Maintain and renew Information Technology contracts as required
3. Troubleshoot technology related problems and identify solutions
4. Manage the organization’s radios, phone system, cell phone fleet, and wifi network


Facilities, Maintenance, Custodial and Security
1. Supervise the Facilities team responsible for the day-to-day execution of all duties related to the maintenance, custodial and security needs of the Garden.
2. Ensure the functional integrity and security of the Gardens including oversight of its security systems, building maintenance, and mechanical plans. Establish clear and consistent protocols for the Gardens security and safety needs.
3. Create and oversee the plan to manage the deferred maintenance project list, working with the Director of Gardens and Facilities and the Buildings and Grounds and Finance Committees and the Executive Director and Director of Finance to establish long-range priorities and fundraising needs.
4. Manage all bidding and contracts related to capital projects and major improvements.



  1. Oversee a high functioning, cohesive, volunteer and staff Ad-Hoc Committee to support the physical projects, progress and growth at the Gardens
    2. Hire, onboard and train new employees to the Operations team and related duties.
    3. Hold staff accountable for their role in advancing the Master Plan initiatives.
    4. Mentor and coach employees, encouraging the highest quality of work and productivity.



Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit leadership or a related field and 5 years of experience in a senior management level position is required; Master’s degree preferred; a valid driver’s license is required.

Experience in a cultural organization a plus (museum, garden, zoo, etc.)
Demonstrated experience developing, with staff, an organizational budget in excess of $3 million.
Demonstrated experience in working with earned income streams
Demonstrated experience in major project/construction management




  • Cheerful, positive attitude and superior ability to represent Lotusland in a friendly and professional manner.
  • Proficiency with numerous computer and software applications and flexibility to learn new programs.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to successfully interface with staff, volunteers, docents, trustees, guests, members and donors.
  • Ability to perform at a high level in a fast-paced team environment, and manage multiple projects to meet deadlines. Proven success increasing financial results and building strong relationships.
  • Highly effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to analyze and assess problems and solve them quickly and efficiently


  • General office environment, with frequent occasions spent at our other office locations throughout the garden.
  • Significant computer and telephone work (repetitive movement – typing).
  • Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, and climbing stairs with occasional lifting of light loads (20 lbs.)


The successful candidate must be able to perform each requirement of the position as outlined in the job description. Essential Requirements are representative and are essential for satisfactory job performance. The Work Environment characteristics are representative of those that may be encountered while on the job.  Lotusland will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position


Application Instructions 

Submit a cover letter describing how you could benefit Lotusland, with three references and a resume to Jill Grisham e-mail.



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