Director of Visitor Experience

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

Reports to: Associate Director for Public Engagement

Supervises: Visitor Experience Assistants

Classification: Regular, full-time, non-exempt, 40 hours, on-site

About the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation: The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) is a nonprofit that operates El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park for the State of California and owns and operates Casa de la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara. As a county-wide preservation organization that also manages an urban historic park which includes museums, archaeological sites, and numerous historic structures, we provide educational programs for both school and the general public that addresses the region’s multi-ethnic past and present.

Scope of Position: The Director of Visitor Experience is responsible for the content and quality of the visitor experience at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park and Casa de la Guerra. This includes hiring, managing and scheduling a team of Visitor Experience Assistants, developing and overseeing a visitor evaluation program, creating a visitor experience that meets SBTHP’s strategic objectives, working closely with staff on the maintenance and planning for new exhibits, supporting the SBTHP Programs team for public and school programs on site, and managing site opening and closing, gift shop, and cash register during operational hours. Source products for and manage inventory of the gift shops.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  1. Manager: Recruit, train, and manage a team of Visitor Experience Assistants (VEA) who will serve as the primary public interface during regular hours of operation for SBTHP at El Presidio SHP and Casa de la Guerra. Duties include hiring, scheduling and training staff, delivering annual performance evaluations, ensuring coverage during hours of operation, and performance management. The Director will also develop and manage an ongoing program for professional development, and also coordinate with SBTHP Programs team for staff support for school and public programs. Provide coverage at the front desk when VEA are on breaks or attending to other duties.
  2. Historic Site Interpretation: Under the guidance and supervision of the Associate Director for Public Engagement and in conjunction with related staff, develop an interactive orientation experience for visitors. Develop and manage other visitor programs like regular, guided park and Presidio Neighborhood tours, hands-on activities and dialogic programs. Train and manage staff to implement these activities.
  3. Evaluation Program: Develop and implement a formative and summative evaluation program for the visitor experience and collect and report on visitor demographics and evaluations to appropriate staff and committees. Train Visitor Experience Assistants to assist with this process.
  4. Exhibit Maintenance and Site Care: Responsible for the Park and Casa opening and closing during public hours. Light cleaning of exhibit spaces, ensure trash is emptied and bathrooms are stocked, and maintenance needs in areas accessible to visitors are reported. Assist staff with exhibit updates and planning.
  5. Cash management: Handle cash and credit card transactions including admission and gift shop sales. Oversee accurate cash handling, reconciliation of cash register, and prepare daily sales closeout report.
  6. Gift Shop/online gift shop sales:  Plan and implement strategies for increasing sales and integrating the gift shop into museum operations.  Select, purchase, and display appropriate merchandise.  Manage and track inventory, conduct sales, stock merchandise.
  7. Reception: Ensure reception duties are performed for both telephone and in-person contact during weekend public open hours at El Presidio SHP and provide backup reception support to the Office Manager during regular business hours. Ensure reception duties are performed at Casa de la Guerra.

SBTHP is a diverse organization with a small staff and many activities; all staff members must be versatile and cooperative in carrying out a variety of responsibilities and duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Qualifications: Minimum two years’ experience in a comparable position required. Degree in education, history, archaeology, or related field desired; graduate degree or coursework preferred. Previous retail, cash-handling, and customer service experience preferred. Requires strong oral, organizational and interpersonal skills, along with good office skills, including Excel, Square, and Wix platforms (preparedness to learn specific programs when direct experience is not available is desirable). Outgoing and confident manner; leadership skills and the ability to work independently and collaboratively. Demonstrated ability to perform well under pressure and deal with awkward situations. Proficiency in a second language is desirable. Must be available to work occasional evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Applicants with demonstrated experience that will support SBTHP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy as well as the organization’s mission and values will be prioritized.

Start Date: ASAP

Typical Schedule: To be determined with supervisor. Priority based on El Presidio SHP public hours (Monday – Sunday 10:30AM – 4:30PM), and one weekend day worked at least twice a month. Must be available to work weekends, and evenings and holidays on occasion.

Salary: $28-33/hour plus benefit package

Application Process: A complete application form, cover letter and resume are required. The cover letter should include a statement about how your experience will support implementation of SBTHP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy, and also support the organization’s mission and values. Please send application package to Kevin McGarry,

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