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Executive Director/ Mabry-Hazen House Museum

12/19/2017 10:37 AM | Tennessee Association Of Museums (Administrator)

Mabry-Hazen House Museum Executive Director Position


The Mabry-Hazen House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located atop Mabry's Hill in Knoxville, Tennessee. Built in 1858 and housing three generations of the same family from 1858-1987, the Mabry-Hazen House served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. This stately, elegant home of the Victorian and Civil War periods showcases one of the largest original family collection in America. Containing original artifacts including china, silver, crystal, and antique furnishings, this home is a rare view into the past. The Civil War, a gunfight on Gay Street in 1882, and a Breach of Promise lawsuit in the early 1930's are only a few stories that bring life and color to those who visit the museum. 


Since 1989, the Hazen Historical Museum Foundation has worked to preserve Mabry-Hazen House and Bethel Cemetery for the benefit of the community. Mabry-Hazen House is Knoxville's only historic house museum with the original family collection, and the Bethel Cemetery is the final resting place for over 1,600 Confederate soldiers. The history we tell is colorful, captivating, and unique to our area.


The mission of the Hazen Historical Museum Foundation is to preserve the historic fabric of Mabry’s Hill and Bethel Cemetery, and to educate the public about the rich history of the Mabry, Hazen, and Winstead families whose lives left lasting impressions on Knoxville, Tennessee.

We preserve history through education, restoration, and research.


The Hazen Historical Museum Foundation is governed by a 12-member board of directors.


Under supervision of the Board of Directors, the next Executive Director of the Mabry Hazen House and Bethel Cemetery will be able to lead the organization in innovative directions while holding true to its core purpose of supporting the mission of the Hazen Historical Museum Foundation, to preserve the historic fabric of Mabry’s Hill and Bethel Cemetery, and to educate the public about the rich history of the Mabry, Hazen, and Winstead families. This position requires a leader with high emotional intelligence, a relationship-builder who can easily and genuinely connect with people and is astute at building strategic partnerships. The Executive Director is responsible for developing, coordinating and generating results in all areas, including fundraising, management of buildings and grounds, public relations, budgeting and financial management, volunteer coordination and special events.

Minimum Credentials

Advanced degree preferred.


Essential Responsibilities:

  • ·       Administer policies adopted by the Board of Directors.
  • ·       Direct the day-to-day operations of the MH Museum.
  • ·       Administer the annual budget.
  • ·       Hold an active and leading role in all development activities including capital and fundraising activities.
  • ·       Manage financial operations and records.
  • ·       Work closely with the Board to develop strategic plans.
  • ·       Serve as a spokesperson for the Museum.
  • ·       Provide leadership for all Museum tours and events.
  • ·       Design and effective public relations strategies, including newsletters, social media, and press releases on a periodic basis.
  • ·       Successfully earn positive media in radio, print and television.
  • ·       Oversee the secure use and maintenance of Museum facilities.
  • ·       Research grants, grant writing and fundraising.
  • ·       Develop Corporate Sponsors.
  • ·       Attend and provide reports at monthly Board meetings.

Software Skills: Must demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, and possess experience in donor management software and basic web site maintenance.

Physical requirements: Must be able to perform basic groundskeeping tasks when necessary, eg, leafblowing, mowing, and pruning. Must demonstrate industry-standard curatorial habits in moving, caring for museum objects. Must be able to lift 50 lbs.

Additional Experience and Skills

Expertise in museum studies

Oversee the museum's collection. Museum director may be called on to authenticate and classify the museum's newest acquisitions. Other activities involve institutional research and the direction of educational programs related to the museum.

Passionate advocate for the mission

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a professional history and be able to translate that passion into support for the museum.

Experienced manager

The ideal candidate will have professional experience in supervising and managing staff, budgeting for strategic financial management, and efficiently aligning and maximizing resources.

Demonstrated success in raising funds

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in fund development. The candidate will be experienced in growing revenue from individual and corporate donors, and be skillful in securing foundation grant-funding.

Exceptional communication skills

The ideal candidate will be able to passionately articulate the organization’s mission and deliver compelling presentations to public and private audiences. The candidate will also have strong writing skills and be skillful in telling stories as a powerful tool to attract donors and engage the community.

A thoughtful visionary and creative entrepreneur

The ideal candidate is skilled in setting strategic direction and holding a vision while being able to identify and respond quickly and creatively to growth opportunities. The candidate will continually scan the environment for key trends and new opportunities, can leverage opportunities, and has an innovative approach to solving problems and overcoming challenges.

Astute networker and collaborator

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of building and maintaining strong relationships with people of influence in the nonprofit, corporate, and education arenas, as well as the ability to build effective collaboration among these various groups in the community.

Keen emotional intelligence

The ideal candidate will have keen listening skills, empathy, self-awareness and the ability to connect with people of different styles, professional levels and backgrounds, as well as encourage those traits in MHH’s staff.

Team builder

The ideal candidate will be able to develop staff and create a productive team-based culture that welcomes inclusion and diversity. Be able to lift up to 50 lbs. and to physically, along with staff, maintain the properties.

Experience working with boards of directors

The ideal candidate will be skilled in working effectively in partnership with a board of directors to carry out the mission of the organization and in setting strategic direction.

Strong social media and information technology skills

The ideal candidate will have strong skills in utilizing social media, information technology and internet-based consumer/constituent messaging.


The next Executive Director of the Mabry Hazen House will have opportunities for growth in the following areas. In applying for this position, candidates should respond with how they would approach the following five core themes:

Leadership and Outreach: Lead by continuing to foster and retain relationships and build new partnerships with key contacts in the Knoxville community. Work collaboratively with the board of directors to set a strategic direction that responds to the changing landscape, strengthen the organization’s mission impact, and ensure sustainable growth in the coming years.

Fund Development: Continue to grow MHH funding to support the organization’s ongoing sustainability and continued growth.

Marketing and Messaging: Enhance marketing and core messaging to increase MHH’s visibility and public awareness, while adeptly addressing contemporary challenges in interpreting the Civil War period. Accomplish this by applying innovative initiatives and strategies that encourage community participation.

Staffing and Culture: Assess staff skill sets to determine needs and abilities of current and future employees. Establish and maintain a workplace environment culture that supports the success of the mission.

Board Involvement: Facilitate building a robust board of directors with an eye to member engagement. Develop a stronger governance model in which all involved understand and fulfill board responsibilities and expectations.


This search is being conducted by MHH Board of Directors. All submissions are confidential. Interested candidates should submit their resume and cover letter in attached PDF format by January 31, 2018, along with any additional relevant material to:


The next director will pick up the reins to further enhance what MHH does well, while guiding the organization toward thoughtful innovation that will support and sustain its mission into the 21st century. This is a great opportunity for a candidate seeking a full range of responsibilities in directing their first museum. Salary range $30-35K per year. 

PO Box 330984   Nashville, TN 37203   (615) 495-3354   tnmuseums@gmail.com

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