Job Listing

Vice President of Guest Experience

The Florida Aquarium, Tampa


Department:            Guest Experience

Reports to:              Chief Operating Officer

Exemption Status:  Exempt

How to Apply:

Position Summary
The Vice President of Guest Experience will lead The Florida Aquarium’s effort to provide a high-quality guest experience through its facilities, exhibits and customer service. This position will provide leadership, access and consistent guidance to ensure all aspects of the guest experience (Guest Services, Security, Safety, Environmental Services, Engineering, and Creative Services) align with the Aquarium’s goals. Primary responsibilities include ensuring the facility and its operations deliver the highest possible guest satisfaction; coordinating the planning, design and construction of new exhibitry designed to increase attendance, and ensuring third-party vendors deliver high-quality experiences.  

Essential Position Functions

  • Provides strategic guidance to ensure the Aquarium delivers a high-quality guest experience
    • Identify emerging trends in conservation-based attraction experiences; serving as the internal expert for those topics with Senior Leadership, Board Members and key stakeholders
    • Establish high-level strategies that direct facility development and maintenance, exhibit planning, and guest service designed to deliver a top-rated guest experience and establish the Aquarium as a top attraction in the State of Florida
    • Outline and direct a strong guest engagement plan for the Guest Services team that provides informative and fun interaction with our guests
    • Work with VP of Learning to ensure interactive exhibit messaging and programming meets guest expectations
    • Analyze customer feedback and provide strategic direction to continuously improve overall ratings, responding to guests’ needs and anticipating unstated needs
    • Lead the master planning process to outline a 10-year Experience Master Plan that advances The Florida Aquarium as a world-class attraction
    • Advise senior leadership on logistical or operations issues, along with opportunities surrounding revenue and guest experience
    • Ensure that all capital development is consistent with FLAQ’s brand, strategic plan and aligns with the organization’s Vision, Mission and Values
    • Establish relationships and work collaboratively with Channelside District Operational Management to facilitate our growth and initiatives, and further the development of the Channelside District
  • Manages the daily operation of the facility in line with the Aquarium’s goals and objectives
    • Support direct reports to facilitate effective guest flow from entry to exit of the visit and understands the guest journey and expectations
    • Guide Engineering and Creative Services teams to manage and coordinate construction processes from the conceptual development stage through final construction on a timely basis
    • Coordinate with senior colleagues to improve way finding and appearance of the Aquarium internally and externally
    • Oversee revenue-generating business planning with third-party vendors for added value experiences
    • Oversee the Creative Services department providing exhibit development resources for all exhibit projects and upgrades
    • Collaborate with the Animal Care & Health team on the design and construction of all animal exhibits/facilities ensuring all AZA standards are met for life support and animal care
    • Works with Senior Vice President of Conservation, Senior Vice President of Animal Care & Health, and Vice President of Learning to ensure animal/conservation education messages are integrated within capital projects
    • Work with Project Managers on construction projects to manage any impact to the guest experience while providing a safe environment for all visitors, staff and animals
    • Oversee Engineering department in providing and maintaining facility related services and utilities to support the functioning of the Aquarium
    • Ensure that the health and safety within the areas of responsibility are closely monitored and, where possible, improve and constantly review risk assessments and safe operating practices
    • Ensure that all OSHA guidelines and programs are implemented and enforced to maintain a safe and healthy work environment
    • Works with the port on operational issues concerning cruise ships, educational port tours and VIP visits
  • Delivers extraordinary customer service to all Aquarium guests and internal customers
  • Performs other related duties as assigned

Required Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree preferred
  • 10 - 15 years’ progressive experience in cultural attractions, parks, museums, themed entertainment or related industry in a senior leadership role
  • Understanding and awareness of industry trends in customer experience and service delivery
  • Must be proficient with Word and Excel and be able to adapt well to various other computer programs
  • Must have a thorough general understanding of building maintenance procedures and systems.
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Demonstrated guest-centric mindset and commitment to excellence in guest experience
  • Must be able to communicate well, demonstrating good oral and written skills; be creative and have a distinguished record of successful projects, program and exhibits.
  • Teamwork: supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness
  • Capacity to change: ability to identify and correct operational problems quickly. 
  • Planning and Organizing: establishing a course of action with specific long-range goals for the aquarium; setting priorities among competing requirements and allocating resources in the most efficient and effective way; develop contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment.
  • Customer Service Orientation: listening and understanding the customer and anticipating and evaluating the customer’s needs; making the customer’s satisfaction a high priority in all areas of responsibility.

Physical Requirements:

  • Lifting (up to 50 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Ability to use radio, telephone, and computer
  • Excellent attention to detail for proofing
  • Ability to travel (car/air) as needed — locally and/or nationally
  • Flexibility in working weekends and evenings
  • Available for on-call emergencies

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