Job Listing

Executive Director

Lake Wales History Museum, Lake Wales

Created in 1976, the Lake Wales History Museum is a long-standing historical museum located in Lake Wales, Florida. Long vacant and in need of historic preservation, the organization converted the 1928 Atlantic Coast Line Railroad station into the area’s historical museum. The Mediterranean-style train station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still home to the museum today.

The Lake Wales History Museum is looking for an energetic, passionate, and creative individual to lead our growing small museum.  The museum was reorganized in 2015, and today is a hub of heritage experiences for the community and visitors.  A new strategic vision was created in 2018 that refocused the museum on visitor- and history-centric programming, branding and name change for the museum’s revitalization, financial stabilization, expanded programming, and historic preservation.  The museum has experienced tremendous growth and success with over $350,000 awarded in new grants and contributions in the past four years, and ranked #2 across the state for museum grants through the Division of Arts and Culture.  The museum transitioned to a non-profit organizational structure within a new, secure City of Lake Wales-Museum partnership.  In January of 2021, the museum opened the newly restored 1916 Seaboard Airline Freight Station as the Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center, a project that took more than two years to create, plan, fundraise, and restore during the height of the pandemic.  This newly restored building now houses the museum’s 25,000-item collection permanently, is open for public research, and is dedicated to the museum’s late founder, Mimi Hardman. 

The museum is open Wednesday – Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM, offering self-guided tours of permanent exhibits with artifacts, images and documents in our main gallery, along with changing exhibits and train cars. Visitors learn about the natural history of the Lake Wales Ridge beginning with Florida’s native people to the development of Lake Wales’ railroad, industry and residents of the 20th century. For more information, please visit our website at

The Executive Director serves as the creative and fiscal leader of the Lake Wales History Museum.  The Executive Director provides the creative vision and fiscally-minded leadership, and is responsible for the achievements of the Lake Wales History Museum.  The Executive Director will be responsible for continuing to carry out the museum’s strategic vision which culminates with the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2026.  The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.  The Executive Director is chief management position of the Lake Wales History Museum, and responsible for:

Administrative Leadership: Develop and implement the museum’s strategic vision and plan for the organization; Implement museum best practices to ensure the preservation and integrity of the museum’s historic corridor working within the City of Lake Wales-Museum partnership agreements; Work with the museum’s board of directors to champion the museum mission, governance, and planning; Write, plan and lead all budget, fiscal, and accounting preparations, policies, and prepare financial statements; Lead staff teams and ensure excellence and lawful human resource practices; Ensure the museum’s workplace and visitor experiences are diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible for all people; Oversee all operations, IT, non-profit best practices, and security of the historic corridor.

Development, Membership & Fundraising: Develop and implement fundraising to raise earned and contributed income including, but not limited to, individual and corporate gifts, special fundraising events, membership, grants, annual giving, corporate gifts, venue rentals, programs and daily admissions; Develop and carry out long-range capital improvements; Work with local, regional, and state governing bodies to advocate and apply for grant funding; Develop and maintain community partnerships

Branding & Marketing: Maintain strong relationships in the community, region, museum field, donors, media, partners, members, staff and volunteers; Serve as spokesperson for the organization with the public and media; Oversee a comprehensive marketing, branding and communications plan

Education, Interpretation & Collections: Oversee all museum programming, interpretive permanent exhibits, tours and programs; Oversee the Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center with regards to maintaining proper care, inventory, and storage of the museum’s collections; Maintain proper care of physical buildings using historical preservation best practices within the Historic Corridor. 

Preferred candidates should be a dynamic, energetic, engaging, and passionate leader who has a strong aptitude for community leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, a high level of financial acumen, and a passion for cultural institutions, history, humanities and/or museums.  The successful candidate will possess superb verbal and written communication skills, be comfortable speaking in public and with the media, has a strong work ethic, is highly productive, flexible, and able to lead groups of people to shared success in the organization. 

Bachelor’s Degree required in museum, cultural institutional, or organizational management, or other degree with applicable experience in history and museum management.  Master’s Degree preferred.  Minimum 5 years of experience working in non-profit management and leadership experiences working in a cultural setting; proven track record of fundraising, marketing, sound financial management and people management.  Experience working with elected officials and government entities to facilitate the museum’s mission in the community, and experience in history and historic preservation.  Proficiency in the use of computer software, excellent organizational skills, highly organized and detail-oriented, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently are crucial.  Valid driver’s license or other official government identification.

$60,000 - $65,000 and full benefits package; Full-time, 40 hours/week, salary, exempt, night and weekend work for special events and programs

Send a cover letter and resume to the Search Committee at The position is open until filled.

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