Job 1

Director of Operations

Position Summary

The Director of Operations is a central management position in the organization, working closely with the executive director, colleagues in leadership roles, and a talented staff to ensure the smooth communications and day-to-day operation of Penland School of Crafts. The position is responsible for the school’s internal service operations which include training and management of core fellows, work-study students, housekeepers, food services, the school supply store, IT, and evening security. The position is responsible for internal communication, strategic planning, budget development and oversight in each of these service areas. The director of operations reports to the executive director and works collaboratively with all members of the staff. The director of operations has 8 direct staff reports and manages the work of 9-10 core fellows and approximately 30 work-study students each session (15 in concentrations). The operations area in total oversees 19 staff members, the core fellows, work-study students, and 1 contracted recycling person. The position is a full-time, benefits eligible, exempt, and reports to the Executive Director.


Leadership and Supervision

• Provides direction, supervision and leadership for specific service and operational areas of Penland. The director of operations provides direct leadership, guidance, training, and support for the core fellows, work-study students, housekeepers, food services staff, IT manager, evening security, and the supply store. Communication and follow-through among overlapping areas of the school are central responsibilities of this position.

• Works closely with the school store manager and food services manager to ensure that each area is well planned, carefully administered, providing customer service as a high priority, and that communication across the organization is open and responsive.

• Oversees the IT manager and stays abreast of technology needs for Penland, including planned upgrades for efficient information technology systems.

• Assists the ED in preparing board materials as related to operations, and following up on board meetings.

• Assists the ED in planning agendas for all school meetings and planning group meetings; leads staff meetings in the absence of the ED.

• May sign checks on behalf of the organization.

• Signs timesheets in the absence of the ED.

Emergency and On-Call Management

• Is responsible for Penland’s safety and emergency management system.

• Manages

• Oversees the risk management program for Penland.

• Assists with emergency situations for students, including transportation to doctor, ER or pharmacy.

• Works directly with the director of facilities and grounds and the studio manager to ensure Penland is in compliance with mandated safety programs and that proper safety training programs and orientations are in place.

Planning, Reporting, Problem Solving

• Works directly with the director of finance to ensure appropriate budget development, budget management, financial planning and reporting in these operational areas.

• Responds to requests for timely information related to internal studies, grant proposals and reports, board-related materials, marketing needs, etc.

• Is an active participant in organizational planning and follows the strategic plan as part of annual work planning.

• Assists ED and other staff as needed to address student or community issues that may arise, including determining best course of action and ensuring follow-through.

Housing and Housekeeping

• Works directly with the registrar on housing needs and assignments.

• Is responsible for furnishings, soft goods, laundry contract.

• Handles placement of contributed art in housing.

• Establishes and updates procedures for all aspects of housekeeping and services to ensure a consistent and high-level of housekeeping service across all areas of the school.

• Manages housekeeping staff schedules, annual evaluations and day-to-day requests from staff and students; 2 of 4 housekeepers are seasonal and 2 work in the winter.

• Works with core fellows, housekeeping and facilities staff to maintain housing at a high level of cleanliness and comfort in order to meet the needs of student and visitor satisfaction. Coordinates seasonal opening and closing of campus facilities.

• Works with the ED and director of facilities and grounds to develop long-term housing improvements that will translate into increased customer satisfaction.

• Works closely with the executive assistant to coordinate special guest housing.

• Assists housekeepers, as circumstance require, to fulfill housing requests, particularly during the 6 weeks of winter residency.

Dining Hall and Kitchen

• Works closely with the food services manager on budget preparation, monitoring, and financial analysis related to meals and coffee house.

• Works closely with the food services manager, kitchen manager and coffee house manager to ensure the smooth running of all aspects of dining hall management, including the relationship of the kitchen to work-study students and core fellows.

• Maintains annual meal count database.

Work-Study Program

• Leads weekend session changeovers (13 annually).

• Establishes standards and procedures for work-study students.

• Conducts initial and ongoing procedure and safety training for work-study students.

• Prepares and oversees work-study schedules to ensure efficient and effective use of Core Fellows and work-study student time while maintaining the highest standards for organization and cleanliness.

• Works with the ED, registrar/student affairs manager to resolve any problems which may impact performance of core fellows and work-study students.

• Leads work-study orientation sessions at the beginning and end of each summer session and fall and spring concentrations.

Core Fellows

• Co-manages the Core Fellowship Program with the director of programs, is responsible for the service aspect of the core fellow student commitment to the school, including assigning jobs, training and supervising core fellows. This includes twice annual performance evaluations for core fellows.

• Works closely with the core fellows responsible for entertainment, slide nights, school sponsored parties, board meetings and various special events.

• Periodically inspects core fellow housing and manages core fellow housing needs.

• Works with the facilities director and ED on the FFE needs for the new core house; assists in preparations for the move into the new core house. Works directly with core fellows and facilities staff on the move.

• Assists in planning and execution of annual Core Fellow Show, the core fellows’ participation in the benefit auction, and any other special exhibition opportunity that arises.

• Monitors, with the director of programs, the core fellows planning and presentations in the Core Gallery in the Penland Coffee House.

• Manages core work weeks before and after summer and concentration programming seasons.

Contract Management and Vendor Relationships

• Is responsible for services-related vendor relationships and contract management of routine service contracts (office equipment, telephone/computer, Terminix, recycling, etc.) and contracts for specific special projects as assigned.

• Manages ordering and receiving for linen, chemical, trash and extermination vendors.

• Schedules and manages recycling contractor.

• Oversees the purchasing for all areas relating to services and housekeeping supplies; studies budget trends; works with vendors to find best prices; manages the dispensing of these supplies on campus.

• Prepares cost analysis and scheduling of vendor services.

Community-Related, Board-Related and On-Campus Special Events

• Assists the manager of community collaborations with routine special events like the Community Open House, Easter, July 4th, and with other special events as assigned.

• Provides room set-up, refreshments and other hospitality services as required for board meetings, special groups and conferences.

• Participates in the benefit auction as requested but plans to supervise change-over weekend for 6th session as a priority; assists registrar and development staff with housing and other issues related to auction volunteers and guests using Penland housing; ensures that adequate training and supplies, i.e. cleaning, sheets, towels, etc., are on-hand for volunteers and 6th session of summer classes.

Budget and Financial Planning

• Is responsible for developing and monitoring the annual operating and capital budgets for all areas of supervision.

• Works directly with the director of finance and ED to develop and implement sound business practices for the areas of operations.

• Works with the director of finance and the ED to provide analysis of income and expenses in operational areas for annual strategic planning; supports the grants process with financial information as requested.

Other duties as assigned.


• 3+ years of nonprofit management experience required; experience in arts councils, museums, educational non-profit organizations, colleges or university is preferred. Financial planning, budget development and oversight, hospitality services, supervisory experiences are needed.

• Excellent oral and written communications skills, with the ability to communicate accurately the vision, mission, and achievement of Penland School of Crafts. High attention to detail is needed. Ability to see both the forest and the trees is essential.

• Strong, creative problem-solver with the ability to work on multiple projects, adjust quickly to shifting priorities, meet deadlines, exercise good judgment, and handle pressure situations.

• Ability to work well as a member of a team and guide others in collaborative problem solving. High energy, creativity, and a sense of humor is needed and a willingness to jump in with both feet.

• Demonstrated success in initiating and building relationships with a diverse set of constituents, including students, instructors, trustees, donors, grantor organizations, community members, local business and government leaders.

• Experience working with organizations going through change, with an ability to motivate and support others in adapting to a changing environment, will be helpful.

• Proficiency in MS Office applications, including Excel, and other organizational technology needs.

• BA, BS, BFA required.

We seek candidates who demonstrate excellent strategic thinking, have strong communication skills and the ability to maintain professional relationships, experience managing others effectively, and believe deeply in our mission.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and to work at a computer. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle or touch objects, tools or controls and to talk fluently and to hear. The employee is frequently required to stand, to walk, and to bend. The employee must regularly lift and/or move objects weighing up to 50 pounds or more. Specific vision required by this job includes close vision.


Annual compensation is discussed during the interview process. Penland staff members enjoy competitive pay, valuable benefits and a unique work environment of creative and artistic inquiry.

To Apply

Penland School of Crafts believes that diversity and inclusion are essential to fulfilling its mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination.

The position will remain open until filled, however the initial review of applications will consist of applications received by Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Send resume and cover letter addressing relevant experience and interest in the position and contact information for at least 3 references to Sally Loftis, Human Resources Manager, Penland School of Crafts, PO Box 37, Penland, NC 28765 or

Penland School of Crafts is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 420 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and a total of 58 historic and contemporary buildings. Penland School of Crafts is an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 65. Penland operates with a $17 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $6.2 million. Penland School of Crafts is an equal opportunity employer.

Updated: December 12, 2017