Director of Finance

Director of Finance

Reports to: Executive Director
Department: Administration
Employment Status: Permanent  Full-time
FLSA Status: Exempt

Supervision: Accountant & Finance Assistant
Start date: September 11, 2023
Last Updated:  July 11, 2023

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft 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 60 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of over 70. Penland operates with a $54 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $8.4 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports making lives meaningful through making.


Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

Penland welcomes everyone. Black, Indigenous, Latinex, Asian, and other people who identify as people of color or BIPOC individuals are encouraged to apply, as are people holding other marginalized identities related to gender, sexual orientation, ability, and class background.


We believe equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our 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. 


Position Summary

The Penland  Director of Finance reports to the executive director and leads the finance department and all financial activities to ensure Penland’s long-term financial health and growth. This position works collaboratively with the senior leadership team, providing direction and support in managing the school’s financial resources. It is responsible for budgeting and accounting functions, applies principles of accounting to analyze financial information, prepares financial and operating reports, works in a spirit of community with internal and external partners, and supports board finance, audit, and investment committees. We are looking for a person that can provide strong leadership, management, technology, analytical, and communication skills and has a work ethic that includes excellence, competence, collaboration, respect, a good sense of humor, resourcefulness, innovation, accountability, and a commitment to community. 


General Responsibilities

  • Establishes, maintains, and monitors all internal controls, accounting policies, and procedures in accordance with GAAP principles with a focus on best practices and the best use of our technology; ensures staff are trained on financial system and processes
  • Manages an accountant and a finance assistant and ensures their development through annual work plans and training opportunities; addresses performance issues promptly 
  • Manages the day-to-day accounting functions, which include the accuracy and completeness of the general ledger information and safeguarding Penland’s fixed assets, as well as month-end closing procedures and reporting of the school’s financial performance
  • Supervises the accounts payable and accounts receivable procedures performed by the finance team to ensure timely and accurate payment to vendors and tax-collecting agencies 
  • Participates on the executive team to support the executive director and decisions revolving around the school’s health and strategic vision
  • Works with directors on financial reporting for departments, short-term and long-term strategic needs
  • Assists in the strategic planning process and annual review of objectives
  • Participates in internal communication processes and staff meetings
  • Manages all cash flow budgeting and management
  • Supervises the payroll process and manages the school’s retirement plan (TIAA) 
  • Other duties as assigned to support the school’s mission


Operating and Capital Budget Development and Management

  • Develops and manages the annual operating budget, non-operating/capital budget, and all temporarily restricted accounts; works collaboratively with the director team by providing clear processes, financial guidance, and strategic analysis
  • Maintains the Equipment Reserve Fund, the Building Reserve Fund, and the Operating Reserve Fund; maintains financial accounts of funds received and expended for special projects
  • Prepares, analyzes, and interprets budget for utilization by management and the board in strategic decision-making processes 
  • Works in collaboration with fellow directors and budget managers to identify cost-saving measures across the organization
  • Works with the director of facilities and grounds on bid processes, contract review, financial planning, and other analyses related to capital needs


Staff Liaison with the Board of Trustees Finance, Investment, and Audit Committees

  • Works closely with the executive director and chairs of each committee by preparing  dashboards,  reports, analysis, and other financial materials for committee and board meetings
  • Regularly reports to the committees and board on the school’s financial status
  • Works with the committees on the management of all investment accounts, investment manager performance and leads any RFP process
  • Works with the school’s director and board to ensure legal and regulatory compliance for accounting and financial reporting


Annual Audit, 990, Other Tax Forms, and the Annual Report

  • Manages and prepares for the annual audit, 990 filing, annual retirement plan tax return, and school’s annual report
  • Works with the audit committee to review the work and performance of the auditors
  • Prepares and reviews internal and external reports as needed for funding agencies, IRS, and other institutions



  • A commitment to uphold and implement Penland’s mission, educational philosophy, and diversity & inclusivity statement
  • A degree in accounting from a four-year college or university and at least five years of related experience in a non-profit organization, public accounting, or audit firm
  • CPA certification is preferred 
  • Strong leadership, management, technology, analytical, and communication skills
  • The ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals is required
  • The ability to communicate and share information effectively and respond to questions from both internal and external constituencies 
  • Experience using automated accounting systems and proficiency with all Microsoft and Google applications 
  • A keen ability to work with details 
  • Ability to foster and cultivate business opportunities and partnerships at all levels of the organization
  • Supervisory experience with other financial staff

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and 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 hear. The employee is frequently required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move objects weighing up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.



This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position.  The salary range for this position is  $85,727 to $108,595 and is negotiable based on the skills and experience you bring to the position. Employees at Penland enjoy competitive pay, attractive benefits, and a lively, creative work environment. 



We take care of our staff through a wide range of benefits. For your wellness, we offer multiple medical plans, vision, dental, long-term disability, life insurance, and an EAP program. This includes generous vacation, sick, extended sick, floating holiday leave programs, access to studios, free classes, two paid sabbaticals,  meals during programming, and other discounts. We have other generous benefits which we can explore more during the interview process. 


To Apply

The position will remain open until filled. Please send your cover letter, résumé, and references to  Please put ‘Director of Finance’ in the subject line. We will begin to screen applicants after July 31.