Executive Director

Website McHenry County Historical Society & Museum

About us:

The McHenry County Historical is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1963. The museum campus, opened in 1976, includes offices, a museum, a library, storage, and a museum store housed in an 1870 school building with three later additions. A pioneer-era log cabin, an 1895 one-room school, and two adjoining 20th-century residential properties were acquired for future growth. The society also owns three off-site buildings–a rural school, a church, and a historic town hall.

Job Summary:

The McHenry County Historical Society seeks a full-time, experienced, dynamic, articulate museum executive to lead our efforts to engage and educate current and future generations by preserving and sharing McHenry County history. The Executive Director will oversee an excellent team of 3 full-time and 2 part-time employees with general guidance from the Executive Committee. This individual will manage the museum, research library, and all Historical Society properties. The position requires an individual who is committed to maintaining a positive and collaborative environment.

Qualifications and Requirements:

● Bachelor’s degree in history, museum studies, or a related field

● Minimum 5 years of progressively responsible museum and/or nonprofit management experience

● Ability to present ideas clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing

● Dynamic leadership skills with the ability to maintain a strong team

● Dedication to creating programs that engage and involve the public

● Strong passion for history and dedication to preserving local heritage

● Up-to-date computer skills and working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite. Experience using membership database software, PastPerfect, and content management systems is a plus

● Experience with financial management

● Ability to work evenings and weekends, as needed.

Job Description:

The Executive Director is responsible for carrying out the Society’s mission and vision in terms of operating its facilities and programs. The Executive Director will also develop and promote a favorable impression of the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum in the community. This individual works independently with general guidance from the Executive Committee.

Executive Director Responsibilities


● Builds alignment across the organization through collaboration and communication

● Fosters a positive environment where members, prospective members, donors, staff, volunteers, and visitors feel welcomed, respected, encouraged, and engaged

● Provides guidance and strategic direction


● Collaborates with the Board of Directors (and its committees) to develop and implement policies and procedures that support the Society’s mission and goals and to ensure that policies are relevant and reviewed on a scheduled basis

● Collaborates with the Board of Directors to set strategic direction goals and to monitor progress

● Serves as liaison between the Board and staff

● Communicates effectively and provides the Board with timely information regarding issues, challenges, accomplishments, and successes


● Oversees efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the organization, including memberships, volunteer recruitment, training, and appreciation, and facilitates optimal use of Neon CRM software

● Recruits, defines staff roles, provides training, sets goals, and conducts performance reviews to maintain a cohesive, trusted, mission-focused, excellent team.

● Works with staff to maintain a high level of communication and collaboration

Museum and Library Collection

● Oversees the Society’s extensive collection of historic artifacts

● Works with the Exhibits Curator to protect, rotate, display, & educationally interpret the Society’s collection

● Plans for the housing and protection of the museum and library collection for future generations

● Approves all items deaccessioned from the collection

● Works with the Research Librarian to protect, catalog, educationally interpret, and make the library collection reasonably accessible to the membership and general public for research purposes


● Works with the staff, finance committee, and treasurer to develop and manage an annual budget

● Works with the bookkeeper to pay bills and oversee payroll

● Directs the filing of all required annual reports

● Researches or directs research to secure grant funding, maintains a grant application calendar, ensures timely reporting


In collaboration with the Development Committee:

● Supports varied forms of fundraising and opportunities, including but not limited to donors and event planning

● Stewards relationships with donors, foundations, corporate sponsors and demonstrates that their gifts are used to effectively support the organization’s mission and as earmarked by the donor, if applicable.

Facilities, Infrastructure, and Technology:

● Oversees the Society’s historic properties and works with the building committee to ensure continued monitoring, maintenance, and preservation of the buildings in the Society’s care

● Obtains bids and proposals, coordinates projects, and hires professionals to design improvements and perform repairs; initiates service contracts

● Oversees adequate museum fire and security alarm technology, maintenance, and monitoring

● Oversees Information Technology, including hardware, software, internet, and corresponding contracts. Ensures that proper hardware and software are in place to facilitate customer relations management, fundraising, collaboration, document creation and storage, communication, productivity, and record-keeping

● Manages digital account access, users, and passwords

● Collaborates with Board of Directors and staff to prepare a facilities master plan


● Plans, develops and promotes an annual schedule of programs, exhibits, and events that align with the museum’s mission and which cultivate new visitors, members, and volunteers

● Manages logistics-related programs and events

● Develop metrics and reports on outcomes from each event to ensure continuing improvements

● Ensures museum staffing during visitor hours

External Communications:

● Serves as the primary advocate and spokesperson for MCHS while encouraging and developing museum ambassadors throughout the county.

● Oversees outbound media, including press releases, the museum’s Tracer
Magazine, Society’s Page, and Museum Newsletter, in collaboration with the staff and volunteer editors.

● Markets the Society’s programs and services to promote the organization in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner, to reach a wide audience.

● Provides oversight of the Society’s website and social media, including the posting of
upcoming events and up-to-date society information and postings which encourage engagement

Collaborates with other organizations and agencies to promote local history and preservation.

Salary and Benefits: The base salary for the Executive Director position ranges from $65,000 to $75,000, commensurate with experience. The McHenry County Historical Society offers a competitive benefits package. For benefit details, please contact President@mchenrycountyhistory.org.

To apply for this job email your details to president@mchenrycountyhistory.org