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Michigan Opera Theatre seeks Director of Operations and Patron Experiences

The Director of Operations and Patron Experiences’ primary function is to ensure an exceptional patron experience for every guest who enters the Detroit Opera House. This position manages a comprehensive set of responsibilities to achieve this goal including, but not limited to, creating and coordinating a team strategy that ensures every employee, volunteer and contractor at the Detroit Opera House works seamlessly in anticipating patron needs, exceeding expectations, and creating a “wow” factor for every guest. Hospitality and customer service, as core cultural values, are at the center of everything that happens at the Detroit Opera House, and the Director is key to this. The Director also has operational oversight for events, activities and relationships of the Detroit Opera House.

The Director of Operations and Patron Experiences reports to the Chief Administrative Officer in the effective operation of the Detroit Opera House, and works as a strategic business partner to every employee, volunteer and contractor. The Director provides day-to-day leadership that supports the mission of the organization. This will be accomplished with a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by an unwavering goal to provide consistently outstanding experiences to all patrons in the Detroit Opera House, as well as a recognition and desire to ensure a positive, supportive and creative culture internally. The Director will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of integrity and professionalism, and will coach colleagues to hold the same high standards.

This position requires a combination of daytime, evening, and weekend hours. Exact hours/work schedules will be developed in conjunction with the Chief Administrative Officer.

Specific Responsibilities:

Patron Experiences

  • This team-based program will deepen the connection between MOT/DOH and all patrons by ensuring a welcoming, safe/secure, accommodating and memorable experience for all those who enter the Detroit Opera House.

Event Operations

  • Ensure that customer service/patron relations standards are met and exceeded to ensure the highest level of experiences for our guests
  • Serve as Manager on Duty for events as scheduled. Participate in coordinating operations for events, including ushers, food & beverage, engineering, parking and safety & security.
  • Participate in financial settlements for cash operations and rental events, observing and enforcing all financial controls established by the finance department at all times.

Communications and Relationships

  • Participate in managing relationships and agreements with tenants and contractors.
  • Champion MOT and the Detroit Opera House in a visible and credible manner both inside and outside the organization
  • Support the Detroit Opera House as a patron experience-driven organization through all interactions and transactions

Physical Facilities

  • Participate in directing the operations and resources needed to manage the Opera House as downtown Detroit’s performing arts center and as Michigan’s premier performance venue.
  • Work closely with leadership to establish and supervise operational systems for the facility, including safety procedures as well as technical and service training.
  • Work closely with the CAO to oversee capital projects and new construction as necessary.
  • Ensure that the maintenance and upkeep of MOT’s physical facilities is sufficient to maintain and/or improve operational excellence, aesthetics, ambiance, safety, accessibility and excellent experiences. Participate in the management of facility preservation, restoration, maintenance, and upgrade projects.

Other Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with leadership to develop, implement and communicate necessary institutional policies and procedures, as well as training programs
  • Participate in the development of proposed annual budgets (income and expenditures) and for monitoring progress. Work closely with leadership and the finance team to prepare annual facility operating, capital maintenance and upgrades budgets and track progress towards maintaining these budgets throughout each fiscal year.
  • Ensure compliance with all city, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations in accordance with the operation of an entertainment venue, retail space and parking center.
  • Oversee the execution of internal projects and events as assigned, including the development, implementation and execution of assigned strategic and annual work plans.
  • Work collaboratively and strategically on projects, events and activities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned that support MOT’s overall objectives.

Position Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in facilities management, hospitality, business, arts administration or related degree strongly preferred.
  • Three or more years of experience managing a public venue, including staff supervisor experience.
  • Three or more years of experience managing theatrical events with audiences of more than 2000 OR experience managing high-end weddings, galas and private catered events.
  • Experience in management for large public event venues such as convention centers, arenas or hotels with large event spaces would be a plus.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations governing the operation of public facilities.
  • Hospitality expertise and the ability to deliver customer service that exceeds the customer’s expectations.
  • The ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends, and some holidays.
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal and communication skills to successfully interact with diverse groups of people and multiple constituencies.
  • The ability to resolve conflicts with the utmost regard for all parties and positive outcomes.
  • Demonstrate strong organizational skills with a strong attention to detail.
  • Demonstrate independent, mature judgment; convey a professional image and attitude.
  • The ability to formulate and execute plans efficiently and effectively.
  • Fluency with financial reporting, budgeting and reconciliation.
  • Experience working successfully in a team environment.
  • Proven communication, leadership and relationship building skills
  • Proven ability to act as an advocate for the institution among various stakeholders
  • High standards, maturity standing as a visible leader with integrity and trust.
  • Flexible and able to multitask; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems
  • The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines effectively and with grace.
  • A capacity to solve problems with strong strategic, organizational and management abilities.
  • The ability to influence decisions through tact, diplomacy and proven relationship building skills.
  • An interest in and a dedication to promoting all aspects of MOT’s programs and DOH’s public operations.

The following Experience would also be very helpful in this position:
•Leadership experience in a theatre setting
•Graduate of IAVM’s Venue Management School, Academy for Venue Safety and Security, and/or Guest Services Professional program(s)
•Experience using Ticketmaster and/or Tessitura Arts Enterprise Software.

Note: The job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee.

Position Reports to: Chief Administrative Officer
Classification status: Full time, exempt, salaried

Application Process:

To Apply for this position in confidence, please send resume and cover letter to:

Michigan Opera Theatre is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value diversity in our workforce.

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