The International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) seeks a visionary leader to direct one of the most important international research centers in America dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the rich history of motorsports throughout the world. Join a passionate and talented team of 10 staff working to preserve the fascinating history of racing that includes the most storied figures in motorsports, over a century of technological advancements and the global automotive love affair with speed and competition. The next Executive Director will oversee all operational aspects of the Research Center, its administrative functions, budget, staff, collections and archives, fundraising, facilities, programs and communications. The annual budget is $700,000 and is expected to grow.
This is a unique opportunity as the IMRRC builds on its past achievements and legacy and strengthens its mission to collect, preserve and share the history of motorsports. The next Executive Director, while not necessarily a motorsports expert, will be charged with growing support and engagement across specialized and general audiences through fundraising, membership development, donor engagement, programs, and public relations. The Executive Director will work with the Governing Council (Board) to develop a strategic plan, devise and implement a capital campaign to create a new research facility (planning is underway), grow the endowment, which stands at just under $4 million, and set a course for strengthening sustainability, relevance and engagement with the motorsports community worldwide. Thousands of racing enthusiasts come to the famous Watkins Glen International races and hundreds of thousands of tourists come to the region seasonally. Major sources of funding include donor contributions, membership, the annual sweepstakes, and the annual Argetsinger recognition dinner.
Overview of Job Responsibilities
This is a multi-faceted leadership position requiring attention to day-to-day operations and management along with big-picture decisions and strategic execution. The IMRRC’s worldwide reach, linkages to international racing and the major celebrities in auto racing and American automotive culture offer ample opportunity to expand the IMRRC’s impact and build on past success. The position requires solid organizational management, fundraising, people skills and networking along with passion and visionary leadership to provide direction and guidance to an energized staff and engaged Board. This is a roll-up-your-sleeves position with international reach in a beautiful small-town environment.
Management and Administration
- Lead all aspects of the IMRRC’s operations, programs, collections, and facilities.
- Develop and manage budgets, ensure high-quality financial operations, controls, forecasting and reporting.
- Maximize existing and develop new revenue opportunities to strengthen resources.
- Provide visionary leadership in a supportive, positive, and team-centered work environment.
- Lead with a collaborative style, mentoring staff, and adhering to high standards of excellence and productivity.
- Evaluate, train and oversee staff, encouraging professional development and personal growth.
- Develop positive Board relations encouraging active participation by Board members, effective Board development and committee engagement.
- Ensure effective communication channels with the Board, set meetings, and coordinate committee work and Board training.
- Work with the Board to develop the strategic plan and campaign goals for the new IMRRC.
- Oversee and grow the collection, archive, research and preservation programs of the IMRRC.
- Work with staff to develop and present exhibition and education programs that resonate with a broad range of visitors.
- Develop annual and long-range fundraising strategies.
- Actively lead all fundraising efforts, and identify, cultivate and solicit donors.
- Work with the Board to secure and expand fundraising events and activities.
- Strengthen individual giving, foundation grants, government support and sponsorships.
- Strengthen legacy and planned-giving to ensure long-term financial stability.
- Work to achieve major long-range objectives that include growing operating reserves and the endowment.
- Working with the Board, develop the master plan for the capital campaign for the new facility, and facilitate implementation of the campaign.
- Develop strategies for engaging the international racing community, sponsors, funders and sport enthusiasts in supporting the IMRRC and the capital campaign.
Public Relations and Marketing
- Promote a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment for all visitors.
- Serve as the principal spokesperson for the IMRRC ensuring engagement in and appreciation for the mission and programs of the IMRRC.
- Play an active role in the community and region, building relationships, creating networks, and establishing partnerships and cooperation to help promote the IMRRC.
- Work positively and productively to ensure effective public relations, marketing and media coverage including a robust online presence.
- Establish and strengthen ties with the international racing community to ensure fulfillment of the mission of the IMRRC.
- Encourage appropriate collaborations and partnerships with organizations and community agencies that further the mission of the Center.
- Travel as necessary to develop and maintain donor and racing-community relations.
Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills
- Minimum 4-year college degree, graduate degree preferred.
- Expertise in auto racing, automotive enterprise or racing history is a plus and qualified candidates with expertise in nonprofit leadership, American history, popular culture history, sports history or some combination of experience are encouraged to apply.
- Experience working in a senior leadership role in a nonprofit organization is a plus.
- Proven fundraising ability with evidence of successful donor or sponsorship relations, funded projects, grant writing and networking to achieve support goals.
- Demonstrated commitment to education, and to online platforms and social media.
- Collaborator, able to delegate and participate, to lead and support.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to translate ideas into actions.
Watkins Glen and the Region
The IMRRC is located in Watkins Glen, NY, the location of one of the most historic racetracks in motorsports, and where the first post-World War II American road race was held. Watkins Glen International is the premier road racing circuit in the United States. Watkins Glen is in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of western New York. This charming village of 2,000 people on the southern end of Seneca Lake, is 35 miles from Ithaca, NY and Cornell
University and Ithaca College, and 80 miles from Syracuse. There are several other colleges in the region. Historic Corning, NY is nearby, as are many other charming hamlets. Described as an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, the Finger Lakes region offers 4-season recreation, boating, fishing, hiking, cycling, snowmobiling and, of course, some of the finest motor racing in the world at Watkins Glen International racetrack. Other outdoor opportunities include New York State’s flagship parks of Watkins Glen State Park, Finger Lakes National Forest, and the nearby Adirondack Park with over 6 million acres of preserved wilderness and high peaks adventure. The Finger Lakes region has a population of 1.2 million throughout 9 counties. With its bountiful water resources, the region also boasts acclaimed vineyards and wineries, specialty agriculture, cheesemaking, craft brewing and eco-friendly tourism. The first vineyards in the region date back to the 1860’s and today the wine trail on Seneca Lake features over 50 wineries with beautiful vistas overlooking the lake region and is just minutes away from Watkins Glen.
The anticipated salary range is $80,000-$90,000 but IMRRC offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus annual bonus incentives and other benefits. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
Diversity & Inclusion
The IMRRC is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages candidates with diverse backgrounds to apply. It does not discriminate against any candidate or employee based on race, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or veteran status.
Nominations and applications are welcome.
This is an exciting opportunity to lead a highly regarded research center in a thriving and scenic region.
How to Apply
Apply in confidence: Email cover letter, résumé (Word documents preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references and your professional relationship, with contact information by July 16, 2021 to: Dan Keegan, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference, SearchandRef@museum-search.com. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. For details, visit: www.museum-search.com/open-searches.
The IMRRC has an extensive collection documenting motorsports history spanning 100 years of racing. Thousands of hours of film and video, hundreds of thousands of photographs, and thousands of cubic feet of periodicals, newsletters, rare books, race-related documentation, art, trophies and other memorabilia comprise one of the most important motorsports archives in America. The IMRRC is currently located in an approximately 12,000- square-foot combined main facility and off-site archive and research space. The IMRRC’s collecting and documentation of both professional and amateur racing series held throughout the world continues to grow with the entire archive of the Sports Car Club of America recently entrusted to the IMRRC’s care. While its beginnings are traced to an alcove in the local public library devoted to Watkins Glen racing history, the 50th anniversary of the famed Watkins Glen Grand Prix in 1998 served as the catalyst for a vision for an archive and research center dedicated to preserving the story of motorsports and the history of tracks and racing worldwide.