ABOUT PROSPECT PARK ALLIANCE
Prospect Park Alliance (the “Alliance”) was founded in 1987 and in partnership with the New York City Parks Department is responsible for the care, management and advancement of Prospect Park as one of the premier public green spaces in the country. The Alliance contributes staff and other resources to advance the park’s resources, sustain the park’s environment including caring for the woodlands and natural areas and restoring park buildings and landscapes, and engage communities and visitors through free or low-cost attractions and volunteer, education, relaxation and recreation programs which contribute to health and wellbeing. The Alliance has an operating budget of approximately $15M, a staff ranging from 80 and up to 150 at peak times throughout the year. It operates a multitude of public programs and events that engage stakeholders, supporters and over 10 million visitors to the park each year. Prospect Park is an international model for the care of urban parks, and one of the premier green spaces in the United States.
The Vice President of Visitor Experience + Business Development will be responsible for setting the vision,
strategy and work plan for elevating and creating exceptional visitor experiences for the public participating
in and accessing a diverse range of venues, recreational settings, attractions and special events in Prospect
Park. Reporting to the Chief Operating + Financial Officer, this position will be a key contributor on the
leadership team, oversee four Directors and a team of approximately 25 professionals plus seasonal and
event staff and work in collaboration with the Alliance’s partners at the NYC Department of Parks &
Recreation. The Vice President will champion business planning efforts in order to leverage new business
partnerships, vendor relationships and commercial arrangements creating opportunities for expanding and
diversifying the Alliance’s earned revenues, business ventures and deepening visitor engagement. The ideal
candidate for this role will be an entrepreneurial and proven executive leader with keen business acumen,
superior relationship building experience, project management, people and team management skills and a
passion and appreciation for providing the highest quality customer service which engages visitors in public
park settings and/or other public venues.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTION + RESPONSIBILITIES:
Leadership, Strategy & Vision
- Plan and shape the vision and strategy for the growth and advancement of all visitor services, recreational resources and attractions in Prospect Park, establishing a diverse range of engagement activities and options for visitors and increased earned revenue opportunities for the Alliance
- Lead and oversee the development and implementation of strategies, general operating plans and best practices that ensure outstanding visitor experiences and service excellence
- Oversee the planning and execution of business plans for each of the key business units within the Visitor Services Department including the Carousel, venue and space rentals at the Boathouse and Picnic House, special events and the Prospect Park Tennis Center. Develop general operating plans, annual revenue goals and service outcomes for these business units and oversee the performance and contractual arrangements with concessionaires, including the Lefrak Center, Smorgasburg, Winner Cafe and mobile food carts
- Provide inspiring leadership, direction and support to a leadership team comprised of four directors and a large team of professionals running each of the key business units. Enable staff to grow and be successful in achieving goals through meaningful feedback, instruction, encouragement, support and professional development
- As a key member of the leadership team collaborate with colleagues and contribute to organization-wide decision-making, policies and the strategic direction and goals for the Alliance.
- Keep abreast of developments in the areas of visitor experience and event management in New York public parks and others across the country and leverage evolving best practices and new business models that further the goals and strategic priorities of the Alliance
Operations + Revenue Management
- Develop and oversee the annual budget for Visitor Services, think strategically about resources needed for sustainability and growth, and provide support to each operating director with a focus on P/L management and both visitor experience and employee experience for each business unit
- Promote the park to outside parties and groups as an outstanding venue for special events of varying size and scale including public, nonprofit and private events, film/photo shoots, recreation and athletic leagues that advance the mission and goals of the Alliance and leverage the vast resources in Prospect Park. Ensure that logistics at all events are well planned and executed to ensure an engaging and positive experience for attendees
- Establish key performance indicators and metrics to assess the operational efficiency and profitability of all visitor services and use this data to inform decision making and future planning
- Collaborate with the NYC Parks Department’s Revenue Office to coordinate all vendor and third-party agreements and contracts, ensuring compliance with all contractual requirements
- Ensure that all venues, public events and visitor activities are coordinated with applicable regulatory agencies, including the NYC Department of Health, NYC Department of Buildings and/or NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
New Business/Partnership Development
- Serve as a key ambassador of the Alliance and develop trusted relationships with a diverse range of outsourced partners, vendors and businesses that can bring the highest quality visitor services and resources to the park
- Review existing visitor service offerings and revenue sources and continuously update business and service models to maximize profitability and expand offerings to park visitors
- Identify and evaluate visitor service opportunities and business ventures that diversify and drive new sources of earned revenue generation
- Analyze data for all visitor services-related functions to identify trends and areas for improving the visitor experience
- Collaborate with the Alliance’s Communications and External Relations Department and other operating departments to plan and develop marketing and promotional collaterals and initiatives to increase the visibility and public awareness of visitor services across the park
- May perform other job-related duties and functions as assigned by the Chief Operating & Financial Officer
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:
- Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in urban/environmental planning, public administration, business management or other relevant discipline is preferred.
- A minimum of twelve (12) years progressively responsible work-related experience in visitor engagement, hospitality management, operations and/or business development for a public park, cultural institution, museum, commercial enterprise, government or nonprofit environmental organization, of which at least seven (7) years were in a senior leadership role with responsibility for strategy and planning, operational management, P/L and business development.
COMPETENCIES (KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES)
Passion for the Alliance Mission & Core Values: A passion for public parks and environmental conservation combined with a commitment to treating others with respect, appreciating individual differences and embracing the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ethics & Integrity: Able to earn the trust and respect of others through a consistent commitment to integrity, honesty and professionalism in all interactions
Job Knowledge: Significant knowledge of the operational intricacies and best practices for building high quality visitor and customer experiences in cultural or public venues to diverse audiences. Extensive understanding of business development techniques including strategy development, lead generation and relationship cultivation to increase earned revenues and profitability. Knowledge of public parks including recreational, concession and other services which enrich and broaden a park’s offerings to the public.
Strategic Vision: Able to see the “big”, long-range picture and put plans into place to realize this vision.
Leadership: A creative, entrepreneurial and empathetic leader with the ability to inspire and meaningfully engage colleagues in support of the work and goals of the department and the organization. Able to guide and support teams through periods of change and transition and set high standards of performance, excellence and accountability.
Results & Impact Focus: Able to set priorities, meet deadlines and consistently produce high quality work and achieve desired outcomes and results.
Relationship Building: A natural relationship builder with the interpersonal skills to build strong working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders characterized by a high level of acceptance, cooperation, inclusion and mutual respect. Outstanding public and customer facing skills inspired by a commitment to delivering high quality service.
Decision-Making & Judgment: Integrates broad knowledge of information and insight from data to assess problems and exercises sound judgement in making decisions. Is proactive in deciding best course of action, anticipating impact and the likely outcome of possible solutions.
Planning, Organizing & Problem-Solving: Able to manage multiple projects effectively. Clearly defines tasks and milestones to achieve objectives and ensures the optimal use of resources to effectively solve problems and accomplish work objectives.
Communication: Superior written and verbal communication skills with the ability to convey concepts and make presentations in a clear, culturally competent and understandable manner. Demonstrates effective listening skills and openness to other people’s ideas and suggestions.
Collaboration & Teamwork: Committed to collaborating with colleagues throughout the organization and promoting cooperation and a spirit of positive teamwork.
Technology: Proficient with technologies to support area of responsibility including Google Workspace.
WORKING CONDITIONS & PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
- Work is performed in a typical interior office setting in addition to occasional work in the field which does not subject the employee to any hazardous or unusual elements
- The Alliance is a hybrid workplace. Additionally, the Vice President will be expected to occasionally work evenings and weekends to oversee events in the park
- Possess a NYS Driver’s license and be able to operate a motor vehicle to various locations in the park to carry out duties as needed.
- Requires minor physical exertion - lifting, pushing, and carrying, etc. up to 25 lbs.
- Must be in reasonable commuting distance to Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY
- The salary range for this role is $130K – $160K
- Salary offered is commensurate with related experience
- The Alliance offers a very competitive benefits program including employer contribution to 403(b) Plan and generous PTO
DIVERSITY MAKES US STRONGER TOGETHER
Prospect Park Alliance serves park users of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and strives to reflect this diversity throughout our operations and in our leadership, staff, stakeholders and supporters. We value creating an equitable and inclusive workplace built on mutual respect and the appreciation of difference so that employees feel safe to express themselves, voice their opinions and work together to find common ground and solutions.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
Integral to the Alliance’s vision for a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace is our commitment to providing equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religious creed, color, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, height, and weight, or other personal characteristics as may be protected by applicable law.