Chautauqua Institution

  • GUEST RELATIONS: Director of Guest Experience & Sales (Year Round)

    Job Locations US-NY-Chautauqua
    Posted Date 1 week ago(3/10/2019 9:42 AM)
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    As a member of the Marketing & Communications Leadership Team, the Director of Guest Experience & Sales leads Chautauqua Institution sales and customer service operations inclusive of ticketing, parking, information services, Business Center, gates, and the institution-wide Chain of Service Excellence program.  In collaboration with Human Resources, the director also supports seasonal staff recruitment and orientation.


    Duties and Responsibilities


    Guest Experience & Sales

    • Support total operations and sales/support programs of Chautauqua Institution’s Main Gate Robert R. Hess Welcome and Business Center, including: sales, ticketing, call center, will call, business center, information services and all gate/parking entrances. Responsibility for gates, parking and information centers is greatly limited to the summer assembly season.  Parking and gates management is done in partnership with the Director of Security & Safety and Chautauqua Institution Police Department.
    • Communicate with VP of Marketing and Communication/Chief Brand Officer and Director of Marketing Analytics regarding data trends and variances that will impact customer satisfaction and competitive market.  Maximize revenue through participation in established sales practices, demand forecasting and yield management programs.  Evaluate success of strategies to inform future plans and determine impact on operations. 
    • Establishes a baseline and annual targets for performance for sales, information, parking and gate operations.  Implements incentive programs to drive staff performance. 
    • Together with the management team, provides input on ticketing pricing strategy in consideration of seasonality, customer segments and property objectives.  Leads the annual process of collecting all pricing information and manages input into the software system. In collaboration with Marketing and Communication colleagues, prepares pricing information for presentation to the public via print and electronic communications.
    • Develops and directs a multi-year plan to deliver targeted customer satisfaction and service levels. Develops a scorecard (dashboard) to measure progress throughout the year in attaining guest satisfaction and service levels.
    • Empower team development and implementation of departmental training programs to enhance service and function as a gateway to the guest experience and ‘Chain of Excellence’ Service Strategy. Implement standardized best practices and processes/procedures to constantly improve quality, team productivity and guest service standards. 
    • Communicate daily with team leaders to provide/obtain information and conduct routine inspection of related operations. Attend regular meetings to develop creative solutions to continually improve and overcome obstacles in operations.
    • Maintain high visibility in areas of responsibility and interface with customers on a regular basis to obtain feedback on quality of product, service levels and overall satisfaction. Take ownership for guest complaints while empowering team to resolve issues.
    • Partner with Hotel General Manager and interworking departments within Chautauqua Institution/Chautauqua Hotel Company to obtain and communicate information regarding summer operations and programming to act as a ‘bridge’ to overall guest experience at the Institution.
    • In collaboration with the Director of Human Resources, support coordination of seasonal group orientations to communicate a clear and distinctive message regarding ‘Chain of Service Excellence’ Service Strategy. Act as a passionate advocate/role model that demonstrates exceptional work ethic and inspire achievement of operational excellence across departments.  As a key contributor to employee brand, promote effective seasonal recruitment and support seasonal training initiatives across operations as related to the Chain of Service Excellence.  Cascade ‘Chain of Service Excellence process through hiring department, monitor implementation and report results.
    • Develops online and in-person Chain of Service Excellence orientation and education programs. Leads training including “train the trainer” workshops that empower other staff to assist in delivering orientation and professional development programs as related to the Chain of Service Excellence.
    • Develops annual process improvement plan in collaboration with Chain of Service Excellence partners across the organization and reports on results.
    • Devises an in-season, fast feedback and continuing education processes and materials.

     Business Strategy & Daily Operations

    • In collaboration with the Director of Information Technology and IT Department, oversees the optimization of technology (software and hardware) to perform sales, ticket production, distribution, gate access and customer service functions from current legacy system to a modern technology platform. Act as leader and training resource for software/hardware system updates, problem troubleshooting/resolution, interactions with internal/external Help Desks, risk mitigation and data recovery.
    • Prepares annual operating and capital budgets. Monitors actual-to-budgeted expenses.  Hold direct reports and support teams accountable for successful delivery on departmental business plan and organization-wide strategic initiatives.
    • Manages inventory levels.  Maintains relationships with providers of ticketing and guest services.
    • Reports progress of ticketing and gate operations to senior staff, and liaise with functional areas to assure effective and satisfactory operations.
    • Ensures effective collection of the Institution’s customer data capture plans in the ticketing operations.
    • Demonstrate routine care and vigilance to assure pleasing aesthetic and welcoming environment for guests.  

    Human Resources & Legal Compliance

    • Partner with Human Resources, Guest Engagement & Strategic Initiatives Manager and Assistant Manager of Ticketing to direct the hiring process in iCIMS Recruitment/Onboarding Software, including: review of applications, conducting interviews and completing corresponding electronic onboarding processes.
    • Conduct routine coaching, annual performance appraisals, corrective counseling and terminations.
    • Monitor and/or complete timely authorization of hours worked for payroll processing in UltiPro HRIS System. Audit areas of responsibility to guarantee compliance with Federal and New York State Labor Laws, Company Policies/Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures and Guest Service Standards.
    • Responsible Public Health/Safety, including but not limited to: Occupational Health & Safety Act (OSHA) Regulations, Fire/Evacuation Procedures, Employee/Guest Injury Documentation and Worker’s Compensation.


    Formal Education Requirements  

    • Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, Hospitality Management, Communications or related field required; Master’s Degree preferred.   

    Formal Experience Requirements

    • At least 5-years’ experience leading a mission-driven, customer/constituent-focused sales, fund raising and/or marketing team required.

    Skills and Abilities

    • Ability to lead sales strategy, process and systems transformations.
    • Experience using Point of Sale and Constituent Relationship Management systems required. 
    • Experience with the implementation of POS/CRM systems preferred as is experience developing and managing an annual departmental budget, including operating and salary budgets.
    • Proficiency in various computer applications, including Microsoft Suite and SharePoint/One Drive as leveraged for knowledge management, planning, communication and assessment. 
    • Ability to develop prowess in use of business information systems. 
    • Excellent interpersonal and professional communication skills (written/verbal) to build professional relationships with management and staff at all levels, as well as patrons and donors.
    • Exceptional organizational skills/attention to detail coupled with ability to take initiative and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast paced, high demand environment.  Data tracking and analysis skills required. 
    • Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically with a continuous improvement mindset.
    • Active learning and listening skills to understand implication of new information for current/future problem solving and decision making as well asking questions as appropriate. 
    • Social perceptiveness and persuasion as related to reactions and responses to those reactions.
    • Demonstrate a fluency of ideas and commitment to a collaborative approach to work.

    Working Conditions and Environmental Hazards

    • Normal levels of office noise from conversation, computers and systems. Work requires strict visual contact with a computer screen at least 80% of the workday; risk of eye strain due to computer usage.

    Physical Requirements  

    • Primarily light work with approximately 85% of work performed sitting at a desk and using substantial/repetitive motion of fingers, wrists and hands (including grasping).   
    • Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.
    • Stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching and when organizing office, filing paperwork and managing daily administrative tasks using resources at floor/desk/overhead levels.
    • Standing, walking, pushing, pulling and lifting to travel to work events and assist with transportation of materials and/or set up of equipment.
    • Visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal and extensive reading.
    • Talking by expressing ideas and conveying instructions as well as hearing to perceive sound with or without corrections.  Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication.



    • Board of Trustees and President
    • Executive and Senior Leadership Teams
    • Marketing and Communications Department Team
    • Director of Information Technology and IT Department
    • Director of Human Resources and related departments
    • Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua Hotel Company Staff (Year-round and Seasonal)


    • Consultantsand Vendors
    • Strategic Partners
    • Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau leadership and staff (co-located with ticket/information office)
    • Community-at-large, including residents, guests and visitors 

    Supervision and Guidance

    • Guest Engagement & Strategic Initiatives Manager
    • Assistant Manager of Ticketing
    • Gates Manager (Seasonal)
    • Information Services Manager (Seasonal)
    • (80) Seasonal Ticketing and Gates Staff
    • Provide guidance to all employees on Chain of Service Excellence

    Hours of Work

    • The work schedule requires a commitment of 45-50 hours/week with flexibility to work evenings, weekends and holidays as required and a willingness to flex up in scheduled work hours (based on business need) – particularly during summer seasonal operations.



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