Executive Director | Cornelius Arts and Community Center

  • Cornelius, NC
  • Full-time

Company Description

Cornelius Arts and Community Center is seeking a 21st century visionary who possesses the leadership skills and experience to nurture a strong, diverse set of relationships; inspire professionals and volunteers to new heights on behalf of the organization. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives.

The Opportunity

Cornelius Arts and Community Center makes art accessible through professional art exhibitions, art classes for all ages and a flexible performance space that may include independent film screenings as well as performing arts events. Programs at the center will be in collaboration with professional artists and organizations that specialize in a variety of mediums including ceramics, painting, photography, fiber arts, animation, jewelry and the performing arts (drama, dance, music). The center strives to engage the community through creative partnerships with organizations to offer a variety of events. Additional goals would be to conduct engagement programs and provide access to art programs for all residents living in Cornelius.

The center will also serve to anchor the growing downtown arts district, serving as a central gathering place for surrounding residential areas while also drawing patrons to the downtown.

The Community

Cornelius is an evolving community located along the shores of Lake Norman in northern Mecklenburg County and just a short drive from Charlotte, North Carolina. The town was established in 1905 and originated as a mill and farm community. In 1963, Duke Power created Lake Norman and provided the area with recreational opportunities and a source of hydroelectric power. The formation of Lake Norman also provided Cornelius with approximately 70 miles of choice lakeside property. Today, the Town of Cornelius is a diverse community with ten public parks, a wide variety of housing opportunities, vibrant retail and office centers and a championship golf course.

Job Description

The Executive Director is the senior administrator and fundraising officer, serving as a strategic partner with the board, with overall responsibility for strategically designing, planning, and initiating programs. He or she will promote the Center’s interests in all respects, while working collaboratively with the Town of Cornelius to ensure growth and financial success. Specific responsibilities for this position include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

Fundraising and Donor Stewardship

  • Initiate and manage an integrated development program as principal architect of the Capital Campaign fundraising strategy, including the creation and execution of a daily, monthly, annual action plan to maximize contributed income from diverse sources, specifically with an eye towards transitioning from a one-time Capital Campaign to an Annual Operational Campaign.
  • Assume the lead role in fundraising, working in collaboration with the board, and Capital Campaign Consultant to maximize fundraising impact for the construction of a new facility while developing an annual giving, major gift, and sponsorship fundraising program by identifying opportunities for support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Provide personal contact and an accessible “institutional face” to current and prospective donors, volunteers as well as the general public.
  • Guide, support, and engage the board and other volunteers actively in fundraising and advocacy with their professional and personal networks and in fundraising activities.

Marketing and Communications

  • Works with board to develop and implement long term marketing and branding strategies for the Cornelius Arts and Community Center.
  • Oversees functions related to the marketing and communications of Cornelius Arts and Community Center initiatives, with a focus on maximizing revenue, audience development and elevated public awareness.
  • Serve as brand steward for Cornelius Arts and Community Center through consistent review and evaluation of marketing and communication materials.
  • Oversee creation of all marketing plans and strategies including fundraising campaigns, ad plans, direct marketing plans, content marketing plans, social media campaigns, promotional campaigns, data projects and messaging.
  • Serve as board liaison for the marketing department and Marketing Committee.
  • Oversee vendor relationships including designers, printers, consultants, photographers and box office.

Strategic Planning and Governance

  • Develop, implement and monitor short- and long-term institutional goals and strategies in collaboration with the board.
  • Assume responsibility for their implementation, reporting on progress toward goals regularly.
  • Provide support to and stewardship of the board and the various committees and working groups of the board.
  • Orient, educate, and engage individual board members in fundraising, advocacy, and community ambassadorship.
  • Advise and assist the board and its many constituencies in identifying prospective new members, and participate in their cultivation and recruitment to the board.
  • Celebrate the successes of individual board members and the board as a whole in recognizing their contribution of time and resources to an impactful organization.
  • Maintain relationship with State, Local and Federal government agencies.


  • Provides direction and oversight for programming and presenting activities ensuring programs are developed with input from community leadership.
  • Works collaboratively to plan events including by not limited to music, dance, theater, pottery, art exhibits.
  • Develops partnership strategies, engagement activities with schools, local universities and community organizations to further the impact of Center’s activities.

Finance and Administration

  • Develop and ensure that annual programming, educational and outreach plans are budgeted appropriately, in consultation with other key staff, to fulfill the organization’s vision and simultaneously maximize earned and contributed income opportunities.
  • Oversee and supervise food services contracts and operations
  • Monitor Cornelius Arts and Community Center financial position and make recommendations to the board and/or take action as appropriate to ensure the most effective use of financial resources.
  • Oversee the continued mentoring, coaching, and professional development of the staff, systems, and organizational practices that create an effective infrastructure for Cornelius Arts and Community Center programs and a foundation for revenue growth.
  • Direct administrative personnel relations to ensure that the organization is effectively structured and staffed; together with other key staff, set the standard for a positive environment of mutual respect and caring.


The Executive Director must be an experienced fundraiser and manager with a proven track record of success. He or she should have an acute sense of strategy and a passion for the arts. The ED will have compelling personal qualities of integrity, leadership, and outstanding communications skills – especially as characterized by the ability to listen carefully – exceptional judgment, and an entrepreneurial nature.

Qualities and Qualifications

  • Accomplished as a development and public relations strategist;
  • Passion for the mission of the Center, and demonstrated and ongoing passion for and knowledge of the arts;
  • Substantial fundraising and managerial experience with demonstrated success;
  • A minimum of five years of experience in advancement;
  • Experience in planning, implementing, and managing comprehensive campaigns;
  • Demonstrated and consistent ability to close on major gift solicitations;
  • Experience in planning and managing facility design and construction;
  • Proven management and administrative skills, as demonstrated by experience in effectively leading a successful staff;
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills;
  • Ability to work collaboratively, engage and inspire others, and develop a rapport with many diverse people and groups, including faculty, staff, patrons, donors and friends of the Center;
  • Attendance at Center and community events;
  • A bachelor’s degree required.

Additional Information

Cornelius Arts and Community Center has retained Capital Development Services to assist with professional recruitment. 

Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references. All material will be confidential. Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 x 208.