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The Strong Vice President for People and Culture in Rochester, New York

The human resources team is responsible for identifying, creating, and implementing strategic initiatives and systems that maximize the effectiveness of The Strong’s most valuable resource—museum staff, volunteers, and interns. The vice president for people and culture develops and implements a human resources strategy that supports the achievement of both short- and long-range institutional goals while supporting, enhancing, and advancing the museum’s unique boundaryless organizational structure that mandates respect and inclusion as non-negotiables in all aspects of its business operations. This is a hands-on position that requires someone that is willing to be involved in day-to-day operational activities required of a seasoned human resources practitioner and business partner.

The vice president for people and culture provides leadership and develops employees to achieve individual, team, and organizational goals. This position is a member of The Strong’s senior leadership team and works closely with the president and CEO in making strategic business and people decisions. This is a key role that drives a people-focused approach to provide the highest level of service.

This position requires an energetic, driven, compassionate, collaborative, entrepreneurial, and seasoned executive with high ethical standards.

Essential Duties:

  • Work with the president and CEO and other members of the senior leadership team to incorporate principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all aspects of the museum’s operations including collections, exhibits, public programs, and educational programs.

  • Lead, manage, supervise, mentor, and develop the human resources team. Set strategic direction, establish goals, and ensure accountability for results.

  • Lead, manage, and facilitate aspects of The Strong’s detailed strategic plan to meet or exceed established metrics and track progress regarding Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives and objectives. Report results to the Personnel Committee, IDEA Committee, and Board of Trustees.

  • Lead and reinforce the continuous development of a culture that is reflective of the museum’s mission, vision, and values. Ensure that an institutional commitment to IDEA is realized in all aspects of workforce planning and development and foster an affirming and welcoming workplace. Establish a mechanism to create safe spaces for difficult conversations that foster and drive the progress necessary to make positive changes.

  • Create and implement a broad, wide-ranging recruitment and retention strategy that attracts and retains a talented, diverse workforce that collaborates effectively to meet established institutional goals.

  • Develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive human resources strategy that advances employee engagement and creates policies and programs that provide for the effective management of the museum’s most valuable resource—its people. Ensure that the policies and procedures remain in compliance with state and federal legal requirements and are equitably and fairly administered.

  • Establish credibility throughout the organization to be viewed as a compassionate, effective, and objective problem-solver. Counsel employees and supervisors about sensitive, personal, and confidential matters related to job performance, conflict, personal challenges, etc. and develop direct strategies to address concerns. Ensure the dignity and respect of all parties is maintained in all facets of communications.

  • Manage all aspects of workplace interventions and investigations and ensure that employee issues are addressed and resolved promptly, effectively, and objectively with appropriate leadership team and outside counsel participation. Conduct interviews with all parties and witnesses, preserve documentation, and promote a team approach to resolution. Serve as the primary liaison with the museum’s outside legal counsel on all employment or, if necessary, workplace interventions and investigations.

  • Develop progressive and proactive compensation and benefits programs to provide motivation, incentives, and rewards for effective performance and improve employee retention, engagement, and morale. Actively monitor the established compensation system through periodic benchmarking of salaries and recommend adjustments as appropriate.

  • Oversee the annual performance evaluation cycle, ensuring that employee development is prioritized and that the process is timely and efficiently managed. Coach supervisors in talent-related discussions and in establishing goals with their employees.

  • Guide the organization’s approach to change management using a people-focused approach. Energize constituents through a strong communication plan that sustains their commitment to change.

  • Serve as the Plan Administrator for The Strong’s 403(b) retirement program.

  • Serve as the staff liaison to the Personnel Committee and IDEA Committees of the Board of Trustees; Collaborate with the museum’s Executive Assistant and Committee Chairpersons to schedule committee meetings and prepare meeting agendas; Prepare and present materials; Ensure that meeting minutes appropriately reflect the meeting’s contents.

  • Serve on the museum’s access/accessibility project team.


  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources management, or related field.

  • 10 years of human resources experience, including at least three (3) years of executive level responsibility.

  • Exceptional, broad knowledge of all aspects of the human resources function and commitment and interest in maintaining the constantly changing compliance mandates and emerging best practices.

  • Proven track record of implementing and advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) initiatives in an employment environment comprised of varied professions.

  • Exceptional leadership and people management skills. Competent at presenting an opposing point of view in a professional, direct manner in a variety of settings.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects of varying complexity to successful conclusions on a consistent basis.

  • Strong analysis skills including a high level of proficiency and experience with Microsoft Excel and HRIS reporting platforms.

  • Superior written and oral communication skills with individuals of varying backgrounds, expertise, and intentions in a wide range of situations requiring exceptional tact, thoughtfulness, integrity, and creativity in approach. Comfort and ability to present information in small and large group settings.

  • Relentlessly positive, welcoming, professional, empathetic, genuine attitude that permeates all communications and interactions.

  • Must possess a strong outcome-oriented work ethic.

  • Skilled in handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

These qualifications are considered a plus:

  • Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or other applicable field.

  • Experience in a non-profit organization of a similar size.

The final candidate must consent to and pass a drug screen and background check as conditions of employment.

The expected pay range is $120,000-140,000 per year. The salary of the final candidate selected for this role will be determined based on qualifications, departmental budgets, and other factors permitted by law.