Executive Director

Vanguard Music and Performing Arts
June 26, 2019
Santa Clara, California
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Executive Search Committee -ExecRecruiting@SCVAnguard.org
1795 Space Park Drive


VMAPA is hiring a seasoned Executive Director to lead the organization toward the attainment of its long-term strategic objectives. The right candidate will leverage their knowledge and business expertise in the non-profit sector to redefine the strategy for expanding our footprint, developing alternative sustainable funding initiatives, and determining the most efficient operating model to ensure the continued viability of our programs. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors.

Our Mission: To inspire communities and enrich lives by increasing opportunities for participation, education, and excellence in the performing arts.

Who We Are

The Vanguard Music and Performing Arts (VMAPA), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Santa Clara, California. As a long-standing citizen of the local community, our programs stretch beyond the Bay area.  We envision a world where everyone has access to valuable life-transforming experiences through the performing arts. Our diverse membership comes from many states across the US, as well as Canada and Japan.

What We Do

Our organization is 52 years young.  We are rich with history and tradition, however, just as our founding name implies (Vanguard), we are at the forefront of creating positive change through the ongoing evolution of our programs and the content delivered to our participating members.

We provide educational programs where youth and young adults from around the globe are given the opportunity to enrich their lives through the development of life-changing interpersonal skills and competencies, leveraging their passion for music, dance, performance, and athletics.

VMAPA is the home of multiple performing arts groups, including two world class championship drum and bugle corps: the Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Vanguard Cadets; a youth brass ensemble; a youth percussion ensemble, and a community-centered big band for all ages.

Actual Job Responsibilities

As the head of the organization, you will be accountable for evolving our vision and mission, accelerating our growth in a dynamic and complex non-profit environment.  With a diverse staff that operates both locally and virtually, you’ll leverage your advanced thought leadership skills to guide the organization in making vital decisions that ensures our organization provides a safe, healthy, and positive environment supporting personal and professional growth of members, staff, and volunteers alike.

More specifically:

  • You’ll report to and work closely with the Board of Directors, seeking their involvement in strategic planning, policy decisions, and fundraising as needed to increase the overall visibility of VMAPAs brand and what is has to offer to communities around the globe.
  • With direct oversight of the long-term strategic plan, you’ll guide a variety of staff, volunteers and members in the execution and delivery of key objectives and results within budget.
  • You’ll be responsible for hiring and retaining competent, qualified staff; signing all notes, agreements, and other legal instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.
  • You’ll supervise and collaborate with organization staff, including: Field Operations and Educators, Marketing, Fundraising, Bingo, Program Development, HR Management, and Accounting.
  • You will leverage your professional relationships to support our mission by serving as the primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media, and the general public.
  • You will liaise between VMAPA and its external stakeholders and will fulfill vital roles outside the office and after normal business hours, attending and potentially hosting a range of events to develop resources to support the financial health of the organization; such activities include fundraising, donor development, new program inaugurations, and other public relations events.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other non-profit leaders and various organizations that partner with us in the music, performing arts, and marching arts industries to strategically advance VMAPA’s Mission.
  • Accountable for establishing employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit
  • You will have direct oversight of: organization Board and Committee meetings; marketing and public relations; Alumni relations, and other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Minimum Qualifications and Experience

  • BA or BS degree or equivalent experience in Business Management or a related discipline.
  • Relevant Experience – at least 5 years of senior management experience in an organization with executive oversight in a multi-state environment. Proven track record of success creating and supporting organizational change (deep experience in operational oversight) is beneficial.
  • Strong Financial Literacy - leveraging concepts for budgeting, forecasting, reporting and stepping up compliance in a nonprofit environment, ensuring decisions are fiscally sound and responsible.
  • Fundraising Strategist with a proven track record of leveraging your knowledge to further the mission of the organization.
  • Strategic Visionary – Demonstrated success developing and implementing a sufficiently compelling strategic vision resulting in positive outcomes for an organization.
  • Compelling Communicator – Ability to communicate our strategy internally and externally to partners, funders, academic institutions, and the public, with the ability to visibly demonstrate leadership and represent VMAPA in a variety of performing arts communities, globally.
  • Executive Leader and Mentor – Proven ability to build, manage and lead teams. Fosters a performance-based culture that motivates employees to excellence and promotes accountability. Capable of recruiting, mentoring, and training the right leadership to continuously evolve our culture - working collaboratively to develop a set of approaches and standards that support VMAPAs mission, vision, values and programs.
  • Alliance Partnership/Relationship Management- Broad personal and professional network, and the ability to activate those networks towards VMAPAs mission goals while integrating deeply with the network, responsible for its current success.
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership

 Physical Requirements

  • Routinely works in an indoor office environment, using a computer
  • Requires periodic work in the evenings and on weekends in support of fund development, and attendance of performing arts events, with travel between 25% to 30% over the course of a year. There is seasonality for higher travel in the summer due to the competitive drum corps season.
  • Attendance at indoor and outdoor performances, which may require extended hours outdoors in the elements and periods of being on your feet or seated in an auditorium or stadium.

Salary Range & Benefits:  Base salary in the range of $125-140k depending on qualifications, with incentives for performance-based outcomes. Full benefits including medical and dental insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and 401k retirement plan.

An offer of employment for the position will be conditioned upon satisfactory completion of a background check, including criminal history, credit history, and references.

Vanguard Music and Arts is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How To Apply

We will be accepting applications through June 30th,

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the search committee in confidence at ExecRecruiting@SCVanguard.org.

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