Associate Director, Special Events
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Ford’s Theatre Society is hiring an Associate Director, Special Events to joining its team. The position is full-time and based in Washington, DC.
Ford’s Theatre Society values and is committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce and working environment. Ford’s is proud to be an equal opportunity employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, family status, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Ford’s offers a dynamic working environment steeped in culture and history along with a robust benefits package including highly subsidized health insurance, 401(k) contributions, and generous paid leave policies.
The Associate Director of Special Events leads the development and implementation of all special events for Ford’s Theatre Society. As a senior member of the development team, the position is responsible for leadership and direction of the Special Events Manager, developing and maintaining event budgets and timelines, vendor contract negotiations and relationship management, and event communications. These large- and small-scale events take place on the Ford’s campus and at iconic institutions around Washington and are often attended by high-level donors, prospective donors, and local and national government officials. Events include but are not limited to opening night dinners and receptions, member events, campaign events, donor cultivation events and the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala.
All Ford’s Theatre Society employees are required to actively participate in the Society’s ongoing efforts to become an anti-racist organization. These efforts include staff-wide conversations, new programming, development of new resources for staff and audiences, and an expectation that all staff will keep themselves informed of new resources and trends in the field of anti-racism and DEAI and how they can be applied to their own work on a day-to-day basis
- Strategize, create, plan, and execute successful events that support the mission of Ford’s Theatre Society and the fundraising efforts of the organization, including exclusive VIP opening night events, receptions, seated dinners, campaign events, corporate and member events and the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala
- Ensure all events are welcoming and inclusive for diverse audiences and ensure events reflect Ford’s values and dedication to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Contract event venues and all vendors including, but not limited to caterers, photographers, florists, calligraphers, décor and lighting designers and entertainment
- Suggest and approve menu selections, venue layouts, guest lists, invitations, special accommodations, and all other event logistics
- Serve as the primary liaison for logistics and VIP participation with venue staff at all event venues, including the U.S. Capitol and White House, when applicable
- When applicable and necessary, coordinate with the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Park Police, Capitol Hill Police, and other agencies to conduct site walkthroughs and address any safety and security concerns prior and during events worked with development and executive staff to coordinate seating for events ensuring proper protocols are followed and the needs of sponsors and other major donors are met
- Develop and maintain event budgets and report on event revenue and expenses
- Work with Special Events Manager and communications team to create clear, exciting, event communications, materials and design that represent the Ford’s brand and Ford’s values
- Oversee the creation of invitation lists, sending of invitations and tracking of RSVP details for all events using the Tessitura database system and other tools as necessary
- Collaborate with the Director of Development and Director to secure participation and attendance from VIP guests
- Establish, maintain, and develop relationships and rapport with vendors, Congressional and Administration schedulers, and others necessary to producing successful events
- Ensure that all event staff and vendors provide a high-level of customer service throughout the event experience
- Use judgment and expertise to foresee, when possible operational event and organizational challenges and propose / develop alternative solutions
- Follow all organizational, venue and best practice safety policies and communicate same to donors and guests
- Attend and/ or work at select rehearsals, performances and other events hosted by Ford’s
- Stay current on trends in event management and event design and make appropriate adjustments for organizational or departmental improvements
- Conduct after-hours, guided tours of the Ford’s Theatre campus for donors, prospects, and VIP guests as needed
- Provide general support for other fundraising activities and campaigns as needed
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
- Five years or more of successful special event or meeting planning and execution experience, with fundraising event experience preferred
- Knowledge of government relations and protocols a plus
- Excellent project management and analytical skills with demonstrated ability to set priorities and meet competing deadlines
- Demonstrated superior attention to detail, accuracy, and coordination
- Demonstrated strong communication and customer service skills
- Ability to work effectively with a diverse population of donors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and event attendees
- Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding event invitees, attendees, and other aspects of participants and planning
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite required. Familiarity with Tessitura or similar CRM database experience a plus.
- Schedule flexibility with the ability to work occasional early mornings, evenings, and weekends
- Enthusiasm for the performing arts, education and/or history is preferred
- Commitment to advancing ideals of Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the workplace and Ford’s events
SALARY: Approximately $66,000 - $74,000 per year
Ford’s Theatre Society has a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees. The policy is designed to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
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