Seattle Opera is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in the hiring of personnel on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender or gender identity, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or any other protected status as provided by law.
Seattle Opera is committed to diversity and inclusion. Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives to the workplace are especially encouraged to apply.
We decided to start this job announcement with our Equal Opportunity statement because we truly believe that the best art comes from diverse perspectives.
Seattle Opera is proud of its 54 years of serving the finest opera performances to the citizens and visitors to the Puget Sound. Seattle Opera employs the largest number of people of any arts organization in the Pacific Northwest and is embarking on its most important chapter in its history. The 48-member Board of Directors recently approved construction of a new facility to house all departments of the opera to be located next door and attached to Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center, Seattle’s Arts and Culture hub. This facility will also allow Seattle Opera to significantly expand community and engagement work, a new focus for the company.
Each year, more than 85,000 people attend Seattle Opera performances and the company’s programs serve more than 400,000 people of all ages (including school performances, radio broadcasts and community engagement initiatives). Seattle Opera is especially known for its acclaimed works in the Richard Wagner canon, and has created an “international attraction” in its presentation of Wagner’s epic Ring, according to The New York Times. The company envisions itself as a leader that embraces inclusion and equity while reflecting the technological innovation, increased diversity, and social good of the Seattle area.
The successful candidate will serve as the Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operations Officer (CFO/COO) for the Opera joining a distinguished leadership team of creative, intelligent and passionate professionals. The new CFO/COO will use industry best practices for guiding and directing all financial and control analytics and activities in such a way as to safeguard company assets while reporting to and being the operations partner with the General Director, Mr. Aidan Lang. The CFO/COO directs the efficient financial management of a complex institution undergoing two simultaneous capital campaigns, the building of a new facility, and structural changes for sustained fiscal health. S/he will support the General Director in efforts to ensure long-term financial stability, institute efficient lean practices that will expand creative capacity to include more diverse audiences, and enhance overall institutional reputation. The CFO/COO oversees Finance, Information Technology and Facilities as well as collaborates with the General Director on all strategic and operational matters.
The CFO/COO will possess a strong history of collaboration, a strategic mind-set, and will play an important role in a broad range of activities related to institutional planning and resource management. An exceptional and open communication style is required. S/he supervises the annual budget preparations and makes regular clear financial presentations to the Board of Trustees and its various committees. The CFO/COO is expected to be a thought leader about financial matters, directing policies and procedures related to Seattle Opera’s fixed assets; revenue & cash flow management; long-term financing; insurance and risk management; purchasing; and organization-wide cost/benefit analyses.
The CFO/COO must be both a strategic thinker and an articulate spokesperson for the objectives and ambitions of the institution at all times. S/He will be a naturally curious listener and critical thinker who can tell the stories of each department through monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reporting.
How We Will Measure Your Success:
In addition to being the right-hand person to the General Director, job responsibilities include, yet are not limited to:
Offer leadership and mentoring to three direct reports: Controller, Facilities Manager, and Information Technology Manager providing training, regular assessments, and formal career path and leadership development actions.
Direct, supervise, and improve the Opera’s internal controls and budget process in order to fund operations, maximize investments, and increase efficiency:
Be in command of any number presented to the Board of Directors;
Provide clear communications and transparency of financial goals and strategies;
Manage the production of all financial reports, including monthly financial statements;
Oversee the annual budgeting process (given long lead times of Opera productions, multivariate analyses, multiyear budgets and financial reports are required);
Review and question monthly analyses of Opera’s performance;
Re-forecast annual budget as required;
Report cash flows on a frequent basis to surface issues more timely;
Manage debt financing;
Review the annual audit and control income/expenses;
Review the preparation of the 990 tax return;
Steward risk management;
Work with the development team to stabilize annual and long-term fundraising that support the operating and program expenditure budgets;
Institute a rigorous financial planning & analysis process that supports: the development and execution of the Opera’s Strategic Plan; staff performance meeting goals; and identification of potential revenue enhancements, cost reductions, program improvements, and policy changes.
Work with General Director and department heads to establish and implement Lean processes Opera-wide to ensure that day-to-day operations of the Opera meets and furthers short and long-range plans.
Oversee treasury management and attend Investment Foundation Committee meetings.
Act as a fiduciary on retirement plan investment committee, overseeing the defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans.
Assess and manage risks, monitor claims and ensure adequate coverage for all aspects of Opera operations.
Provide management reports with Key Performance Indicators for drivers of revenues and expenses.
Represent the Opera at professional gatherings and at civic social events, conventions, committee and various trustee and staff meetings.
Oversee external reporting and prepare financial reports and analysis for the General Director, Finance Committee, Audit Committee, and Board of Trustees; supported by the Controller. Staff the relevant Board Committees (such as Finance, Investment, Audit and Facilities) and work with committee chairs and the General Director on committee agendas and managing the work of committees.
Ensure that the financial management system, chart of accounts, and internal control systems are properly designed and maintained; provide meaningful and timely information; and are regularly reconciled to the general ledger.
Ensure staff is properly trained and proficient in use of financial systems.
Perform other duties as assigned by the General Director.
A CPA and an undergraduate degree in Accounting, Business Administration, or a related field is required. An MBA is preferred.
Minimum ten years in senior level administration and/or financial management required, with five years in social-profit management highly preferred;
Significant team-building and supervisory experience in a social-profit environment, preferably working within dynamic cultural organizations;
Significant experience working with external boards and committees;
Outstanding written and verbal communication; highest level presentation, negotiation, project management, and problem-solving required;
Excellent planning, financial management, and organizational experiences;
Collaborative and collegial management style;
Demonstrated passion for the performing arts;
Strong work ethic, and superior record of ethical service;
Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and internet-based research;
Experience with Activity accounting software or similar product.
Applications are due by July 30, 2017. In your application, in addition to discussing your ability to meet the above responsibilities and qualifications, please answer the following questions:
What steps will you take to understand the financial strategy and finance team at Seattle Opera?
In the Seattle Opera's current Strategic Plan, there is a focus on creating an organization of many viewpoints and experiences through a diverse staff and board while showcasing performances from the world's diverse cultures, how will you help the Opera fulfill its core value of Diversity?
Please describe in detail examples of significant changes that you implemented within an organization. Please include situation, complications, opportunities, costs, and outcome.
Physical Demands: Some carrying and lifting up to 25 pounds.
Working Environment: Noise fluctuates between quiet and moderately noisy.
Other: Members of the Senior Leadership Team at Seattle Opera are expected to devote significant time and energy to the successful pursuit of their jobs. The CFO/COO must be prepared to work evenings and weekend hours on an occasional basis, in addition to fulfilling the performance obligations of a routine workday. Occasional travel may be required.
We invite qualified applicants to submit a cover letter including your answers to the three questions above, salary requirements, and resume to:
Seattle Opera is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in our community and throughout our organization so as to build, foster, and sustain a company that reflects, celebrates, and serves our entire community.
Seattle Opera acknowledges that:
Opera and all the arts should be accessible to everyone.
There are inherent inequities in our art form and its history.
The arts have a significant role in promoting social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
We have a responsibility to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion across the organization and in the greater community.
Achieving equity, diversity, and inclusion involves both listening to, and dialogue with, diverse members of our community in order to better serve those same communities.
Creating equity, diversity, and inclusion requires continual evaluation of leadership, employment, community engagement and programming practices.
Additional Salary Information: Range is $160,000 - $190,000
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