Volunteer & Employment

Opportunities

Volunteer Activities

Whatever your expertise or talent, Superior Public Museums offers many opportunities for you to get involved, meet new people, and have fun.  Here are just a few of the activities and events where our dedicated volunteers make all the difference!

  • Working Events
  • Gardening
  • Maintaining Collection

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Fairlawn Mansion – Assist with maintaining the beautiful Fairlawn Gardens.
  • SS Meteor – Be part of the Annual Work Weekend! Each year during the last weekend in April, Superior Public Museums and Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society spend time preparing the vessel for summer tours and other maintenance projects.
  • Old Firehouse & Police Museum – Assist with maintaining the grounds and organizing exhibits.
  • Special Events – Volunteer at many of our special events, including the Ice Cream Social and McDougall’s Dream.

Other Projects– Opportunities are endless, from marketing, graphic design, collection organization, photography, woodworking, and more.

Superior Public Museums, Inc. Is A 501c3 Not-For-Profit Organization. Donations Are Tax Deductible.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these activities, or if you have something else in mind that you think might fit our mission, contact us. We’d be happy to find just the right volunteer position for you.

Please call our Museums Manager: Brittany Plachecki for more information about volunteer opportunities. 

Employment Opportunities

Executive Director

Position Summary:

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall administration and operations of the three Superior Public Museums (SPM) which includes: Fairlawn Mansion & Museum, The S.S. Meteor Maritime Museum and The Old Fire House & Police Museum. The Executive Director is an ex-officio member of the SPM Board of Directors and works closely with the Board to formulate policies, develop long-range plans and carry out directives. Working with the Board or their designee(s) and SPM staff, the Executive Director leads the day-to- day operations, development and fundraising activities, public relations, marketing and education activities for SPM. The Executive Director sets the professional standards under which the SPM operates in the areas of acquisitions, preservation, interpretation and presentation of the museums’ artifacts and programming. The Executive Director works directly with the Board and the City of Superior to oversee the renovation, preservation and general care of the museums’ facilities operated by SPM.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Financial Health & Development

  • Works with the Board, committee chairs and SPM staff to prepare the annual budget for Board approval.
  • Works with the Board or their designee to plan, oversee, and execute new fundraising activities and events.
  • Oversees the preparation and administration of gifts and grants from government agencies, private foundations, corporations, organizations, and individuals.
  • Effectively balances income and expenditures to assure financial health for the organization through a variety of outside revenue sources like public, corporate, foundation, and individuals.

Strategic Direction

  • Works with the Board in developing and articulating the strategic direction of the museums and implements the resulting strategies to carry out a unified vision and mission, as well as insure financial stability and long-term financial independence.
  • Provides strategic support and direction to develop a comprehensive plan to grow Museum membership and relevance in the community.
  • Monitors public history trends and recommends appropriate programs/events to keep pace with the changing environments.

Community Outreach and Marketing

  • Spokesperson for SPM and represents SPM at professional, civic and social events and conferences in order to strengthen SPM’s relationships with the community, cultural professionals and civic organizations is an ongoing and important responsibility.
  • Works with the Board or their designee and external public relations resources to insure consistent and professional public relations and develop and implement a comprehensive marketing and membership recruitment and communication plan – that includes social media use, website management, newsletter development, and the creation of promotional materials for special events.
  • Coordinates event planning and successful execution of public and private special events at each of the Museums
  • Works with the Board or their designee and staff to develop education strategies and programs which enhance the public’s understanding and involvement in the cultural heritage that our museums represent.

Curator, Conservator and Property Maintenance

  • Will ensure that accepted professional museum policies and practices are followed in the management of the City of Superior’s museums and collections.
  • Oversees and leads preservation work on the three properties, including regularly scheduled site reviews and inspections to prioritize project lists to ensure high standards of appearance and readiness are maintained.
  • Oversees and approves the development, designs, and installs appropriate museum exhibits.
  • Develops strategies to optimize each museum’s
  • Establishes high standards of building maintenance, operations, and safety commensurate with a high-visibility and architecturally unique structure.
  • Participates in all activities associated with planning and decision-making required to maintain the safety, appearance, and effective/efficient use of the facility and conduct of daily activities.
  • Supervises all vendor contracts associated with structure maintenance and operations including janitorial, fire detection, fire protection, HVAC, security, electrical and mechanical.
  • Responds to all building system failures and diagnoses their cause in order to supervise all activities required to restore proper operation.
  • Plans for and supervises building structure and service systems repair, alteration, and upgrade projects.
  • Responds to building security alerts, ensuring proper response is undertaken as well as proper security system operation is maintained.
  • Manages the building key system for access control.
  • Coordinates with other museum staff to minimize the impact of building maintenance and operations activities upon museum functions.

Personnel & Relationship Management

  • Provides integral leadership to staff and volunteers for consistent direction, communication, organizational alignment, and vision.
  • Works with the Board or their designee to develop and maintain personnel policy and job descriptions.
  • Responsible for the hiring, managing, supervising, and disciplining (including conducting performance reviews) of staff, as well as recommending appropriate compensation, recognition and disciplinary actions to the Board or their designee.
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining an effective working relationship with the City’s leadership (Mayor, City Council, etc.) to ensure partnership and support from the City.
  • Responsible for managing donor relationships – including identification of prospective high-level donors, stewardship, and growing current support.
  • Develops appropriate administrative processes and procedures to inform the Board, staff, and volunteers as to key decisions, meetings, and information to aid in understanding of outcomes.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Advanced ability to work cooperatively, diplomatically, and effectively with the Board, staff, volunteers, City of Superior leadership, and other diverse constituencies to enhance the image, credibility, and recognition of SPM through their leadership and strategic vision.
  • Experience in developing and implementing strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated success in community outreach with expertise in building public and private partnerships.
  • Demonstrated skills in financial administration with the ability to draft and review budgets forecasts for accuracy and oversee expenditures for budget control.
  • Proven success in entrepreneurial and fundraising activities including membership campaigns, sponsorships, capital campaigns, acquiring public/private grants, etc.
  • Advanced written, public speaking, and technology-based communication skills (web-based, social media, etc.)
  • Knowledge of contemporary museum policies, practices, ethics, and a demonstrated passion for preserving history and enthusiasm for passing that on to others.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage multiple, often complex projects with overlapping timeframes and deadlines.
  • Creative thinker, detail-oriented, innovative and have the drive to achieve excellent, timely results.
  • Well versed in Microsoft Office and the Google Suite.
  • Must be able to carry and lift up to 40 lbs., walk, stand, climb stairs, and distinguish color.
  • Willingness to work a variable schedule, including occasional weekends and evenings as needed.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Museum Studies, History, Business/Nonprofit Administration or comparable experience.
  • 5-7 years of management experience working in museums, nonprofits, or businesses.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree preferred; other related certification programs or work experience considered.
  • 3 years of experience at a senior management level with experience managing staff and dealing with all human resource-related matters.

How to Apply:

  • Send your resume/curriculum vitae, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references to Ms. Katelyn Baumann, Board of Directors President, at spmboard@superiorpublicmuseums.org.
  • Posting closes on Monday, April 29 at 4:30pm.
  • Interviews will be held in-person at Fairlawn Mansion on Tuesday, May 7-Thursday, May 9.
  • This position would start on Monday, June 3 and include one week of on-the-job training with the current Executive Director.

The salary range for this position is based on experience and qualifications ($63,000-68,000).

Original: February 1999

Revised: September 2001

Revised: September 2010

Revised: July 2018

Revised: March 28, 2024

Tour Guides

We’re looking for mature, responsible, reliable, friendly and outgoing individuals – from students to retirees – to join our staff of tour guides at Superior Public Museums. We offer ~

  • Part-time and Limited Term 20 -40 Hr/Wk
  • Flexible Schedules
  • Daytime Hours
  • Great Summer Job
  • Student and Snowbird Friendly!
JOB DESCRIPTION
Tour Guides are responsible for providing an excellent customer experience for guests of our three locations – Fairlawn Mansion, the SS Meteor Maritime Museum, and the Old Firehouse & Police Museum. Guides will provide tours, manage our gift shops, and complete a variety of other clerical and cleaning duties.
Principal Function: Performs all job assignments with a positive, energetic attitude that reflects Superior Public Museums’ mission and values. Under the direction of the Museum Coordinator, Tour Guides perform a variety of duties in providing guests with a memorable experience at our museum locations. Tour Guides will cross-train to work in all three museums as they are able, and will be assigned to different locations as needed.
 
Principal Duties:
  1. Guided Tours:
    1. Tour Guides will provide up to 7 tours a day, maintaining an energetic and positive attitude.
    2. Guides will be responsible for learning a script for the Fairlawn Mansion and SS Meteor Maritime Museum, and delivering information from that script to a group from memory.
    3. Guides will be responsible for answering visitor questions during tours as well as in the gift shops.
    4. Guides working at the Old Firehouse & Police Museum will be responsible for providing information on artifacts and history as needed, as well as answering visitor questions.
  2. Gift Shop:
    1. Cash handling, admissions, operation of a point of sale system.
    2. Tour Guides will perform regular inventory checks.
    3. Guides will be responsible for keeping gift shops fully stocked, or reporting any stock shortages to the Museum Coordinator or Seasonal Site Manager.
    4. Guides will reconcile the day’s transactions at the end of each shift to ensure an accurate deposit.
  3. General:
    1. Following a cleaning chart to ensure that all sites are kept neat and tidy.
    2. Answer telephones and direct calls.
    3. Type miscellaneous letters, memos, etc. using the computer.
    4. Perform miscellaneous duties as assigned by the Museum Coordinator, Seasonal Site Supervisor, or the Executive Director.

Qualifications:

  • Some knowledge & familiarity with public speaking to a group of 20 or less and answering questions
  • Working knowledge of cash handling & general accounting
  • Ability to establish and maintain an effective relationship with staff and the public
  • Speak in front of a small group following a script
  • The ability to memorize and recall a script using visual prompts
  • Climb stairs and/or ladders and be on your feet for extended periods
  • Ability to operate a cash register
  • Customer service experience

Our ideal candidate is a person who is enthusiastic, outgoing, and is very customer service oriented. They are self-motivated and passionate about sharing local history with a diverse group of people. Dependability and punctuality is a must.

Work Environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outdoor weather conditions, particularly those working on the SS Meteor. The employee must also be capable of withstanding extreme heat aboard the Meteor. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to walk, stand for significant periods of time, climb stairs, and climb ladders. The employee must be able to lift and move up to 25 pounds. The employee is occasionally required to set up tables, chairs, supplies, gift shop stock, and necessary equipment.

 To apply, complete job application. Email to brittany@superiorpublicmuseums.org or mail to: 
Superior Public Museums 906 E. 2nd St. Superior, WI 54880
Superior Public Museums

Employment Details

We’ll work with you to fit your schedule; work a little bit or a lot – one day a week, or up to 40 hours for limited term summer employment. If you’re a people person, if you are comfortable engaging with the public, if you want to work in a friendly environment, you’re the person we’re looking for! We’ll give you all the training you need to conduct fun and interesting tours of one or more of our three historic sites – Fairlawn Mansion, the SS Meteor Ship Museum, and the Old Firehouse & Police Museum.

Requirements: Tour guides at Fairlawn Mansion and the SS Meteor take groups of up to 20 visitors on 45 minute guided tours. You will also welcome visitors to the sites, provide information, and handle sales transactions of admissions and merchandise. You must be able to answer phones, operate a cash register, climb multiple flights of stairs, and be on your feet several hours at a time.

Tours at the Old Firehouse & Police Museum are free and self-guided. Staff members act as hosts to visitors, greeting them with a warm welcome and answering questions they may have about the museum and collections. You will also answer phones and operate a cash register for sales of merchandise.

We are always interested in new applicants. Annual recruiting for our summer season begins in March. Interviews and training start in April. Summer hours of operation for all three sites begin in mid-May. Interested parties can stop by the Fairlawn Gift Shop for an application.

Join the Fun and Shape Superior’s History! 📝

👉🏻 We need YOUR HELP to keep Fairlawn Mansion, the S.S. Meteor, and the Old Firehall & Police Museum as amazing as ever. Your opinion matters! 👇🏼

💡 Simply take a few minutes to complete a survey, so you can share your thoughts on the museums and management, help us determine what’s important to the community and museum goers, and suggest cool ideas.

🎁 And, for taking the survey, we’ve included some sweet chances to WIN some fun prizes!

  • $50 Gift Shop spree at Fairlawn
  • Two Holiday Sampler tickets
  • One survey per person, please!
  • Deadline is June 28, 2024 🗓️