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Senior Vice President of Operations

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Draper, United States Posted: August 31 2023

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that inspires people to explore, discover, and learn about Earth’s diverse ecosystems. A world-class facility, the Aquarium provides learning opportunities for all levels, interests, and ages. Since opening its new facility in Draper in March 2014, the Aquarium has welcomed over eight million visitors. Home to more than 4,000 animals representing 650 species, the Aquarium showcases ecosystems from around the planet including kelp forests, coral reefs, the deep ocean, Antarctic waters, Asian cloud forests, South American rain forests, and the waterways of our home state of Utah. The Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza includes an outdoor, nine-acre space, virtual reality experience, peaceful gardens, artistic sculptures, and unique event facility. The Aquarium is expanding to create a new 120,000 square foot Science Learning Center to further our mission. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

LLPA is seeking a Senior Vice President of Operations to oversee the aquarium’s business performance. The SVP of Operations will be responsible for all aspects of the daily operations of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.  This position will evaluate the short- and long-term success of LLPA’s exhibits, events, and conservation efforts. The Senior Vice President of Operations will work alongside a senior leadership team to develop and execute long-term financial and strategic goals. This role will leverage procurement and community partnerships to optimize the day-to-day business practices of the aquarium. This role will also ensure daily business practices effectively contribute to long-term aquarium goals, produce maximum efficiency, and adhere to relevant laws, regulations, policies, and accreditation standards.

Strategic Leadership
  • Establish, implement, and communicate the strategic direction of the aquarium’s operations division
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to develop and meet company goals while supplying expertise and guidance on operations projects and systems
  • Guide the development, tracking, and reporting of guest and market research to deliver actionable KPIs
  • Identify, recommend, and implement new processes, technologies, and systems to improve and streamline organizational processes and use of resources and materials.
  • Ascertain departmental decisions and project plans such as those for staffing, development, material efficiency, hardware acquisitions, and facilities are in line with the organization's business plan and vision
  • Establish, communicate, and implement operations-related policies, practices, standards, and security measures to ensure effective and consistent support and execution
  • Review and approve cost-control reports, cost estimates, and staffing requirements for projects
  • Present periodic performance reports and metrics to the chief executive officer and other leadership
  • Maintain knowledge of emerging technologies and trends in operations management
  • Identify training needs and ensure proper training is developed and provided
  • Develop short- and long-range goals; evaluate results and provide regular reporting of progress towards such goals
  • Ensure systems and standard operating procedures are up to date; assist in company policy development and documentation
Financial and Contract Management
  • Manage $15 million+ in operations
  • Analyze financial statements and establish controls to safeguard funds; review income and costs relative to goals; take corrective action as necessary
  • Oversee preparation of annual budget for each department managed
  • Seek additional revenue opportunities and business growth to increase the Aquarium's market share in General Attendance, Membership and Group Sales
  • Work closely with cafe, facility rental, and gift shop partners to ensure continuity of brand compliance, guest experience, and optimal revenue generation
  • Manage vendor performance and negotiate vendor contracts
Team and Guest Experience
  • Train team members on the importance of, and techniques in, providing world-class guest service
  • Work with Human Resources to drive a diverse and inclusive culture, enhanced with team member engagement, growth, development, etc.; ensure that performance of all department personnel is evaluated regularly and new team members are appropriately trained
  • Identify opportunities for staff growth and development, and mentor staff to realize the opportunities
  • Create new, and improve upon current, product and programs for our guests
  • Work with Marketing Department in advertising opportunities in Utah and other surrounding markets
Continuous Improvement
  • Ensure best practices in husbandry are in place and that animal collection is healthy and secure
  • Oversee preparation for and ensure successful AZA accreditation and maintenance of accredited status
  • Interface with other local attraction associations and attend professional networking meetings to keep up-to-date on current information and developments in the industry
  • Work closely with vendors and IT staff to develop and customize ticketing software, address hardware needs and to oversee use of the system
  • Partner with IT to ensure network function and security
  • Ensure systems and standard operating procedures are up to date
  • Oversee regulatory compliance with all policies and procedures and monitor the internal control environment of departments
  • Maintain emergency response and safety preparedness and procedures
  • Bachelor’s degree in an industry-related field, such as (but not limited to) Business Administration, Hospitality Management, Economics, Finance, or Organizational Leadership
  • 10 years of professional, on-the -job experience, at least 5 of those years must be in aquariums, zoos, or hospitality and attractions
Skills and Abilities
  • Strong administrative skills
  • Ability to lead, motivate, delegate, upskill, coach, and resolve conflict among direct reports, team members and peers
  • Creative problem-solver with the capability to improve the quality of current practices and procedures
  • Skilled analyst of records and trends in order to create an effective data-driven strategy
  • Out-of-the-box thinker who understands the power of marketing/public relations and has a successful track record in driving the adoption of technology products and services
  • An energetic, creative, and credible leader with high ethical standards
  • Proven ability to cope with conflict, stress, and crisis situations
  • Thorough knowledge of animal wellness standards
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Capable of meeting performance standards and deadlines even in high-pressure situations
  • Proficient with digital workplace solutions including, but not limited to, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, accounting and ticketing software
Physical Requirements:

A successful candidate will be able to perform the following physical requirements with or without reasonable accommodation

  • Travel in- and outside the facility to conduct safety inspections
  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • Stand, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and run
  • Close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception
  • Routinely lift and move up to 50 pounds
  • Working hours may include evenings, holidays, and weekends

While this job description attempts to describe the essential functions of the position, it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned. It does not restrict management’s right to assign or reassign duties or responsibilities to this job at any time. The overall work environment while performing this job includes exposure to weather conditions and the noise level is usually moderate. The employee is expected to adhere to all policies and to act as a role model in the adherence to the policies.

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