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Position Title:                      Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Development        

Department:                         Sales & Marketing, Development & Outreach

Classification:                     Exempt          

Direct Report:                      President and Chief Executive Officer  

  1. Position Summary

The Vice President of Development and Outreach will be responsible for the development, implementation and management of all sales, marketing, communications, advertising, membership and development strategies and programs for Mississippi Aquarium. The position will also develop the Aquarium Marketing Plan including the coordination of all advertising, promotional events and retail partnerships as well as developing and implementing the Group Sales Program including group admissions, catering and events.

  1. Responsibilities:
  • Responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive advertising and marketing budget and plan that position the aquarium as a premier attraction
  • Responsible for ensuring proper use of Mississippi Aquarium Brand.
  • Develops and implements innovative marketing strategies and programs to increase sales
  • Develops and coordinates cooperative marketing strategies with major corporate advertisers, sponsors or donors
  • Develops retail partnerships relative to advertising and promotions and evaluates potential ROI
  • Ensures that all advertising and promotional plans are in place and monitored appropriately and evaluate potential ROI
  • Assist all other departments with marketing, promotional and advertising needs
  • Reviews bids and secures contracts with major vendors appropriate for marketing
  • Develops and coordinates the PR and communications effort of the aquarium.
  • Participates on Senior Management team in organization-wide projects designed to meet specific short- and long-term Aquarium objectives
  • Develops and implements Groups Sales Budget and Program as part of overall Marketing Plan
  • Develops sales strategies and programs targeting advance ticket sales, group sales and the tour and travel industry
  • Responsible for attaining projected revenue and attendance goals, setting price strategies and developing special events and evening uses of the facility
  • Oversees major events at the aquarium such as festivals, public events, etc.
  • Creates retail and media promotions that increase attendance, especially in non-peak periods
  • Coordinates print material, working with printer to produce brochures, sales kits, etc.; checks on press runs
  • Provides business intelligence of sales and admissions data, ticket sales and group sales on an as needed basis
  • Analyzes and interprets data from research companies regarding advertising and promotions
  • Develops and Implements the Aquarium’s fundraising efforts including developing the organization’s base of individual, foundation, corporate, and government philanthropic support as well as its general membership.
  • Develops and Implements a special giving initiatives and comprehensive capital campaigns.
  • Assist multiple departments in identifying and applying for local, state and federal grants.
  • Assumes a leadership role in statewide and regional organizations including tourism promotion groups, aquarium/zoo/museum associations so that the aquarium’s interests are well-represented
  • Delivers extraordinary customer service to all aquarium guests and internal customers
  • Develops effective department planning establishing a course of action with specific long-range goals for the aquarium; setting priorities among competing requirements and allocating resources in the most efficient and effective way; developing contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment.
  • Department leadership to include a partnership with Human Resources to provide staffing & development including hiring, firing, promotions, workload balancing, development, training, performance management and evaluations, staff recognition, performance coaching, and diversity management
  • To perform other duties as workload necessitates.                             

III.  Qualifications:  

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Public/Media Relations, or Communications / Journalism. 
  • 10 to 15 years’ experience in marketing management, preferably in the Hospitality and Attraction Industry with a focus on strategic planning, sales, promotions, public relations and community affairs
  • Five years or more prior department management experience.
  • Prior experience in the Mississippi Gulf Coast markets is preferred
  • Strong interpersonal and management skills with the ability to interact and positively impact at all levels within the organization, community and with business and political leaders who influence the Aquarium’s success
  • Demonstrated and proven leadership and previous management experience
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication including superior public/presentation skills essential
  • Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, integrity and confidentiality
  • Above average customer service orientation that includes the ability to listen and understand the customer (both internal and external) while anticipating and evaluating the customer’s needs; making the customer’s satisfaction a high priority in all areas of responsibility
  • Effective planning and organizational skills
  • Technical knowledge of printing and media
  • Flexible work schedule including weekends as well as the ability to travel

Team Requirements:       

  1. Safety & Security - All Team Members are required to adhere to all Mississippi Aquarium safety and security standards.
  2. Attendance & Appearance - To maximize the guest’s experience, all Team Members are required to adhere to Mississippi Aquarium standard operating procedures regarding attendance and dress code policies as it relates to individual job functionality.
  3. Sales & Guest Services - Our forward-thinking business model requires listening and understanding the needs of our guests both internal and external. To that end, we must always be focused on the guest experience which is the key driver for return guest visitation and increased sales.
  4. Team Partnership - All Team Members are focused on supporting each other to complete the guest experience. Therefore, supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness is vital to our Organization.

Physical Demands & Work Environment:      

The physical demands and work environment 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 occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Essential functions of this job described may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. 

About Mississippi Aquarium
The Magnolia State is full of aquatic wonders, from the river-carved Delta to the Gulf Coast and much more. The time is now for Mississippi to have a premier aquarium that celebrates our state’s marine life, showcases our river and coastal heritage, and serves as an educationally enriching hub of aquatic understanding. That is exactly why the State of Mississippi and the City of Gulfport teamed up to make the Mississippi Aquarium a reality.Anticipated to open in late 2019 / early 2020, the Aquarium will set a course for a transformational, progressive, yet sustainable evolution for the entire state. The Aquarium will attract visitors from all over the world elevating Mississippi as a family-friendly tourism destination for many years to come. In addition, we have the opportunity to be a trusted resource for ocean education and conservation for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
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