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Zoological Society of Milwaukee

Programs Operations Manager

This position takes a holistic view of program operations management within the Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s (ZSM) conservation education department. This role ensures that critical training, technology and administrative infrastructure is in place to support all conversation education programs. In addition, this person manages the conservation careers pathway, supervising interns and engaging volunteers in support of the ZSM mission to educate people about the importance of wildlife and animals and support the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ).

An individual in this position must be able to successfully perform the essential duties and responsibilities listed below. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.
This list of duties and responsibilities is not all-inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties and responsibilities, as deemed appropriate.
  • Oversight of technological aspects of Conservation Education Programs
    • Management of 3 seasonal registration processes and facilitation of online registration processes, working closely with the Education Programs Manager and IT manager
    • Lead the implementation of Tessitura (CRM platform) in support of conservation education programs and resource scheduling platforms
    • Thoroughly learn Tessitura; use Tessitura Analytics to inform conservation education programming, and support managers in use of analytics to inform each program area
    • Maximize Smartsheet (the department’s collaborative work management platform) for the Conservation Education Department, by providing ongoing maintenance and improvements to platform’s use, and by using Smartsheet as a means of scheduling, tracking, invoicing, etc. for programs.
    • Train and support colleagues in the use of Tessitura, Smartsheet and other tools as needed
  • Direct summer intern, volunteer and staff learning and onboarding in Conservation Education Department, including:
    • Conduct oversight of all intern programs, including recruiting, hiring, onboarding, scheduling, coaching and evaluating, and deploying interns to program areas as needed.
    • Create staff trainings on topics pertaining to their roles and responsibilities, as well as conservation, informal education, zoos and aquariums, and more, as requested.
    • Work closely with Human Resources Manager to ensure consistency in Conservation Education departmental onboarding and training, including but not limited to, 1st aid/CPR, program policies and procedures, and conservation education best practices
    • Explore the feasibility of an adult learning program within conservation education, in collaboration with Zoo Pride staff
    • Create and lead the conservation careers committee, aiming to cultivate a career pathway program from middle school through college-age students through life-long learners
    • Work closely with Zoo Pride and conservation education staff to ensure that volunteer talent supports conservation education program outcomes
  • Create, modify, monitor and maintain budgets aligned with department strategy, working with the development office on contributed revenues and adjusting spending as needed.
  • Lead collaborative processes across program areas and with MCZ to ensure resources and training are available to support programs
    • Responsible for collecting and preparing information for each seasonal Letter of Intent (LoI), which describes programmatic points of collaboration between MCZ and ZSM, submission and related work order process;
    • Facilitate communications and meetings to debrief the LoI and program needs after each season, problem solving to meet shared goals
    • Work closely with Zoo staff to ensure that proper training is in place for animal handling; maintain and improve program policies and procedures related to animal care for Conservation Education Department purposes
  • Lead processes to improve environmental sustainability and efficiency
    • Ensure that materials and supplies used in conservation education are sustainably sourced, responsibly used and appropriately recycled
    • Work closely with the conservation coordinator to train staff and volunteers on sustainable practices
    • Lead major and minor process improvement efforts as requested.
  • In collaboration with Conservation Education Leadership team, ensure quality and consistency within staff training processes and presentations, to include:
    • Review and improvement of intern and part-time education staff training.
    • Collaboration with leadership on full-time education staff training.
    • Review and improve Zoo Pride volunteer trainings.
  • Work with Creative Department to ensure Conservation Education signage reflects conservation education activities and goals, and actively participate in the Creative Department’s interpretive exhibit strategic planning as requested
  • Facilitate and support positive internal communications and organizational culture.
  • Serve as a leadership team representative to ZSM and MCZ leadership, including the ZSM board of directors, education committee, and MCZ guest experience committee; represent the Conservation Education Department and ZSM to local and national organizations, as needed.
  • Develop curriculum and teach courses/classes for ZSM programming as requested.
  • Assist with Conservation Education Department light housekeeping, as needed.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Experience Required

• Bachelor’s degree in education, business management, non-profit management or related field. • Two or more years’ experience with volunteer management, resource management, and/or process management. • Minimum two years of leadership experience, with a demonstrated ability to manage complex projects, improve processes, produce high quality products, lead and collaborate with people and get results from teams. • A high degree of technological savvy and the ability to train others in technological skills • Proven ability to work independently and in teams. • Proven ability to prioritize and plan work activities and use time efficiently to meet deadlines. • Knowledge of and strong interest in adult training and learning principles and practices; process improvement principles and practices; and career pipelines and career development • Demonstration of excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills; Spanish or second language fluency a plus. • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite; proficiency in additional collaboration platforms, CRMs (experience with Tessitura a plus), and resource scheduling tools preferred. • Possession of a valid driver’s license, personal vehicle and adequate car insurance with the ability to frequently travel to program sites, meetings and professional opportunities (with occasional out-of-town and overnight commitments). • Ability to become CPR/1st Aid certified within 6 months of employment; annual recertification required. • Ability to work flexible hours, including 1-3 weekend days per month.


Commensurate with experience

How to Apply

Click here to apply:


Zoological Society of Milwaukee
Zoological Society, 10005 W. Bluemound Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Phone: 414-258-5058 x433

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