The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Inc. (the Aquarium) seeks a Director of Finance to lead the strategic direction, management and execution of its financial operations during a uniquely important time in its 32 year history. In addition to addressing the immediate financial challenges due to COVID-19, the Aquarium is currently undertaking major capital projects, and further is envisioning significant expansion of its education programs and conservation initiatives on behalf of the region and Long Island Sound, a nationally recognized ecosystem.
In partnership with the City of Norwalk and State of Connecticut, the Aquarium recently began a $40 million capital construction project to replace the IMAX Theater and the harbor seal exhibit, to be completed over the next year, as a prelude to the replacement of the Walk Bridge, major construction scheduled to begin in 2021.
The Director of Finance plays a central role in the overall success of the Aquarium, with the responsibility of managing business and financial strategies and practices to successfully fulfill the Aquarium’s ambitious mission, conduct the activities and programs hosted by the Aquarium, and achieve plans for future growth and expansion. The Director of Finance will develop and manage strong and well-maintained financial oversight, policies and control systems for the Aquarium, and will coordinate financial matters with other departments and programs of the organization.
The Director of Finance reports to the President and CEO, works closely with the Board of Trustees and the Finance and Audit Committees, and is part of the institution’s senior management team alongside the Chief Operating Officer, and the Directors of Animal Husbandry, Development, Education, Exhibits, Guest Operations, and Marketing. The Director of Finance supervises a staff of four, including a senior accountant, accounting manager, reconciliations accountant, and payroll manager.
- Provide clear, strong leadership in establishing and managing the overall financial strategy, policies and decisions on behalf of the Aquarium; to critically appraise the Aquarium’s financial position and systems on an ongoing basis; and, working with the CEO and Board, proactively make adjustments as necessary and appropriate;
- Manage financial risk by analyzing liabilities, identifying opportunities, and anticipating/responding to threats encountered by the Aquarium;
- Provide timely and accurate monthly financial reports to the Senior Management Team and the Board of Trustees;
- Serve as a representative of the Aquarium, in particular through sound business relationships with bank/lending institutions, city and state officials, and other financial partners;
- Manage balance sheet risk by analyzing assets and liabilities, identifying opportunities and anticipating/responding to issues current and future;
- Analyze interim revenue performance and costs, identify issues and trends, work with directors to understand results and implications;
- Review and maintain financial commitments associated with all grant and contractual relationships with funders, vendors, partner institutions, and consultants,
- Working closely with the Director of Development, provide timely reports to public and private grantors to comply with all restricted covenants and contractual obligations associated with grants;
- Supervise, motivate, inspire and mentor the finance team to excel in their responsibilities;
- Stay abreast of best practices for non-profit financial management, especially those related to aquariums, zoos and museums;
- Perform other duties as assigned by the CEO and Board of Trustees (this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities required of the employee for this job).
- Develop and manage the annual budget for the Aquarium, working closely with each director and their respective departments;
- Develop and maintain comprehensive financial modeling that enables the Aquarium to understand the effects of pricing, attendance, staffing, fundraising and operating cost changes;
- Prepare monthly report on endowment, track against investment benchmarks, ensure compliance with investment policy, and recommend appropriate investment strategies;
- Establish and maintain accountability metrics, including a management dashboard;
- Propose accountability metrics for results and methods for using them regularly as yardsticks.
- Accounting, Audit and Compliance Oversight
- Establish, monitor and ensure compliance with internal policies and procedures relating to all financial controls and internal audits, in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices;
- Oversee general ledger and perform monthly reconciliation of G/L accounts to G/L cash expenses; oversee preparation of monthly P&L statement, balance sheet and cash flow reports, including actuals and forecasts; prepare and distribute departmental budget reports; and prepare fixed asset analyses;
- Maintain and oversee chart of accounts;
- Manage cash disbursements and decisions regarding accounts payable, revenue recognition, grants and other restricted funds, fund transfers, payroll and pension plan;
- Perform restricted grant reconciliation and analyses;
- Oversee annual audit in conjunction with independent accounting firm, CEO and the Board;
- Prepare and file IRS Forms 5500 and 990, State tax filings; review and submit payroll tax reports; manage other compliance and government filings as required.
- Minimum of ten years of relevant and progressive financial oversight and management experience, including 5 years of supervisory experience.
- Financial management experience in a non-profit organization, and thorough knowledge of nonprofit accounting principles and standards, in particular revenue recognition, management of restricted funds, audit, and Form 990 filing.
- CPA or graduate degree in public administration, business administration or a related field.
- Meticulous about details, with good problem-solving skills, sound judgment and excellent interpersonal skills.
- Commitment to the Aquarium’s mission, with an appreciation for the important role that the Aquarium plays in conservation, education and the life of a vibrant community.
- Strong leadership ability with proven management skills in leading and developing a staff, and working within a highly motivated team.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Strong spreadsheet skills and experience and versatility in accounting software (The Aquarium uses Peachtree, and while experience with Peachtree is preferred, it is not required).
The Maritime Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity.