executive Director of finance & administration

Reports to: Chief Operating Officer

Location: Sarasota, FL

Van Wezel Foundation Overview

Join our growing Foundation team of dynamic professionals to create a legacy project for Southwest Florida – a world class performing arts center that you will be a part of. Roll up your sleeves and step into our fast-paced entrepreneurial organization to help us achieve something truly iconic. The mission of the Van Wezel Foundation is to create and sustain a vibrant performing arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts. Our values are Passion, Inclusivity, Collaboration and Stewardship.

The Van Wezel Foundation (aka, the Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation) is partnering with the city of Sarasota, other regional municipalities, private philanthropists and foundations to build and operate what will be the performing arts centerpiece of Sarasota and the entire gulf coast region. The new performing arts center will be a public-private-partnership in which the City of Sarasota and the Foundation will be the principal participants. Completing the project – construction, operations and programming – will require funding of more than $350 million, of which 50% is anticipated to be raised from philanthropic sources.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a growing leadership team during the start-up phase of an enormous project that will become an important cultural resource and legacy for Southwest Florida.

Job Overview and Position Objectives:

The Van Wezel Foundation/Sarasota Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is seeking an Executive Director of Finance and Administration to lead and provide strategic direction for all aspects of the organization’s Financial, Human Resources and Information Technology (IT) functions (responsibilities will include approximately 60% Finance, 30% Human Resources and 10% IT). Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Executive Director serves as a strategic partner for strengthening and evolving the Financial, Human Resources and IT operations of a growing, fast-paced non-profit organization, with a goal of positioning the Van Wezel Foundation/Sarasota Performing Arts Center for long-term growth and sustainability.

This position will oversee: all financial administration; financial modeling; financial reporting and analysis; business planning; internal controls and compliance; budget creation and tracking; daily accounting activities; investments, insurance and risk management; procurement requirements and processes; human resources and IT operations. The Executive Director will also act as a staff liaison with the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee, Audit Committee, and SPAC Finance Task Force.

The multi-faceted nature of this role provides an exciting opportunity for an entrepreneurial, self-motivated and disciplined leader to be a part of an organization poised for growth and expansion: in addition to its existing operations and mission-driven programming, the foundation will eventually oversee the operations of the future SPAC – a civic asset that will impact future generations to come.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities – Finance (approximately 60% of role):

Financial Modeling & Strategy:

  • Work with the foundation’s financial, banking and investment advisors to lead financial modeling and strategy for a growing foundation, including analyzing funding mechanisms and debt strategies for the construction of the new SPAC. Collaborate with the foundation’s leadership and consultants to develop and refine the future operating model, pricing strategy and cost structure of the new SPAC.
  • Perform financial projections and analysis of investments/endowment, debt/financing, and revenues/costs.
  • Engage the Advancement team to align financial management with short and long-term strategic planning and projections

Reporting & Analysis:

  • Provide leadership on the development and creation of financial reports and key metrics. Review and approve the preparation and finalization of monthly and annual financial statements, reports, analyses and metrics.
  • Monitor, interpret and present financial results of the foundation’s existing operations and programs each month; eventually, this responsibility will expand to include the construction and future operation of the new SPAC.
  • Provide strategic recommendations to senior leadership based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis.
  • Strong interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to create charts, graphs and other financial-related visual aids to effectively interpret and share data with a wide variety of stakeholder groups, including executive leadership, the Board of Directors, community partners and the public.

Accounting Operations:

  • Oversee long-term budgetary planning and revenue/cost management in alignment with the strategic plan.
  • Safeguard the physical and financial assets of the organization and assure the financial soundness and integrity of its procedures and operations.
  • Establish an accounting system that accurately maintains daily transactions as it relates to accounts receivable, accounts payable, asset activity, debt activity, payroll, bank/escrow/investment accounts, and the proper recording of revenue and expenses.
  • Lead the annual financial planning and budgeting processes and prepare annual operating and capital budgets. Work with foundation leadership and staff to develop and implement department and organizational budgets.
  • Coordinate data requests and provide budgets, reports and documents to various donors, grantors, government agencies, and SPAC partners.
  • Manage the organization’s annual audit and prepare the IRS 990 form, working closely with external auditors and other financial partners.
  • Oversee licensing, state reporting, tax and regulatory filings, insurance and reporting requirements.
  • Oversee payroll, PTO accrual and the administration of the organization’s benefits and retirement plans.
  • Ensure efficient procedures and documentation for all financial systems including receipts, disbursements, billing, bookkeeping, budgeting and accounting.

Compliance and Controls:

  • Manage the organization’s compliance and risk management activities.
  • Create and maintain stringent internal controls, in accordance with best practice and in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements, and other municipal, state and federal requirements.
  • Monitor and maintain a calendar for municipal, state and federal compliance activities.
  • Maintain employee files and foundation documents, in accordance with best practice, legal and accounting requirements, and foundation bylaws.
  • Monitor existing and new legislation, ensuring adherence to all requirements, and advise foundation leadership on necessary actions.


  • Establish procurement policies and monitor related activities, following best practice and ensuring compliance with any requirements set forth by the City of Sarasota and other government entities.
  • Work with the COO to communicate procurement requirements to the staff, ensuring the consistent and compliant procurement of products and services across each department.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities – Human Resources (approximately 30% of role):

General Human Resources:

  • Perform oversight and management of Human Resources activities including recruitment and termination, performance reviews, employee file management, payroll and benefits, labor/employee relations, disciplinary actions, performance improvement programs, training and development, and teambuilding activities.
  • Work with the COO to develop and update Human Resources procedures, policies and materials, including the employee handbook and other critical documents.
  • Ensure compliance with all state and federal employment laws and requirements.


  • Work with the COO to develop job descriptions, and update descriptions on an annual basis.
  • Work with the COO to perform aspects of hiring and onboarding new employees, including maintaining a comprehensive checklist of onboarding activities, preparing onboarding materials, overseeing the completion of new hire paperwork, and preparing work spaces and equipment.


  • Work with the COO to perform aspects of terminating and offboarding employees, including maintaining a comprehensive checklist of offboarding activities, preparing offboarding materials and documentation, overseeing the completion of termination/offboarding paperwork, and retrieving foundation property and equipment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities – IT Management (approximately 10% of role):

Information Technology:

  • Oversee IT outsourcing and the eventual transfer of IT functions to the foundation.
  • Coordinate IT vendors/providers and serve as a key liaison between the vendors and the foundation.
  • Responsible for hardware purchasing and set-up, as well as software management.
  • Implement and oversee cybersecurity controls.

Other Responsibilities:

  • May occasionally supervise interns and volunteers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent analytic and technical skills in financial management including accounting, private and public funding, debt/financing, and investments.
  • Demonstrated understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), IRS regulations and other applicable municipal, state and federal laws. Demonstrated understanding of employment law.
  • Experience in building and monitoring operating and capital budgets, costing and revenue projections, and financial statements.
  • Proven expertise in managing investment and loan functions for nonprofits and capital campaigns is desired; familiarity with the monetization of pledges is a plus.
  • Ability to synthesize financial data into clear, persuasive presentations and documents.
  • Proficient in accounting and financial management software such as Financial Edge; experience with Raiser’s Edge fundraising software is a plus. Familiarity with human capital management software such as Workday, ADP Workforce Now or similar platforms is a plus. Part of the responsibilities of the Executive Director will include evaluating, recommending and procuring optimal financial management and human capital management software.
  • Proficiency in data dashboard platforms such as Power BI, ClicData, Domo or similar software programs. Part of the responsibilities of the Executive Director will include evaluating, recommending and procuring an optimal data dashboard platform for the SPAC and foundation operations.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Windows, including Excel, Word, Power Point, Outlook, and MS Teams.
  • Cost conscious and effectively conserves organizational resources.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, evolving organization is a must; can multitask with ease.
  • Proven ability to solve problems creatively, efficiently and satisfactorily; takes a solution-oriented approach to challenges.
  • Highly organized and possesses superior time management skills. Ability to manage competing demands and priorities.
  • Possess the ability to delegate effectively, and follow up on assignments to ensure completion on-time and on-budget. Demonstrates tactful, but persistent, follow-up skills.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Positive attitude, outstanding work ethic, and strong sense of urgency and commitment to results.
  • Self-starter with the ability to handle ambiguity and willingness to accept additional responsibility.
  • Demonstrated skills in proactively building relationships and partnerships with community stakeholders and team members.
  • Supervisory experience and leadership skills in working effectively with consultants and vendors.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work weekends and evenings as needed.

Required Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance or related discipline from an accredited college or university.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification

Preferred Education and Experience:

  • An MBA or related advanced degree is a plus.

Minimum Requirements:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

  • Eight (8) + years of related professional and progressive experience in accounting, financial planning, human resources, reporting, analysis and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership.
  • Three (3) or more years of people management experience and/or leading committees and project teams.
  • Nonprofit experience and familiarity with the performing arts is preferred, but not required.

Position Status:

This is an exempt full-time position. Generally, the hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a 40-hour work week. The hours may be adjusted as required to ensure that the job is accomplished. Some weekends/nights work is to be expected. This position generally has some local and regional travel, but typically no more than five percent of the time.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet 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 frequently required to stand and reach with hands and arms. The employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk and sit.

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.


The Foundation has reviewed this job description to ensure that essential functions and basic duties have been included. The Foundation reserves the right to change it at its sole discretion at any time and without any advance notice. This job description and list of functions is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all functions, responsibilities, skills and abilities. Additional functions and requirements may be assigned by supervisors as deemed appropriate.


The Van Wezel Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.