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Executive Director

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Executive Director in Orange County

  • Sterling Search Inc.
  • Full time
  • Email
  • Orange County
  • 02/12/2020
  • Report

Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the new Executive Director for Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC).

Surfer Magazine founder John Serverson’s desk will have a permanent home at SHACC.

Surfer Magazine founder John Serverson’s desk will have a permanent home at SHACC.




Our mission is to preserve, promote and present surfing’s heritage and cultural impact. 

Click here for the virtual tour


In the mid-1990s founders Dick Metz and Spencer Croul’s worlds combined. Both surf historians and collectors met at a surf auction, each there to build upon their extensive collections of surf boards and artifacts.  Both passionate about the restoration and the archival importance of their combined collections, they had an overwhelming desire to showcase this to the world. Hence the seeds of the formation of the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center known to many as SHACC, were sown.

Today, SHACC houses the world’s most authoritative archive of surfing artifacts, surfboards, memorabilia, photography, video, periodical and scholarly works. Its various collections arrive from all corners of the globe and reflect the spirit of exploration and adventure that is core to surfing’s ethos. Its educational programs and events focus on bringing surfing’s rich history and stories to life.  Through it all SHACC celebrates what it means to be a surfer, and why surfing has captured hearts and minds since the first time someone rode a wave.

Today, SHACC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It is mighty in assets boasting $4.5 million and has an annual revenue of about $400,000. Just recently SHACC was blessed with a bequest that provides them with about an additional $1.5 million of unrestricted assets.

Over the years SHACC has had opportunities to showcase their unique collections highlighted in 2015 with its exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Art History. Playing a crucial role in local history SHACC’s most recent exciting announcement is its expansion with donated additional exhibit space as the cornerstone of the revitalization of Dana Point Harbor, which breaks ground in 2022.

Click here for a video of the new harbor design.

2020 is SHACC’s 20th birthday, which presents the new Executive Director with an opportunity to celebrate their founders, supporters and volunteers, as well as highlight the future of SHACC’s expansion, all at a time when surfing starts a new era by making its debut appearance in the 2022 Summer Olympics.


Position Description

SHACC has had several dedicated Executive Directors in its 20-year tenure. However, as SHACC is on a precipice of significant growth, it is essential that the new Executive Director has the experience, skills and a demonstrated track record of organizational growth, to leverage SHACC’s growth at this pivotal time in its evolution.

This is a phenomenal leadership, yet hands-on role, for an entrepreneurial leader.  As the preeminent organization in its field, SHACC has barely touched the surface of a successful outreach and communications strategy. For the new Executive Director, the opportunities for membership growth and continued program expansion are limitless.    

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following:

Commitment to the mission and work of SHACC with the credibility and persuasiveness to secure support from others.
Familiarity with and a strong commitment to the surfing community and culture.
A manager who leads by example and exemplifies the values and ethics of the organization.
An organized individual with strong creative and conceptual skills who can strategically lead the organization but will spend the majority of their time in tactical functions.
A doer who functions effectively without being autocratic or political; must be a team player who is inclusive, flexible, creative, energetic, and fair minded.
A decisive and resourceful individual who will accept responsibility and take charge of results, as well as work successfully with limited resources.
A self-starter who is confident enough to express opinions, to forge ahead when appropriate and hold back when necessary, with a sensitivity to the feelings and opinions of others.
An energetic person who is emotionally mature and dependable, a collegial individual.


shacc 4.jpg
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Specific Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors.  The Executive Director is the chief spokesperson representing the organization to constituencies, both internal and external. The Executive Director will build, foster, and maintain a balanced organizational culture that inspires mission excellence with the efficacy of best business practices, fiscal accountability, and institutional impact.  


 Fund Development

  • Partner with the Board of Directors and staff to evaluate the organization’s development function and chart its philanthropic future.

  • Develop a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs tailored to the needs of the organization that will enable it to attract, retain and motivate donors and fundraising volunteers. 

  • Serve as the primary contact for donors, and personally manage a growing portfolio of increasingly significant donor relationships.

  • Write and develop grants and prepare reports to share with the grantor.

  • Design and host special donor events and experiences that help tangibly convey the stories and experiences of generosity to impact and support the needs of the community.

  • Assure design and implementation of acknowledgment, stewardship and recognition programs with feedback and necessary check off systems.

  • Oversee design and maintenance of donor and prospect records, proposals, gift management systems, and informational reports.

  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintain accountability standards to donors, and ensure compliance with the code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.


  • Report to a governing Board of Directors and collaborate with them in the development and approval of a strategic plan and execution.

  • Recruit, on-board, supervise, empower, and mentor the professional development of a small team of staff professionals and volunteers.

  • Develop and implement personnel policies and procedures to include employee handbook and updated job descriptions.

  • Manage and implement an effective performance management system for all employees which will include setting objectives and evaluation of them on an annual basis.

  • Lead, motivate, manage, and develop staff to invoke passion about the mission of SHACC and foster a culture of philanthropy and an environment committed to continuous improvement.

Marketing, Public Relations and Community Partnerships

  • Continue to raise the public profile of SHACC by serving as the spokesperson and advocate for the Foundation, as well as being a visible, visionary, and influential leader and fundraiser in the community.

  • Raise the visibility, marketing, and communications effectiveness of SHACC’s brand, including its digital presence.

  • Continuously assess community needs, evaluating partnership opportunities to promote programs uniquely suited to the mission.

Museum & Archives Programming:

  • Manage all details related to exhibitions and installations as well as satellite exhibition projects outside the building/in the community.

  • Ensure that tours are staffed appropriately and those responsible for arranging crating, shipping, insurance, contracts, travel policies and artwork loan agreements.

  • Work with a variety of vendors and companies during the process of production of exhibitions (fabricators, custom framers, painters, etc.)

  • Create and maintain records appropriate to the administration of the artifacts and archives.

  • Provide for archival preservation, security and arrangement of documents and artifacts of enduring value.

  • Oversee the staffing and procurement for the shop.

Volunteer Management

  • Define and execute the strategy of effectively mobilizing volunteers in support of SHACC’s mission.

  • Create a stewardship and recognition program for volunteers for appreciation and retention.

Fiscal and Investment Management

  • Work with the Board of Directors to create an annual budget and monitor performance against the budget.  Conduct regular reviews of financial data, exercising control as authorized by the Board of Directors.

  • Ensure fiduciary responsibility, sound financial management, and financial accountability for contributions, income, and assets.  Establish effective and transparent internal controls and record keeping.

  • Implement the investment policy as adopted by the Board, including interfacing with investment advisors, and related outside professionals.

  • Oversee risk and operational management.

  • Ensure public accountability compliance; works with external auditors, as necessary, on the annual audit.

Administration and Operations

  • Establish operational benchmarks and timelines to achieve strategic goals in support of SHACC’s strategic plan.

  • Assure the filing of all legal and regulatory documents to maintain compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and fiduciary requirements.

  • Ensure that SHACC is equipped with the appropriate tools and software to operate effectively and to maintain compliance standards.

  • Execute all other reasonable duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.


 We are seeking candidates offering the following qualifications:

  • Passion for SHACC’s mission and culture.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit, imagination, vision, leadership, and integrity.

  • A minimum of 5 years of major gift fundraising with individuals/corporations in a professional capacity with demonstrated results.

  • A minimum of 5 years of leadership experience, with increasing levels of responsibility and management of a small staff, preferably with direct collaboration with a Boards of Directors.

  • Proven track record of management success with comparable P&L, planning, and operations responsibilities.

  • A demonstrated ability to plan and operate strategically, to build public support, to strengthen infrastructure, to inspire staff and the Board of Directors, and to develop effective programs.

  • Exceptional nonprofit financial, organizational, and administrative skills.

  • Excellent knowledge of fiscal management, budgeting, and cash flow management.

  • The ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize, and follow through.

  • Strong communication skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of varied and changing constituencies, including staff, board members, donors, volunteers, and others.

  • A team builder with a track record of effective staff management, including hiring, rewarding, developing, and retaining talented managers and administrative staff members.

  • Ability to juggle many responsibilities at once and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team.

  • Computer literate: Knowledge of Word and Excel and an ability to learn database software.

  • Bachelor’s degree required.



A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

Please contact Nicole Seipel for more informartion via

The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Sterling Search Inc.