Director of Operations, Bookworm Gardens

Posted: 09/13/2021

Hop aboard the magic school bus! Meet the three bears! Dig for dinosaur bones! Bookworm Gardens is a vibrant, playful botanic garden located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin that is inspired by children's literature, the natural world, and the imagination. Opened in 2010, the 7.5 acre non-profit garden includes 75+ environments based on children’s books. Bookworm serves over 80,000 visitors per year during its open season (May 1 - October 31) and is known for its innovative and engaging educational programs, nationally acclaimed garden spaces, and creative work environment. All programming and garden spaces relate directly to Bookworm’s mission: “to inspire the love of books and nature in the young and young at heart” and vision as: “the premier destination providing whimsical garden experiences by bringing children’s literature to life.” For additional information, please visit


As we enter a period of expansion, Bookworm Gardens seeks a team-oriented and enthusiastic Director of Operations who will thrive in a fast-paced environment and who is well-suited to working collaboratively with a small staff. If you have a passion for efficiency, enjoy interacting with a wide range of community members, and are motivated by creative brainstorming (with a touch of whimsy), this job is for you.


This position will work closely with the Executive Director to oversee the development and management of Bookworm’s administration + finance, human resources, visitor services, and retail areas. They are directly responsible for the day-to-day management of administration + finance (30%), visitor services + admission (30%), retail (15%), tours and rentals (10%), and human resources (15%) areas. They will oversee multiple staff members within those areas.  In addition to leadership, scheduling, and oversight, the Director of Operations is also involved in the many aspects of day-to-day departmental operations.  This position will be managed by the Executive Director and be a part of Bookworm’s leadership team.


Operations Roles and Responsibilities: 

  • Administration + Finance: oversee the Administrative Manager; work closely with both staff and board members to create and manage the annual budget; organize and consult on major projects, including new garden spaces and capital projects; manage outside contractors and oversee general supplies

  • Visitor Services: oversee Bookworm’s admission system in Altru; lead and schedule the Visitor Associate team, keeping in mind both the visitor and staff onsite experiences

  • Retail: oversee the growth and development of the Gardens’ Nature Shop, including management of the Nature Shop Coordinator and coordination of Nature Shop Volunteers 

  • Tours + Rentals: manage, mentor, assist, and evaluate the Tours and Rentals Coordinator; work to develop revenue goals within this area and evaluate both facilities and staffing needs for growth and expansion.

  • Human Resources: provide vision and leadership within Bookworm’s HR realm; work collaboratively with the Executive Director and other members of the leadership team to formalize policies and procedures while preserving our creative community culture


Organization Wide Roles and Responsibilities

  • Manage Administrative Manager, Nature Shop Coordinator, Tours + Rentals Coordinator, and Visitors Services Team

  • Serve as a member of Bookworm’s leadership team

  • Assist the Executive Director with the organization's annual budget of revenue + expenses

  • Work collaboratively with members of the Education + Community Programming, Horticulture + Facilities, and Special Events teams as well as the Executive Director

  • Participate in organization wide events and experiences (including, but not limited to: Secret Garden Dinner Series, Happily Haunted Gardens, and annual fundraiser). This will include some nights and weekends, May - October. 

  • Other duties as assigned


Experience + Education

  • A Bachelor’s degree in management, business, human resources, non-profit management or a related field, with 3-5 years of applicable experience

  • Strong organizational skills including time/project management and budget development

  • Excellent managerial and interpersonal skills and ability to work well and collaborate effectively with a range of audiences including staff, volunteers, board members, donors, Gardens members and the general public

  • Experience in database management: Bookworm Gardens uses Altru as its donor database software

  • Skills in creative problem solving

  • Flexible and adaptable to changing demands and priorities

  • A passion for outdoor learning, children’s literature and/or the natural world is a plus!


Additional Information

  • Manager: Executive Director 

  • Manages: Administration Manager, Tours and Rentals Coordinator, Nature Shop Coordinator, Visitor Associate Team (4-8 employees total)

  • FLSA Salary Classification: Full-time, Exempt

  • Salary + Benefits: competitive with paid holidays, paid vacation, and access to retirement benefits. Bookworm Gardens does not offer health care benefits at this time.

  • Availability: On Season (May - October): on-site standard business hours with occasional evening and weekend availability as required to support the department and organizational needs. Off Season (November - April): a flexible combination of on-site and remote work, with hours shifting to half time in December, January and February


Physical Requirements and Work Environment: The position requires the ability to stand for long periods of time, sit, reach, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and lift and carry weight up to 50 lbs. It also requires work in all outdoor weather conditions. 


How to Apply: Send resume, cover letter, and references to In your cover letter, please state why you are attracted to this position and how your strengths are aligned with the description and responsibilities of the position and the mission and goals of Bookworm Gardens. 


Bookworm Gardens is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.


Type of Position: Full Time Position

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