The Board of Directors for the Automotive Hall of Fame is seeking a President. The Hall of Fame remains the only industry organization and repository of the history of the men and women who have created and advanced the global automotive industry.
Located on land owned and donated by Ford, the Hall is located next door to the famed Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. It is also within the Motor Cities National Heritage Area.
The President will work with the BOD to develop, lead, and implement the Hall's strategic plan, human and capital resource development needs, and programs and services. This plan will look at the role The Hall plays in maintaining a historical account of the industry, while also promoting and encouraging future generations to enter the industry.
Successful candidates will have the desire, ability, and energy to work with the BOD to regain and reignite the mission, vision, and goals of The Hall. This person will want to make a mark for both The Hall and themselves. He/she will be an entrepreneur, want to and is able to work with some of the largest industrial companies in the world, will creatively approach development and market opportunities, and who has a history of modern exhibit planning and execution.
The 1939 New York World’s Fair was the first exposition to be based on the future. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all gave visitors a glimpse of new technologies from “the world of tomorrow.” At this same time, a group of men met in New York City just a few miles from the World’s Fair to create an organization that would honor the achievements of the men and women – both past and future, who would leave a lasting imprint on the auto industry.
The new organization’s mission was to perpetuate the memories of the early automotive pioneers. Called the “Automobile Old Timers,” the group was dedicated to honoring automotive people from all parts of the worldwide automotive industry. The organization moved to Washington, DC in 1960. Then in 1971, it moved to the grounds of Northwood Institute [now Northwood University] in Midland, Michigan. The first permanent Automotive Hall of Fame building was built on the Northwood campus in 1975.
It soon became evident that the home of the Automotive Hall of Fame needed to be closer to Detroit. In 1997, another group of dedicated automotive leaders moved the Automotive Hall of Fame to its present location in Dearborn, Michigan. Funds were raised to construct a 25,000-square foot building and create new exhibits and the museum was inaugurated on August 16, 1997.
The Hall of Fame is located on land owned and donated by Ford and is located next door to the famed Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. It is also within the Motor Cities National Heritage Area –an affiliate of the National Park Service dedicated to preserving and promoting the automotive and labor heritage of Michigan. The Hall remains the only industry organization and repository of the history of the men and women who have created and advanced this global industry.
For additional information please visit www.automotivehalloffame.org.
Reporting: Board of Directors
Staff: Seven full-time employees/additional visitor volunteers
Budget: $800,000.00 annually
The current President – Mr. William Chapin, has announced his decision to retire. Mr. Chapin has been President for the past seven years and had been a Director for five years prior. Mr. Chapin’s decision to retire is health driven, but does coincide with a change in leadership of the Board under a new Chair, Mr. Ramzi Hermiz, President and CEO of Shiloh Industries. [Mr. Hermiz is also a Director on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame].
The President will work collaboratively with the Board of Directors to develop, lead, and implement the Hall of Fame’s strategic plan, manage human and capital resource development needs, and deliver high quality programs and services to members, educators, historians, and the automotive community. This plan will look at the very essence of the role the Hall plays in maintaining a historical account of the industry, while also promoting and encouraging future generations to enter the industry. The Hall is at a crossroad –while the induction ceremony and events have continued to grow and operate with a surplus; overall revenue has been stagnant, due to increasing competing demands on foundations, and major changes in the way visitors interact with exhibits and absorb content have impacted attendance.
Any comprehensive strategic plan will have to be a top down review – from the composition/size of the Board of Directors all the way down to how the Hall interacts with the public. In between will be a need to focus on annual and capital development, working with and listening to major foundations and donors, and working with exhibit curators and professionals to devise and execute new ways to remember, teach, share, honor history, and inspire.
From a development perspective, the Hall has two major sources of revenue – the annual induction ceremony and facility rental/event hosting. The Hall is a popular space rented for private corporate and civic events. The Hall also receives annual grants from major corporate and individual donors – however, the latter solicitations are not disciplined.
The successful candidate will demonstrate the desire, ability, and energy to work with the Board to dramatically overhaul all aspects of the Hall to regain and reignite The Hall’s mission, vision, and goals. This person will want to make a mark for both the Hall and themselves. He/she will be an entrepreneur, want to and is able to work with some of the largest industrial companies in the world, will creatively approach development and market opportunities, and who has a history of modern exhibit planning and execution.
Strategic Vision and Leadership
The Hall currently raises funds through its Induction Ceremony, which includes the selection process and ceremony planning and production [its largest revenue stream]; and through sponsorships, donations, grant development, alumni solicitation, and board contributions. The Hall is also available for special events held by third parties.
Strengthening Infrastructure and Operations
Successful candidates will likely possess a degree in liberal arts, perhaps with a focus on visual arts or history, and ideally a related advanced degree.
At least seven to 10 years of overall professional experience serving as a curator, historian, or administrator of a museum or historic site. Ideally, this experience will include having joined a museum or historic site at a time when a major transformation was required and executed.
Posted on the MMA website 11/30.