Gift allows county museum to hire director

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

The Dubois County Museum is looking to hire its first director.

The position will be funded for two years through a $100,000 gift made by donors W. Jean and Bill Hoffman.

“We’re pretty excited,” Museum Board President Amy Weyer said. “We are thankful for this substantial gift that allows us the opportunity to hire a director.”

Having a director and a donor willing to help the director’s position is a great encouragement to the volunteers that have run the museum for years, said Janet Kluemper, who is directing the director search committee.

“This will be a big motivation for us,” she said, “giving us a boost to continue the course.”

The director’s main function will be fundraising, including securing money to sustain the director’s position. The director will also be in charge of things like marketing, planning and budgeting.

“What we need the most is fundraising,” Weyer said.

The museum board is seeking a director who has worked at a museum and is familiar with standard museum operation procedures. The person should also be knowledgeable in budget and financial matters — like interpreting financial statements — be able to manage projects, and have good management, communication and computer skills, especially with the software Microsoft and PastPerfect.

“We’re looking toward the future of the museum and its sustainability,” Weyer said. “Fortunately, we’ve had an overabundance of success, and have grown to this giant entity. But it’s not really feasible to ask volunteers to manage anymore, especially given the age of a lot of the volunteers.”

Museum officials had approached the Dubois County Council and commissioners requesting that the county give $50,000 each year for two years so that a director could be hired. But that was not granted. After that, the Hoffmans stepped up with the donation.

Resumes are due by Nov. 1. After that, candidates will be interviewed by the search committee. The committee will then recommend to the board a candidate to be hired.

“We would like to have one [a director] before the end of the year” Kluemper said. “That’s what we’re aiming for.”

She has received some resumes already. “It makes you feel better when you get that first one,” she said.

The new director will help direct the museum’s future.

“It’s amazing what a group of volunteers have created and have sustained for over 20 years,” Weyer said. “But as we look to the next 20 years, we really need to think about having someone in charge, someone to lead, someone that can dedicate a full-time position to the success of the museum.

“It’s just time.”

Resumes can be emailed to Kluemper at jdkluemper@gmail.com. She can also be reached through the museum at 812-634-7733.

The Dubois County Museum opened in 1999 and was housed in the Gramelspacher-Gutzweiler building on Main Street. It moved to its current location, the former Jasper Corporation building on Newton Street, in 2004.

It has 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and 41,850 artifacts in its collection. Five hundred members pay an annual membership fee. In 2018, there were 9,399 visitors to the museum; this year’s goal is 10,000 visitors.




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