Executive Director Consulting Services
Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison (HCGM) seeks proposals from enterprising individuals with strong leadership and strategic-planning skills to provide Executive Director consulting services for the start-up of a new Ho-Chunk Heritage Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The consulting Executive Director (hereafter, “ED Consultant”), will participate in the creation and development of the heritage center in close coordination with Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison leadership, the founding Board of Directors (Board), and architectural and exhibit design project consultants. This is an exciting and unique opportunity to become intimately engaged in the process of developing facilities and programming for the first heritage center for the Ho-Chunk Nation, which will focus on the history and culture of the Ho-Chunk people in the four lakes (“teejop/dejope”) region of southern Wisconsin.
Brief History of the Ho-Chunk in the Four Lakes Region
The four lakes region surrounding Madison, Wisconsin is the aboriginal homeland of the Ho-Chunk people. Its rich natural resources, earthen mounds, historic seasonal subsistence sites and trading routes continue to carry great cultural and spiritual significance for the Ho-Chunk today. The Ho-Chunk people descended from prehistoric effigy mound builders and have shaped the land and culture of the Four Lakes region of southern Wisconsin and the Midwest for centuries. Mound building began in the Four Lakes region approximately 2,700 years ago and more earthworks were created here than in any other area of the Midwest. Between 1840 and 1875, the Ho-Chunk were forcibly removed to temporary reservations in Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. With each removal, many Ho-Chunk made the perilous journey back to their ancestral Wisconsin homelands, where their descendants still live today. Their tribal government was first established in 1962 as Wisconsin Winnebagos. With the passage of a new constitution in 1994, they asserted more powers and became the Ho-Chunk Nation. The word Ho-Chunk means people of the sacred, parent or big voice. Tribal members living here today seek to elevate, interpret, preserve and share some of the many oral traditions which speak of the history of this region with the new Ho-Chunk Heritage Center. Please visit http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294963805&dsRecordDetails=R:CS4377 to learn more about the history of the Ho-Chunk people in the Four Lakes region.
In 2014, Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison (HCGM) hired Urban Assets (UA) to identify additional land use opportunities for the 47.75 acres surrounding its existing gaming facility in Madison, WI. The initial assessment process identified the opportunity to create a “destination entertainment district” with several components that have since been or are currently being evaluated in greater depth through targeted feasibility studies (request additional materials through contact information provided below):
- Expansion of the existing gaming facility and addition of a hotel, restaurants, conference center and structured parking to serve the entire site (feasibility study complete, recommended to develop).
- Development of a Ho-Chunk heritage center focused on the four lakes region surrounding Madison (feasibility study complete, recommended to develop).
- Development of a regional sports complex with fields on both HCGM and City of Madison property adjacent to the site (feasibility study underway).
The feasibility study (request additional materials through contact information provided below) and business plan for the heritage center was completed in January 2017 by Webb Management Services, Inc., with a recommendation to proceed. The heritage center is expected to be an 18,900 square foot space that is highly immersive, interactive, flexible and dynamic. It will include spaces for exhibits, events, galleries, artist studios, educational programming, retail, a café, and outdoor facilities to accommodate a variety of events and activities.
HCGM is now poised to begin the final master planning and rezoning process for the full 47.75 acres surrounding its gaming facility in June 2017, to be called the Four Lakes District. This process will also include site planning and building design to secure development entitlements for the expanded casino complex (phase 1A), and heritage center (phase 1B). Strang, Inc. has been hired to complete the master plan and designs for phase 1A and 1B, and ZEBRADOG has been hired to develop the exhibit space design, storytelling technology and “experiential master plan” for the heritage center. The ED Consultant will work closely with these consultants and the Board to advise this process.
Scope of Work and Areas of Responsibility
Starting in June 2017, the ED Consultant will participate in all aspects of heritage center site planning, building design, space programming, partnership development, and other tasks related to the start-up of the center. Under the
direction of the Board and in close consultation with HCGM and design consultants, the ED Consultant will be responsible for comprehensive oversight of the heritage center start-up process, including:
- Ongoing board development.
- Start-up organizational and management structure.
- Advice to project consultants throughout facility planning and design process, including review of and sign-off on heritage center site, building and exhibit space designs at appropriate stages of development.
- Research and development of collections, exhibits and storytelling opportunities, including developing collaborative relationships with Ho-Chunk Nation staff and leadership, other institutions, collectors, educators and Ho-Chunk tribal members.
- Identification and development of community partnership opportunities to ensure strong, diverse connections throughout the greater Madison community.
- Development of operations infrastructure, including bridge programming and fundraising infrastructure.
- Financial management of the heritage center, including fundraising and supporting the Board in its fundraising activities.
- Strategic and visionary long-range planning and implementation.
- Development of position descriptions for additional senior management, including Development Director, Curator and Facilities Director, and facilitation of these hiring processes when funding becomes available.
- Development of a sound marketing strategy, including collaboration with the HCGM marketing department on appropriate marketing materials and social media content to build public awareness and anticipation.
- Development of a business operating plan and budget which supports the strategic goals and mission of the center.
- Participation in Board meetings and provision of timely financial information and performance indicators.
- Representation of the heritage center at public events.
- Continual motivation and inspiration of project partners toward creating a heritage center that is enlightening, engaging, inclusive, and an educationally rich place for community to gather.
Qualifications and Personal Characteristics
- Museum professional with experience in non-profit facility start-up and development, including a minimum of ten years of progressive executive management leadership positions in general management or development in a private, not-for- profit, or public museum, historical society, multi-disciplinary cultural center or similar enterprise or organization.
- Demonstrated success in fundraising, marketing and financial management.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the interpersonal skills necessary to work collaboratively and creatively with the Board of Directors; Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison leadership; other project consultants; Ho-Chunk Nation leadership and tribal members; greater Madison community members and partners; volunteers; and future museum staff.
- A deep passion for understanding and sharing cultural heritage.
- An undergraduate or advanced degree in business management, museum management, or related field.
- Demonstrated ability to recruit, develop and manage a leadership team that works in an integrated manner to achieve major goals.
- Ability to develop, prioritize and implement effective work plans and strategic organizational plans.
- Ability and desire to engage broadly with museum stakeholders including Ho-Chunk Nation officials, legislators, staff and tribal members; City of Madison officials, legislators and staff; other Wisconsin tribal leaders; local schools, colleges and the University of Wisconsin; donors and foundations; and members of the general public.
- With a reputation for honesty, integrity and forthright communication, the ideal candidate will be:
- Inspirational; possessing the ability to inspire others to become excited about, energized and, importantly, invested in the heritage center’s mission and goals.
- Passionate; demonstrating a passion for preserving, sharing and instilling in others the value of Ho-Chunk history, art and culture.
- An Entrepreneurial Leader; demonstrating strong decision-making skills and the ability to strategize, set clear objectives, follow through on commitments, and motivate the heritage center Board, future staff and diverse stakeholders to work toward success in achieving a shared vision.
- A Relationship Builder; readily collaborating with diverse stakeholders to articulate goals, solicit suggestions and support, and gain broad acceptance for the heritage center as a valuable community asset.
- Experience working with indigenous communities and people preferred.
Time Commitment and Budget
Currently, the time commitment is estimated at approximately 20 hours per week, with consulting fees projected to be $75,000 annually during the start-up phase, not including reimbursable expenses. Travel between Madison and the ED Consultant’s home base will not be considered a reimbursable expense; however, travel expenses incurred as part of research will be reimbursable.
The ED Consultant is expected to be present for approximately one to two weekly meetings with the Four Lakes District project management team and/or architectural and exhibit design consultants, in addition to monthly Board meetings. Urban Assets will make every effort to cluster these meetings in order to maximize efficiency. Additional meetings organized by the ED Consultant may be conducted by phone, teleconference or in-person as appropriate. Upon beginning construction of the heritage center, the ED Consultant will be considered as a candidate to remain with the heritage center as full-time Executive Director.
Proposal Content and Format
Proposals should include the following:
- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitae
- Brief narrative (1-2 pages) of approach to leading this project in coordination with the Board, HCGM leadership and design consultants, including ability to create a plan to successfully design, staff, program, govern and fund the new center.
- Hourly rate schedule
- Three (3) references
RFP Schedule and Contact Information
RFP Released: May 5, 2017
Proposals Due: 4PM on May 23
Interview Selection: May 26
Interviews: June 1-2
Consultant selection: June 7
Proposals are due at 4:00 p.m. central time on Tuesday, May 23rd.
Please submit six (6) paper copies and one (1) electronic copy in PDF format to:
Zia Brucaya, AICP
16 N Carroll St., Ste. 530
Madison, WI 53703
Please direct all requests for additional materials, questions and inquiries regarding any aspect of this RFP to:
Zia Brucaya at (608) 819-6566 or Zia@urbanassetsconsulting.com