Chief Financial Officer

Organization

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) was established in 1979 by artists; it remains the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles and the only museum in Los Angeles for contemporary art exclusively. Commitment to the collection, presentation, and interpretation of art created after 1940, in all media, and to preserving that work for future generations guides the organization. Dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art, MOCA safeguards and makes available to the public one of the most compelling collections of contemporary art in the world, with approximately 7,000 objects in the permanent collection. A cornerstone of Los Angeles’ creative culture, the museum has a diverse history of groundbreaking, historically important exhibitions. MOCA provides leadership in the field by identifying and presenting the most significant and challenging art of our time, actively supporting the creation of new work and producing original scholarship. The Museum of Contemporary Art works to engage audiences through an ambitious program of exhibitions, educational programs, and publishing, putting on events ranging from screenings and performances to readings and lectures, and even pop up shops across three distinct venues in Los Angeles—MOCA Grand Avenue, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and MOCA Pacific Design Center—as well as Michael Heizer’s seminal artwork, Double Negative (1969-70), in the Nevada desert.

MOCA’s relationship to the Los Angeles community is fundamental; the museum has sustained a cultural impact that has nourished generations of Los Angeles artists and Angelenos seeking inspiration and the museum, in turn, is sustained largely by donations. Philanthropic contributions constituted 84% of the museum’s 2016 funding, with the remaining 11% coming from earned revenue and 5% from MOCA’s endowment earnings. From this funding, a full 76% went to back to the community through support for MOCA’s arts programs, exhibitions, education, the collection, and scholarships.

For more information about The Museum of Contemporary Art, please visit the website: www.moca.org.

Location

Los Angeles, California

Mission Statement

MOCA is contemporary. The museum questions and adapts to the changing definitions of art.

MOCA is a museum. It presents, collects, and interprets the art of our time.

MOCA cares for the experience of art, the inevitability of change, the multiplicity of perspectives, the urgency of contemporary expression.

Position Concept and Key Relationships

MOCA seeks an experienced, results-oriented Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the strategic financial health, operational management, and administration of the museum, assuring fiscal soundness, workplace effectiveness, and the provision of mission-centric services to the Los Angeles community. Specific areas of oversight include, but are not limited to the following: management of the museum’s operating budget; oversight of the annual audit and tax return; and management of human resources (HR), insurance and risk management, investment management, information technology (IT), all legal matters, museum and building operations, retail operations, and security. The CFO staffs the Audit and Finance & Investment committees of the Board of Trustees, and is the organization’s Treasurer.

The CFO, an exempt position, reports to the Director and has key relationships with the Chief Curator, Chief Development Officer, and Chief Communications Officer. As an integral member of the Director’s Cabinet, the Chief Financial Officer provides active leadership in all aspects of the museum’s operations, is a partner to the museum’s Director on business and strategic planning, and manages several external relationships.

The CFO has six direct reports: the Controller, the Director of Museum Operations, the Director of Retail, the Manager of Human Resources, the Information Technology Manager, and an outside IT Consultant. This executive oversees five departments comprising approximately 15 full-time staff and 15 part-time staff.

The CFO accomplishes all job duties in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, federal/state regulations, museum policies and guidelines, and sound business practices. MOCA has an annual operating budget of approximately $19.5 million and an endowment of approximately $125 million.

Specific Duties

With guidance from the Director and working closely with Director’s Cabinet colleagues, the CFO is responsible for the financial and key administrative aspects for the museum, as follows:

  1. Provides strategic, high-level oversight, management, and analysis of all financial functions to advance the mission of the museum and ensure ongoing operational health. Supervises the development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive and effective accounting and financial record systems in compliance with governing regulations and policies.
  1. Advances and oversees effective administrative support, processes, and services (in the areas of Accounting, Audit, Budget, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Operations, and Retail Operations) to maximize productivity and staff effectiveness.
  1. Serves as a strategic business partner and advisor to the Director and Board of Trustees, working in concert with Director’s Cabinet colleagues to develop both short- and long-term goals and plans for the museum.
  1. Leads and oversees the creation and ongoing management of the museum’s annual budget, and provides continual analysis of budget-to-actual to the museum Director, the Finance & Investment Committee, and the Board of Trustees.
  1. Prepares and presents straightforward, informative financial reports to the Board of Trustees and relevant board committees.
  1. Leads accounting personnel and ensures a professional approach to the museum’s financial management with an understanding of GAAP and fund accounting.
  1. Supervises the organization’s annual audit and tax return, as well as the 401(k) audit and tax return.
  1. Directs the museum’s investment firm (Cambridge Associates) that provides management of the museum’s endowment.
  1. Oversees risk management and insurance for the museum.
  1. Guides Human Resources with a nuanced understanding of HR-related issues, including hiring, terminations, contracts, and federal and state employment laws.
  1. Provides the overall vision and coordination of the museum’s information and communications systems, and directs and supervises IT staff and consultants.
  1. Reviews, analyzes, and negotiates contracts and legal agreements; manages outside counsel as needed; and works with board leadership on various governing documents, including museum by-laws and board policies.
  1. Evaluates exhibition and publishing agreements in coordination with the museum Director, Chief Curator, and other MOCA staff.
  1. Oversees the facilities management of the museum’s three buildings as it relates to strategic planning, long-term capital planning and budgeting, debt vs. lease analysis, deferred maintenance, general upkeep, and security issues.
  1. In conjunction with the Director of Retail Operations, directs the earned income activities of the museum store to maximize net income.
  1. Serves as liaison to city personnel on the management of the museum’s downtown buildings.
  1. Attends meetings of the Board of Trustees and various board committees as required, providing statistical and financial reporting.
  1. Other duties, as assigned by the Director that are deemed necessary to support the museum’s mission. 

Candidate Qualifications

As the financial, operational, and administrative manager of the museum, the CFO must possess and project the utmost integrity and highest standards of professional conduct, and must be an individual marked by accomplishment and experience to exercise the leadership of a capable, collegial, and motivated professional community. Expected qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated financial, administrative, and operational leadership at the CFO level with a minimum of 10 years of successful experience in relevant fiscal and operational leadership with increasing responsibility.
  • Nonprofit and museum experience is highly desirable. MOCA is willing to consider corporate finance executives with a clear understanding of the distinctive nature of the nonprofit sector at a museum.
  • This leader will be a visible, entrepreneurial, and boots on the ground leader who possesses superb management skills. The CFO will also be a low ego, highly energetic, and forward thinking individual with a strong work ethic as well as an enthusiastic and passionate approach to the work. Must be able to train, mentor/develop, and motivate staff.
  • Excellent leadership, financial, administrative, and analytical skills. Must be a strategic thinker with the ability to understand the vital issues affecting the museum and provide unbiased analysis to key staff, management, and the Board of Trustees. Will have the vision and courage to break new ground, while ensuring and advancing the financial health and stability of the museum.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with board members and all levels of staff, as well as numerous representatives of public and private organizations. The successful candidate will have a leadership style characterized by openness, trust, collegiality, and creativity, coupled with decisiveness and a strong commitment to MOCA’s vision, core values, and strategic priorities.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, written, and verbal communications skills, blended with the ability to be an effective, engaged, and interested listener. This must include the ability to articulate and explain complex financial issues to staff, board members, and all other stakeholders in a clear, non-technical manner.
  • An adaptable multi-tasker, with the ability to control and move forward on several priorities simultaneously. This includes switching priorities as required without losing momentum. The CFO will need to organize and coordinate multiple tasks, and establish and re-establish priorities as changing circumstances dictate.
  • Nuanced understanding of non-profit and museum regulations and ideal operating principles as it pertains to staff, art objects, and standards and practices is desirable. This will include extensive experience with budget and financial analysis, and detailed knowledge of GAAP. The successful candidate will have current knowledge and a commitment to keep abreast of the latest laws, policies, regulations, and rulings relating to the administrative and financial matters of the museum. Mastery of contemporary developments in the field of administrative and financial services is essential.
  • A strong customer service orientation with the willingness to find solutions to complex problems and answers to unconventional questions.
  • Ability to exercise tact in dealing with sensitive, nuanced, and confidential issues and situations.

Education     

The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting; a MBA or CPA certification is preferred.

Process

A review of applications will commence immediately. Applications received by November 15, 2017, will be given priority. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible for full consideration. Complete applications should be submitted electronically and should include: a cover letter and a current resume reflecting work experience from college forward. 

Contact

Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc. is assisting MOCA with this search. Confidential inquiries may be directed to:

Krista Haley, Associate
Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.
11693 San Vicente Blvd., Suite #104
Los Angeles, California 90049
Office: (800) 396-0595 ext. 7
E-mail: krista@shellihermansearch.com