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Location: Royal Oak, MI
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Exempt
Employment Type: Full Time
Department: Guest Relations
Description: The Assistant Director of Guest Relations is part of the management team and is responsible for planning, coordination and implementation of the Zoo’s guest services operations.

The Assistant Director of Guest Relations has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities and is accountable to the Director of Guest Relations.

Duties: Leadership and Management

• Work with the Director of Guest Relations to hire, train, evaluate and provide direction and supervision to the Guest Relations staff.

• Evaluate the performance of seasonal personnel, arrange supplementary training as necessary, and administer progressive disciplinary procedures as necessary.

• With the Director of Guest Relations, organize and manage the Guest Relations department ensuring adherence to procedures.

• Respond and resolve customer problems, emergencies, and complaints as needed.

• Oversee Guest Relations and park operations in the absence of the Director of Guest Relations.

• Strategize programs with organization needs and priorities.

• Manage the commercial visitor services enterprise, including admissions, parking garage and surface lots and convenience rentals.

• Understand the Zoo’s catering, concession and retail vendor contract.

• Manage visitor services activities at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.


• Plan future season’s overall operation, making procedural evaluations and changes.

• Make recommendations to appropriate staff for alteration or repairs to areas, signage, and other changes related to park policies, hours and pricing as needed.

• Determine staffing and scheduling needs daily, responding to park schedule changes, promotional activities, weather and special staffing needs.

• Assist with coordinating training sessions for all seasonal employees which include job performance standards, general zoo operations, cash handling, convenience rental and parking operations.

• Working with the Human Resources department, evaluate and revise employee job descriptions, expectations, appropriate behavior, attendance, and job performance standards as required.

• Ensure the procurement of supplies and equipment.

Revenue Generation

• Monitor visitor service and concessionaire activities to ensure maximum revenue and cost efficiency.

• Check inventories, cost of goods and monitor expenditures.

• Ensure proper cash management, including the transaction and handling of large volumes of cash Prepare reports of daily business as needed by the business office.

• Work with Marketing to measure impact of advertising and promotional programs on attendance and related mix.

• Work with the Development Department to identify donors on premise, track donor/member visitation, and capture leads for membership growth.

• Work with special events and concessionaire staff to ensure successful implementation of evening rentals and special events.


• Work with other members of the Zoo management team as needed.

• Ensure all safety requirements are enforced.

• Ensure adherence to all federal, state, local, and organizational policies/procedures.

• Perform other tasks as assigned by the Chief Operating Officer.

Working Conditions

Work locations are determined by season, event, and volume of visitors. Work is performed outdoors with exposure to all seasonal weather conditions and elements and indoors in an office environment with exposure to computer monitors.

Physical Requirements

Able to perform essential functions of various duties; walking and standing for long periods of time; stooping, kneeling, and bending; lifting up to 20 pounds and communicating with guests and employees.

Qualifications: Minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities required:

• Bachelor’s Degree with specialization in hospitality, management or business

• Considerable experience in the hospitality or attractions industries in event activities, especially a reasonable portion of which must have been in a management capacity.

• Reasonable experience in training and employee development, and the ability to supervise.

• Considerable knowledge of purchasing and stores terms and methods.

• Ability to manage a large-scale visitor service park activity.

• Ability to develop and implement operating plans as required for daily park and special event activities.

• Tact in dealing with subordinates, society personnel, and visitors.

• Ability to deal with visitor complaints, accidents, injuries, and other park emergencies.

• Good powers of observation ability to operate a personal computer.

• Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

• Integrity, initiative, and resourcefulness in meeting and resolving operating problems.




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