Imagine Children’s Museum

Chief Executive Officer

Imagine Children’s Museum
Everett, WA
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Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Everett, Washington, Imagine Children’s Museum (Imagine) has continued the same focus and mission of enriching children’s lives through play-based learning for the last 32 years.

Dedicated to providing playful learning experiences to children and their parents or caregivers, Imagine provides hands-on exhibit areas, enrichment activities, and outreach services and programs designed to enhance developmental skills in all children regardless of gender, ethnicity, learning ability, or socioeconomic status.

Imagine proudly serves over 250,000 visitors annually through attendance at the Museum and outreach programs. A cornerstone in Snohomish County, Imagine primarily serves families in the greater Puget Sound region, but also draws visitors from all over the U.S. and the world. Imagine partners with Snohomish County school districts, daycares, social service providers, youth organizations and other non-profits. These partnerships provide playful learning opportunities to children ages 1-12, and their parents, caregivers, daycare providers, teachers, and other adults who are important to a child’s life.

In 2017, Imagine achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums which is the highest national recognition earned by the nation’s museums. This accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and to the museum-going public.

After successfully completing a $25 million capital campaign, Imagine doubled its space in 2022, opening a three-story expansion of state-of-the-art interactive exhibits spaces to play. Imagine remains the only place of its kind in Snohomish County. With an operating budget of $4.6 million, Imagine is comprised of over 50 employees and over 600 volunteers. To learn more about Imagine Children’s Museum, explore the website at


Everett, Washington, the largest city in Snohomish County, is a bustling urban center with a population of over 110,000 residents. Nestled 25 miles to the north of Seattle, it finds itself comfortably situated between Port Gardner Bay and the Snohomish River. In the charming historic district of North Everett, there is a lively cultural scene enriched with the arts and music, a delightful array of dining options, welcoming pubs and breweries, the Angel of the Winds Arena, and a calendar full of family-friendly festivals. The downtown area is also a treasure trove for shoppers, housing the headquarters of the renowned toy maker, Funko.

Everett is highly accessible by various modes of transportation, including car, train, bus, and air travel. Paine Field at Everett initiated commercial air service in early 2019, offering 24 daily flights connecting the city to destinations up and down the West Coast. Operated by Propeller Airports, the two-gate terminal provides service by Alaska Airlines, linking Everett to many popular domestic locations.

The Port Gardner waterfront is home to the Naval Station Everett and the Port of Everett, boasting the largest public marina on the West Coast. Northwest Everett houses the Providence Regional Medical Center and a new branch of Seattle Children’s Hospital, offering specialized pediatric care in more than 15 subspecialties.

Everett benefits from outstanding educational institutions that serve students from early childhood to college. Students in the Everett School District consistently outperform the state in various subjects and grades. Everett Community College and Washington State University at Everett offer exceptional higher education opportunities with a broad spectrum of programs, including avionics, technology, healthcare, engineering, and agriculture. These educational institutions provide valuable support to major employers in the area, such as The Boeing Company, and the thriving network of high-tech and manufacturing businesses that have made Everett their home.


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Imagine will be responsible for current operations and performance as well as be instrumental in visioning and leading the future of the museum. Reporting to an 18-member Board of Directors, the CEO oversees museum staff with the following direct reports: two Deputy Directors and the Director of Human Resources.

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Strategic Planning, Growth and Visionary Leadership

  • Partner with the Board of Directors to define and articulate the vision in the development and implementation of a strategic plan to promote and augment revenue growth and operating efficiency.
  • Provide leadership to solicit Board approval of annual operating plans that support the strategic direction.
  • Build action plans that clarify priorities, focus on short and long-term goals, and emphasize growth that aligns internal capacity with service delivery.
  • Supply the vision, strategy, and operational leadership necessary to cultivate and ensure the achievement of organizational objectives.
  • Enhance existing infrastructure (systems, processes, procedures) to efficiently bolster organizational operations.
  • Ensure that programs are guided by the mission and aligned with the strategic plan.
  • Analyze the current landscape and upcoming trends impacting the Museum to anticipate challenges and develop solutions that further Imagine’s goals and objectives.
  • Function as a catalyst in attaining current and future organizational goals.

External Relations and Community Engagement

  • Serve as an articulate and passionate advocate, representing Imagine as the primary "face" of the Museum with community groups throughout Snohomish County.
  • Lead collaborative initiatives and strategic partnerships.
  • Promote the Museum’s mission and programs at external events, such as conferences, media, etc.
  • Foster community relationships, building connections with member organizations and strategic alliances. Spearhead the Museum’s philanthropic endeavors, leveraging community partnerships, engaging top donors and community leaders, and overseeing fundraising plans aligned with Imagine’s priorities.
  • Be actively engaged in the field of children’s museums by participating in conferences and benchmarking against other institutions.
  • Advance the Museum’s position as a leader and innovator in the field.

Board Relations and Development

  • Advise the Board of Directors in the development of policies and planning recommendations.
  • Attend and report at monthly Board and Executive Committee meetings.
  • Recruit and select highly effective Board members to grow the group’s diversity, expertise, and philanthropic capacity.
  • Work with the Board to ensure a culture of philanthropy and community partnership. Foster Board involvement in fundraising and donor stewardship.
  • Communicate effectively and promptly with the Board of Directors and serve as the strongest link of communication between Board Members, staff, volunteers, and the community at large, on a regular basis.
  • Provide the Board and its committees with consistent and timely communication and reporting, and from appropriate staff, with the current work, upcoming activities, successes, and any challenges of the organization.

Team Leadership & Performance

  • Provide consistent and clear leadership to the Board and staff and ensure the development of an organizational culture that is characterized by a commitment to quality, collaboration, transparency, diversity, and mutual respect.
  • Serve as a mentor and nurture staff development to further support the Museum’s culture and values.
  • Establish a connection between Imagine’s mission and strategy with best practices and guide the team in embodying the Museum’s values.
  • Promote a collaborative culture that values transparent communication and a cross functional approach to innovation and creativity in problem solving and the delivery of services.
  • Demonstrate positivity and ensure that employees and their ideas are valued and supported.
  • Provide formal and informal feedback to engage and develop the departments’ staff; conducts performance evaluations; follows up on the status of assignment.
  • Display a personal commitment to the success of Imagine and its employees.

Financial & Operational Management

  • Ensure the Museum is operating on a sound fiscal basis.
  • Develop, refine, implement, and maintain systems for tracking and reporting on progress towards achieving goals.
  • Analyze internal business operations and identifies areas for process and procedure improvement, delegating as required to ensure effective and equitable execution.
  • Proficient in understanding, analyzing, and communicating the Museum’s financial position including budgets, P&L statements, balance sheets, and audits.

Revenue Development, Philanthropy and Public Support

  • Oversee the development and implementation of fundraising plans that support strategies adopted by the Board of Directors.
  • Cultivate donor relationships, participate, and engage the Board of Directors in fundraising activities.
  • Establish strategies for identifying and procuring the financial resources required to achieve strategic goals and objectives.
  • Renew existing funding support and grow new income revenue streams.


The CEO will be a confident, innovative, and passionate individual who leads collaboratively and inclusively, embracing Imagine’s mission in all duties.

Outstanding communication skills, including strong listening, presentation, and emotional intelligence, are essential. The CEO will effectively communicate at all organizational levels to build trust, enhance performance, and foster effective employee relations.

With a strong commitment and understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, the CEO ensures that the Board, staff, guests, and artists reflect the makeup of the community. The ideal candidate will provide exhibits and programming that are accessible and relevant for all children regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation.

The CEO will calmly navigate a dynamic, fast-paced, and rapidly evolving environment, making difficult decisions logically and rationally, while demonstrating strong analytical skills and adaptability as organizational priorities evolve. The ideal candidate will excel at creating, implementing, and monitoring complex plans, translating them into goals and strategies. Additionally, the CEO will be technologically proficient, using social media and other technology to enhance museum operations.

Being an inspirational and visionary leader is crucial, both internally with staff and externally with various constituencies and interested audiences of the Museum. The ideal candidate will be a visible and approachable leader, comfortable interacting with diverse populations while recognizing their specific interests and aspirations, creating a community of shared values. The CEO should possess in-depth experience in fundraising, institutional image-building, marketing, and external relations. Equally important is a passion and ability to advance programs, ever-changing exhibits, and new initiatives.

The successful candidate should have exceptional organizational, administrative, and financial skills, with critical knowledge of fiscal management, including the ability to increase both earned and contributed income.

The CEO should be a decisive coalition builder, instilling a high level of accountability in team-based decision-making, and modeling integrity and fairness. The ideal candidate should not only possess strong personal communication skills but also create an environment conducive to open and direct communication.


The CEO will have at least ten years of relevant senior-level leadership experience at organizations with interactive exhibits, a child-centered philosophy, early education, or an arts and culture focus. The candidate will have a strong understanding of effective fiscal management, administration, and visitor experience, and demonstrated ability to build widespread support for an organization through collaborative efforts. A demonstrated comfort in or exposure to most of the areas of museum programs including membership, marketing, fundraising, grant writing and grant management, and government and external relations would be preferred. The ideal candidate will be a skilled communicator who has shown success in building and growing an organization and fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Experience with accreditation programs is a plus. Knowledge of Snohomish County and surrounding regions is valuable. Experience working with a nonprofit board is essential.


A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Annual salary is $170,000 – 200,000 based on experience. Relocation assistance, if needed, is negotiable. A comprehensive benefits package will be provided.

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