Position: Director of Creative Services
Status: Full-time, Exempt
Oversees: Creative and Thematic Design & Installations for Consumer Events, Park-wide Guest Experience & Capital Projects
Provides creative and production leadership and support for ZooTampa at Lowry Park based upon creative guidance from senior leadership as it relates to thematic designs, set production, and capital improvement projects including consumer events, daily guest experience, retail/food, large private themed events and other guest interface, as needed.
Essential Functions (including, but not limited to):
- Works with Zoo leadership team on the development and production of 2-4 major annual Consumer Events as outlined in Strategic/Annual plan. Is a key contributor and involved from conceptual design through set design, procurement, and execution, set up and tear down.
- Manages and implements the Zoo’s overall event and guest experience thematic efforts including pathways, repairs and remodels, attractions/habitat viewing spots, retail and food outlets, and support any large private events that have contracted theming. Responsible for the coordination and communication of the scenic theming, while adhering to budget and schedule parameters.
- Plans and implements budgets to ensure both quality and efficiency, and establishes both design and production schedules for both short- and long-term projects. Accountable for bringing projects in on-budget and processed in a timely manner.
- Works with senior leadership to confirm guest expectations and anticipate guest behavior.
- Provides plans and recommendations to senior leadership that 1) enable development of event proforma operating budgets, 2) enable various departmental directors to plan and prepare supporting plans for entertainment, retail, operations etc..
- Responsible for budgetary oversight for line items related to production procurement and development. Supports A/V and I/T initiatives which impact final theming products or are part of them.
- Manages Zoo’s Production Team on production time-lines to ensure compliance to production plans.
- Within level of authority, acts as primary buyer for event props and theatrical materials.
- Assists and supports artistic and creative influence in Zoo-related expressions as it relates to Zoo’s Guest experience.
- Ensures that all thematic designs properly reflect Zoo’s brand. Reviews other work as needed.
- Manages and organizes the event props inventory to ensure efficiencies.
- Proposes and manages conceptual presentations, production mockups, storyboards, workflows, production and operating budgets, design schedules, and production schedules.
- Supervises internal support teams from other departments, contracted designers, and contractors.
- Ensures the implementation of regular project reviews supporting the preparation of presentation materials & clearly communicates the impact of changes.
- Works with senior leadership to ensure that concepts achieve strategic experience development goals and meet or exceed guest expectations consistently.
- Responsible for the maintenance of the Zoo thematic vision:
- Determines and/or assists in artistic and creative influence of Zoo related expressions as it relates to Guest experience.
- Ensures that thematic designs properly reflect Zoo’s brand.
- May assist with creative development and theming for all facilities exhibits rides and attractions.
- Works with Maintenance Director on a facility repairs to ensure thematic integrity.
Safety and Administration
- Conducts all activities in alignment with AZA standards and guidelines, all relevant laws and regulations, and standards that ensure animal welfare.
- Ensures that Zoo policies and procedures are understood and are properly administered by and followed by subordinates.
- Ensures quality guest service by reaching out beyond functional areas of responsibility, reporting and suggesting improvements that will enhance safety and visitor experience Zoo-wide.
- Ensures proper and safe use supplies, equipment, and tools. Ensures supply/equipment/tool specific training.
- Responsible for ensuring the Zoo remains in compliance with all relevant local, state and federal laws as they apply to the functional areas of responsibility.
- In consideration of employee, guest, animal care and service areas, and general operations ensures that areas are properly secured before commencement of a project and at the conclusion of a project or special engagement to minimize project intrusion into employee, guest, animal care and service areas. Ensures that unavoidable intrusion will not result in unsafe conditions or injury.
- Ensures all projects are completed in full compliance with all established Safety rules and regulations.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelors’ degree level of education.
- Ten to fifteen years related experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the principles of zoological operations, art, composition, entertainment, marketing, graphic design, and theming and A/V use in the attractions industry.
- Must have experience interacting with departments, third party contractors and maintaining communications and client satisfaction.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to lead, work positively and collaboratively with other departments and vendors.
- Applies in-depth knowledge of a variety of design software and traditional art mediums. Can create visual renderings of a complex level using software.
Skills and Experience:
- Must have knowledge of intricately themed, fixed-location amusement parks or Zoos wherein buildings and attractions are based on one or more specific themes or stories.
- Must be a self-starter and able to work independently.
- Demonstrated ability to oversee creation of design concepts that can be practically built.
- Must possess good business acumen managing to the “bottom-line” in regards to profitability and effectiveness.
- Leadership: a demonstrated ability to lead people and get results individually and through others.
- Capacity to anticipate: an ability to think ahead and plan over multiple-year time span.
- Assessment: ability and humility to evaluate results honestly to improve future performance.
- Ability to organize and manage multiple priorities of competing urgency and importance.
- Problem analysis, prevention, and resolution at a functional level.
- Ability to visually translate story into environment. Strong visual communication skills including sketching, rendering, drafting and presentation.
- Well-versed in the design, fabrication, traditional and digital rendering techniques, and construction processes.
Must be proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite and be able to adapt well to various other computer programs and technologies including AutoCAD or other similar design programs.
Equal Opportunity Employer