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Danish Windmill Manager

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This is not your ordinary “run of the mill” job!!
Make history happen as the manager of one of Iowa’s premier cultural heritage sites. Join our team as Manager of the Danish Windmill, an operating 19th-century wind powered grain mill, and a complex that includes a replica of a 900 AD VikingHjem with exhibits, and a millhouse that serves as an exhibit, education center, museum shop and Iowa Welcome Center. As full time manager you will oversee a small staff of part-time employees. You will also work closely with the Board of Directors.


The Danish Windmill, located in Elk Horn, Iowa, was built in 1848 in Nørre Snede, Denmark. It was carefully dismantled, each piece numbered to guide reassembly, and then shipped to the United States where multiple challenges were overcome to complete the final journey to rural Iowa. It was reconstructed in Elk Horn in 1976 where it remains the only authentic working Danish windmill in America. It serves as a focal point for educating visitors about wind energy, green technology, agriculture, and Danish cultural heritage. The Danish Windmill complex hosts community functions, festivals, and events throughout the year. Learn more at


The ideal candidate will have experience in all facets of non-profit or museum operations. This includes administration and finance, cultural and resource management, collections management, public programming, fundraising and development, volunteer management, facilities and grounds maintenance and wholesale buying.

The Danish Windmill Manager will:

Manage all day-to-day operations for the windmill complex

  • Develop long- and short-term goals, operating objectives, strategies and implementation plans for improved service delivery; and make recommendations to the Board of Directors;
  • Develop and submit an annual operating budget, monitor revenue/expenditure performance levels; complete and evaluate various financial, administrative and statistical reports in compliance with financial guidelines;
  • Develop and implement security guidelines to protect the facilities and the public against fire, vandalism, and other threats ensuring that facilities and grounds are free of safety hazards, that appropriate safety measures are implemented, that all facilities meet quality standards for housekeeping, cleanliness and maintenance; and that all federal, state and county safety standards are applied and satisfied;
  • Interact with citizens and community organizations regarding the facilities use, maintenance and resource protection issues;
  • Prepare and review contracts for facility use and contractual services; authorize the procurement of supplies, equipment or services;
  • Plan, schedule, direct and evaluate the work of staff and provide them with specialized training and professional development opportunities;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, interest groups and Iowa Economic Development Authority Tourism Office staff, participate in outreach, management workshops and conferences for the industry;
  • Manage all aspects of the organization’s website including online store, point-of-sale system and relationships with website hosts

Serve as the coordinator for all historical and interpretive services

  • Review the overall development of educational programs and events and coordinates other visitor services;
  • Develop historic preservation strategic plans and procedures;
  • Review and makes recommendations on plans for architectural restoration and construction

Manage all aspects of a museum retail store

  • Management responsibilities
    • Prepare short- and long-term goals including major capital expenditures and review with Board of Directors;
    • Gift Shop Management: Plan and direct inventory, maintenance, merchandise displays, and employees/volunteers’ activity;
    • Produce accurate and comprehensive financial reports; sales history, profits, inventory at cost and retail values, quantities on hand, quantities on order, profit margins for each item, vendor and category;
    • Maintain purchase, inventory, and vendor records, manage cash including daily sales, cash balances, and deposits, monitor and manage accounts payable and receivable, calculate and submit payroll taxes and process payroll
  • Merchandise and buying
    • Direct, buy and coordinate the quality and types of merchandise that best meets the needs of the Danish Windmill’s Museum mission and 501(c)(3) programming;
    • Set buying policies and procedures including product mix, pricing guidelines, appropriate inventory levels to increase sales; lead and direct year-end physical inventory;
    • Facilitate buyers’ attendance at major domestic and/or international markets;
    • Plan, schedule, organize, and present special events and promotions;
    • Market shop through website, print and social media;


Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following:

  • Bachelor’s or associate’s degree in business management, marketing, finance, museum studies, or a closely related field;
  • Plus three years of experience of a combination of museum work, grant writing, retail operations, historical site interpretation, collections, education, research, and/or a closely related field experiences;
  • Periodic travel is required for presentations, conferences, gift markets (domestic and international) and other industry-related activities


  • Previous historic site and/or cultural resource site development and management experience; knowledge of Danish cultural heritage and history, milling and the travel and hospitality industry is a plus;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with applying the methods, principles, techniques, and practices necessary to document a site with cultural resources;
  • Knowledge of museum management principles and practices, including resource development and curatorial practices;
  • Knowledge of financial management controls relating to non-profit budgeting and accounting of expenditures;
  • Knowledge of retail management; including wholesale buying and pricing strategies;  Knowledge of marketing principles and advertising methods;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and creatively, both orally and in writing;
  • Demonstrated ability to use effective leadership skills related to interpersonal relations and team building, and to establish positive relationships with staff, peers, subordinates, customers, internal and external stakeholders to meet the needs of visitors;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement effective management practices, including scheduling, coordinating and the prioritization of employees and their diverse responsibilities;
  • Skills: customer service, social media and advertising guru, leadership, financial reporting, fundraising, grant writing, event planning


  1. Must have authorization to work in the United States, a valid driver’s license and passport;
  2. The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, child protective services registry check, and driver’s license check to the satisfaction of the employer;
  3. Ability to start and stop milling operations using manual levers and manual flywheels; must be able to lift at least 40 pounds, enter building, and use stairs without ADA access;
  4. In order to monitor the historic site and promptly respond to safety concerns, the appointee must reside within close proximity of the Mill, i.e. 20-mile radius.


The salary will be commensurate with the candidate’s education and experience. Benefits include health insurance, retirement plan and PTO.

Note: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. All employees are expected to perform other duties to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

We are no longer accepting applications for this ad. Contact us for more details.
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