Position: Executive Assistant
Supervisor: Executive Director
Classification: Full-Time, Exempt

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a leading nonprofit art museum and school. Since 1924, the institute has offered art classes, exhibitions, lectures, events, activities, and a permanent collection. The KIA’s mission is to cultivate the creation and appreciation of the visual arts in West Michigan. We believe the visual arts are for everyone. They inspire, fulfill, and transform. The KIA is a growing organization with exciting plans for its 100th anniversary.

Summary of Position: Reporting directly to the Executive Director (ED) of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA), the Executive Assistant provides executive support in a one-on-one working relationship. The Executive Assistant serves as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Office of the Executive Director. The Executive Assistant also serves as a liaison on behalf of the ED to the Board of Directors and senior management; organizes and coordinates executive outreach and external relations efforts; and oversees special projects. The Executive Assistant must be creative and enjoy working within a small, arts-based environment that is mission and results driven and community oriented.


Executive Support

  • Serves as key partner and source of support for the ED. Completes a broad variety of administrative tasks for the ED including: managing an active calendar of appointments; completing expense reports; composing and preparing correspondence that is sometimes confidential or sensitive; arranging detailed travel plans, itineraries, and agendas; compiling documents, meetings, and presentations; sorting/allocating incoming paper and electronic mail; and organizing and filing documents in hard copy and electronically.

  • Supports ED in maintaining institutional standards across the organization. Embrace and model institutional mission, vision, and values, most notably Art is for Everyone.

  • Actively supports the institutional goals to increase diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion at the KIA. Be cognizant of opportunities to improve DEAI outcomes and internal collaborations across departments.

  • Serves as “gatekeeper” and “gateway” to the ED creating win-win situations for direct access.

  • Communicates directly, and on behalf of the ED, with Board Members, donors, staff, and others, on matters related to ED’s programmatic initiatives.

  • Researches, prioritizes, and follows up on incoming issues and concerns addressed to the ED, including those of a sensitive or confidential nature. Effectively handles customer service concerns from across the institution and determines an appropriate course of action, referral, or response.

  • Provides a bridge for smooth communication between the ED’s office and internal departments; demonstrating leadership to maintain credibility, trust, and support with senior management staff.

  • Works closely and effectively with the ED to keep ED well-informed of upcoming commitments and responsibilities, following up appropriately.

  • Provides leadership to build relationships crucial to the success of the organization, and manages a variety of special projects for the ED, some of which may have organizational impact.

  • Successfully completes critical aspects of deliverables with a hands-on approach, including drafting acknowledgement letters, personal correspondence, writing memos, creating reports, spreadsheets, presentations, and other tasks that facilitate the ED’s ability to effectively lead the organization.

  • Prioritizes conflicting needs; handles matters expeditiously, proactively, and follows through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures.

  • Works with the front desk receptionist and facility team members to manage the KIA master calendar on Google Calendar. Assist ED in determining the need for and communicating decisions about opening delays or closures of the building during incidences of inclement weather.

  • Represents the KIA and ED at internal and external meetings and events as needed, including exhibition openings, annual meetings, community meetings, and member events.

  • Gives tours of the facility to visitors and guests of the ED, as needed.

  • Manages internal use of ED and Board e-signatures.

Board Support and Liaison

  • Serves as the Executive Director’s administrative liaison to the KIA Board of Directors and certain Board Committees.
  • Maintains discretion and confidentiality in relationships with all Board and Committee Members.
  • Adheres to compliance with applicable rules and regulations set in KIA Bylaws regarding Board and Committee matters, including advance distribution of materials before meetings, collecting rsvps and assessing the presence of a quorum, coordinating and documenting electronic votes, suggesting agenda items in advance based on annual cycles, and following up appropriately.
  • Makes arrangements for and attends Board Meetings and certain Committee Meetings. Be an authority on KIA Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order. Takes accurate minutes.
  • Prepares materials and makes all arrangements associated with the Annual Meeting, including invitations, proxy vote, ED presentation, and hospitality.
  • Manages internal use of Board President e-signature.
  • Facilitates Board and ED approval of KIA liquor licenses, as requested by internal departments.

Senior Management Liaison

  • Supports ED’s leadership of Senior Staff Team, including assisting in scheduling meetings, attending all meetings, taking accurate minutes, and managing deadlines and appropriate follow up.
  • Attends various internal staff meetings, (sometimes on behalf of ED) assisting in coordinating the planned agenda, taking accurate minutes, and assisting in appropriate follow up. Participates in a variety of internal and external meetings as assigned.
  • Facilitates cross-divisional coordination of outreach plans and other internal collaborations. Helps create alignment with institutional goals.

Strategic Initiatives, Communications, Partnerships, and Outreach

  • Assists with coordinating the ED’s outreach activities.
  • Follows up on contacts made by the ED and supports the cultivation of ongoing relationships.
  • Creates and edits acknowledgement letters for donors to the KIA collection; drafts other communications to external stakeholders from the ED.
  • Ensures that the ED’s biography (in various forms) and other general fact sheets about the KIA, Board of Directors, and staff teams are kept updated and responds to requests for materials regarding the ED and the organization in general. Manages use of official ED headshot and other photography needs.
  • Coordinates interviews for some candidates for open positions at the KIA with internal and external participants, including staff members, Board Members, docents, and others. Participates in cultural fit interviews for some open positions. Assists in preparing onboarding itineraries for some new hires, mostly Senior Staff Members.
  • With ED, manages process of re-accreditation through the American Alliance of Museums, including collecting and updating organizational core documents, managing self study responses, scheduling onsite peer review, and participating in the site visit. Provides appropriate follow up to Accreditation Commission and site reviewers, as needed.


  • Strong organizational skills that reflect ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, Board Members, external partners and donors.
  • Proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion
  • Expert level written and verbal communication skills. Strong proofreader.
  • Demonstrated proactive approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Emotional maturity. Ability to give and receive critical feedback in a constructive, relational manner. “No job too small” attitude.
  • Resourceful team-player, with the ability to also be effective independently.
  • Be adaptable to various competing demands, and demonstrate the highest level of customer service and response internally and externally.
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines.
  • Forward looking thinker who actively seeks opportunities and proposes solutions.
  • Ability to respond quickly and efficiently to shifting priorities throughout the day.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, strongly preferred
  • Strong work tenure: 5-10 years of experience supporting an organizational leader, preferably in a non-profit organization and team setting.
  • Experience and interest in internal and external communications, partnership development, and fundraising
  • Required proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Google Suite.
  • Preferred proficiencies in Asana and Blackbaud Altru.

Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.

Physical Job Requirements

While performing this job, the employee will be required to sit, stand and walk, to lift up to 30-50 lbs. occasionally, do close work with a computer monitor and perform repetitive hand movements. Employee must be able to communicate verbally and in writing.

This position is a full-time, exempt position offering the following benefits: health, dental, 403(b) retirement matching, vacation time and sick time. The KIA is an equal opportunity, equal access employer that is fully committed to diversity, equity, access and inclusion in the workplace.

Please fill out the form, and attach a cover letter and resume below to be considered.

Job Application
Maximum upload size: 516MB
Maximum upload size: 516MB
Maximum upload size: 516MB