Executive Director

Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
Job Description
Guides the mission and strategic direction of the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center (SLHVC) and oversees administrative and business operations as well as marketing and public relations.

Position Summary

The Director guides the mission and strategic direction of the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center (SLHVC) and oversees administrative and business operations as well as marketing and public relations activities in collaboration with the communications director. The SLHVC Director promotes world class science outreach and engages the public in an understanding of the science at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), the history of the Homestake mine, and the community of Lead, SD. The Director inspires staff to conduct daily operations with a visitor centric mindset to ensure a positive lasting impression of SURF and the community of Lead.

Line of Authority

The SLHVC Director reports to the SDSTA Director of Education and Public Relations.

Functional Responsibilities (include but are not limited to)

Directs Community and Public Relations

  • Serves as a spokesperson for the SLHVC.
  • Promotes the SLHVC to local, regional, national and international constituencies. 
  • Serves as a liaison to general public.
  • Supports fundraising activities of the SURF Foundation in support of SLHVC programs.
  • Oversees the communication of SLHVC information to ensure the mission, goals and activities are presented in a strong positive image to relevant stakeholders.
  • Initiates, develops and maintains cooperative relationships with key constituencies.
  • Leads community and tourism relations to grow the SLHVC as an attraction and a community hub.
  • Oversees the creation, planning and execution of all SLHVC events.
  • Attends, as appropriate, city and chamber level meetings to foster communication and relations.
  • Works closely with staff to maintain relationships with SLHVC members, overseeing the growth and development of the membership and sponsorship programs.

Provides Fiscal and People Management

  • Leads the management of the SLHVC’s fiscal activities including budgeting, reporting and revenue generation.
  • Develops and manages resources to ensure the financial health of the SLHVC.
  • Coordinates with the SURF Foundation Director for fundraising and grant writing.
  • Identifies and generates revenue streams from membership, sponsorship and grants.
  • Supervises, leads and manages the SLHVC staff.
  • Sets SLHVC operations and staffing schedules and sets and communicates performance standards and expectations.

Oversees Gift Shop, Informal Education, Events and Exhibits

  • Activly promotes and manages visitor activities including groups, bus tours and trolley tour activities.
  • Acquires, manages, and maintains retail inventory that is innovative and reflective of the SLHVC mission, including its ties to Lead’s history, the science of SURF and STEM education.
  • Works collaboratively with the Communications Department to plan and host public events.
  • Works collaboratively with the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) Communications and Information Technology Departments to ensure that the SLHVC online presence is current, accurate, professional and utilizes multiple approaches to promote activities and events.
  • Works collaboratively with the Communications Department to create, maintain and update exhibits.
  • Works collaboratively with the E&O Department to develop and host K12 educational activities.

Initiates and Directs Strategic Planning Activities

  • Works closely with other SDSTA departments to develop a strategic plan to showcase SDSTA’s mission and objectives and to promote its growth and prestige.
  • Communicates the overall vision for the SLHVC to staff and stakeholders.
  • Coordinates the development of the SLHVC long-range and strategic plans.
  • Creates a climate that will ensure the SLHVC can operate at its highest level of efficiency and productivity.
  • Continue to foster and build mutually-beneficial relationships with partners such as the Lead Area Chamber of Commerce, the Black Hills Mining Museum and the Homestake Opera House.


The SLHVC Director has the following accountabilities:

  • To the Executive Director for the SLHVC performance.
  • To assigned staff for administrative direction and guidance in the performance of their duties.


The SLHVC Director has the following authorities:

  • To define the strategic goals, objectives and activities of the SLHVC.
  • To identify resource requirements and commit staffing to achieve the SLHVC goals and objectives.
  • To direct the hiring, training, assignment and management of employees needed to meet the responsibilities of the SLHVC and the strategic goals of SDSTA.
  • To expend funds in accordance with scope of work and SLHVC budget and within the requirements of the SDSTA procurement policies.



  • Bachelor’s degree or higher.


  • Extensive experience in budgeting and financial management.
  • Extensive experience in public or education outreach.
  • Previous leadership experience and in building collaborative teams.
  • Demonstrated presentation and public speaking expertise.
  • Previous retail experience a plus.
  • Successful grant writing experience a plus.


  • NA


  • Visionary—Thinks and acts strategically to set a vision and ensure the SLHVC moves towards it.  
  • Entrepreneurial—Identifies opportunities and encourages resourceful and innovative solutions to problems.
  • Relationship Building—Develops and maintains effective, cooperative working relationships with stakeholders including the Black Hills Mining Museum, Homestake Opera House and the Lead Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Organization—Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time, and proven ability to meet deadlines including coordination of priorities for department staff.
  • Exercises Due Diligence—Manages resources and day-to-day activities in a manner that instill public trust.
  • Communication—Excellent writing and speaking skills are required.

Working Requirements

  • Proof of a valid driver’s license is required.
  • Comply with SURF’s safety program.
  • Act in accordance with SURF’s core values: Safety Focused, Care for Others, Professionalism and Being a Team Player.
  • Perform work in a typical office environment with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Perform limited physical labor and light lifting including walking up and down flights of stairs.

The South Dakota Science & Technology Authority (SDSTA) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to the development of a diverse workforce. Applicants are invited to self-identify as an individual with a disability or as a protected veteran. Forms are available on the website www.sanfordlab.org/careers or upon request from Human Resources.

Contact Information