Board of Directors look to reconfigure Portland Head Light Museum and Gift Shop management structure

The council conducted an annual meeting of the Museum at Portland Head Light Board of Directors during the regular Town Council meeting on Monday, June 13, 2022.  The Museum operates as a 501c3 non-profit organization and the entire Town Council serves as the Board of Directors.  

The recent retirement of Jeanne Gross, the Director for the Portland Head Light Museum and Gift Shop for 22 years, prompted the opportunity to evaluate ways in which to improve management and operation structures. Town Manager Matthew Sturgis, along with Kathy Raftice, the Community Services and Fort Williams Park Director, informed the board that they are recommending a reorganization of the museum and gift shop’s management.  Citing the current environment in which finding hires and volunteers is challenging, Sturgis said that they would be looking at ways to make working at the gift shop more attractive and more efficient.

The museum and gift shop operate on a seasonal basis and have historically been staffed by the Director in combination of volunteers and part-time seasonal workers. The museum and gift shop are open from Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  In a May 11 Memo, Sturgis explained that given Raftice's responsibilities as Director of both Community Services and Fort Williams Park, Raftice and the Community Services Department, "Has the organizational capacity to include management of both the gift shop and museum under its structure."  As such, the recommended reorganization for the gift shop and museum would have, “Community Services Director become the Director of the Portland Head Light, and in the place of a specific director for the Portland Head Light Museum and Gift Shop, hire a seasonal manager for the gift shop, while having organization and management of the museum volunteers provided by Community Services.”

With the board’s approval, the plan will be to create a revised job description of the gift shop manager position and advertise in the near term.  Sturgis said that the position could be, “An ideal position for a person with retail-management experience who does not want employment for a full year.” Concurrently, volunteers to staff the museum and gift shop are also being sought.


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