Director of Operations


Schedule and Salary

Start Date: 
Application Deadline: 
Open Until Filled
How to Apply


The purpose is to provide leadership,vision and support for the Zoo and its core zoological and operational activities. The Director of Operations is responsible for the implementation and management of the cash room, all cashiers and the Rides area. The Director will participate in the strategic planning and budgeting initiatives. He/she will update the CFO/VP of Business Affairs of all interdepartmental business activities, as well as maintain and execute the monthly budget.  The Director is to uphold the mission and values established by the Conservation Society of California (the “Zoo”) and adheres to policies and procedures as set forth by the Zoo.



·        Demonstrate knowledge of, and supports, the Conservation Society of California's mission,vision, value statements, standards, policies and procedures, operating instructions, standards, and the code of behavior.

·        Demonstrate superior customer service with customers, both internal (i.e. co-workers) and external (vendors, visitors, customers, etc).

·        Ensure Zoo representatives are providing a high level of Operations on a daily basis.  The Guest Engagement Manager will have an active role in the park, observing staff/guest interactions and reinforcing Operations standards as needed.

·        Ensure the Oakland Zoo is ready for guests and daily operations 364 days a year in conjunction with the Director of Operations. Interface with various departments to ensure appropriate safety and service levels are being met each and every day.

·        Prepare budgets,monitors costs and assure compliance to the established budget in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer.

·        Respond directly to guest inquiries, comments and concerns. Our goal with every guest concern or complaint is to ensure they leave satisfied with the follow-up service and attention provided

·        Assist in the development of new guest experience programs and revenue operations/point of sale offerings that meet the Oakland Zoo’s mission.

·        Assist the Chief Financial Officer in overseeing the SSA Park Services contract, Gateway contract, and other various contracts.

•   Continuously evaluate and adjust staffing mix for a large department utilizing seasonal, temporary and permanent employees.Work alongside People Services for adherence to legal and/or new Zoo policy guidelines. Make recommendations for improvement based on needs of the business and serve as a voice for employees.

·        Responsibly administer the annual $8 million plus revenue budget for Admissions and other related departments and maintain strict fiscal control over departmental expenditures.

·        Work closely with other zoo departments to plan, coordinate, implement, promote and evaluates variety of guest experience projects and operations.

·        Lead various teams in developing safe and efficient processing of guests on large attendance days, special events. Coordinate on-site member services with the Membership department and help suggest and evaluate improvements to the membership program.

·        Ensure clear communications and maintain good relationships within and across departments in order to support overall organizational goals.

·        Serve as a project team member focused on the development, additional department participation, and refinement for Point of Sale software platform

·        Prepare an annual review of performance, by operational area, comparing results to goals and objectives.

·        Manage transactions in accordance with policy and law, and to optimize cost-effectiveness of activities.

·        Manage all staff reporting to the position so as to effectively recruit, train,evaluate, motivate, delegate and monitor their activities.

·        Liaise with other departments in order to establish and maintain effective and relevant activities and support in relation to the organization's sales,purchasing, materials management, production and overall operating functions in designated areas.

·        Use personal judgment and initiative to develop effective and constructive solutions to challenges and obstacles to implement policy and procedures.

·        Performs other related duties as required and assigned.



•   Serves part of the senior leadership team and report on key business and operational activities related to how we improve the overall customer experience while delivering on key metrics.

•   Attend internal departmental meetings and external conferences.  Work collaboratively with internal Zoo departments on any special projects that may affect zoological or operational activities.

• Prepare and review with the CFO, a three year Initiatives Plan.

• Create a nimble organization that responds quickly to our customer's needs.

•   Identify new opportunities to measure and increase value for visitors.

•   Actively support and assist departmental managers, supervisors, and coordinator in operational planning, maintaining and exceeding standards for a customer-service driven environment, professional development and budgetary controls.

•   Identify and facilitate growth opportunities based on zoo seasonal needs, physical changes on grounds, and new program offerings that yield a positive guest experience and achieve revenue goals for both the zoo and vendor.

•  Assist senior management with development and implementation of long-range strategic priorities and goals for Admissions and effectively communicate the vision.

•   Effectively manage Admissions Supervisor and Assistant Manager’s Office Associates, and oversee all front line Leads and Associates; ensure that acceptable levels of performance are maintained through positive motivation and coaching of employees.

•   Perform other duties as assigned.


This position directly and indirectly supervises multiple positions within Operations area. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees;and addressing complaints and resolving problems. This position requires the ability to interact effectively with employees in order to direct workflow,assess performance, and assign duties.

·    Responsible for all cashiers in Operations and all personnel in Rides Area; delegates assignments to managers and supervisors.

·    Provides performance evaluations of subordinates, initiates corrective or disciplinary action when necessary.

•    Provide leadership for the Operations management team members, including planning, training, coaching/mentoring and counseling when needed.

•   Perform other duties as assigned.



•   The Director of Operations must be a team player whose enthusiasm and dedication to the Zoo is an example for the entire team.

•   Requires professional knowledge and experience in the following aspects of not-for-profit, public service foundation operation and management: Provide leadership and individual motivation; Recommend and implement policies and programs; Allocate resources consistent with the budget and mission; Provide a knowledgeable and welcoming public image

•   Strong problem solving and group work leadership skills.

•   Ability to interact with people of all ages.

•   Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

•   Sound, current computer and small office management skills.

•   Effective oral and written communication skills including proper use of communication tools and technologies.

•   Ability to work flexible hours including evening, holiday and weekend requirements.

•   Must be a team player whose enthusiasm and dedication to the Zoo provides an example that the entire team follows.

•   Perform other duties as assigned.


•  Develop and manage the annual budget and earned revenue initiatives.

•    Responsible for the implementation and management of the cash room, all cashiers and the Rides area.

•   Identify new (Lean) processes to reduce costs and maintain strict fiscal controls.

•   On-going financial and operating performance reports, measurements, levers, and vendor payments.

•   Contract and manage third-party (non-presence) vendors and their annual contracts.

•  Establish annual goals and standards of performance for fiscal and programmatic operations relating to Admissions, and oversee the development of on-going financial and operating/performance reports.

·        Monitor,record, analyze and report on activities, trends, results and recommendations relating to revenue generating activities.

·      Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Capabilities

•   Proven experience managing people and functional areas/departments with the ability to develop and support team members.

•   Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal and organizational communication.

•   Excellent organizational skills with the ability to balance and prioritize multiple task sand requests and meet deadlines in a professional manner.

•   Ability to be effective while working both independently and as a team member.

•   Ability to work a flexible schedule, which includes weekends, evenings and/or holidays as needed.

•   Commitment to the mission of the Zoo and it’s core Conservation values.

Required Education

Bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) from unaccredited four-year college or university; 7-10 years of direct operational experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required Experience

Minimum of 5+ years supervisory experience.

•  Minimum 5 + years of operational management and cash control.

•   Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

•   Proven leadership skills with an understanding of the importance of team building/development.

•   Exceptional problem solving, decision making and organizational skills

•   Demonstrates financial management, merchandising, analytical, planning and leadership skills.

•   Demonstrates flexibility and composure in fast-paced environment.;



Valid California State Drivers License Required.


·        Strong computer skills with proficiency using Microsoft Office (e.g. Word, Excel,PowerPoint and Outlook). Knowledge of database systems, research tools andelectronic sources available through the internet required.




How to Apply