Carolina Raptor Center – Visitor Services Manager

Categories: Job Opportunities

JOB TITLE: Visitor Services Manager

Full-time, Non-exempt


Benefits include Health, Dental, Vision Insurance, 15 PTO days/year

Reports To: Customer Engagement Director

Starts at $14/hour plus incentives


Join a growing non-profit team in a key role overseeing the organization’s customer facing operations including ticketing, retail management, merchandising, marketing, trail events and visitor relations. Works in collaboration with other members of management team to innovate programming and streamline operational issues. Opportunity for growth and incentive package for increased retail/membership and ticket sales.




A Charlotte institution for nearly 40 years, Carolina Raptor Center is at the precipice of amazing change as it gets set to move into Quest – a state-of-the-art environmental education center located at Latta Nature Preserve. The organization is seeking an organized, experienced financial professional to assist with the management of this new cultural asset and further establish the Raptor Center as a top Charlotte destination for hands-on STEM engagement.



Carolina Raptor Center ignites imaginations and inspires engagement in the natural world through the exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey.



When the first raptor – a Broad-winged Hawk — was brought to UNC-Charlotte ornithologist Dr. Richard Brown in 1975, the concept of Carolina Raptor Center was “hatched.” In 1979, six additional birds were admitted into a makeshift clinic in the basement of UNCC’s biology building.


In 1981, Carolina Raptor Center was co-founded by Dr. Brown and Deb Sue Griffin and incorporated as a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation.  By 1984, CRC had outgrown its modest accommodations at UNCC and an effort was made to find a new site. The Latta Nature Preserve proved a suitable site, though the Center would not have a permanent facility until the Environmental Education Center was built in 1992.


Though raptor rescue was the original reason for its founding, CRC’s public-facing education trail soon became a primary way most local residents come to learn about the organization.  From the early-1990s to today, CRC has increased its capacity to serve both raptors and the public, becoming one of the state’s most well-known science centers.



Carolina Raptor Center ignites imaginations and engages people in the natural world through the exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey. Nearly 1,000 raptors are rehabilitated by the organization each year, making it one of the largest volume raptor rehabilitation centers of its kind in the world.  Carolina Raptor Center is also home to 85 permanent resident birds – eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, vultures, and corvids. The role of these animals and the staff that care for them is to educate the public about birds of prey, the environment and impact we have on these as humans with the ultimate goal of inspiring the public to protect wildlife and preserve habitats. More than 30,000 people visit annually to walk the Raptor Trail and get nose to beak with the birds.

Each year, more than 27,000 school children explore natural history, biology, physics and math concepts in formal education programs run by Carolina Raptor Center. Programs are held on campus at in classrooms throughout the region. Though the organization is based in Mecklenburg County and serves many local children, the organization’s education footprint extends throughout North and South Carolina.



Following nearly a decade of discussion and visioning, Carolina Raptor Center, in partnership with Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, is building a new state-of-the-art Center at the Latta Nature Preserve. This once-in-a-generation project, “Quest,” promises to increase Carolina Raptor Center’s impact across a wide spectrum of audiences to include expanded conservation efforts, increased educational programming, access for underserved communities, and significant economic impact in the region.


The Quest project includes the design and construction of a modern, 13,000+ sq ft Center with interactive indoor exhibits, expanded learning spaces, increased administration space and improved amenities for guests. In addition to the new facility, Carolina Raptor Center is constructing a new Raptor Trail system to include aviaries for more than 35 species of raptors and a technologically-advanced amphitheater. The project also includes a renovated Raptor Medical Center to include increased capacity for the care and treatment of injured raptors.


More than 100,000 visitors are expected to visit Quest annually when the doors open in 2021. Carolina Raptor Center intends to capitalize on being one of the most visited cultural assets in the region, expanding awareness of the organization’s mission and exhibits, and deepening relationships with constituents new and old.


Position: VISITOR Services MANAGER


DIRECT SUPERVISOR: Associate Executive Director

BASIC DESCRIPTION:  The Visitor Services Manager manages all aspects of the visitor experience including 1) supervising visitor services staff, 2) creating and merchandising and an appropriate product mix in the CRC gift shop, 3) supervising the upkeep of the Visitor Services Center and Raptor Trail and 4) driving visitors to choose Carolina Raptor Center as their destination.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES:                                       % of Time Spent

  1. Gift Shop/Visitor Center Management                  60%
  2. Marketing/Event Management                              10%
  3. Financial Control/Inventory/Merchandising           20%
  4. Program Management                                          10%


POSITION CATEGORY: Non-exempt, Full Time, 40 hours/week

Hourly: $14 (hiring range) plus quarterly bonuses



  1. Establishes a culture of customer service and contagious excitement about offerings at Carolina Raptor Center
  2. Serves on Raptor Force Program Innovation Team
  3. Responsible for gift shop operations
  • Meets budget projections for sales and revenues.
  • Develops and maintains inventory (purchasing) including quarterly counts.
  • Develops and monitors sales and promotions.
  • Keeps merchandise organized and develops displays (merchandising).
  • Manages Square system.
  • Daily cleaning and management of weekly custodial contract.
  • Manages Visitor Services volunteers – retail assistance, etc.
  1. Markets visitor experience through response to inquiries, web updates, brochures, email marketing, social media posts, community calendar listings and couponing.
  • Answer trail related
  • Maintains event related trail whiteboards.
  • Provides updates for website and calendar to reflect event and weekend offerings.
  • Works with Social Media contractor to market trail events.
  • Order and distribute brochures as necessary
  • Supervise posting of trail events to community calendars.
  1. Manages rental sales and management for CRC’s Quest facilities.
  • Answering inquiries.
  • Creating pricing and proposals
  • Coordination with education department for special raptor experiences.
  1. Provide direct supervision to visitor experience associates (2-5) and visitor experience volunteers.
  • Hiring
  • Scheduling
  • Incentivizing
  • Develops and disseminates visitor surveys.
  • Gathers and responds to visitor comments and complaints
  • Remediates customer complaints onsite and via phone
  1. Provides monthly reporting to Executive Director, Finance Director and Associate Executive Director for the following metrics:
  • Visitor Demographics
  • Coupon Redemption
  • Gift Shop Sales
  • Gift Shop Inventory



  1. Manages evening event series – talent booking, food truck scheduling, beer/wine tasting. Identifies and executes promotional opportunities.
  2. Updates promotional boards.
  3. Supervises rental events with help of Customer Engagement Director.
  4. Updates whiteboard promotional boards.



  1. Motivates visitor experience team to clean, maintain and improve Visitor Center and the Raptor Trail to create a great first impression.
  2. Identifies repairs in the Visitor Services and Raptor Trail facilities. Coordinate with maintenance coordinator to accomplish facilities improvements.



  1. Membership: Works closely with development to sell and fulfill membership purchases.
  2. Adopt-A-Bird: Works closely with development to sell and fulfill Adopt-a-Bird purchases.
  3. Ticket donations: Fields requests for ticket donations based on established guidelines.


This job description reflects the organization’s assignment of essential responsibilities; it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.


    1. Leadership Team
    2. Maintenance Coordinator
    3. CRC Education & Bird Care teams
    4. Docent volunteers
    5. Other CRC staff and volunteers




  1. Two year associates degree in business, management, marketing or retail or other like program.
  2. Minimum of two years’ experience managing a retail operation.
  3. Computer skills: Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) and Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator and PhotoShop)
  4. Impeccable organizational skills
  5. Experience in marketing / promotion
  6. Experience in facilities management
  7. Supervisory experience of hourly employees
  8. Good oral and written communication skills
  9. Ability to perform to high standards with tight and demanding time schedules.
  10. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with staff, volunteers, general public and media.
  11. Ability to effectively prioritize work/goals.
  12. Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and manage time appropriately.
  13. Ability to lead, coach and inspire all members of the team.
  14. Self-motivated and able to work independently
  15. Professional manner
  16. Ability to work with others (team oriented)
  17. Understanding of CRC mission


TO APPLY, please forward your resume, unique cover letter and references to Michele Miller Houck by September 4, 2020. Candidates will be evaluated on a rolling basis until position is filled. No phone calls please.