Visitor Services Office Manager
Smithsonian Institution
Panama City, Panama
hace 6 días

Position Details

Job Number : 18 2022 Category : Visitor's Service Title : Visitor Services Office Manager Date Posted : 08-01-2022 07 : 36 AM Description :

The Visitor Services Office (VSO) Manager is responsible for providing overall leadership, guidance, and direction to the VSO team as it strives to provide the highest quality in standards and services.

He / she will have accountability for budgeting and financial management, annual and quarterly business planning, organizing, and directing all VSO services, including front-of-the house (reception, reservations), VSO operations and housekeeping.

While taking a strategic approach to maximize value, the Manager must also pay attention to the details, setting the example for staff to deliver a standard of service and presentation that meets visitor’s needs and expectations.

In this role, you will have the opportunity to provide leadership and managerial excellence for activities related to the planning, development, execution, and coordination of scientific visits in all facilities to support STRI’s mission, be responsible for ensuring consistent implementation and standardization of housing services.

Consistently monitor existing processes and policies associated with the visitor experience and identify areas of improvement to increase the efficiency and the quality of the services provided.

You will be responsible for :

  • Providing excellent customer care by following or improving existing STRI guidelines and policies.
  • Ensuring excellent customer experience and satisfaction by organizing and maintaining efficient and consistent operations across STRI visitor sites.
  • Developing knowledge and awareness of access requirements and proactively provide the highest possible standard of service for each visitor.
  • Working closely with all departments to establish and implement strategic direction that meet the needs of the researcher in an ever-changing community and research environment.
  • Improving and regularly evaluate processes and systems to identify ways in which to improve the visitor experience across STRI.
  • Providing overall leadership, guidance, and direction to the VSO team.
  • Ensuring excellent customer experience and satisfaction by conducting an Exit Survey upon check-out and updates the survey to reflect changing conditions as needed.
  • Ensuring clients understand their rights and responsibility as tenants.
  • Performing regular analysis of STRI cost of services to suggest adjustments to maximize profit and loss (P&L) potential while maintaining quality and affordability.
  • Ensuring that updated fees are posted on the website.
  • Supervising the management of the houses and apartments assigned for visitors, including receipt of applications, reservations, furniture acquisition, preparation of lease contracts, maintenance coordination, and updating furnishings inventory reports.
  • Performing inspections of property and services in the various STRI housing facilities.
  • The financial management of the housing operation under his / her oversight.
  • Managing resources, developing strategies to increase revenues, control expenditures, while not sacrificing customer service and adhering to the budget.
  • Preparing yearly budget.
  • To be successful in this role, you should meet the following requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, business, tourism, or related field. Master’s degree is not required but is a plus.
  • Minimum five (5) years of supervisory experience working in the hospitality industry as housekeeping manager.
  • Experience managing a team, administrative concepts, theories, principles, methods, and techniques to organize, administer and manage operational and staffing requirements.
  • Excellence in customer service is mandatory, as well as handling and solving conflicts, emergencies, and other type of unexpected situations that may arise due to the specific activity in which STRI is involved.
  • Strong business acumen is required and ability to create statistical and financial analytical reports such as capacity analysis, budgets, costs analysis, revenue projections, etc.
  • Ability to communicate with and relate to a wide range of people fluently in both English and Spanish in a multicultural environment, surrounded by world class scientists, fellows, students, other collaborators in Panama and other parts of the world.
  • Experience in project management, managing complex projects from beginning to end.
  • Ability to work as a team member to efficiently resolve issues.
  • Supervisory Controls

    The incumbent works under the supervision of the STRI Associate Director for Science Support and overseas Visitors Services Office personnel.

    The incumbent exercises considerable judgment and discretion in resolving problems that arise. He / she independently interprets policy in his / her own initiative in terms of established objectives.

    In many assignments the incumbent also determines the approach to be taken and the methodology to be used.

    The incumbent often works with no on-site supervision and makes decisions on behalf of STRI without direct oversight by supervisors.


    The work involves directing, managing and evaluating the daily visitor operations at STRI’s facilities as well as strategically organizing the office and services to meet the future mission of the unit in support of STRI and SI’s mission.

    The incumbent must exercise initiative in defining work, setting priorities, analyzing, evaluating, developing and implementing plans, systems, resources for accomplishing the work and is responsible for representing multiple departments to solve operational problems and improve visitor services.

    The incumbent must exercise independent judgments in assisting medical emergencies.

    Scope And Effect

    The purpose of the position is to manage and implement Visitor Services programs and operation to facilitate the needs of the visitors.

    The incumbent regularly resolves operating problems in serving the STRI scientific community. The incumbent will position STRI as an internationally recognized model in setting up and maintaining a visitor services program.

    The Office of Visitor Services is impacted by most of STRI operations and regularly interacts with most of STRI operations, including the Director’s Office, Scientific Administration, Advancement, Legal & External Affairs, Information Technology, Government Relations, Office of Protection Services, Safety, Human Resources, Public Programs, Maintenance, among others.

    The incumbent’s efforts to provide informative and effective visitor services in highly emotional and challenging conditions assist in providing a quality experience for visitors and a positive image to the public.

    The VSO Manager should be able to manage and lead in a diverse environment while maintaining focus on customer service, entrepreneurship and building and growing a strong operation.

    The ability to communicate effectively with clients, senior management, and support staff are key elements of success.

    Personal Contacts

    Contacts are with member of the scientific community and other types of visitors, public program visitors, governmental officers, filming crews, VIPs including national and international, donors, the general public, the press, volunteers, and coworkers.

    Purpose of Contacts

    The purpose of the contacts is to represent the VSO across department lines, representing other program areas on their behalf to various audiences.

    To communicate, explain, and clarify plans, policies and procedures to employees and visitors, as well as provide information to visitors.

    Physical Demands

    The work involves walking, standing and traveling by boat, car or airplane. The job demands some physical effort to walk in the forest with exposure to high humidity, sun and rain and travel to remote areas of the tropics.

    Work Environment

    Work is performed in an office environment in STRI facilities, but the incumbent must walk around the facilities in remote areas.

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