Director of Facilities, Grounds & Sacred Hospitality

  • Fetzer Institute
  • Kalamazoo, MI, USA
Full Time Facilities

Job Description

Fetzer Institute
Director of Facilities, Grounds & Sacred Hospitality


Position: Director of Facilities, Grounds & Sacred Hospitality
Organization: Fetzer Institute
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Reporting Relationship: Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.

About Fetzer Institute
The Fetzer Institute (the “Institute”) is a private foundation based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with a mission to help build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. The Institute was founded by John E. Fetzer (1901-1991), an American broadcast pioneer and owner of the Detroit Tigers major league baseball team. He established the Institute as a five-hundred-year organization on the belief that efforts to address humanity's greatest challenges must go beyond examining social, political, and economic causes to address their psychological and spiritual roots.

Throughout its history, a hallmark of the Institute is the work it convenes at Seasons, its on-campus retreat center. With its pristine beauty, Seasons offers opportunities for inward reflection and outward engagement, allowing participants to find the shared meaning critical to the Institute’s community and work. Seasons has hosted Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Supreme Court nominees, as well as thousands of accomplished teachers, healers, scientists, scholars, agents of cultural change, and leaders of public life from government, business, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors.

Supporting the Institute’s vision is a spiritually grounded community comprised of trustees and staff from different backgrounds and beliefs. Its culture comes alive as a “Community of Freedom,” a term that John Fetzer used to mean that the Institute had to be a cohesive community that was bound together by a larger purpose for it to be successful, rather than a mere collection of individuals. For three hours each week, the entire staff turns its focus—either as a whole or individually—on cultivating their spiritual path, however they define it. Staff explore personal spiritual interests and practices, hear from partners in the field, and learn about topics from spiritual ecology to comparative religion and spiritual parenting. This weekly practice seeks to foster a culture of love and authenticity internally as a model for the work the Institute aspires to do in the world.

Position Overview
The Institute is at an exciting time in its history, having recently adopted its current mission statement, a bold theory of change, and a long-term goal: to help catalyze and support a broad-scale, spiritually grounded transformation from an ego-centered way of being grounded in separation and fear to an all-centered way of being grounded in wholeness and love. With investments in areas such as democracy, faith and spirituality, education, and media, the Institute supports work that will enable a critical mass of persons around the world to embrace love as the guiding principle and animating force for living in sacred relationship with Spirit, self, others, and the natural world. It has invested significantly in facility renovations over the last 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide its staff and visitors with a best-in-class experience.

The Director of Facilities, Grounds and Sacred Hospitality will serve as a member of the leadership team, providing executive leadership in stewarding the land, facilities, and culture of sacred hospitality of the Institute to further John Fetzer’s 500-year mission for the organization. This senior leader will ensure operational excellence in its oversight of the Facilities, Hospitality, and Culinary teams and partner with the Head Caretaker of GilChrist, the public retreat center of Fetzer Institute, located in Three Rivers, Michigan, south of the main campus in Kalamazoo.


Key Responsibilities
The Director of Facilities, Grounds & Sacred Hospitality will assume responsibility for the leadership, strategic execution, and overall management of the Institute’s facilities, hospitality, and culinary services functions in accordance with the Institute’s mission, focus on spirit and Community of Freedom, and its personal and institutional drive for transformation.

The ideal candidate will be an inclusive, dynamic, and innovative leader who can leverage their experience, business savvy, and interpersonal skills to the achievement of the Institute’s goals. As a member of the Institute’s staff, this individual will commit to keeping Spirit and Community of Freedom central to all they do, working to transform themselves and creating the conditions to foster transformation among those who engage with the Institute.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:


Executive Leadership & Management

  • Infuse the Institute’s mission and values into all aspects of the Operations department’s work, communication, and interaction with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Effectively manage the Operations department, including evaluating staff performance, coaching for staff development, and guiding the development of departmental goals for twelve individuals across facilities, hospitality, and culinary services.
  • Manage finances and budget related to the department and all associated vendor contracts, currently more than $2M annually.
  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors, President, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Finance, develop and manage the annual operating and capital asset budget for the Operations department.
  • Oversee and monitor all aspects of renovations and new construction including architect selection, evaluating, and establishing scope of work, conceptual design, budgets, contract negotiations, permit application and approval, and construction schedules.
  • Approve Seasons meetings and ensure they are conducted and scheduled in a manner consistent with the Institute’s policies/values.
  • Promote a culture of strong integrity, high performance, meaningful collaboration, and continuous improvement that values learning and commitment to quality.


Operational Excellence

  • Maintain a well-functioning, efficient department through effective communications and teambuilding; develop measurable goals and objectives to enable the Institute’s commitments and mission.
  • In coordination with the Board of Directors, President, and Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, facilitate, manage, and oversee real estate properties, acquisitions, and any related engagement across the Kalamazoo community.
  • Interact with lawyers, and state, county, and township regulators/inspectors as necessary.
  • Supervise the Institute’s security company, cleaning company, and all other consultants/vendors retained and ensure schedule, scope, response, and cost are consistent with Institute expectations.
  • Provide recommendations, support, and, as needed, guidance from external vendors and/or consultants, to subject matter experts within culinary services and hospitality to ensure successful interaction with guests and execution of on-site events.



  • Manage and oversee the operation, repair, and maintenance, of all Institute facilities/properties.
  • Ensure that all Institute facilities comply with applicable codes and other relevant laws and regulations.
  • Preserve and maintain building structures, interiors, and exteriors that house the Institute’s technology infrastructure.
  • Plan and implement various technologies to support day-to-day operations of the facility, technology systems, and the automation of intelligent building systems (HVAC, security, information technology, electrical, etc.)
  • Ensure the Institute’s facilities are operated in a responsible manner to provide a satisfactory and productive work environment, the attainment of performance goals, the reflection of efficient utility service/costs, and the protection of the environment and the people using the Institute’s facilities.
  • Oversee maintenance of vehicles owned and operated by the Institute.
  • Effectively manage the demand and life cycle of the Institute’s facilities/properties including their maintenance, upgrade, and purchase.


Sacred Hospitality

  • Ensure that guests experience sacred hospitality in their interactions with all staff and contractors in the Operations department.
  • Partner with Fetzer Institute’s Executive Chef to locally source food and beverage for use by the culinary services team.
  • Collaborate with hospitality and culinary services teams to ensure local sustainability, reduce pollution, and safeguard availability of natural resources for future generations.
  • Oversee environmental land use management plan including walking trail design and lake remediation/restoration.
  • Assess overall effects of facilities on the environment at the earliest possible stage in all facility planning, design, maintenance, renovation, and construction processes, including energy, water, materials, consumables, waste, workplace, and site management.


Safety and Risk Management

  • Manage emergency preparedness and the creation of a plan to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous information technology, communication, and business systems and concurrently safeguarding people and assets.
  • Identify potential hazards or threats and select methods to either avoid or mitigate them to minimize potential loss, damage or injury to people, buildings, grounds, technology, and building systems.
  • Oversee testing and effectiveness of life safety equipment, ensuring it meets current safety standards, functions appropriately, and is checked/maintained regularly.
  • Ensure all facilities-related functions/projects comply with safety guidelines/protocols.


The successful Director of Facilities, Grounds and Sacred Hospitality candidate will bring a track record of excellence in facilities and grounds management, staff management, demonstrable experience working effectively in a relationship-oriented organization, and an enthusiasm and vision for the continued growth of Fetzer Institute and the achievement of its mission. They will be a creative visionary, excited to work collaboratively across the Institute, including its GilChrist retreat center, and with the local and state community, with an orientation to listening and learning.

Other desired qualifications and leadership characteristics include:

  • A minimum of ten years’ experience in the leadership/management of retreat center operations and facility functions, or an equivalent combination of related experience, training, and education.
  • Proven experience in project management in a related discipline.
  • In-depth knowledge of building operations, including but not limited to mechanical, electrical, heating/ventilation/air conditioning controls, plumbing, life safety, security, disaster recovery, physical plant systems, retreat operations, and audio/video systems.
  • Strong staff management skills and experience creating collaborative, inclusive, and trusting team cultures.
  • An agile approach to management of people and processes, coupled with an ability to work effectively with leaders of all functional areas in support of the Institute’s mission and goals.
  • The executive presence and integrity to inspire confidence and teamwork with staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and sustain relationships with organizational and community leaders, existing and aspirational partners, and vendors.
  • Track record of managing changing needs, multiple projects, and fluid priorities simultaneously.
  • A strategic mindset and orientation with the ability to solve problems in a manner consistent with the mission and vision of the Institute.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Customer-service orientation and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • This executive must be based in, or willing to relocate to the Kalamazoo, MI area.



  • A bachelor’s or graduate degree in a relevant discipline is preferred, however, significant experience and/or certifications will be considered.

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Facilities Management