DHR Global – Chief Executive Officer, Music Teachers National Association – Cincinnati, Ohio

Executive Director

Reporting To: Board of Directors
Direct Reports: Chief Operating Officer
Location: Cincinnati, OH | Hybrid

Music Teachers National Association

The mission of Music Teachers National Association is to advance the value of music study and music making to society and to support the professionalism of independent and collegiate studio music teachers.

Founded in 1876, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) is the largest and longest-running professional music teacher association in the United States. Boasting over 17,000 members, the nonprofit organization is the preeminent source for music teacher support and professional development, devoted to helping music teachers serve their students, colleagues, and society as a whole. Guided by values of community, cooperation, continuity, and connection, MTNA has a proud legacy of advancing the music teacher profession and spurring the study of music and music making in society.

MTNA membership includes independent teachers, college faculty and students, performers, and composers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and more than 500 affiliated local and state organizations. MTNA is organized into 50 state affiliates which are divided into seven regional divisions; state affiliates have their own boards of directors and organize their own local chapters. Members pay dues to the local, state, and national entities and enjoy the full benefits of membership, including access to online forums and webinars, career development and continuing education, legal/business assistance, peer-review journals like the American Music Teacher and MTNA e-Journal, and vast networking and business development opportunities. MTNA hosts its national conference in a different city each year and honors outstanding achievements and contributions from members with a variety of awards. MTNA also proudly conducts the most successful and prestigious student competitions in the country. Every year, thousands of students compete for top prizes and national recognition.

MTNA maintains two subsidiary programs as well as the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, a wholly owned subsidiary with its own board of directors. The two subsidiary programs are: the MTNA Professional Certification Program and the MTNA Foundation Fund. The Professional Certification Program exists to improve the level of professionalism within the field of applied music teaching and helps the public readily identify competent music teachers in their communities. The MTNA Foundation Fund supports programs to assist teachers and students financially with their educational pursuits, while providing an opportunity for individual and corporate support of MTNA and its programs.

MTNA meets its $2.5 million annual operating budget through a combination of membership, conferences, and contributed income. The organization is financially strong with a significant endowment, cash reserves, and other investment vehicles. MTNA is governed by a thirteen-member elected, all-volunteer Board of Directors consisting of the President; Immediate Past President; President-Elect; Vice-President of Membership; Vice-President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Secretary-Treasurer; and seven Directors elected from each of seven geographic divisions. MTNA operations are dutifully executed by a talented team of seven full-time staff and six part-time staff.

Scope and Responsibilities

The current Executive Director/CEO will retire in June 2024 after 28 successful years. The incoming CEO will have the extraordinary opportunity to lead MTNA into a new phase of institutional and artistic growth and excellence. The new CEO will inherit an organization that is financially stable, with strong relationships in the national and global profession, a nearly 150-year legacy of relevance and impact, a diverse portfolio of services and programs and support from a range of stakeholders. Working with the Board of Directors, the CEO will develop and achieve a strategic vision to successfully navigate the evolving landscape of music teaching, enhancing the membership value proposition, growing and diversifying membership numbers and creating new streams of revenue, honoring historical traditions while innovating and aspiring toward new and increased levels of impact and relevance.

Specific responsibilities include:

Strategic Leadership:

  • Work with the MTNA Board of Directors and MTNA staff to create and implement a vision for the future;
  • Increase membership and broaden representation of demographics and specializations within membership;
  • Deepen and broaden DEI initiatives to ensure that MTNA is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible;
  • Establish/consolidate a digital/online presence to meet the needs of all generations of members;
  • Serve as the public representative of MTNA to state and local affiliates, donors, city and county government agencies, audiences, the arts and cultural community, other local and regional arts organizations, business associations, and representatives of the music teaching profession;
  • Drive synergies among the various organizational programs (publications, competitions, conferences, state/local affiliate support);
  • Optimize and nourish beneficial business relationships with industry partners;
  • Continually enhance the profile, image, and reputation of MTNA across the world to sustain its prominent and relevant position in the teaching profession.

Artistic and Educational Leadership:

  • Ensure that MTNA programs and services are relevant and compelling to its members, the profession, and the general public;
  • Maintain the highest standards of artistic quality in MTNA programs and events;
  • Explore and pursue new trends, including accessible/global programs and innovative use of technology;
  • Develop strong, effective relationships with other artistic and community partners;
  • Promote the value and quality of MTNA membership and programs at state/national/global events in the profession;
  • Enthusiastically communicate the unique contributions made by MTNA to the teaching profession, as well as to key stakeholders, arts and arts-education leaders.

Revenue Generation:

  • With the board, set benchmarks for revenue growth and ultimately drive performance to meet or exceed desired outcomes;
  • Embrace and enhance the membership dues business model and/or identify and lead MTNA through the process of developing alternative revenue models in alignment with the institutions vision and goals;
  • Provide leadership to the MTNA Foundation in developing a robust fundraising infrastructure;
  • With the support of the MTNA president and board, lead fundraising activities by identifying, cultivating, and soliciting gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

Administrative Management:

  • Manage and strengthen relationships with the MTNA president and board of directors, MTNA staff, state, and local leadership;
  • Maintain policies, procedures, operational and communication protocols that promote the organization’s purpose, mission, core values, vision, and culture;
  • Lead a highly functional executive leadership team; direct, evaluate, enable, and inspire a group of arts professionals to achieve the purpose and full potential of the organization;
  • Forecast and manage operating and capital activity within budget; evaluate business performance by analyzing and interpreting data and key performance indicators.

Key Selection Criteria

The ideal candidate will be an experienced senior executive with a demonstrated track record of increasing responsibility and verified success managing organizations of similar scope, budget, and complexity. The individual will exhibit exceptional leadership characteristics marked by high emotional intelligence; unimpeachable personal ethics; superb communication skills; effective management and motivation of staff; and an advanced comprehension and commitment to matters of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Potential candidates may have senior leadership experience in any of the following backgrounds, or a combination of these:

  • A comparable membership association; in which case Certified Association Executive (CAE) credentials are preferred.
  • Music teaching, either independently or at the college/conservatory level.
  • A nonprofit arts/cultural organization, such as a community music school or classical music ensemble.
  • For-profit sector with significant nonprofit board volunteering experience. Specifically, potential candidates must possess:
  • Firsthand knowledge of the music teaching profession;
  • Proven strategic thinking and vision;
  • An understanding of and appreciation for the business model of a membership association, focusing on continually creating value for its members and generating relevance for the Association internally and externally;
  • The ability to partner with a volunteer board in crafting ambitious strategic initiatives and, as importantly, successfully driving those initiatives to fruition;
  • A forward-thinking, entrepreneurial orientation, anticipating new trends and embracing new technologies and methodologies to successfully navigate political, social, and economic disruptions;
  • Exceptional business acumen and acuity in maximizing earned income, managing budgets, and controlling and reporting nonprofit finances and investments;
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and success in communicating a case for support and soliciting donations;
  • Political savvy and expertise in building relationships and reaching consensus with various stakeholders.
  • •Polished presentational style combined with a willingness to speak publicly and represent MTNA as the face of the organization.

Personal / Professional Attributes

  • Equally comfortable in “the forest and the trees”
  • Leads by example
  • Creative problem solving
  • Bold and ambitious
  • Data oriented
  • Charismatic and inspiring
  • Unrelenting enthusiasm
  • High integrity
  • Commitment to MTNA values

Contact Information

James Abruzzo
Managing Partner
New York, NY
T: +1 212 883 6800
E: [email protected]

Philip DeBoer
Miami, FL
T: +1 786 558 2636
E: [email protected]

Brian Shallcross
Chicago, IL
T: +1 312 782 1581
E: [email protected]

Close Bitnami banner