Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Executive Director Job Posting, Sept. 2019

Executive Director Job Posting, Sept. 2019

The Texas Plains Trail Region is a non-profit organization covering the 52 counties of the Texas Plains and Panhandle, from I-20 to the top of the Panhandle and from the borders of Oklahoma on the east and New Mexico on the west. A participant in the Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP) of the Texas Historical Commission since 2003 and originally founded as part of the Texas Travel Trails in 1968, the organization works to increase tourism, promote historic preservation, and support community and economic development among some 100 cities and 300 tourism partners.

Job Summary

The Texas Plains Trail Region Executive Director works alongside a volunteer Board of Directors (15 to 20 members) to administer and manage the regional organization. This is a full-time position, exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, with an anticipated start date of fall 2019.



  • Two years or more professional experience in a relevant field -- tourism planning/development, marketing, communications or history
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university required, with preference intourism planning/development, marketing, communications or history (five years commensurate experience can substitute for degree)
  • Fundraising experience
  • Reside in or relocate to the 52-county Texas Plains TrailRegion



  • Experience working with and managing a nonprofit organization
  • Evidence of ongoing public awareness, education, research and/or training programs relating to tourism, history, culture or historic preservation
  • Experience in historic site/cultural resource interpretation and historicpreservation
  • Experience providing customer service
  • Work experience with a heritage site or organization
  • Experience in grant writing and/or seeking funding from private foundations or corporations
  • Excellent communication skills—written and verbal
  • Computer experience, including proficiency in Word and Excel

Responsibilities include extensive required travel throughout the 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region for site visits and speaking engagements, and outside the region for training. The successful applicant will provide their own transportation.


Application Information

  • Resumes and cover letters will be accepted through October 1, 2019, or until filled. Submit a minimum of three references with contact information, as well as a current driver’s license number with issuing state.
  • Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailedto:
    VickiHamblen, Texas Plains Trail Region Hiring Committee; (806) 570-1744
  • Office location for the regional program will be at the selected candidate’s home office.Selected applicant must reside in or relocate into the 52-county Plains Trail Region before taking the position.

Salary Range

$37,000 - $45,000 annually depending upon experience. Position funding is supplied by a grant from the Texas Historical Commission (THC), and is part of the state budget. Continuation of the program and requisite funding is anticipated long-term but is not guaranteed. The Heritage Trails Regions are expected to pursue funding from other sourcesThe Texas Plains Trail Regional executive director is an employee of the Texas Plains Trail Region Board of Directors.


  • Insurance stipend
  • Paid time off and federal holidays
  • Travel and mileage reimbursement (must furnish own transportation)

For questions about the THC’s Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP), the umbrella organization for the ten heritage trail regions, contact Teresa Caldwell, THTP State Coordinator at (512) 463-5755 or



A Regional Tourism Initiative



Work Objectives

The Texas Plains Trail Region Executive Director’s role is critical in building and managing a successful regional heritage tourism program. The executive director facilitates the development, execution and documentation of the heritage trail regional program. The executive director advocates, motivates, guides and provides counsel and leadership to the regional communities. In working with local organizations and partner agencies, the executive director empowers individuals, groups and organizations to obtain the knowledge and skills to develop and implement ideas for building better regional heritage tourism destinations. The executive director will be an essential component in the upcoming THC reassessment of the entire Heritage Trails program.

Major Areas of Responsibility

  • Manage and administer the regional program, including duties of purchasing, recordkeeping, budget development and accounting, and preparing THC and funding agencyreports.
  • Assist the Board of Directors, committees and task forces in developing an annual work plan for implementing a regional heritage tourism program based on five principles — collaboration, community, interpretation, authenticity and preservation — and focused in three sectors: Organizational Sustainability, Products and Services for Partners, and Products and Services for Travelers.
  • Secure funding, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, from partners, corporate sponsors, foundations, and other sources to ensure financial sustainability.
  • Assist the Board of Directors adhering to best practices and policies in order to maintain organizational nonprofit status.
  • In conjunction with the Board of Directors, craft heritage tourism development strategies that are based on historic preservation and that utilize the region’s historic and cultural resources to enhance economic development.
  • Develop and conduct a public outreach campaign to support ongoing public awareness, educationand training programs designed to enhance appreciation of the region’s heritage and other unique assets and to foster an understanding of the trail region’s goals andobjectives.
  • Serve as the primary link between the Texas Historical Commission and the Board of Directors, heritage tourism sites and partner organizations.

Specific Areas of Responsibility

  • Coordinate regional board meetings, educational workshops, and other activities, along with the activity of the committees and/or task forces, ensuring that communication between committees/task forces is well established; assist committees/task forces with implementation of the workplan.
  • Conduct an outreach program that includes speaking engagements, press releases, media interviews, educational events and appearances to promote regional activities.
  • Provide advice and consultation to heritage sites and organizations in matters that include site improvement, planning, improvement to organizational and financial operations, and referrals to professional consultants
  • Advise regional heritage sites and organizations on the activities and goals of the heritage trail region, and conduct site visits to heritage tourism destinations in order to build strong and productive partnerships with appropriate public agencies, civic organizations, business owners, and other interested partners.
  • Assist with the identification of regional heritage tourism attractions that have the potentialfor tourism development.
  • Develop e-newsletter and blogs, and maintain and enhance the region’s website to highlight regional attractions and events to trailregion.
  • Develop and maintain a robust regional social media presence across multiple social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Attributes of a Successful Executive Director

A successful Executive Director MUST:

  • Be a strong advocate for heritage tourism
  • Have a sense of entrepreneurship and a be a self-starter
  • Be diplomatic and a skilled communicator
  • Have an appreciation for and understanding of community involvement
  • Be success-oriented and a motivator
  • Have knowledge of historic preservation
  • Be personable, persevering and patient