Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency

Position Title: Business Manager

Reports To: Executive Director

Position Classification: Regular, Exempt, Salaried

Location: Hybrid/Remote and Main Office, Douglas/Saugatuck, Michigan

Compensation: $70,000 starting salary; benefit package provided

Position Summary: 

Ox-Bow School of Art is currently seeking a Business Manager to oversee the financial and administrative evolution of a growing, historic fine-arts non-profit. Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with all members of the senior management team and members of the Board of Directors, the Business Manager will define the process and implement the infrastructure/systems needed to support organizational growth and stabilization over the next five to 10 years. They will build and manage effective and streamlined business administrative and financial systems, including financial, accounting, legal, information technology (IT), payroll and benefit administration (HR) and physical infrastructure. They are pivotal in the ongoing evaluation and updating of procedures, policies and technology.

Duties include: managing a bookkeeper and providing oversight of accounts payable, receivable and payroll; employee benefit administration; administration of the investment portfolio; preparation of financial statements and financial analysis; grant and scholarship accounting, and annual audits management.


The successful candidate will have a track record in business administration at an upper management, leadership level. They will have strong interpersonal skills; demonstrated experience managing finance for non-profits with budgets over 2M; a track-record of establishing and managing best practices; thrive in dynamic work environments; expertise in establishing priorities and time management; and an innovative mindset. The right candidate has excellent communication skills and is capable of mentoring staff in financial literacy. They will be exceptional at motivating staff, board and donors in support of the organization and its financial and administrative health. 


The Business Manager is focused on the stability of Ox-Bow and its capacity to execute its program, sustain its operations and deliver on its mission. All members of Ox-Bow’s team should be comfortable speaking fluently, authentically and passionately about Ox-Bow’s history, mission, impact and potential.


This is a full-time exempt position reporting to Ox-Bow’s Executive Director. The position requires a presence on campus and in the main office in Saugatuck/Douglas, MI. It is ideal for a candidate living within a 40-mile commuting radius. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Financial Management

  • Maintain and establish accuracy of accounting policies and procedures
  • Review and approve preparation and finalization of monthly and annual financial reporting materials and metrics for Ox-Bow’s board of directors.
  • Oversee budgeting, financial forecasting, and cash flow as executed
  • Coordinate all audit activities.
  • Provide fiscal information for grant application and reporting
  • Monitor the financial position of the organization including the current fiscal status and forecast of future positions
  • Ensure necessary filing for financial and operation paperwork and filing systems are maintained and up to date
  • Work with Academic Programs Director and partner school on enrollment, financial aid, and partner held endowed funds
  • Track donor restricted funds and work with senior management to ensure funds are used in accordance with their restrictions
  • Works in conjunction with a CPA firm to prepare non-profit tax documents submitted to local and federal government agency and is responsible for their accuracy
  • Support development activities through effective financial reporting, tracking and event support
  • Manage one part-time bookkeeper and hire and retain support staff as needed in the future.
  • Provide oversight of accounts payable, receivable and payroll
  • Research and oversee management of fringe benefit packages and necessary reporting provided Ox-Bow, including 401K plan, health insurance benefits and life insurance coverage
  • Prepare and distribute compensation summaries to all staff

Administrative Leadership and Management

  • Serve as a business partner to the ED on the organization’s financial, budgeting, and administrative processes—including HR, payroll, and benefits functions—with an eye to continuously developing and improving systems.
  • Manage Ox-Bow’s relationship with its IT provider including hardware and software leases and implementation
  • Maintain liability insurance policies and related paperwork
  • Define and maintain procedures for record retention
  • Proactive approach to administrative improvements
  • Manage system maintenance (phone system, security)
  • Manage contracts and payments with utilities providers
  • Monitor capital improvements


The Business Manager will have at least eight years of professional experience, including managing the finance and administration of a mid-sized organization, preferably a non-profit, with a budget between $1.5 million to $5 million. They will have experience creating and driving the analytic framework for planning and managing organizational change in a highly entrepreneurial organization.

Education/Job Experience/Certification

  • Bachelor’s degree (MA/MBA preferred) in Business, Management, or Finance or equivalent experience
  • Excellent people skills, with experience collaborating in a multidisciplinary, diverse, and dynamic team
  • Demonstrated experience in financial management and accounting, ideally in the nonprofit sector
  • Experience should include legal, audit, compliance, budget, and resource development
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in people and systems
  • Proven effectiveness leading professionals in finance and accounting
  • Technologically savvy, with an ability to point to examples of having worked with IT staff to develop and implement new processes and systems that increased efficiency
  • Flexible and a self-starter; able to multitask while also being highly detail-oriented.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to Ox-Bow’s mission.


  • Proficient with Excel, QuickBooks or accounting products
  • Microsoft Office Suite, and Google suite of products
  • Knowledge of fundraising database platforms, preferably Salsa
  • Comfortable adapting to new technology for the purposes of financial and administrative support

Environmental / Physical:

  • Travel required for the job

Special Qualifications:

  • Ability to work independently and across project teams with a strong attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly organized and motivated
  • Proven leadership
  • Positive & optimistic outlook
  • Expert problem solver who thrives under pressure
  • A strategic but detail -oriented thinker with a sense of humor
  • Must have the ability to multitask, and communicate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization, with our partners, and outside vendors and funders.
  • Must be innovative, resourceful, patient, and a strong sense of integrity.
  • Comfortable in a work environment that embraces creative risks
  • Demonstrated passion for the arts and education

Working At Ox-Bow

Ox-Bow School of Art, founded in 1910, offers a wide range of opportunities for artists at all stages of their careers. Our campus is nestled on a peninsular interdunal wetland in Saugatuck, MI. With programs that target degree-seeking students, professional artists and those new to the field, Ox-Bow builds a supportive frame in which artists can push their practices in new directions. Ox-Bow’s community is expansive and ever-evolving. Working at Ox-Bow is a unique experience. Our staff consists of both year-round and seasonal positions. Some staff live on campus during their working months, while others commute or work remotely both within the state of Michigan and beyond. 


Working at Ox-Bow is working at the intersection of education, hospitality and culture. Together we seek to create a welcoming environment that nurtures the creative process while building community across generations, career stages, disciplines and identities. With over 100 years of arts education behind us, we have a vast community of alumni, including staff, students, resident artists, faculty, and community supporters, who love and care for Ox-Bow. Working at Ox-Bow is to become part of that community, and help sustain a historic non-profit arts organization for current and future generations of artists and art lovers. 

At Ox-Bow we have a vision to be a place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, lend their creativity, and work in support of an evolving, yet historic, art school. We pride ourselves on thinking and acting creatively, and recognize that part of what makes us a unique place for both our staff and students, is the talent and dedication of our employees. 

Ox-Bow is committed to diversity and inclusion, we believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and national origin and work to reflect that in our classrooms, programming, faculty, staff and board. 

Equal Opportunity Employment

Ox-Bow is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for its students, visitors, faculty, and staff, and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on an individual’s abilities and qualifications. Ox-Bow does not tolerate unlawful discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or former military status, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, in its programs and activities, public accommodations or employment practices.

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