Job Details

Visitor Relations Manager

  2022-08-12     Portland Japanese Garden     611 SW Kingston Ave     $52,000 - $57,000 year  


The Visitor Relations Manager (VRM) is responsible for working in conjunction with Visitor Relations leadership to oversee all functionality and staff management aspects of the Visitor Relations department with a focus on ensuring an outstanding experience for visitors to Portland Japanese Garden. This position reports to the Director of Visitor Relations (DVR) and works from the primary Garden campus, located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue.

The VRM is a new position that will work closely with a variety of Visitor Relations Managers (VR Managers) in developing and overseeing a cross-functional, world-class customer service team that supports all public-facing locations.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, Portland Japanese Garden requires all staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, including the booster. Candidates must be fully vaccinated by their hire date and must provide proof of vaccination upon hire.

Primary Duties

  • Work as needed across several front-of-house locations daily, including the Tanabe Welcome Center, the Fukuta Concierge Office, Garden grounds, and the Pavilion Gallery, ensuring functional continuity, and providing proactive, positive customer service to Members, guests, and staff
  • Develop knowledge of and ability to perform all front-of-house functions to serve as backup when needed, with a focus on selling and refunding admission tickets, processing memberships, or driving the Garden Shuttle
  • Mentor, coach, and develop Visitor Relations staff to promote a work environment where team member’s input and individual strengths are encouraged and valued, and performance issues or conflicts are addressed promptly and fairly
  • Serve as Manager on Duty for the Garden, including opening/closing Garden grounds, troubleshooting POS or IT issues, managing staff scheduled across Visitor Relations functions, responding to guest concerns, communicating issues promptly cross-departmentally, and working closely with the Safety & Security Department for emergency response
  • In conjunction with VR Managers, oversee overall performance management of Visitor Relations staff
  • In conjunction with VR Managers, oversee the cross-functional training of Visitor Relations staff, ensuring guest experience is the primary focus, including developing and maintaining policy/procedure resources as needed
  • Work closely with VR Managers to manage hiring and onboarding of Visitor Relations staff
  • Create and manage employee schedules and rotations, coordinating closely with VR Managers, to ensure continuous customer service presence and functionality with admissions, member support, and public offerings
  • Manage staff timesheets
  • Work closely with the DVR to continue to develop and manage overall operations of the Tanabe Welcome Center so that guest experience is the primary focus of all activities
  • Oversee and optimize the Tanabe Welcome Centers handling of guest communication, keeping the DVR apprised of all issues, including assisting with resolving Member and guest inquiries by phone, email, or in person
  • With direction from the Membership department and in conjunction with VR managers, develop training materials for processing all types of Admission sales, Membership enrollment, and other point-of-sale processes, and conduct training with staff
  • Ensure staff are following correct cash-handling, credit card processing, and financial procedures, and when needed, rectify daily cash deposit, prepare cashier bags, travel to the bank as needed, or oversee counting in/out
  • Other duties as assigned

Other Responsibilities

  • Enforce Garden policies and etiquette
  • Work special Garden events as required, including necessary setup or take-down tasks
  • Attend regular meetings with Visitor Relations leadership regarding staff management, Garden events or policies, optimizing guest experience, etc.
  • Acquire and maintain current knowledge about the Garden and Garden events and responsible for regularly training staff on these details
  • Familiarize oneself with the organization and the Employee Handbook
  • Get to know fellow staff members, developing trust, establishing credibility, encouraging teamwork, and creating an atmosphere of open, honest, two-way communication
  • Serve as a role model for Garden volunteers, providing support and encouragement to volunteers in their roles across the Garden
  • Act as a role model for the Garden’s service standards, including excellent work ethic, outstanding customer service, and a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance
  • Adhere to Garden Dress Code (business casual)


Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the position, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for this role.

  • At least 3 years management experience in a visitor focused non-profit or similar experience in customer service, hospitality, or retail
  • At least 1 year of experience with customer relationship management and/or point of sale programs; experience with Tessitura a plus
  • Experience with cash-handling, and/or demonstrated knowledge of financial best practices
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills
  • Proven track record of excellent customer service and effective team leadership skills
  • Proficient on a computer; familiar with Point-of-Sale software and other programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Current driver’s license; must be able to supply a satisfactory DMV report once hired

Special Requirements

  • Flexible work schedule and able to accommodate changing Garden needs, including working weekends, evenings, and occasional overtime
  • Must successfully complete first aid training (provided by the Garden)
  • Must be comfortable lifting up to 35lbs
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position and/or move about the Garden for several hours
  • Knowledge of Japanese culture and/or bilingual in Japanese is a plus

Compensation & Schedule

  • Wage: $52,000 - $57,000/year, DOE
  • This is a full-time, salaried position with 40-45 hours per week. Regular schedule to be determined, but may generally be Tuesday – Saturday or Sunday - Thursday. Shifts are typically 8 hours (plus ½ hour lunch), scheduled between 7:00am-7:00pm.
  • Benefits:
    • health, dental, and vision insurance (premium 100% covered for employees)
    • 401k plan (after 6 months, with 4% employer match after 1 year)
    • up to 8 weeks of paid family and medical leave
    • flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
    • paid vacation, sick, and holiday time
    • free access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


The Garden is located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue, in Washington Park. Below are the transportation options for staff commuting to the Garden:

  • Parking: Staff may park in the numbered spaces throughout Washington Park, which require payment. The cost is $8/day, or staff may request parking permits from Washington Park. The Garden subsidizes a portion of the cost for parking permits; the cost for staff is $75/month during the high season (March – September) and $50/month during the low season (October – February).
  • Bus Passes: For staff who take public transit as their primary means of commuting to the Garden, we provide paid bus passes. Full-time staff receive a monthly TriMet pass, and part-time staff receive daily passes, based on their work schedule.
  • Transportation Stipend: Staff who take any form of alternative transit to get to work qualify for a $5 daily stipend. This includes taking public transit, walking, biking, carpooling, or getting dropped off. The only staff who do not qualify for the stipend are those who are receiving a bus pass through the Garden.


To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references through our online Career Center provided below. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Do not contact this company in solicitation of any product or service.

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