Senior Director of Operations

The Senior Director of Operations of San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) oversees all aspects of SDCC event operations, exhibits, customer service, and facilities management. Reporting directly to the SDCC President and Board of Directors, this position is key in developing and implementing strategic objectives to advance the organization’s mission. The Senior Director of Operations is instrumental in ensuring the smooth and successful execution of events while maintaining the highest standards of efficiency, compliance, and stakeholder satisfaction.


  • Support the SDCC President and Board of Directors in the development and implementation of short and long-term objectives that will advance the organization’s mission
  • Prepare and present weekly reports to the SDCC President, and monthly status reports to the Board of Directors, to occur a minimum of five days prior to any scheduled board meeting, covering areas such as:
    • Status of ongoing legal matters
    • Status of regulatory requirements 
    • Status of contracts with respect to timelines, and additionally delivers final versions ahead of scheduled due dates for review 
    • Upcoming expenditures (including those outside the budget or approved process)
    • The performance of reporting departments along with any necessary fiscal adjustments, task completion, and adherence to projected timelines 
  • Notify the SDCC President and Board of Directors promptly of relevant correspondence with the SDCC attorney(s)
  • Prepare and present a general status report for the SDCC voting committee at scheduled SDCC Committee meetings 
  • Attend all scheduled SDCC Committee and Board of Directors meetings
  • Collaborate with the SDCC President, Human Resources department, and all relevant stakeholders, as directed by higher authority
    • Develop, implement, and enforce operational policies and procedures to enhance efficiency and optimize workflows
    • Facilitate the progression of legal actions, ensuring a timely resolution
  • Ensure compliance with insurance, permits, licenses, and regulatory requirements for all organizational business operations 
  • Manage legal obligations related to organizational business operations, risk management, and other relevant matters 
  • Research and keep apprised of non-profit laws
  • In collaboration with the SDCC President, Human Resources Department, and Accounting department to maintain accurate and compliant records and documents adhering to Federal, State, and Local regulations as they pertain to workforce matters
  • Notify the SDCC President, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, and Human Resources department promptly about any potential legal liabilities or actions concerning staff, volunteers, or attendees
  • Coordinate with Convention Center Event Manager(s) to oversee on-site event operations
  • Regularly document and update the SDCC President on all tasks associated with SDCC convention operations and coordination including Convention Center contracts, permit acquisition, compliance with Convention Center guidance, and logistical plans (floor and loading dock, move-in and move-out, ADA compliance, line movement, etc.) 
  • Collaborate with official entities such as the Port, Coastal Commission, Convention Center, Police, Fire Marshals, and others as directed by the SDCC President or the Board of Directors to address on-site convention operations matters
    • When appropriate, communicate information to the Communications and Strategy department to ensure they have timely and accurate information if public comment is needed  
  • Collaborate with the Administrative Executive Assistant(s) and official city stakeholders to address compliance, information, and maintenance issues as directed by the SDCC President 
  • Identify and evaluate SDCC operational and event risks, developing mitigation strategies when appropriate 
  • Manage contracts for external convention support, ensuring resource adequacy and flexibility for unforeseen changes, including but not limited to:
    • Tenting
    • Perimeter barricading and signage
    • Additional HVAC
    • On-site food and beverage
    • Transportation
    • Exhibitor marshalling 
    • Parking needs for organization and for external vendors/studios
    • Security Equipment
    • Bag Check
  • Collaborate with the Head of Security, the SDCC President, and the Board of Directors  to arrange required security resources and personnel, resources can include, but are not limited to:
    • Security dog teams
    • Traffic officers
    • Costume prop checks
    • Off-duty officers
  • Support the Head of Security in developing and executing the security plan, overseeing recruitment, evaluation, and contracting of security companies
    • When appropriate, communicate information to the Communications and Strategy department to ensure they have timely and accurate information if public comment is needed  
  • Assist in managing the sale, purchase, or rental of organizational properties when appropriate

  • Escalate personnel concerns to the SDCC President promptly
  • Maintain transparent communication through various SDCC-approved channels
  • Collaborate with supervised department heads to align assignments with organizational goals, oversee budgeting, forecasting, and financial management for cost-effectiveness
  • Participate in organization budget forecasting with the Finance Committee
  • Collaborate with the Administrative Executive Assistant(s) to organize, retain, and archive all documents from individual computers or hard copies into the organization’s digital storage on the SDCC-approved drive
  • Work with Human Resources staff to recruit, interview, select, hire, and employ an appropriate number of employees for supervised departments
  • Foster a collaborative and positive work environment that encourages innovation and professional development
  • Set clear expectations, and provide regular feedback to include but not be limited to employee recognition, rewards, and disciplinary action to ensure the team is aligned with organizational objectives, partnering with Human Resources when necessary
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders, including vendors, contractors, and internal teams
  • Verify attendance, hours worked, and pay adjustments; approve time cards biweekly; and manage work schedules, assignments, training, paid time off, telecommuting, and overtime for supervised employees in coordination, with the Human Resources department
  • Consciously create a workplace culture that is consistent with the overall goals of the organization, and that emphasizes the identified mission, vision, guiding principles, and values of the organization
  • Ensure confidentiality by reporting information only to the designated individual or appropriate parties as required
  • Performs other duties as assigned 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Event Management, or a related field is preferred, with an advanced degree being highly desirable. However, relevant experience will be considered in place of formal education. 
  • Familiarity with nonprofit Board of Directors interfaces and processes required
  • Possess effective time management, prioritization, and multitasking skills, coupled with a proven ability to meet deadlines consistently
  • Commitment to upholding high ethical standards, integrity, confidentiality, and professionalism in all aspects of the role, including financial management, governance, and stakeholder relations
  • Strong business management skills, including financial management, budgeting, forecasting, and contract negotiations
  • Demonstrated ability to lead at a senior level, preferably within the entertainment, events, nonprofit, or convention industries
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to address challenges, resolve conflicts, and make data-driven decisions
  • Ability to think creatively, innovate, and introduce new ideas and initiatives to enhance the organization
  • Ability to meet or exceed compliance requirements to guarantee integrity and retention of data and records
  • Experience in planning, organizing, and executing large-scale events, with a focus on attendee experience, programming, exhibitor relations, and logistics
  • Proven ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with key industry partners, sponsors, vendors, and stakeholders
  • Knowledge of marketing strategies and tactics to promote the organization, attract attendees and exhibitors, and build brand awareness
  • Developed understanding of the comic book, pop culture, and entertainment industries, including current trends, key players, and audience preferences.
  • Familiarity with or willingness to learn current and new systems and platforms used by the organization
  • Knowledge of and proficiency in in-office systems used by the organization, including but not limited to Microsoft Office, Google Suite (G Suite, formerly Google Apps), specifically Google Mail (Gmail), Google Drive, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, Configio, and ClickUp; as well as other standard office software and applications
  • Adaptability and willingness to work in a fast-paced, occasionally stressful environment, adhering to established policies and procedures
  • Ability to function effectively within a diverse team, embracing differing viewpoints and providing constructive feedback to foster a supportive and cohesive environment
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills, with the ability to engage with diverse audiences, including fans, industry professionals, media, sponsors, and internal and external stakeholders, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality
  • Ability to speak persuasively, give group presentations, and participate in meetings
  • Strong leadership and team-building skills to lead and motivate a diverse team, including staff, volunteers, and contractors

  • Professional office environment
  • Routinely uses standard office equipment 
  • Standard work schedule (Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm)
  • Must be available to work evenings, holidays, and weekends as needed
  • Overnight stay may be required during events
  • Crowded conditions (both inside or outside event spaces)
  • Direct (face-to-face) customer and vendor contact
  • May be required to work outside with little or no shade and in warm temperatures

  • This position requires close visual acuity to perform an activity such as preparing and analyzing data and figures, transcribing, viewing a computer terminal, and extensive reading
  • Occasionally lift or move up to 25 pounds unassisted and bend or stand as necessary.
  • Frequent sitting, walking, and standing for long periods
  • Occasionally stand for extended periods of time (8-10+ hours)
  • Walk extensive distances (up to several miles daily)
  • Perform repetitive tasks with few breaks

  • $140,000.00 – $144,950.00

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