Sessions by Day: Monday

Keynote Address

Monday, 8:15 am - 10:00 am

  • Endeavour to Succeed

    Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly

    The toughest challenge of astronaut Mark Kelly's life came on January 8, 2011 when his wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, faced an assassination attempt. His dedication to family led to Giffords' remarkable recovery. He will discuss how strong family ties as well as teamwork, leadership and communication skills have been the foundation of his success. Kelly has served as a combat pilot in Iraq, astronaut on four space shuttle missions and commander of the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

    Note: Lisa Ling was previously scheduled to speak but had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.

Concurrent Sessions A

Monday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am

  • Active Shooter Protocol: A Road Map for Successful Implementation, Pre-K-12

    Risk Management

    To date, schools are the second most targeted sector for active shooter events. Almost two decades after Columbine, innovative private school leaders are still practicing outdated, unsuccessful passive lockdown protocols. As our world has been changing and these deadly events have been increasing, it is time for school leaders to take the charge and lead the change. In April 2017, Indian Creek School began its year-long journey to implement ALICE Training Institute's dynamic active shooter response program, becoming the first school in the region to successfully, and smoothly, introduce ALICE to pre-K through grade 12 students, employees and parents.

    Bradd Atkinson, President, Risk Mitigation, LLC
    Diana Ortiz, Director of Facilities and Sustainability, Indian Creek School

  • Creative Ways to Control Operating Expenses

    Business Operations

    In the financial planning process, there is a common refrain, "We either need to increase revenues or decrease expenses." Take an in-depth look at how schools are creatively reducing operating expenses while protecting service excellence/competitive strength.

    Geoff Stills, Vice President, Finance and Operations, The Association for Boarding Schools
    Pete Upham, Executive Director, TABS

  • Culture Meets Compliance

    Human Resources

    Hear from the authors of NBOA's recently released, hands-on human resources guide, Culture Meets Compliance. This session will provide an overview of the key areas of human resources (HR) compliance including employee classifications, leave and accommodations, performance management, employee handbooks, I-9 compliance and more. Learn how to use this book and accompanying worksheets to review and assess your current HR practices and bring them into alignment with federal requirements and standards of best practice.

    Heather Broadwater, Partner, Potomac Law Group, PLLC
    Grace Lee, Vice President, Legal Affairs, National Business Officers Association

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practices in Hiring

    Human Resources

    Organizations seek a diverse workforce but struggle to find candidates. Candidates seek to work for welcoming organizations but struggle to be hired. We conducted a yearlong study asking candidates and hiring staff what has worked and what hasn't. What we found is that hiring is a five-part process:

    1. Widening and deepening the candidate pool
    2. Articulating values and mission
    3. Outreach and advertising
    4. Interviewing and recruiting
    5. Welcoming and retention

    Most organizations focus primarily on steps three and four, with some focus on step five. Learn how to implement all five steps to support your school's goals.

    Jen Cort, Founder, Jen Cort Educational Consulting

  • From Financial Aid to Flexible Tuition: Changing the Conversation

    Business Operations

    Learn how Indian Creek School stabilized enrollment and enhanced its value proposition by switching from financial aid to flexible tuition. Learn what data is necessary to make an informed decision on whether to evolve your tuition program and how we as an industry might evolve our tuition practices to better fit school business operations with today's parental expectations.

    Linda Dennison, Associate Head for Finance and Operations, Indian Creek School

  • Grading Independent Schools 2.0: How to Improve Your Standing

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Financial officers may know how their school's financial health stacks up against its peers, but do they know how to improve it or what pitfalls to avoid? This session takes an in-depth look at what steps could be taken to positively impact financial metrics and avoids mistakes that will impact strategic decision making. The panel uses case studies to illuminate each category and bring further depth to prior conversations. (Note that a recording of "Grading Independent Schools 1.0" from the 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting is available to members through Prior knowledge of that session not required to attend this session.)

    Peter Christian, Director of Finance and Human Resources, Dean of Staff, Windward School
    Dirk ten Grotenhuis, Managing Director, Business Banking, First Republic Bank
    Lisa Turchan, Chief Financial Officer, The Buckley School

  • Help Your Head of School Wrangle the Board

    Executive Leadership

    As a business officer, you interact with the board a lot, but it isn't your board. How can you help your head of school spot the landmines that will give you headaches and how do you help spot the goldmines that can lead to transformational opportunities? Learn about common and uncommon boards, effective and ineffective practices, changes in governance models, the impact of accreditation, and creating your own plan for engagement with your head and with the board.

    Damian Kavanagh, Executive Director, MISBO
    Aggie Malter, Executive Director, PAISBOA

  • In-house or Outhouse: A Framework for Outsourcing Decisions

    Business Operations

    CFO and business office responsibilities are exploding with never-ending demands of regulation and expectations. Understanding the optimal size of internal staff and their capacity, both in terms of time and ability, makes managing the decision to outsource expertly a key success factor in school leadership. Identify and explore issues of security, core competency and expert knowledge acquisition. Four major guiding principles for decision making are provided, with a case study for each.

    Henry Jordan, Executive Director, Sprinkle Caldwell

  • Lessons Learned from Tax Reform and Recent IRS Activities

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Take a deep dive into tax reform and discuss the impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to your school. Review recent IRS updates and hot topics. Discuss tax reform legislation, including changes to fringe benefits and compensation, unrelated business income tax, and individual, business and international provisions that may affect your organization. Explore recent IRS news and guidance, discuss priorities for the year ahead, and look at new initiatives affecting exempt organizations, IRS/Treasury guidance programs and Congressional initiatives.

    Patty Mayer, Director, Moss Adams LLP
    Colleen Ramires, Tax Senior Manager, Moss Adams LLP

  • Repurposing and Aligning Learning Spaces with Mission, Pedagogy and Program


    Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga recently completed a strategic plan. The subsequent master plan endeavored to celebrate and locate GPS's signature programs by thoroughly evaluating existing spaces and thoughtfully exploring optimal ways to locate and design the spaces in order to fully support how girls learn best. Employing a highly collaborative and engaging process, the team led a wide range of school constituents through discussion and activities that ultimately led to a multi-phase plan for the school. Creative repurposing of much of the existing spaces provide vibrant 21st-century learning environments within the existing 70-year-old footprint.

    Mark Vosskamp, Chief Financial Officer, Girls Preparatory School
    Peter Winebrenner, Principal, Hord Coplan Macht

  • Responding to Complaints of Student/Employee Misconduct in the #MeToo Era

    Risk Management

    The #MeToo movement has caused a veritable sea change in discussions surrounding human interaction and has had broad reaching impacts on schools in both the employment and student context. As schools strive to tear down barriers, they are challenged with navigating the competing interests of conducting fair investigations, respecting privacy and other individual rights, and responding to demands for transparency and accountability. This session addresses how to balance these interests, including when and how to conduct investigations, respecting the rights of and being sensitive to the needs of all parties, and effectively managing community expectations in the #MeToo climate.

    Linda Adler, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Sarah Braughler, Associate Vice President and Associate General Counsel, United Educators
    Grace Chan, Associate Attorney, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Elise DeYoung, Chief Business Officer, The Girls' Middle School

Concurrent Sessions B

Monday, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Audits Gone Wrong: How to Avoid a Train Wreck

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Consistent communication. Efficient procedures. Insight into the private school sector. These are qualities that competent, effective auditors and business officers can use to avoid an audit disaster in years to come. Discuss audit best practices, from the technical know-how to the less tangible need to build relationships, as well as how to work most effectively with your audit team and ensure that your school is shown in the best light, from internal controls to journal entry adjustments.

    Kathy Ferguson, Manager, Armanino LLP
    Dean Quiambo, Partner, Armanino LLP

  • Construction: Transforming Your Campus in Our Evolving World


    Schools undertake construction projects for a variety of reasons and many projects reconfigure spaces for new learning methods, use environmentally sustainable options, and improve overall campus life for students. This panel provides you with an overview of the financial, accounting, legal, operational and insurance issues to consider when building on your campus. The panel identifies points every school must consider before, during and after construction projects, and shares how transformations with technology, green construction, sustainable design and learning are integral to any construction project.

    Heather DeBlanc, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Jeff Owens, Audit Partner, Armanino LLP
    Matt Riddle, Facilities Manager, Marlborough School
    Trip Thomas, Area Senior Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.
    Brent Wiblin, Managing Director, First Republic Bank

  • Courageous Authenticity: Do You Care Enough to Have Critical Conversations?

    Executive Leadership

    One of the key qualities of a leader is the ability to handle critical conversations. To be effective, communication must be motivated toward the success of others and be delivered in a clear, honest and direct way that reflects the school's values and standards. But that's easier said than done. Critical conversations test both our ability to communicate and to have a meaningful impact at school. Not for the faint of heart, this session goes beyond the generalities and explores the elements of courageous authenticity. It offers strategies on how to prepare for and deliver critical conversations through specific guidance and case studies. Only through clear, honest, direct communications that reflect the school's values and standards can leaders meet their obligations to themselves, others and the school.

    Elizabeth Arce, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Michael Blacher, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Rebecca Rowland, Director of Human Resources, Campbell Hall Episcopal

  • Fiduciary Training and Best Practices for Full Compliance

    Human Resources

    Understanding fiduciary responsibilities: Plan sponsors must understand their roles and responsibilities under ERISA to obtain tax benefits of sponsoring a qualified retirement plan, to help employees prepare for retirement, and to limit liability associated with fiduciary status. This session is designed to educate plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and committee members on the following topics: compliance framework for employee benefit plans, what and who is a fiduciary, basic fiduciary duties, fee disclosure, delegation of responsibilities, settlor versus fiduciary acts, limiting liability, prohibited transactions, correction programs, action steps and resources. Join the discussion and receive a fiduciary training certificate.

    Tyler Hindermannn, USI Consulting Group
    Chris Martin, USI Consulting Group
    Karen McDonough, USI Consulting Group

  • Sailing the Data Seas: Getting the Most Out of BIIS

    Business Operations

    Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS) is a valuable tool. Developed by business officers for business officers, this tool places an emphasis on clean data collection and scrubbing, A major upgrade in 2018 improved data collection and included new functionality that brings the Composite Financial Index (CFI) and the NBOA Financial Dashboard into the platform. This session demonstrates the new BIIS functionality and shows you how to get the most out of the platform.

    Harry Bloom, Senior Vice President, Client Success, Measuring Success
    Mark Cross, CEO, Measuring Success
    Mary Kay Markunas, Director, Research and Member Resources, National Business Officers Association

  • Leading Through Change

    Executive Leadership

    Even the most successful school leader can be sidetracked when a major change in leadership comes along. Working with a new head, moving to a new school, or dealing with a board member who goes off the rails can all create anxiety, if not real job insecurity. Two experienced business officers share their strategies for addressing these situations in a way that helps you and your school work through transitions successfully.

    Donna Pacchioni, Interim Director of Finance and Operations, Kentucky Country Day School
    Cindy Stadulis, Chief Financial Officer, St. Stephen's Episcopal School

  • Policy and Prose: New Trends in Employee and Family Handbooks

    Business Operations

    Employee and student/family handbooks are critical documents in establishing expectations, and all too often go overlooked. This session focuses on commonly accepted policies and language that must be revisited to best avoid liability. Topics covered include policies related to accommodations, social media, confidentiality, leave and boundaries. Review case studies to highlight policies courts have struck down as invalid, inappropriate or overbroad. Get practical guidance for determining whether your own school's handbooks are current and robust.

    Megan Mann, Counsel, Venable LLP
    Lauren Stocks-Smith, Associate, Venable LLP

  • Rogue Waves Sink the Unwary Vessel: Think Like a Fraudster!

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    As auditors, we are charged with identifying weaknesses in internal controls that pose risks for fraud, including theft or misstatement of financial results. As a result, we make recommendations to management to enhance controls to mitigate the opportunity for fraud. However, combating fraud schemes requires more than just an understanding of process and system vulnerabilities. To effectively battle against fraud, your school's skipper and senior crew must learn how to think like a fraudster. And a fraudster is thinking "Where are the weaknesses that would enable me to succeed undetected?"

    John Buckley, Partner, AAFCPAs
    Cynthia Fanikos, Chief Financial Officer, St. John's Preparatory School

  • The Art and Science of Hiring "A" Players

    Human Resources

    Morale, momentum, relationships and belief in school leadership all suffer when schools make poor hiring decisions. The Children's School is no different, and some early hiring mistakes in our head's tenure adversely impacted the community's faith in his ability to execute. We bounced back quickly using care and intention in hiring. We went outside the industry to learn from and apply best practices used in many Fortune 100 companies. This presentation details why and how we changed, and the benefits to our community of taking a more scientific and disciplined approach to hiring.

    Kathleen Cole, Director of Human Resources, The Children's School
    Nishant Mehta, Head of School, The Children's School

  • What to Keep Where: Personnel Records and Risk Management

    Human Resources

    When it is time to part ways with an employee, investigate misconduct — or worse —defend a lawsuit, will you have and know where to find critical records (in print or electronic format)? Your school could face significant consequences if records are incomplete or missing. The business office is central to ensuring that document management systems are implemented and updated as technology evolves. Experienced attorneys guide you through safeguarding and managing records like faculty evaluations, documentation of performance discussions, records of complaints, and more, so that your school can address inquiries in a timely manner and defend itself when necessary.

    Susan Schorr, Of Counsel, McLane Middleton P.A.
    Charla Stevens, Director, McLane Middleton P.A.

Concurrent Sessions C

Monday, 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

  • A Complete Campus Renewal in 10 Short Years


    The extraordinary renewal of St. Timothy's School's building and grounds in the last 10 years has transformed the campus into a state-of-the-art learning environment supporting the school's mission of solid academic achievement, wellness, leadership, responsibility and citizenship. Learn how the close collaboration between the architect/owner/contractor resulted in outstanding new facilities while maintaining tight budgets and schedules for projects, including the academic building, fine arts/student center, dining building and dormitory. In addition, strategic fundraising with limiting donor fatigue and board buy-in will be discussed, as well as academic performance and admissions outcomes.

    Rich Connell, Principal, SLAM
    Irene Knott, Vice President, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

  • Addressing Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

    Human Resources

    Unconscious biases can happen at every stage of the employment life cycle. Discuss the various forms of unconscious biases and identify how individuals develop them. Explore the organizational risks that are associated when individual biases are present and not addressed in the workplace. Learn change management strategies that can help schools strengthen their culture and overcome these biases.

    Lorre Allen, Director of Human Resources, St. Mark's School of Texas

  • Complex Financial Aid Compliance Issues

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Review IRS requirements for schools offering need-based financial aid that exceeds tuition. Discuss IRS compliance requirements when offering need-based financial aid to foreign nationals. Is your state one of the 21 that has agreed in principle to allow, in accordance with the new tax law, $10,000 distributions from 529 plans for K-12 education? If so, many of these states must still pass legislation allowing tax-free treatment of these distributions.

    Mike Szydlowski, Director of Financial Aid, Woodberry Forest School

  • Controllers Special Interest Group

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Independent schools share many common and some wildly different opportunities and challenges, just as controllers within those schools experience. This session is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals managing accounting, finance, tax and other controller/assistant CFO functions to join roundtable discussions with other professionals from similar types of schools. Groups examine differences and commonalities of your individual roles and school communities. These roundtable discussions allow for unscripted conversation, sharing experiences and learning from each other's successes and failures. Explore how other schools handle many of the same challenges you face.

    Jennifer Cookston, Controller, Baylor School
    Jennifer Osland Hillen, CPA, CGMA, Vice President, Professional Development and Business Affairs, National Business Officers Association

  • Cowabunga! Surf the Faculty Banding Wave with Us

    Human Resources

    In surfer terms, we are amped! Hear from schools riding the new faculty compensation wave after moving from a traditional salary scale to a progression of accomplishments, or "bands," based on mission-appropriate and student-aligned contributions. Find out the top questions leading administrators asked when implementing a new faculty band system and learn how to respond when school leadership or faculty inquire. Leave the session feeling prepared to ride this wave successfully and roll-out a customized, well-communicated faculty compensation system. Akaw!

    Karen Illig, Consultant, IlligGroup
    David Lacey, Managing Director, Human Resources Services, Hirshorn Boothby

  • Instability Markers: Signposts on the Road to Ruin

    Executive Leadership

    Business officers and heads of school have powerful school performance data at their disposal, and yet boards and school leaders often ignore it to their peril. Cherry-picking data points to boost a school's image rather than scrutinizing data to measure sustainability can often lead to disaster. This workshop examines the key instability markers that boards and heads should be tracking in order to ensure the ongoing sustainability of their schools. Participants will examine key indicators of admissions, staffing and financial stability as well as program leadership and leave the workshop with an understanding of how to track trends in their own schools.

    Jim Christopher, Head of School, Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School

  • Oh, the Places We Will Go! Managing Off Campus Activities

    Risk Management

    Off campus activities are becoming less traditional, more adventurous and consequently riskier. Concurrently, schools are being held to a higher standard for preparing faculty and students prior to leaving campus. Political unrest, terrorist attacks, sexual assaults and epidemics are areas we monitor and train for when preparing our students to travel abroad, but what about for more basic domestic travel? Discuss the higher Duty of Care Standard that now exists for ALL off-campus activities and how you can mitigate your school's risks.

    Marcy Bauers, Senior Risk Management Consultant, Fred C. Church, Inc.
    Kimberly Boyd, Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, The Park School
    Robert Riley, Account Executive, Fred C. Church, Inc.

  • School Safety and Security: How Safe is Your School?

    Risk Management

    School security/safety from outside threats remains at the top of the agenda for all independent school administrators. This session presents an update on the law and best practices on the topic including school security plans; school security and safety training; active shooter and other disaster drills; social media and cell phone active threat policies; police and security officer interfacing and interaction; and school safety law and legislation. Plan for a lively debate on guns in schools stimulated by both the latest law and legislation as well as the practical advice of a security expert.

    James Fagan, Principal Attorney, Offit Kurman, Attorneys at Law
    Scott Kamins, Principal Attorney, Offit Kurman, Attorneys at Law
    Hayden Moore, President and Chief Operating Officer, Watkins Security Agency, Inc.

  • Show Me the Money: Campaign Planning and Relationship-Bank Financing

    Business Operations

    The Potomac School made the strategic decision to embark on a capital campaign. After careful consideration, a campaign capital structure was determined, and an existing banking relationship was leveraged to address both project-specific goals and financial sustainability considerations. This session looks at:

    • Campaign and organizational objectives
    • Financial sustainability considerations
    • Cash flow planning
    • The banking relationship and financing options
    • Campaign capital structure (philanthropy/debt financing)
    • The use of financing (bridge cash receipts/permanent capital structure; tax-exempt/taxable)
    • Loan structuring
    • Underwriting from a bank's perspective
    • Managing existing loan agreements/financial covenants

    Dyana Conroy, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, The Potomac School
    Ralph Deabrunzzo, Vice President, C&IB Credit Products PFHC, PNC Bank

  • Successfully Interfacing with Four Key Constituent Groups

    Executive Leadership

    Three experienced CFOs discuss how they effectively interface with four key partners or constituents: the head of school, development office, board finance committee, and department heads. Video clips precede each discussion, followed by panelists highlighting best practices.

    Frank Aloise, Chief Financial Officer, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
    Charles Procknow, Executive Vice President, George K. Baum & Company
    Chad Stacy, Chief Financial Officer, Dunn School
    Jerry Walker, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Head of School, Kent Denver School

  • Technology Best Practices: An Introduction to the ATLIS Guidelines

    Business Operations

    Recently, the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) formed a national task force to create much-needed written best practice guidelines for technology management. The group wrote and published a free self-study guide that can be used for accreditation or an internal audit. Learn about strategies for making the most of the guide. Discuss case studies and examples to ensure your technology department is implementing best practices.

    Amy Grunat, Director of Technology, Drew School
    Dawn Jenkins Klus, Director of Accreditation, ISACS