2019 Fall Conference

Wednesday, October 2

9:00 - 9:30 One-Day Workshop Registration
9:30 - 2:30

One-Day Workshop (separate registration)

Relationships: Your School's Most Valuable Asset
A tremendous challenge for the business office is recognizing that the most valuable asset of a school is not on the balance sheet. The core value proposition for every independent school is developing and maintaining strong relationships – but how does the management team measure, support, and grow these vital connections? In this one-day workshop, we will guide school leaders through a deeper understanding of strategies for building trust and engagement, including how they can progressively strengthen relationships with board members, the head of school, other administrators, faculty, and the broader community.
Scott Barron | Founder and CEO, School Growth, Inc.
3:00 - 5:00 Conference Registration
4:30 - 5:00 First-Time Attendee Welcome
4:30 - 5:00 Sponsor Meeting (sponsors only)
5:00 - 6:00 Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 3

7:00 - 7:45 Sunrise Stretch & Hike (on your own)
8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast
8:00 - 3:30 Exhibit Hall Open
9:00 - 9:15


9:15 - 10:15

Keynote Session

The Workplace of Tomorrow: The Rise of the Social Enterprise
The world is changing in ways that will not just tweak the workplace experience but rather transform it entirely. School leaders will need to enact both short- and long-term strategies today to ensure they are able to recruit and retain a workforce for the long run. Disruptors like smart machines, the gig economy, and an increasingly mobile workforce will offer new opportunity to rethink what a school’s workforce could look like in the future, while a declining talent market, increased costs of living, and disillusionment with teaching will challenge schools in the short run. We’ll look at the disruptors, both today and over the next decade, and lay out a plan of action for long-term success. Finally, we will discuss why forecasters believe the successful workplace of the not too distant future—that is the those that are most likely to attract top talent—will be social enterprises, where relationships, collaboration, and transparency, are prized above all else.
Donna Orem | President, NAIS
10:15 - 10:45 Break with Sponsors
10:45 - 11:45

Breakout Sessions

Financially Attainable Master Plans: An Innovative Approach to Implementation
Are you overwhelmed with the high price tag to complete your master plan? Are your trustees "stuck" because they can't decide which facilities project to pursue? This session outlines an innovative approach to realizing your campus master plan. You will learn how to shift your trustees' mindset to an approach that is more affordable, dynamic, and nimble; one that better aligns with and supports the innovation taking place within teaching and learning today. This generates momentum that leads to a quicker path to completion of your master plan. A path that also tends to be more cost effective and financially achievable.
Brett Fuhrman | Chief Financial Officer, Carolina Day School
People Matter Most - The Economics of Employing and Retaining Great Talent
The economics of independent school education is tied most directly to the recruiting, hiring, and retention of your faculty and staff. With only 4% of incoming college freshmen choosing to enter the teaching profession, there has never been a more critical time for independent schools to focus on the development of their workforce in creative and dynamic ways. Teacher turnover is at an all-time high with people choosing to leave the profession in the delicate 3-5 year window. Above and beyond technology, facilities, and curriculum, the next generation of prospective educators needs to understand and be in sync with your school’s mission, and so much more. How does your school best represent its Employment Brand and Employee Value Proposition during the hiring process? Do you have a Corporate Social Responsibility program & statement that will energize this next generation? Lastly, how do you invest in the continued growth and development of your faculty and staff? There is a great body of research and discussion proving that these are critical elements in not only building a competitive edge in human capital, but failure to do so actually inhibits our ability to recruit, hire, and retain quality teachers. Join this current school CFO and former HOS/current consultant in an interactive workshop, which will share templates and strategies addressing these important trends in workforce development. Participants will leave the session with a roadmap in hand to address these topics back at home.
Steve Mandell | Principal Consultant and Advocate, Big Back Pack, LLC
Larry Pittman | Chief Financial Officer, Carrollwood Day School
Successful Auxiliary Programs for Revenue and Programming Goals
The Galloway School's CFO and Director of Auxiliary Programs will lead participants through their school's auxiliary programs and show how they meet programming and revenue goals. This presentation will be interactive and include activities for participants to examine their own school's resources that can be used for auxiliary programs.
Jim Hilleary | Director of g360, The Galloway School
Veronique Kessler | Chief Financial Officer, The Galloway School
11:45 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 1:30

General SEssion

Sourcing Solutions
This session will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to meet in small groups for four mini sessions with experts in the independent school world - MISBO Consortium Partners! Come with your questions and learn from real-life vendor success stories, allowing you to take shared knowledge and apply it at your school. Remember, presenters are MISBO Consortium Partners and provide their products and services at a discount to MISBO member schools!
1:30 - 2:00 Break with Sponsors
2:00 - 3:00

Breakout sessions

Cyber Liability and Who Is at Risk
When it comes to protecting valuable personal information of both students and employees, it would seem obvious that cybersecurity should be paramount to most school administrators. However, after many recent high-profile incidents, it’s clear that even the most secure networks and sophisticated institutions are vulnerable to data breaches. What often goes unconsidered is who is held responsible for these breaches and the subsequent financial implications companies and institutions can face. Our goal is to educate school administrators on why it’s not just Fortune 500 companies and online retailers who are facing cyber risks on a daily basis and what those threats could mean to their balance sheet.  
Lisa Dickinson | Senior VP Executive Liability Practice, Marsh & McLennan Agency
Listen! Your Financials Are Trying to Tell You Something!
At the end of every year, your organization engages a professional to summarize how you performed for the year – or at least you should! Your (audited) financials relay to your leadership just how you did, given certain industry practices and guidelines. More importantly, it relays to your external constituents – trustees, alumni, grantors, donors, and lenders – how you stack up. Do you know what these financials are telling you, based on how they compare to the rest of the industry? This session explores fundamentals associated with financial performance and how your story is defined through them. We will look at a financial recovery case study recently performed by George K. Baum & Company, where industry metrics were used to educate leaders across the organization on strategic operating moves designed to position the school for long-term success. Join us to see how your story can be informed by another institution’s challenges!
David Adams | Senior Vice President, George K. Baum & Company
Charles Maumus | Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, Harding Academy
The Practical and Legal Dos and Don'ts When Implementing a New Faculty Compensation Plan
Many schools are facing compensation challenges, from needing to cut compensation to trying to find ways to foster and reward conduct consistent with their missions. Changing long-standing compensation is very challenging, especially within close-knit school communities. This session will address questions to consider when developing a new compensation program, including how to value tenure as well as expertise, how to bring on new, needed talent that may require higher pay, and how to motivate faculty to do their best work without asking for a stipend for every new task. At the same time, compensation is a legal minefield and it is easy for schools to get tripped up if they do not consider the legal ramifications of their changes. These legal hurdles can include tax issues relating to certain types of non-monetary compensation and the rising claims we are seeing under the Equal Pay Act and other claims of discrimination.
Jennifer Sandberg | Partner, Fisher Phillips
3:00 - 3:30 Break with Sponsors
3:30 - 4:30

General Session

Instability Markers: Signposts on the Road to Ruin
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, financial stability, and program leadership and leave with an understanding of how to track trends in their own schools.
Jim Christopher, M.Ed, EdD | Head of School, Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School
4:30 End of Day's Sessions
4:30 - 6:00

Beer Tasting Event (separate registration)

Join us for an evening of beer right in the hotel! Asheville is known as Beer City - get a taste of how true that is. Ticket includes 6 blind beer tastings, a history of beer in Asheville and around the world, auctions for charity, and other fun surprises.
Russ Web | The Beer Bros.
Wes Wright | SunTrust Bank

Friday, October 4

7:00 - 7:45 Sunrise Stretch & Hike (on your own)
8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast & State of the Association
Please be present by 8:30 for the program
9:00 - 10:00

General Session

Two Economists Discuss the Market for Education
Increasingly, policy debates on education are incorporating economic insights on “how markets work.” In this session, two market-oriented economists discuss the most important implications of the economic environment for primary and secondary education. Topics include how school choice programs broaden competition in the market for education, human capital as a source of comparative advantage, tuition discounting as price discrimination, the role of ancillary activities as both product differentiators and as parallel revenue sources, and the importance of endowments in educational finance.
Roger Tutterow | Henssler Financial Endowed Chair, Director of the Econometric Center, and Professor of Economics, Kennesaw State University
Benjamin Scafidi | Director of the Education Economics Center, Kennesaw State University
10:15 - 11:15

Breakout Sessions

The Dangers that Lurk Before and After the Bell Rings
Independent schools spend a great deal of time and money on risk management and attempting to minimize their risk of legal liability while school is in session. However, many times the biggest dangers and areas of potential liability occur before and after the school bell rings. Most independent schools cater to their community needs by offering before and after school care programs and various summer camp options. Many also allow community vendors on campus after hours and rent out their facilities. Unfortunately, if not managed well, the cost of these added functions is additional exposure and potential legal liability.
Jennifer Sandberg | Partner, Fisher Phillips
Personalized, Meaningful, and Relevant: Today's Benefits Package
Employers get the most out of their benefit programs by focusing expenditures on the programs employees value most, having a positive effect on recruiting and retention. Customizing packages to the employee can actually cost you less! Stop building benefits for the masses, and start optimizing your spend to build a better benefit package.
Jamie Greenleaf | Lead Advisor, Principal, Cafaro Greenleaf/Carroll Consultants
11:30 - 12:30

Breakout Sessions

Getting In Sync: Policies, Protocols, Contracts, & More
Matt Batastini | Co-Managing Partner, Schwartz Hannum PC
Retirement Plans: Identifying and Minimizing Outside Risks
In this presentation, we will examine how the outside environment impacts your school’s retirement plan, including regulatory, litigative, political, and competitive environments. We will also discuss the risks that are within a plan sponsor’s control and how to prepare for them as much as possible. We will review retirement plan compliance from basic requirements to implementing procedures and utilizing resources in a proactive manner. While ERISA plans may appear to receive the most scrutiny from regulators and participants, nonERISA plans should be prepared as well. Join us for an interactive discussion on which plan risks you can control now and best practices to minimize risks outside your control.
Suzanne Spunzo | Director, Client Development & Advocacy, New Pinnacle Consulting Group, LLC
12:30 Grab & Go Lunch

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