Business Office & Operations Retreat

Sustainability and Stewardship

We are excited to host a two-day retreat for AISNE Business and Operations Officers on December 6-7, 2017 at the Wylie Inn and Conference Center at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. This is an opportunity to convene with colleagues to explore how our schools can maintain a commitment to their missions while remaining financially sustainable in a challenging market. Don't miss this great opportunity to build your network through close collaboration and partnership with fellow CFOs, Business Officers, HR Professionals, and Finance Directors!

Register here.

Keynote Speakers Include:
  • Just added! Dr. Nicholas Pearce, Associate Professor, Kellogg School of Management
  • William Kummel, Principal, Rational Partners
  • Scott Clemons, Chief Investment Strategist, Brown Brothers Harriman

Breakout Session Topics Include:

  • International Student Recruitment: Trends, Politics, Challenges, and Opportunities
  • Predictive Index Work Styles Inventory
  • Deep Dive into Institutional Economics with William Kummel
  • Legal Landscape Updates
  • Supporting Sustainability in Independent Schools: Innovative Benefits for Employees
  • Campus Master Planning: Avoiding Detours, Potholes, and Dead Ends


Wednesday December 6
2:30 - 4:00 pm Registration
4:00 - 5:00 pm Opening Keynote- Leveraging the Multi-Generational Workforce, Dr. Nicholas Pearce
5:00 - 6:00 pm Cocktail Reception
6:15 - 7:15 pm Dinner
7:30 - 8:30 pm Evening Entertainment, Minute to Win It Competition

Thursday December 7
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 - 9:30 am Morning Keynote- Institutional Economics: Establish and Sustain a Clear Operating Strategy and Economic Model, William Kummel
9:30 - 11:00 am Corporate Subscriber Exhibitor Session
11:00 - Noon Breakout Sessions
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:15 - 2:15 pm Closing Keynote- The Market Landscape, Scott Clemons

Conference Location and Accommodations:
This conference is being held at the Wylie Inn and Conference Center at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. AISNE encourages attendees to arrange for their own hotel accommodations. Discounted rates of $109 are available until Nov. 17th through the conference hotel site. Please call 978-867-1958 to arrange a room through Delia Day, Conference Services Manager at the hotel.

AISNE Member: $345 per person
Non-Member Fee: $690 per person

*Please note that this fee covers attendance at the retreat; hotel reservations at the host hotel can be made by calling 978-867-1958.

Refund Policy: Cancellations received on or before Nov. 22nd will result in a 50% refund. No refunds will be provided after Nov. 22nd. Substitutions from the same school are always welcome.

Register for the retreat by clicking here. Please note registration is not available for corporate subscribers.

Keynote Session Descriptions

Institutional Economics with William Kummel

The traditional economic model of independent schools and colleges is highly stressed and getting harder. Program revenue and expense doubled over 25 years in real terms. Philanthropy dynamics frequently press endowment draw over target. Core constituents seek clarity in institutional competitive advantage and outcome measurements. Therefore, an effective, efficient and sustainable balance of resources to environment – effective positioning, a tight ship and efficient philanthropy – is critical. Ultimately, institutions must establish and sustain a clear operating strategy and economic model for unique, meaningful education program, student population and philanthropic support. Once successful, a school secures for itself a unique market position, material competitive advantage, and sustainable economics.

This presentation provides three board-level tools to do so: integrated roadmap, analytic methodology and performance benchmarks. In this session, apply methodology and metrics to understand and secure for your school a near and long-term operating strategy and sustainable economic model. Presentation includes benchmark data from 300 northeast independent schools and liberal arts colleges.

Scott Clemons

Description coming soon.

Dr. Nicholas Pearce

For the first time in history, there are four generations in the workplace at the same time – and the fifth generation is on its way in. Dr. Pearce engages participants in candid peer-to-peer dialogue regarding their perspectives on generational differences, explores the unique dynamics of multigenerational workplaces, and equips leaders with interpersonal and enterprise-level strategies for more effectively attracting, retaining, and leveraging people across the generational divides to create more inclusive, more sustainable organizations.


Dr. Nicholas Pearce

Dr. Nicholas Pearce serves as an award-winning Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and as the founder and chief executive officer of The Vocati Group, a global executive advisory services firm. He is a leading scholar, lecturer, and trusted strategic adviser on values-driven leadership, collaboration, and change in organizations. He has served leaders of corporations, social impact organizations, governments, and communities of faith on six continents, including Abbvie, Advocate Health Care, Allstate Foundation, Aon Hewitt, Archdiocese of Chicago, Boston Scientific, BP, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago United, Chicago Urban League, Council of State Governments, Cristo Rey Schools, Deluxe, DiversityInc, The Episcopal Church, FMC, Google, The Heads Network, Hearst, Jones Lang LaSalle, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KIPP Foundation, McDonald's, Monsanto, NASA, Nike, Northwestern Medicine, Novartis, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Perkins Coie, Philanthropy Club of Chicago, The PrivateBank, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Sicredi, Surge Institute, Teach for America, Unitarian Universalist Association, United States Olympic Committee, USG, Whirlpool, WomenHeart, Women's Foodservice Forum, Young Presidents' Organization, and ZS Associates.

Dr. Pearce also serves as Assistant Pastor of Chicago's historic Apostolic Church of God, where he is responsible for overseeing Christian education and discipleship for Apostolic's 15,000-member congregation. He is emerging as one of his generation's most trusted and influential voices, with a ministry that has already impacted tens of thousands of lives across cultural, generational, and denominational boundaries. He is also deeply committed to civic engagement and philanthropy, serving on the boards of the Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Community Trust's African American Legacy Fund, ACCESS Community Health Network, and Seminary Co-Op Bookstores.

Dr. Pearce has been a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago since 2015 and has also been named one of Chicago's 40 Game Changers (under 40) by WVON/Ariel Investments, a Galbraith Scholar by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Public Voices Faculty Fellow by The OpEd Project, and Kellogg's MSMS Professor of the Year (2015). He has also been honored for excellence by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Mustard Seed Foundation, Wentcher Foundation, National Black MBA Association, and Union League Club of Chicago. He and his award-winning work have been featured in global media outlets including The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crain's Chicago Business, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Marketplace, MSNBC, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time,, and The Washington Post.

Dr. Pearce holds the Ph.D. in Management & Organizations from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the S.B. in Chemical Engineering & Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a concentration in Religious Studies earned in conjunction with Harvard Divinity School.

Connect with him on Twitter @napphd and learn more at

William Kummel

William Kummel is a Principal of Rational Partners, a New York-based management consultant to independent schools and colleges in institutional economics, benchmarking and advancement. His work measures and evaluates near and long-term institutional market position, comparative advantage and financial sustainability. Bill holds an MBA and JD from Georgetown, a BA in Architecture from Yale and is a graduate of Phillips Academy as well as Buckley, Episcopal and All Souls of New York City. He is a recent presenter and roundtable participant to NAIS Commission on Accreditation (NAIS CoA), Enrollment Management Association, Friends Council on Education (FCE), Small Boarding Schools Association (SBSA) and Heads Consortium as well as regional and state associations of independent schools.

Scott Clemons

Chief Investment Strategist, Private Wealth Management, Private Banking


Scott Clemons joined Brown Brothers Harriman in 1990 and has held a variety of investment roles at the firm over the past 27 years. His career began in international equities, where he was an analyst and portfolio manager of European and Asian equities, working out of the firm’s New York and London offices throughout the 1990s. In 2001, Mr. Clemons broadened his responsibilities into domestic equity management and research as well, and then from 2005 through 2010 managed the New York office of the firm’s Private Wealth Management business. In 2010, he was appointed Chief Investment Strategist and is today one of the firm’s primary writers and speakers on topics related to the economy, financial markets and investing.

Mr. Clemons is a frequent contributor to print and broadcast media, appearing frequently in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and Barrons, as well as on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute. Outside of his professional interests, Mr. Clemons serves as the president of the Grolier Club in New York City and as a board member of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the oldest foundation in the United States dedicated to basic scientific research. He is also a director of the Journal of the History of Ideas. Born and raised in Florida, he graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in classics. Mr. Clemons lives in Manhattan with his wife Karyn, a music teacher at the Brearley School. They are proud parents of young twins.

Sarah Fay

Sarah H. Fay is a member of the Education Group Practice of Schwartz Hannum PC, a law firm based in Andover, MA, representing more than 250 educational institutions throughout the United States. The Firm has 12 lawyers, 6 of whom are dedicated to the Firm’s education practice. Schwartz Hannum’s Education Practice Group provides comprehensive guidance to the full spectrum of school and education clients and is a strategic partner to educational institutions looking to promote a positive learning environment and resolve workplace issues.

Sarah routinely advises the Firm’s education clients on best practices for admissions processes and enrollment contracts, responding to and investigating student interpersonal misconduct, disciplinary matters, health center audits, risk management strategies for off-campus trips, student records and confidentiality issues, and policies and practices for promoting an inclusive community. Sarah works closely with clients to develop policies that comply with applicable laws and reflect best practices, while ensuring to maintain the unique voice and culture of each school.

As part of her practice, Sarah educates students and parents on healthy relationships, including the evolving definition of consent, bystander training, bullying and hazing, acceptable use of technology and social media, and other key issues students may confront. In addition, she provides training for faculty, staff and school administrators on topics ranging from professional boundaries, mandated reporting training, sexual assault, accommodating students with disabilities, and other pressing matters.

Michael Bergin, Nick Parnell, Jim Barrett

Michael Bergin, CFO, Miss Porter's School will share case studies pertaining to the school's master plan, and subsequent MEP upgrades to three of the largest facilities on campus, as well as the repurposing of an existing facility to serve as the school's admission office.

Nick Parnell, Director of Facilities Services, Milton Academy will share case studies of assessing and then repurposing of an existing science building to an arts and media center, focusing on the process of assessing and creatively repurposing the facility.

Jim Barrett, AIA, REFP, Educational Planner, Drummey Rosane Anderson will share a variety of tools and techniques employed in the planning, programming, and delivery of repurposed and new campus facilities.

Brewster Ely, Doug Lowenstein, Ian Magruder, Todd Rassiger

Brewster Ely- Former Head of School, Town School for Boys. Brewster Ely retired from San Francisco’s Town School For Boys after serving as its head for twenty-seven years. During his tenure, Brewster served on several community boards, including The San Francisco Zoo, The Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, and The Bay Area KIPP Schools. He remains on the Advisory Committee of The Ronald McDonald House and serves on the boards of The Exploratorium, The Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, and San Francisco’s Katherine Delmar Burke School. Brewster works on projects aimed at ensuring the ongoing sustainability of independent schools and other non-profit organizations. He serves as a consultant to First Republic Bank.

Doug Lowenstein- Chief Operating Officer, Gradifi. Doug brings 25 years of experience to Gradifi which spans across consumer financial services and strategy. Doug brings a valuable combination of success as a senior strategy executive in a corporate environment with extensive entrepreneurial experience. He spent 11+ years as a senior strategy executive at Capital One where he led the strategy development of many initiatives to diversify the company outside of its core credit card business. Prior to joining Gradifi, Doug spent four years at Simple Tuition where he built from scratch and launched SmarterBucks, a consumer rewards and financial products program acquired by Gradifi in 2015. Doug has a B.A. from Brown University where he double majored in Business Economics and Computer Science, and an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management where he received an Academic Achievement Award for graduating with a perfect 4.0. Doug lives in Walpole, MA with his wife and two children. He is actively involved in youth sports and has coached youth baseball, basketball, tennis, and flag football.

Ian Magruder- Director of Partnerships, Landed. Ian Magruder is Director of Partnerships at Landed, a venture-backed startup helping educators purchase homes through shared equity down payment assistance. Ian's work focuses on independent schools, collaborating closely with Heads of School, CFOs/Business Officers, and Trustees across the country to develop sustainable housing solutions. Prior to Landed, Ian served as Director of Business Development for Organizer, a field organizing technology startup. He also served as Co-Director of the San Francisco New Leaders Council. Ian holds a degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

Todd Rassiger- Senior Managing Director, First Republic Bank. Todd Rassiger leads First Republic’s East Coasting Business Banking team and is a leader of its National Nonprofit Banking Practice. Todd joined First Republic in February 2011, after helping to build a successful nonprofit practice for a Boston-based bank. From 1998 to 2003, Mr. Rassiger served in the Investment Banking Group at MassDevelopment, issuing more than $500 million in tax-exempt bonds for manufacturers, multi-family housing developers and nonprofit institutions undertaking large capital projects. It was during his time at MassDevelopment that Todd helped to develop a program that granted human service providers access to the capital Bond markets, in addition to securing a $10 million grant from the US Department of Education to support capital financing for charter schools. Prior to MassDevelopment, Todd served as a banking analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition to his work at First Republic, Todd serves as Board Chair of Strike Out Cancer, Board Member of the Weston Education Enrichment Fund and a Committee Member of City Year Boston’s Seven Generations Board. Todd received his Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University and completed the Executive Education Program at Stanford University.

David Lunken

David Lunken is a Principal at Cedarcroft Advisors. He has more than 20 years experience as a results-driven senior executive with in operations, sales and marketing. At Cedarcroft Advisors, David uses his entrepreneurial and business skills working with senior leadership in organizations to help them build effective teams empowered to achieve and surpass business goals. An expert in clarifying, planning and aligning organizations and teams, David develops and implements effective solutions to help his clients win the race.

A natural entrepreneur, David’s talents emerged at a young age when he turned a gift of candy from an aunt into a store selling a variety of treats from his red Radio Flyer wagon parked in his suburban driveway. His entrepreneurial streak continued with a landscaping business, a canopy cleaning business and ultimately he founded and ran Stick People Tees, a specialty printing company . After running the company for seven years, he joined the marketing company Campus Concepts. In his 13-year career at Campus Concepts, David provided targeted marketing programs to Fortune 500 companies and rose to the position of Senior Vice President.

David also served as General Manager of Operations for Maryland Office Interiors, a full-service contract furniture company. David managed the operations of this $100 million enterprise, including management of the hiring and productivity of more than 100 employees. At MOI, David was a client of PI Midlantic and the internal champion for the Predictive Index® deployment. David’s knowledge of how PI Midlantic could make dramatic changes in an organization’s efficiency and success led him to join PI as a Senior Consultant and create Cedarcroft Advisors.

David holds a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy from Hobart College and a Masters in Business Administration from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University. When his children allow him free time, David is an avid triathlete.

Aimee Gruber

Aimee serves as the Senior Director of Outreach and Business Development at The Enrollment Management Association. Her decades-long commitment to the private school admission and enrollment industry gives her a first-hand understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our members. She uses that understanding as she helps schools maximize their member benefits, and as she represents members among the larger national and international education sector.

Before joining The Enrollment Management Association in 2006, Aimee was associate director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) where she managed professional development workshops, organized international student recruitment fairs in Asia, developed marketing materials about boarding schools, and represented TABS worldwide. Prior to her position at TABS, Aimee worked in admission at The White Mountain School (NH), Tilton School (NH), and the Webb School of Knoxville (TN). She served on the board of the Independent Educational Consultants Association foundation and is a recipient of the Western Boarding Schools Association's Hilton Award for outstanding contributions to the association. Aimee holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and anthropology from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s of education from Plymouth State University.

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