Admissions, Advancement, Communications & Marketing Conference

Future Forward: Plan and Prepare for 2021-2022 and Beyond

Register Here

Registration Options
  • Member Schools: $199 per person: 1-2 participants, $179 per person: 3+ participants

- - -

Wednesday, May 12

Welcome | 1:00 p.m. EST

Tedda LaChance
Director, Member Support and Operations, Northern New England

- - -

Opening Keynote Address | 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. EST

Unifying Messages that Transcend Transactions

Lynne Golodner
Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Your People LLC 

If we’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that an enduring story and timeless values will allow schools to transcend the times. Indeed, some schools are thriving despite the challenging circumstances wrought by the pandemic while others are spiraling, uncertain how to communicate with key constituents and make it through.

In our keynote address, education marketing expert Lynne Golodner will show participants how the power of a story can anchor a school in any situation.

  • We’ll look at how mutually beneficial relationships can move us toward sold-out enrollment and make meaning out of tough times by grounding in the timeless values that your educational approach offers not only to students but to families and communities.
  • We’ll pull messaging from the past year to market to both internal and external audiences and learn ways to create cohesive messaging that connects all parties in an enduring mission.

You’ll emerge from this session with insights and tools to take the next step toward your best future.

- - -

Industry Expert Sessions | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EST


What’s in the CARDs?: Using a Simple Data Point to Supercharge Your School’s Enrollment Efforts

Jesse Roberts
Chief Executive Officer

In this interactive session, we will examine the case study of a school that used data to grab control of their market, their competition and their future. Even if you aren’t a data scientist (and if you are, that’s ok too), you’ll come away from this session with a clear understanding of how to take a simple data point, like a zip code, and turn that into your new superpower. We’ll show you several tools you can use to harness the power of data WITHOUT being tied to Excel, and provide you with a list of actionable items you can put in place instantly at your school. 


Forecasting Your Annual Fund: What 2020 and 2021 Data Tells Us and Why it Matters for Your School’s Budget

Ann Snyder
Director, Independent and International Schools
Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

Join us to review the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Pulse Survey on Annual Giving in FY 21, as well as other surveys from the past year. Look with Ann Snyder, Director of Independent Schools (CASE), at what the data mean for us right now and what they may – or may not – tell us for FY 22. Before your budgets are finalized in May, make sure you take a critical look at what’s happening around the country in annual giving and parent and alumni participation. We will also look at both anecdotal and statistical trends that will likely impact advancement work in the next 12-18 months.

Marketing & Communications

Building Your Authentic Brand Story: Essential Steps to Increase 
Awareness, Engagement, Stature, Income and Support

Roger Sametz
Chief Executive Officer
Sametz Blackstone Associates

Your school has a compelling story to tell, but it’s a crowded 
landscape out there, and the people who need to know and value your story may not… yet.

How do you tell your story in a way that resonates with prospective students and families who are the “right fit” for you? How can that story help keep alumni connected and invested in who you are, and who you’re becoming? How can it help you steward donors who have multiple organizations competing to be a priority for their giving?

In the same way a good story-teller uses words, pacing, rhythm, and gesture to engage an audience, your brand story is comprised of much more than just words: high-level and constituent-specific messages need to work in concert with how you present yourself visually, how you use technology and digital media—and even how you behave as an organization.

This interactive, information-packed session will guide you through the steps of building out your brand story in multiple dimensions, to effectively convey your vision, promise, value, and values—authentically—to the audiences who matter most to you.  

Join this session to:

  • Understand what a brand really is—and how it can propel your organization
  • Get to the “who” + “what” + “why” + “why anyone should care” at the heart of your unique story
  • Map out your brand foundation—your brand attributes, and storylines—along with “ways in” for different audiences—to guide your verbal and visual expression
  • Build a messaging framework to help you meet people where they are
  • Think holistically about visual expression: today it is messaging
  • Unambiguously articulate and elevate your differentiated value

Each attendee will participate in breakout groups to apply session themes to your own communications challenges and opportunities.

- - -

School Story Sessions | 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. EST


Designing a Tuition System that Aligns with Mission

Tom Cicatiello
Chief Financial Officer

Veronica Jutras
Admission Director

Gordon School

In 2015, the Gordon School took on the challenge of reinventing its financial model. Rather than continue to implement two systems of "full tuition" and "financial aid" a singular tuition pricing system was created for all families. Family Individualized Tuition (FIT) was implemented in the 2018/2019 school year.

The need to review tuition was first driven by a financial question: “how can tuition revenue be maximized?” The subsequent review and reimagining of what an equitable tuition system might look like, however, extended far beyond financial considerations. Since its introduction to the community, Gordon has seen tremendous value in the ways in which the new tuition system supports Gordon's intentions around creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community.

Learn from Gordon’s Admissions Director, Veronica Jutras, and Chief Financial Officer, Tom Cicatiello as they discuss both the intended and unanticipated benefits of the FIT system. They will focus on how the FIT system has opened the doors for transparent conversations with current and prospective families and how this work aligns with Gordon’s mission. 


The Show Must Go On! Capital Campaign Efforts Amid Crisis 

Panel Discussion: Eliza Alexander, Managing Director, Northern New England, AISNE | Kate Punderson, Head of School, Carrabassett Valley Academy | Amy Smucker, Assistant Head of School for External Affairs, Berwick Academy | Mark Sturgeon, Executive Director of Advancement, Holderness School 

Even a global pandemic cannot halt progress. Join three AISNE schools in different life-cycle points of a capital campaign - they will discuss how they have had to adjust over the last year, what they have learned, and where you can find hope to keep pushing forward even when times get tough.

Marketing & Communications

Honey, I Shrunk the Head of School: Non-Traditional Strategies for Traditional Schools

Andy Herring
Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications
Holderness School 

The abrupt reliance on digital marketing during a pandemic required schools to quickly translate new strategies into compelling content to compete in a saturated digital world. Learn how your school can embrace the tenets of social media to educate, inform, and entertain with flexibility, humor, and a supportive head of school to craft outside-the-box and on-brand messaging. 

- - -

Networking Happy Hour | 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. EST

Thursday, May 13

Coffee | 7:45 - 8:15 a.m. EST

Becky Biggs
Director, Professional Development

Tedda LaChance
Director, Member Support and Operations, Northern New England

Eliza Alexander
Managing Director, Northern New England


- - -

Industry Expert Sessions | 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. EST


Succeeding in a World of Change: Protecting and Growing Enrollment in a Post-COVID World

Kate Auger-Campbell
Account Executive, Northeastern US

2020 threw us all for a loop—yet independent schools pivoted and persevered through it all. The lucky few even saw a boost in enrollment due to an influx of first-time tuition paying families (FTTPF). Families are choosing to enroll at and depart from schools for reasons they never have in the past. So what happens next? How do you hit your enrollment goals, retain students, and grow your schools when things return to "normal”? In this session we’ll discuss how and why traditional enrollment practices are no longer enough in our rapidly changing times, and share how innovative schools are protecting and growing enrollment in a world where the only constant is change.


Redefining Success: A New Take on Your Annual KPIs and Goals

Meg Bailey
Managing Consultant

With the uncertainty facing schools and development programs today, candid discussions about the last year’s impact on goal-setting and metrics must be had. Annual metrics provide objective evidence of progress towards achieving a goal and should always be established collaboratively with staff and leadership. The current climate presents an opportunity to revisit goal-setting discussions and reimagine key performance indicators to explore how you define and measure success.

In this session, Graham-Pelton Managing Consultant, Meg Bailey, will cover goal-setting best practices, how existing goals have been impacted by the current landscape, and new methods for measuring performance and success.

Marketing & Communications

How to Make Marketing Work (& Afford It)

Lynne Golodner
Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Your People LLC 

A streamlined, flowing marketing plan is essential to keep prospective 
enrollments in the pipeline, and it’s hard to know what activities will really pay for a school. 

In this session, learn from school marketing expert Lynne Golodner, of Your 
People LLC, about the three essential marketing tactics any school can do and how to make them easy, effective and affordable. 

- - -

Roundtable Discussions by Role | 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. EST

  • Admissions and Enrollment
  • Financial Aid
  • Communications
  • Marketing 
  • Development

- - -

Closing Keynote Address | 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST

Colleges That Change Lives: A Case Study in Collaborative Recruiting

Christine Bowman
Dean of Enrollment Services
Southwestern University

The Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) story begins in 1996 when a book by the same name — Colleges That Change Lives — was published by retired New York Times education editor and journalist Loren Pope. A longtime student advocate and independent college counselor, Mr. Pope sought to change the way people thought about colleges by dispelling popularly held myths and challenging the conventional wisdom about college choice. As a result, many of the colleges featured in the book began working together to further promote this philosophy of a student-centered college search. In 1998, the CTCL organization was formally organized, independent of Mr. Pope (although with his blessing) and his publisher.
Today, CTCL is regarded as a leading advocate on the subject of higher education access and college choice. In addition to the resources available through our website, CTCL offers printed materials and numerous outreach efforts to students, families, college counselors, schools, and community-based organizations. Furthermore, CTCL was founded on a philosophy of building the knowledge, character, and values of young people by introducing them to a personalized and transformative college search experience. Although the member colleges approach this challenge with varying perspectives, institutional missions, and pedagogical strategies, a student-centered mission is common to all campuses.
This session will give some history of our organization, our efforts to share a common message while representing 44 different institutions and how, as a part of our organization, we make each of our member colleges a bit stronger.

Join us for a thoughtful reflection on how can be used as a model for other educational consortia programs and projects.

- - -

Reflections & Farewell | 12:30 p.m. EST

Tedda LaChance
Director, Member Support and Operations, Northern New England

Thank You to AISNE's Generous Supporters

2020-2021 Platinum and Gold Sponsors

Conference Sponsors