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Announcing the 2019 NBOA Awards Recipients

By Jeffrey Shields posted 01-29-2019 11:31 AM


CEO Notebook |

This year’s recipients, Dallas Joseph and Debra Wilson, exemplify service and support to the national independent school business officer community.

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Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
NBOA President and CEO

Every year, I have the unique privilege of helping identify individuals who exemplify excellence, serve as role models within the independent school profession, and have made valuable and lasting contributions to our community. I am pleased to announce that the NBOA Awards Selection Committee has chosen two outstanding individuals for the 2019 awards program, after reading a record number of nominations submitted by peers and colleagues.

Dallas Joseph is the recipient of the 2019 NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award, the highest honor given by the association for professional achievement.

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Dallas Joseph
2019 Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award Recipient

I can think of few individuals as deserving as Dallas for this prestigious award. Let’s start with his career at the Baylor School, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he began in 2000 after financial leadership positions at two higher education institutions. As Baylor’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, Dallas oversees several major administrative units and has led ongoing efforts to strengthen internal controls and financial reporting systems, in addition to implementing the school’s strategic plan.

On the national level, he has held leadership roles in the areas of financial aid and enrollment management, and — perhaps most notably for NBOA — served as board chair of the NBOA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013. I can personally say that Dallas was one of the most effective board chairs I have had the pleasure to work with in my nine years serving the association. His leadership was instrumental in guiding NBOA through challenging times, ultimately leading to the development of a new strategic plan that helped secure NBOA’s place among national associations serving independent schools.

Perhaps most importantly, Dallas leads through his service to other independent schools. He has presented at numerous conferences, workshops and panel discussions, including a recent panel with NBOA and the Enrollment Management Association on the sensitive subject of financial aid. And he is a generous mentor of other professionals, including me in my early days at NBOA. In everything he does, Dallas leads by listening, invites everyone into the conversation, checks his ego at the door, and focuses on strategic avenues to advance the work. Dallas exudes dignity and professionalism, and he commands respect without ever asking for it. He embodies everything that is important about being an independent school business officer, and most importantly, everything that Ken White thought a business officer could be and should be.

The NBOA Sarah Daignault Outstanding Support of Independent Schools Award is given annually by the association to recognize an outstanding individual who is not a business officer but has consistently shown generous support of independent schools and their business officers. The 2019 recipient is Debra Wilson, general counsel at the National Association of Independent Schools.

Debra Wilson
2019 Sarah Daignault Outstanding Support of Independent Schools Award Recipient

In her 18 years at NAIS, Debra has served as a trusted authority on legal issues related to independent schools. In addition to her day-to-day work supporting the association’s in-house legal needs, she has written advisories, spoken at conferences, coordinated amicus briefs on cases of industry importance and served as an invaluable source of information overall to independent schools. For many years, she has been an invaluable advisor and partner to business officers at many independent schools and has willingly shared her expertise as a presenter at NBOA Annual Meetings, webinars and the NBOA Business Officer Institute. Her leadership within the independent school community also includes offering an annual legal symposium that convenes experts and thought leaders to discuss current issues affecting schools; providing schools with greater understanding in the area of regulatory changes; and offering schools significant support in preventing and responding to current issues. In addition, Debra has provided board service to several independent schools and organizations, including Mid-South Business Officers (MISBO).

In July, Debra will begin a new position as president of Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), a major accrediting organization for independent schools. I have no doubt that independent schools in the southern region of the country will benefit tremendously from her experience, knowledge and leadership. She cares deeply about independent schools, and it shows in her continued dedication to this community.

I invite you to join me in congratulating these two remarkable leaders and colleagues. Please also join me in honoring them during the NBOA Leadership Awards Lunch on Tuesday, March 5 at the 2019 NBOA Annual Meeting in San Diego.

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Follow NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields @shieldsNBOA.
From Net Assets NOW, January 29, 2019. Read past issues of CEO Notebook.

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