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The Best of the Best: Announcing the 2020 NBOA Award Recipients

By Jeffrey Shields posted 01-21-2020 10:07 AM


CEO Notebook |

This year’s recipients have dedicated years of service to the independent school business officer community.

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
NBOA President and CEO

Each year the NBOA Awards Selection Committee accepts the daunting but also rewarding task of selecting two individuals that represent the very best of the NBOA community. Although the awards intentionally recognize different roles, both honor an unabating commitment to serve and support others within this industry that we love. On behalf of the committee, it is my great pleasure to announce Valerie Hughes, associate head of school for finance and administration at Hathaway Brown School, as the recipient of the 2020 NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award, and Ronald Wanglin, chairman of the board at Bolton & Company, as the recipient of the 2020 NBOA Sarah Daignault Outstanding Support of Independent Schools Award.

Valerie Hughes
2020 Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award Recipient

Hughes has served as Hathaway Brown’s business officer for nearly two decades. At the all-girls independent school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Hughes has mastered the ability to not only serve as a hands-on manager involved in day-to-day operations, but also lead several large-scale strategic initiatives. These include the construction of the Jewett-Brown Academic Center, which features a four-story glass atrium; the state-of-the-art Carol and John Butler Aquatic Center, and an all-new turf field — a rarity for a school of HB’s size (830 students). In 2016, she helped HB host the Public Purpose of Independent Education, a national symposium that challenged educators to question the overly simplistic dichotomy of public versus private schools and investigate how all schools can best meet the needs of increasingly diverse populations. Perhaps her greatest source of pride is her leadership in creating a financially sound summer program called Aspire, which brings 150 inner-city middle school girls to campus each summer for academic enrichment.

Hughes’ service to others does not end at the borders of her campus. For ten years, she has served as treasurer for the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. She has also served on the board of the Midwest Business Managers affinity group, including one year as president. Most recently, Hughes was instrumental in hosting the week-long 2019 NBOA Business Officer Institute at Hathaway Brown and helped the association educate and support nearly 70 independent school business officers and business operations staff early in their independent school careers. Above all, she is the "go-to" person for her colleagues in Cleveland and always makes herself available to help problem solve and support business officers at other schools.

Ronald Wanglin
2020 Sarah Daignault Outstanding Support of Independent Schools Award Recipient

Wanglin has supported schools, their business officers and trustees consistently throughout his 30-year career. Within Bolton & Company he created a dedicated practice group specifically designed to support independent schools’ ever-changing insurance and risk management needs. He has messaged the importance of enterprise risk management (ERM) directly to trustees, most commonly presenting at board retreats, because he has long recognized that the business officers’ efforts to manage risk begin with the board.

A sought-after speaker and educator, Wanglin has presented on numerous topics including ERM, intellectual property insurance, employee benefits and retirement plans, and the Affordable Care Act at numerous NBOA Annual Meetings, Business Officer Institutes and other national and regional independent school association programs. His commitment to independent school leadership is perhaps best illustrated by his 15 years of board service with five as board chair, followed by his status as trustee emeritus, at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. In addition, he served two terms on the NBOA Board of Directors, as Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. He has also served as a national faculty member for the National Alliance for Education.

Please congratulate these two outstanding members of our community! And help us celebrate their commitment to independent schools at the 2020 NBOA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, where each will speak on February 25 at the NBOA Awards Lunch. 


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Follow NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields @shieldsNBOA.
From Net Assets NOW, January 21, 2019. Read past issues of CEO Notebook.

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