CEO Notebook |
Article by Jeff Shields
One of the great pleasures of serving the independent school business officer community is witnessing firsthand its spirit of collaboration and collegiality, generosity and professionalism. I appreciate this spirit year-round, and most of all through the NBOA Awards Program, which annually provides national recognition to two individuals who represent the very best of what our community values: independent school business excellence, leadership and collaboration.
I’m pleased today to share that the NBOA Awards Selection Committee has chosen two exceptional women to honor for 2018. We will celebrate them both — before hearing from the equally exceptional Diana Nyad — at the NBOA Leadership Awards Lunch on March 6, held during the 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting in Nashville.
The 2018 NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award recipient is Jane Carney, chief financial officer at the College Preparatory School in Oakland, California. Jane received an almost unprecedented number of nominations from her peers, and I am daunted and humbled to adequately summarize her many contributions to her profession.
Jane’s career in education began more than 40 years ago in a teaching capacity. In 1987, she moved to independent schools as the business officer of a preK-6 school in Hawaii, where she served for almost 20 years before assuming similar positions at two very different schools in Massachusetts and California. In the intervening years, she oversaw significant growth and expansion at two state associations: first as founding president of HAISBO (Hawaii Association of Independent School Business Officers) and later as president of Cal-ISBOA (California Independent Schools Business Officers Association). At Cal-ISBOA, for example, her strong leadership following the merger of two regional organizations helped to unify the membership into what is now the largest state association of its kind and led to the launch of a statewide health consortium, among other developments.
Jane has also provided exemplary service through her national association. She was an active member of the NBOA Board from 2004 to 2010, has presented at many NBOA events and has provided generous counsel to her peers through the NBOA member listserv, among other things.
At my very first NBOA Annual Meeting, I recall Jane literally taking me by the arm and escorting me to the HAIS reception so she could help me build my network among independent school business officers. After reading the many letters of support, it’s clear that she has done the same for countless others within our community. “Jane is simply terrific,” said one nominator. “She has worked tirelessly over the last 30 years toward the betterment of independent schools and, more specifically, business officers…. Honest, compassionate, confident, resilient, persuasive, courageous, visionary — these are just a few words to describe Jane.”
The 2018 NBOA Sarah Daignault Outstanding Support of Independent Schools Award recipient is Rhonda Durham, executive director of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS). A former independent school teacher, admissions director and head of school, among other roles, Rhonda demonstrated an immediate respect for and commitment to business officers upon coming to ISAS in 2006. Her support of the organization’s business officers council, for instance, fostered the development of high-quality regional and national standards involving data collection and school accreditation. I, along with a number of NBOA staff, have had the pleasure of consistently participating in this program for many, many years. As a trustee of the ISAS Group Benefits Trust, she was invaluable in helping participating schools offer comprehensive health coverage at price points that have risen well below the national average. Through the trust, Rhonda has worked collaboratively with business officers throughout her region in support of their schools.
“Rhonda Durham exemplifies the spirit of this award,” wrote a colleague’s nomination. I couldn’t agree more.
Please join me in congratulating these two exceptional leaders. I also invite you to join me in honoring them both during the NBOA Leadership Awards Lunch on Tuesday, March 6, at the 2018 NBOA Annual Meeting in Nashville.
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