The Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award is given to business officers who have made extraordinary contributions to their schools and exemplify exceptional integrity, knowledge and motivation. At the end of each school year, new Unsung Heroes receive their award from their head of school, often at a significant school occasion such as a board meeting or an all-school ceremony. What makes these Unsung Heroes so special? The highlights below come straight from their colleagues' nominations.
See a full list of the 2019 recipients. Stay tuned to NetAssets.org for additional profiles.
Title: Chief Financial Officer
School: Pomfret School, Pomfret, Connecticut
Years in position: 4
Years in an independent school business office: 16
Superpower: Proficiency pro. Griffin took the lead on several operational projects including outsourcing cleaning services and improving efficiency across dining, the school store and snack bar services. Griffin “left no stone unturned, and we consistently made changes that improved the functioning — not just of the business office, but of the whole school.” His efforts to expand Pomfret’s relationship with an outside endowment management firm has allowed his school to increase the budget in key areas of student life support.
Human resources guru: Griffin has helped his school modernize human resources technology by implementing an electronic time and attendance process for non-exempt employees. He also was the driving force behind the creation of quarterly staff meetings, a monthly professional development seminar and the creation of a “new, relevant and responsible” employee handbook.
Nimble negotiator: In addition to negotiating the development of a sewer project with the town of Pomfret, Griffin played a critical role in “leveraging our relationship with the town to create new and safer crosswalks for our students and faculty who lived on the other side of route 169, [opposite of] most school buildings.”
Leading with optimism: “Ed faces every challenge willingly and with a perpetually good sense of humor.” Griffin has also made sure that customer service is a priority for every member of the business office. “Gone are the days of going to the business office scared of being called out for a single missing receipt. This is a function of Ed and his commitment to our independent boarding school.”
Compassionate colleague: Griffin has helped lead the Pomfret community through the serious illness of a long-tenured faculty member. “Perhaps more than anything else, it has been Ed’s handling of a painfully complicated situation…that makes him stand out. Ed has continued to emphasize the school’s need to be compassionate, supportive and caring from the moment we learned this terrible news.”
Outside the business office: Griffin splits his time between teaching an independent study on finance, volunteering as a JV coach in the spring and serving as an amateur ice hockey official for various teams throughout New England.
See a full list of the 2019 recipients and read more about the Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award. NetAssets.org will post additional profiles of Unsung Heroes throughout the fall — check in to learn more about other recipients.
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