A hybrid retreat for all roles within the business office that is dedicated to considering the past and present challenges while committing to intentional work building capacity and leadership for the unknowns and opportunities of the future.

The AISNE 2022 Business Officer Retreat is a hybrid event. The first portion will be a 2-day virtual learning conference hosted on Zoom. The second portion will be an in-person networking, exhibits, and social event.

Retreat Dates:
Virtual: Wednesday, February 9 – Thursday, February 10 (via Zoom)
In-Person: Monday, April 4, in-person, 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

In-Person Location:
Babson Executive Center
1 Snyder Drive
Wellesley, MA 02457

In-Person Registration:
$149 | In-Person
Includes lunch, dinner, and cocktails.

Registration is now closed for this event.


Stay the Night
Stay the night of the event. Babson Executive Center has rooms available for our group.

$225 + tax/single
$245 + tax/double

All rooms include breakfast. To book, email Tricia Elassy and mention the AISNE Business Officer Retreat.

Want to to come in the night before? Nearby hotels include:

Boston Marriott Newton
2345 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, MA 02466

Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Needham
80 B St
Needham, MA 02494

Sheraton Boston Needham Hotel
100 Cabot St
Needham, MA 02494

In-Person Event Agenda

Monday, April 4

Registration & Refreshments  | 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. EST
Welcome to the event with AISNE staff and your fellow participants.

Collaboration Café  | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST
Attendees take turns during the Collaboration Café to provide a brief introduction to a particular topic followed by an invitation for other participants to share and comment. This time will allow for extended and informal topic-based discussions about the topics that mean the most to you.

Lunch  | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

From Insight to Action: An Opportunity to Look Inward and Plan Forward
 | 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST
Lynn Bowman

During this session we will focus on you and your leadership. Whether you are the only person in your department or you lead a team of two or ten, continuing to build your capacity for greater self awareness and developing your skills as an effective leader are essential.

Emotional Intelligence, a key ingredient for effective leadership, is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively impact our capacity for decision making, self-awareness, self-perception, intrapersonal relationships, and stress management. Take time to self-assess yourself using a positive intelligence framework and learn strategies to improve your own social and emotional well being thus impacting the teams you lead.  We will spend time considering the following questions:

  • How are you showing up as a leader and how are you creating space for others?
  • How can you build stronger relationships with your team and colleagues?
  • What are your strengths to leverage and what leadership skills can you grow/amplify?

As we dig into our time together, we will devote time to your work, your role, and how you balance it all. We will also take some time to examine how who YOU are informs what you DO.

Join us for this time and push pause with your peers: reflect, converse, and share tools to bring back to your day-to-day work.

Exhibitor Session | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EST
This retreat, and AISNE’s entire professional development portfolio of programs, are generously supported by our trusted and loyal community of Supporters and Corporate Partners. We sincerely appreciate your participation in our Exhibitor Session. There will be a fun networking game and as well as the opportunity to win raffle items that our Supporters and Corporate Partners will contribute in advance of the retreat.

Participating Exhibitors (as of 2/14/21):

Raffle | 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. EST
Win a variety of prizes, generously donated by AISNE’s Supporters and Corporate Partners!

Cocktails & Conversation | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EST
Enjoy this time to be in community with your fellow business officers and build lasting connections.

Dinner | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. EST
We’ll conclude the retreat with a delicious dinner and conversation.


Registrant List

Thank you to the AISNE Business Leadership Retreat Planning Committee

Pictured above, left to right, top to bottom


  • Nathalie Gonzalez, Applewild School
  • Christine Miller, Beacon Hill Nursery School
  • Joanne McDaniel, Beaver Country Day School
  • Fred Colson, Belmont Day School
  • Jonathan Douglas, Berwick Academy
  • Michael Hoyle, Boston College High School
  • Derek Dettorre, Boston University Academy
  • Tyler Butler, Brewster Academy
  • Susan Harrington, Brewster Academy
  • Letitia Howland, Brookwood School
  • Tara Gohlmann, Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School
  • Susan Ryan, The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Andy Griswold, Cambridge-Ellis School
  • Stephen Solberg, Cardigan Mountain School
  • Deb McCarthy, Carroll School
  • Veronica Phaneuf, The Center School
  • Gwen Pojasek, Chapel Hill-Chancy Hall School
  • Lily Yee, Charles River School
  • Michael Komich, Cheverus High School
  • Sarah Scola, Cheverus High School
  • Carl Young, Chewonki Foundation
  • Amy Fredericks, Concord Academy
  • Frank Gallagher, Concord Academy
  • Charles Breslin, Dana Hall School
  • Barb Fletcher, The Epiphany School
  • Michael Slater, Epstein Hillel School
  • Cheryl York, Erskine Academy
  • Stephanie Taylor, The Fenn School
  • David Platt, The Fenn School
  • Thomas Cicatiello, The Gordon School
  • Leslie Luneau, Heronfield Academy
  • Margot Riley, Holderness School
  • Walt Schaeffler, Holderness School
  • Richard Wilson, Inly School
  • Harshita Lakhiani, Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island
  • Andrew May, Kents Hill School
  • James Bonsey, Kingsley Montessori School
  • Dean Sidell, Landmark School
  • Vanessa Craveiro, Learning Prep School
  • Vivian Lin, Lexington Christian Academy
  • Wendy Corlett, Lincoln Academy
  • Brenda Konopelko, Lincoln School
  • Rachel Jingst, Miss Hall’s School
  • Lori Corry, Nantucket New School
  • Nicole White, Oak Meadow School
  • Janice Hatch, Oliverian School
  • Kimberly Boyd, The Park School
  • Lachelle McKinley-Connor, The Park School
  • Will Powers, The Pike School
  • Rachel MacDuffie, Proctor Academy
  • Erin Andrews, Quest Montessori School
  • Donna Strouse, Riverbend School
  • Gibson Smith, Rock Point School
  • Elizabeth Murzycki, The Sage School
  • Nicole Solari, Shore Country Day School
  • Carol Lyon, St. Johnsbury Academy
  • Crystal Rutledge, St. Johnsbury Academy
  • Jackie Fellini, Thayer Academy
  • Julaine McInnis, Thayer Academy
  • Glen Waring, Tilton School
  • Marge Pierce, Tower School
  • Jane Seagle, Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • William Potter, Waring School
  • Carrie McColgan, Wayneflete School
  • Robert Constantine, White Mountain School
  • Karen Geromini, Winsor School

Register for the In-Person Event


Virtual Conference Agenda

Register for the In-Person Event

Wednesday, February 9

Collaboration Cafe |8:00 – 8:45 a.m. EST

Attendees will take turns during the Collaboration Cafe to provide a brief introduction to a particular topic followed by an invitation for other participants to share and comment. This time will allow for extended and informal topic-based discussions about the topics that mean the most to you.


Break | 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. EST


Opening Keynote | 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. EST

How Endowments Thrive in 2022 and Beyond | Scott Clemons, Partner, Chief Investment Strategist, Brown Brothers Harriman
The economy and financial markets will be forever changed by the COVID pandemic, whose ripple effects will continue to reverberate long after the immediate crisis has passed.  In this session, we will consider how trustees and investment committees should think about asset allocation and investing in the “new normal.”


Break | 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. EST


Deeper Dive Sessions  | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. EST

Cultivate Your Leadership Skills: Gain More Awareness of Your Leadership Presence and Strengthen Your Work with Your Team  | Lynn Bowman, Leadership Coach, and Consultant, Lynn Bowman Leadership Coaching and Consulting, LLC
Regardless of your specific role within the business office, you are tasked with the immense challenge of balancing extremely precise and exacting work day-to-day with the need to flex and adapt to work with other members of your team and school community.  This session will look at how business professionals may collaborate most effectively with the wider school community members. It will consider how to develop empathy and patience for other styles and approaches of accomplishing shared goals in our schools. This session is intended for members of the business office at every career stage.


Practical Strategies for Managing Risk During a Unique Winter in Independent Schools  | Linda Johnson, Attorney, McLane Middleton
Experienced education and employment lawyer Linda Johnson will facilitate an interactive session about hot topics for schools to consider as the academic year moves forward, such as: 

  • How to manage vaccinations for the newest eligible group and those who need a booster.
  • How to manage the process of reporting student discipline.
  • Effective approaches for dealing with parent pushback.
  • Updating faculty agreements for 2022-2023.
  • Jurisdictional philosophy
  • Tuition enforcement
  • Concerning student behavior on social media


Ensure the Integrity of Your School’s Data: The Importance of and Advantages of Attaining Reliable Data  | Matthew Lang, Principal of Digital Transformation and Data Analytics, CLA & Eric Malloy, CFO, Eaglebrook School
Explore the function and necessity of a Data Integrity Task Force and glean important takeaways from one school’s journey. Time will be spent focusing on the importance of reliable data and the technical side of attaining it. This session will be presented collaboratively with a CLA Digital Transformation – Data Analytics service expert and the CFO from Eaglebrook School.


Mission-Based Compensation: Designing Effective and Sustainable Compensation and Benefits Systems for Faculty and Staff  | John Littleford, Senior Partner of Littleford & Associates & Jim Hickey, Head of School, Austin Preparatory School
Independent schools need salaries and benefits that are financially sustainable, market-driven, flexible, fair, and transparent but also assist teachers and staff in planning their own career opportunities for growth and advancement. John Littleford, Senior Partner of Littleford & Associates, and Jim Hickey, Head of School at Austin Preparatory School will share lead you through the process they engaged in to design an effective and sustainable compensation and benefits plan.


Thursday, February 10

Collaboration Cafe |8:00 – 8:45 a.m. EST

Attendees will take turns during the Collaboration Cafe to provide a brief introduction to a particular topic followed by an invitation for other participants to share and comment. This time will allow for extended and informal topic-based discussions about the topics that mean the most to you.


Break | 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. EST


Opening  Session | 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. EST

Pulse Points The First Year of Peer Benchmarking Benefitting Schools Across New England
Part 1: A Bird’s Eye View on the State of Independent Schools | Claire Leheny, Executive Director, AISNE
With the advent of AISNE’s new benchmarking tool, Pulse Points, for the first time we are able to take a concentrated look at salaries, benefits, and key performance indicators of New England schools. This presentation will offer insight into the state of our industry, including areas of strength, opportunities to reposition, and notable findings from our surveys.

Part 2: Maximize the Value of Pulse Points in Your School  | Eliza Alexander, Managing Director, Northern New England & Alexander Noren, Director of Finance, Technology, and Research, AISNE
During part two we will share examples, practical tips, and tools to identify and use the benchmarking data you need for your strategic purposes. School-specific case studies will illustrate the variety of ways you can create meaningful reports and leverage them with your faculty, staff, and board.


Break | 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. EST


Deeper Dive Sessions | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. EST

Embed Inclusivity in Your Practices and Procedures: Working with Contracted Service Providers  | Lawrence Alexander, Search Consultant, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Practice, Carney Sandoe & Associates
Come to this session with a desire to embed inclusivity more into your practices and procedures within the business office.  Leave this session with questions to ask and steps you can take with your foodservice providers, transportation services, and maintenance. Consider intentional ways to avoid microaggressions and proactive ways to be more inclusive.


Captive Health Programs: Risks, Benefits, and Considerations  | Jon Douglas, CFO, Berwick Academy, Captivated Health, Steve Solberg, Cardigan Mountain School, Pareto Captive Services, LLC,  Jim Hoitt, Berkley Accident and Health Insurance & Charles McCullagh, CFO, Williston Northampton School
Explore the benefits of a captive health program as an alternative to the more traditional fully insured health insurance. Although most schools continue to use fully insured products, the strengths and potential upside of the captive model are significant. There are two major captive programs focusing on educational institutions; however, rather than focusing on one program over the other, this presentation will focus on the captive model generally. Presenters will demonstrate how a captive health program provides schools with budgetary latitude, a new financial lever, and an opportunity to change the nature of the conversation about health insurance from transactional to strategic.


Protect Yourself and Your School: Implement Best Practices to Help Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks  | Ileana van der Linde, Executive Director Asset & Wealth Management, JP Morgan Chase
Gain the knowledge to fight cybersecurity challenges personally and professionally. Explores key issues in information security and steps you can take and technological tools you may use to help resolve these issues. Takeaways from your time will allow you to plan and implement security strategies to reduce risk and enhance the protection of information assets and systems throughout your school community. This session will be interactive and address key topics including:

  • Email
  • Passwords
  • WiFi Networks
  • Internet Usage
  • Mobile Security
  • Malware
  • Social Engineering

Please Note: Ms. van der Linde’s session will not be recorded.


Wrap-Up, Reflections, and Raffle | 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST


COVID Guidelines

Providing a safe environment for learning is a top priority. We need your help to achieve this. We want to keep you safe and healthy!

  • All participants must be fully vaccinated; boosters are not required.
  • Testing is optional, but highly encouraged.
  • Masks are required in public areas of the venue (e.g. hallways, restrooms) when not actively eating or drinking, and optional in breakout and exhibit sessions.

We are grateful for the partnership with Fusion Cell in determining these mitigation strategies. Fusion Cell helps organizations navigate the impacts of COVID with science-based strategies that inspire confidence across all constituents.