April 7 & 8, 2024 | Four Points by Sheraton Norwood

Bring your school business office together for workshops around finance, human resources, auxiliary operations, tech and facility systems, and strategic thinking. We will enjoy time for networking, learning about new products and services from your school, and generative conversations. This is an opportunity to provide manager-level staff with professional development and support their growing expertise and leadership.

This conference is designed for your business office and school leadership team, including:

  • CFOs/COOs
  • Directors of Finance, Controllers, and other Finance staff
  • Directors & Managers of Human Resources
  • Directors of IT/Information Systems
  • Directors of Auxillary Programs
  • Directors of Facilities
  • Heads of School

Pricing and Hotel:

Number of Attendees AISNE Member Schools Non-Member School
1 – 3 $499 $599
 4 – 9 $449 $549
 10 – 19 $399 $499
 20+ $369 $469


Pricing does not include hotel accommodations.


Hotel Information
Four Points by Sheraton Norwood
1125 Boston-Providence Turnpike
Norwood, MA 02062

Stay Sunday Night
AISNE has a block of rooms for the night of April 7. The rates are $165 + tax for a standard room and $185 + taxes for a deluxe room. To book, call the hotel’s in-house reservations at 1-781-769-7900 and mention the AISNE Business & Operations Conference.

Agenda at a Glance

Sunday, April 7

  • 3:00 – 4:00 PM | Registration
  • 4:00 – 5:30 PM | Case Study Collaborative
  • 6:00 – 8:00 PM | Dine on Your Own at One Bistro (Reservations Suggested)
  • 8:00 PM | Cocktails and Conversation on Your Own at One Bistro (Cash Bar)

Monday, April 8

  • 7:45 – 8:45 AM | Registration and Breakfast 
  • 8:45 – 10:15 AM | Opening Keynote
  • 10:30 – 11:30 AM | Topic Sessions
  • 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM | Exhibitor Session
  • 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM | Lunch
  • 1:45 – 2:45 PM | Topic Sessions
  • 3:00 – 4:00 PM | Collaboration Café
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM | Dessert Party and Raffle

Keynote Speaker

Monday, April 8 | 8:45 AM
Managing and Moving through Difficult Conversations
Susanne Carpenter
Difficult conversations are an inevitable part of our work in schools. Whether it’s addressing student issues, speaking with an upset parent, or engaging in a hard conversation with a colleague, we often find ourselves in challenging situations that require us to communicate effectively and empathetically. While difficult conversations are never easy, they can be done in a way that develops understanding, promotes collaboration, and ultimately leads to positive outcomes for everyone involved. Susanne Carpenter will identify different types of difficult conversations, walk us through the emotions involved, and help you to understand the skills needed to navigate these conversations with confidence.

Susanne Carpenter is the principal and founder of Carpenter Leadership Consulting—a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm focused on helping leaders and leadership teams become high-performing and strategy-focused. Channeling her own experience as a leader, Susanne empowers leaders to unlock their full potential, fostering confidence, effectiveness, and success. Her goal is to help her clients reach their fullest potential and lead with impact. She believes that when leaders are at their best, their organizations thrive. Susanne is a graduate of Westover School and received her B.A. from Wheaton College. She is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation and is also a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees at Westover School. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.


Sunday, April 7

3:00 – 4:00 PM | Registration
We look forward to welcoming you to our conference!

4:00 – 5:30 PM | Case Study Collaborative

Presenters: Eliza Alexander, AISNE, Tom Cicatello, Gordon School, Ann-Marie Flynn, Shore Country Day School
We will begin with this engaging session, where you will dive into several compelling case studies from AISNE member schools. You will brainstorm solutions to the challenges presented in the case studies and engage in peer-to-peer conversations that will help you meet your fellow school business officers. Come away with valuable insights into effective problem-solving strategies and approaches to tackle complex issues. You’ll hear diverse viewpoints, learn about tools and resources from your peers, and discover ways AISNE’s Pulse Points can help you leverage data effectively to build plans and solutions. This is an opportunity to be in community with one another and build on the power of your professional association membership.

Topics Included in our Scenarios will Include:

  • Leveraging Pulse Points data to improve your schools’ strategic positioning regarding compensation and benefits.
  • Examining your school’s traditional leave benefits in light of the changing landscape around Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML). 
  • Clarifying the role of the business office in crisis management, both in updating the school handbook and partnering with the head of school through crisis.
  • Cultivating healthy relationships across the schoolhouse to improve your budgetary process and financial decision-making.

6:00 – 8:00 PM | Dine On Your Own at One Bistro

Attendees will be provided a Sign-up Genius to select a group to dine* with, either at One Bistro on-site at the hotel or one of the many nearby restaurants. We encourage carpooling or using a ride-sharing service for convenience.

*Please note that individuals are responsible for covering the expenses of this portion of the event.

8:00 PM | Cocktails and Conversation

Join your peers for cocktails and conversation* at One Bistro following dinner on Sunday night. This is an opportunity to mingle with fellow attendees and speakers before the start of Day 2 on Monday. We look forward to seeing you there!

*Please note that individuals are responsible for covering the expenses of this portion of the event.

Monday, April 8

7:45 – 8:45 AM | Registration and Breakfast
Join your fellow attendees for morning coffee and conversations.

8:45 – 10:15 AM | Opening Keynote
Managing and Moving through Difficult Conversations
Susanne Carpenter
See above for details.

10:30 – 11:30 AM | Topic Sessions

Boundaries Beyond the Classroom

Presenter: Rahel Bayar, Founder, The Bayar Group
Over the past decade, independent schools around the country have engaged in the importance of boundaries between faculty and students. But how do we transfer that importance to moments outside of the classroom? Whether thinking about sports, extracurricular,s or camps on school campuses, why should we focus on implementing and educating on boundaries? And, does going through a laundry list of “don’ts, or watching a video on boundaries truly mitigate risk?  Join this powerful – non-scary session – to learn the best way to bring an impactful risk mitigation strategy to your school – with a focus on situations outside of the classroom.  

Confidence with Claims: Proactively Navigating Insurance Claims

Damual Greaves, Client Executive & Bobby Riley, National K-12 Practice Leader at Fred C. Church Insurance
This comprehensive presentation offers a panoramic view of the current risk landscape confronting educational institutions, with a particular focus on the unique challenges faced by independent schools in the areas of property, liability, and cyber risks. You will gain an understanding of the dynamic nature of risks and, most importantly, learn effective strategies for mitigating these risks and preparing for unforeseen events.

Tech Security through a Legal Lens

Presenters: Kile Marks, Associate, & Kristin Smith, Partner & Education Practice Group Co-Chair, Fisher & Phillips LLP
In an era where educational institutions increasingly rely on technology, safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring digital resilience are paramount. In this insightful session, we will explore the intricate intersection of technology security and legal considerations within the independent school landscape. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal frameworks that govern data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity. Learn effective strategies to identify, assess, and mitigate cybersecurity risks, ensuring the protection of sensitive school and student data. Come away with best practices for developing and implementing incident response plans, ensuring a swift and effective response to potential security breaches.

Supporting Neurodivergent Adults: Build Connections, Self-Confidence, and Performance

Sharon Saline, PsyD, author, consultant, and ADHD expert
Do you ever wonder what is going on in the minds of neurodivergent coworkers with ADHD, depression, anxiety, or other learning differences? Dr. Sharon Saline will help you understand how these adults function in the workplace and how you, as leaders, can support them. You will learn strategies to improve productivity, organization, time management, motivation, and follow-through. You will also come away with insights on how you can improve compassion and communication about learning differences in the workplace.

New England’s Economy Since COVID-19

Presenter: Dr. Pinghui Wu, Economist at the New England Public Policy Center/Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
The pandemic caused an upheaval in every aspect of our lives and work. We are still seeing its impact 4 years later. Come hear an overview of the economic lens of this discussion. You’ll get an overview of New England’s demographics, employment and wage data, costs and prices, and housing market trends since 2020. There will also be time for interactive discussions, allowing you and your peers to share viewpoints on the current challenges and opportunities in today’s economic climate.

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM | Exhibitor Session
AISNE’s Community Supporters will be on hand to tell you about the many products and support services available to you to keep your school operating efficiently and thriving into the future.

12:45 PM – 1:30 PM | Lunch
Enjoy more time for peer-to-peer conversations.

1:45 – 2:45 PM | Topic Sessions

Building Blocks of School Financial Health

Presenter: Brooke Carrol, PhD, Small School Champion and Principal & Coach, Acies Strategies
Administrators often struggle to understand how to ensure the financial health of their schools. They spend time and effort on short-term issues at the expense of planning for and securing long-term success. Board members, particularly from smaller schools, often lack the resources and information needed to fully implement a sound, sustainable business plan. In this workshop we will define financial health and identify how to measure it. We will cover the role of Finance Committees and how best to partner with your trustees. We will conceptualize a school business plan and take into account the levers and drivers that determine success. You will come away with a roadmap for empowering your board trustees to support your financial decisions.

Inclusive Benefits as a Way to Attract & Retain a Diverse Staff

PJ Duffy and Amaka Nsonuw Farmer, Directors of Multiple Employer Plans at TIAA
Employees are placing greater value on a workplace that considers their financial and emotional wellness. Seeing employee benefits through the lens of inclusion and equity helps to foster a more supportive working environment with diverse viewpoints and opinions. This session will focus on ways to design your benefits for the employees you’re trying to attract—with an emphasis on their needs. We will discuss how to engage your multidimensional staff and faculty and keep them engaged rather than burnt out.

Managing Your School’s Reputation: A New Lens for Business and Operations Leaders

Stephen Holmes, PhD, Founder and Principal at The 5Rs Partnership
The reputation of an independent school constitutes its single most valuable asset! Yet, there is still a lack of robust formal responsibility in schools to build, manage, and evaluate reputation—a task that often falls on the shoulders of Heads of School. But no more! Join Dr. Stephen Holmes to learn how you, as a school business leader, can leverage your strong background skills, personal flair, and drive to create a reputation-management strategy. This interactive session will offer a unique, school-wide framework for reputation benchmarking and development. It will provide a proven and robust approach to shaping and building a reputation and boosting positive word of mouth. The session will include a reputation self-assessment for participants. 

Elevating Non-Tuition Revenue Generating Programs

Presenters: Bob Rojee and David Sullivan, Senior Advisors at the Summer Program and Auxiliary Revenue Collaborative (SPARC)
The additional revenue dollars and value proposition that Auxiliary Programs bring to their school communities is vital. We will present ways to analyze and deliver strategic and efficient programming to maximize net revenue and minimize risk. You will be introduced to a variety of tools to identify strategic objectives, enhance organizational collaboration, and assess program performance. This session will examine creative programming, budgeting, and pricing concepts to augment revenue for a variety of auxiliary areas: summer camps, school stores, rentals, early childhood, and enrichment. Attendees will leave with practical guidance and strategies to implement at their own schools.

The Future of the Independent School Business Office and Generative AI

Presenter: John Weaver, Chair of the Artificial Intelligence Practice at McLane Middleton
Within many schools, generative artificial intelligence has become known primarily for helping students take shortcuts with essay assignments. However, that undercuts the tremendous promise of generative AI in school administrations. This session will explore how generative AI is reshaping the landscape of school business offices. As educational institutions adapt to a rapidly changing world, the integration of generative AI offers unparalleled opportunities for efficiency, strategic decision-making, and enhanced operational excellence. We will explore generative AI applications, explain how schools can apply them to their operations, review best practices, and provide predictions for the potential impact of generative AI on financial management, human resources, and administrative processes within independent schools.

3:00 – 4:00 PM | Collaboration Café

Becky Biggs, AISNE; Anthony Black, Derby Academy; Wendy Corlett, Lincoln Academy
These roundtable conversations by role will allow you to talk about the topics that are top of mind to you and your school now and get solutions from your peers on how to navigate operational challenges within your school.

4:00 – 5:00 PM | Dessert Party and Raffle
We’ll end our conference with a celebratory cocktail gathering with sweet treats and sweeter prizes provided by our exhibitors. You could win event and sports tickets, gift cards, gift baskets, and much more.


Hear about the latest products and services from these community supporters.

Our Learning Community

Join the following individuals at the conference:

  • Jenny Alario, Gordon School
  • Jenn Alves, Montrose School
  • Betsy Bauler, The Sage School
  • Stephanie Beaudet, Proctor Academy
  • Anthony Black, Derby Academy
  • Hope Blais, New Hampton School
  • Jay Bounty, Belmont Hill School
  • Fadia Brangwynne, Riverbend School
  • Heather Brock-Hearn, Berkshire Country Day School
  • Lida Brooke, School One
  • Tyler Butler, Brewster Academy
  • Samantha Carr, Thayer Academy
  • Thomas Cicatiello, Gordon School
  • Maura Conry, Montrose School
  • Wendy Corlett, Lincoln Academy
  • Lori Corry, Nantucket New School
  • Heather Costa, The Fenn School
  • Kurt Croft, Proctor Academy
  • Amy Cummings, Falmouth Academy
  • Barbara Burnham Day, The Rashi School
  • Amy Deniger, The Sage School
  • Derek Dettorre, Boston University Academy
  • Jonathan Douglass, Berwick Academy
  • Carmen Garcia, Gordon School
  • Karen Geromini, The Winsor School
  • Maria Gionfriddo, Wellan Montessori School
  • Susan Glover, Boston College High School
  • Tara Gohlmann, Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • Aaron Gordon, Miss Hall’s School
  • Nakia Green, Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • Andy Griswold, Cambridge-Ellis School
  • Myrna Guerrero-McCabe, The Winsor School
  • Susan Harrington, Brewster Academy
  • Theresa Hill, New Hampton School
  • Brooke Hopkins, Riverbend School
  • Kathleen Howe, New Hampton School
  • Letitia Howland, Brookwood School
  • Michael Huckins, Stanstead College
  • Kristi Jacobi, St. Mark’s School
  • Suzanne Jordan, Falmouth Academy
  • Nicholas Kieler, Carroll School
  • Harshita Lakhiani, Jewish Community Day School of RI
  • David Lavoie, Carroll School
  • Vivian Lin, Lexington Christian Academy
  • Leigh Ann Luetzen, Ursuline Academy
  • Alayna Golden Martin, The Sage School
  • Camila Martins, Beaver Country Day School
  • Andy May, Kents Hill School
  • Tonya May, Atrium School
  • Barbara Mazzeo, Fryeburg Academy
  • Gretchen McAuliffe, Carroll School
  • Deb McCarthy, Carroll School
  • Erika McKeon, Wellan Montessori School
  • Heather McLellan, Inly School
  • Elizabeth McNeil, The Winsor School
  • Vanessa Mendes, Learning Prep School
  • Theresa Mercurio, Derby Academy
  • Richard Morantus, Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • Holly Mui, Learning Prep School
  • Elizabeth Murzycki, The Sage School
  • Marie Myers, Sophia Academy
  • Michael O’Brien, Cardigan Mountain School
  • Mary Padovano, Thacher Montessori School
  • Linda Perrotti, Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • Veronica Phaneuf, The Center School
  • Ashley Pierre, Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • David Platt, The Fenn School
  • William Potter, Waring School
  • Vincent Quirk, Shady Hill School
  • David Reidel, St. Sebastian’s School
  • Emily Reith, Charles River School
  • Elizabeth Rich, Sophia Academy
  • Melissa Richard, Ursuline Academy
  • Jami Riley, Riverbend School
  • Kerry Rizzo, Cheverus High School
  • Mike Rose, Montrose School
  • Amanda Russo, Montrose School
  • Susan Ryan, The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Julie Salit, Cape Cod Academy
  • Judi Seldin, Carroll School
  • Dean Sidell, Landmark School
  • Michael Slater, Epstein Hillel School
  • Nicole Solari, Shore Country Day School
  • Kathryn Sollie, The Sage School
  • Donna Strouse, Montrose School
  • James Talkington, Lexington Christian Academy
  • Stephanie Taylor, The Fenn School
  • Andrew Trott-Kielawa, Nantucket New School
  • Vicky Varnum, Thacher Montessori School
  • Erin Wentworth, Fryeburg Academy
  • Betsy White, Montrose School
  • Kiymanji Wilson, The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Robin Wilson, Advent School
  • Lily Yee, Charles River School

Thank you to the AISNE Business and Operations Conference Planning Committee

Pictured from left to right:

  • Anthony Black, Chief Financial Officer, Derby Academy
  • Tom Ciciatiello, Chief Financial Officer, Gordon School
  • Wendy Corlett, Chief Financial Officer, Lincoln Academy
  • Derek Dettorre, Director of Operations and Finance, Boston University Academy
  • Ann-Marie Flynn, Director of Finance and Operations, Shore Country Day School
  • David Gordon, Chief Finance & Operations Officer
  • Susan Harrington, Chief Financial Officer, Brewster Academy
  • Christopher Hui, Director of Finance and Operations, Summit Montessori
  • Kristi Jacobi,  Assistant Director of Auxiliary Programs, St. Mark’s School
  • Dave Platt, Associate Head for Finance and Operations, Fenn School 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The AISNE 2024 Business and Operations Conference & Expo would not be possible without their generous support.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to info@aisne.org. Cancellations received up to 10 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund, less a $150 administrative fee. This fee covers the cost of our minimum commitments with our hotel partners; thank you for your understanding. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 3 business days before the start of the event.

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