Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award

Nominations are open through December 1, 2023.

Given to exceptionally active and inspiring chief business officers who have dedicated their careers to support others in the field beyond their own school campus.


Nominees may include chief business officers who have made outstanding contributions over several years to the broader field of independent school business operations and have served as a leader and role model throughout the national independent school business officer community. Nominees for this award, the association's highest honor, must be affiliated with an NBOA member school.


The recipient is announced in January, and the award is presented at NBOA's Annual Meeting.


2023 Recipient

Chuck McCullagh

Charles B. McCullagh, Jr. 

Chief Financial Officer
Williston Northampton School
Easthampton, MA

Charles B. McCullagh, Jr.  has served as the chief financial officer at the Williston Northampton School of Easthampton, Massachusetts, for 24 years, starting in 1999. During his tenure at Williston, he has overseen the restructuring of the school’s financial management systems, guided nine significant construction projects, monitored numerous renovations to faculty residences and executed 18 different property purchases. McCullagh has been the primary voice on campus for many of Williston’s environmental initiatives and has also worked with student groups in areas such as the campus recycling program and supporting the students’ investment club. Over the years, he has served as a weekend dean-on-duty, and even briefly coached soccer and taught a class on entrepreneurship. Previously, he was the business manager at Christchurch School in Christchurch, Virginia from 1995-1999. McCullagh worked in industrial manufacturing and distribution from 1982 until 1995.

McCullagh served on the NBOA Board of Directors from 2016 through 2022, and during that time, served as Board Chair from 2019-2021. He has previously served in the roles of president, treasurer and secretary for the Association of Business Officers of Preparatory Schools. He is long-standing member of the Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools, serves on the Governing Committee of the Cranberry Group (a Massachusetts insurance purchasing consortium for schools), and is a member on several boards for organizations in Western Massachusetts.


Past Recipients

Every year since 1999, NBOA has honored an extraordinary professional with the Distinguished Business Officer Award. View the award's past recipients.


About Ken White

The Distinguished Business Officer Award honors the legacy of Kenneth A. White, Jr., who had a passion for this field and an incurable desire to help others. He could discuss business matters anywhere, and always had extra time for problems and questions. Ken pushed himself to find ways to do things better. He was a visionary, not just for his school, but for all schools. Upon his death in 1996, speakers at his memorial services recognized him as "a man of deep faith," a "mentor," and an "inspiration," as well as a valued colleague, neighbor, and friend.

Ken held a top financial position at Davison-Elkin College, and then served for 21 years at Westminster School in Atlanta. He was a founding member of MISBO (Mid-South Independent School Business Officers), and was active in many other organizations, especially ABOIS (Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools), and also served a term on the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Business Service Committee.