NBOA’s New Strategy Begins and Ends With You

Member insights were crucial in developing NBOA’s new strategic framework – and we’ll need your feedback today and going forward to assess its progress.

Jun 7, 2022  |  By Jeffrey Shields, NBOA President and CEO

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
NBOA President and CEO

As we approach the end of another school year full of twists and turns, I’m sure many of you are actively celebrating the achievements of your students, faculty and administrative colleagues. We hope after some restorative break time over the summer, you’ll be looking forward to the year ahead.

Looking ahead has been the modus operandi of the NBOA Board of Directors for the past 18 months. The Board, in partnership with the NBOA staff and our members, has been planning the association’s future goals, objectives and outcomes — and how to best serve member schools — through a strategic planning journey. The outcome is a new strategic framework that will guide the association for the next several years.

I share the Board’s enthusiasm for the strategic framework that we have developed, and I’m particularly proud of the multi-year planning process we undertook. As we set out on this journey, ably led by NBOA Board members, Susan Lansverk, assistant head of school for finance and operations at University Prep in Seattle, Washington, and Rick Branson, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, we sought to ensure that our members’ voices were at the plan’s core.

Your robust response to our member needs survey in spring 2021 became the foundation of this effort. In your own words, you illuminated the independent school business, finance and operations trends, issues and needs that are most important to your success and the financial success of your schools. The NBOA Board processed this information with the help of representatives from NBOA’s constituent councils, which include the Business Officers Council, HR Council and Controllers Council. The entire NBOA staff, many of whom are subject matter experts formerly employed at independent schools, along with an impressive cadre of association professionals, sifted through the data to make sure your priorities were reflected in the goals and objectives of the framework.

More recently, during the 2022 NBOA Annual Meeting, we hosted an early morning session where more than 75 of your independent school colleagues reviewed a draft plan and provided valuable feedback to affirm the highest priorities for the NBOA community.

I’m so pleased that these efforts culminated in a strategic framework that was unanimously approved by the NBOA Board of Directors during their spring meeting in Los Angeles, California.

The framework outlines four strategic goals for the association, each of which contains several specific objectives:

  • Strengthen NBOA’s Community by fostering an engaged, informed and diverse membership.
  • Innovate Core Offerings through the enhancement of essential benefits, products and services that support NBOA’s mission.
  • Maximize Industry Impact and further amplify NBOA’s position as the industry expert and go-to business resource for independent school leaders.
  • Ensure NBOA’s Vitality by securing the ongoing strength and capabilities of NBOA to serve its mission and the independent school community in perpetuity.
NBOA's Strategic-Framework for the years 2022-27

“This dynamic roadmap for the next five years emphasizes our commitment to goals and objectives that fully support excellence in education through thought leadership, diverse perspectives and world-class business operations,” said NBOA Board Chair, Rose Neubert, chief financial & operating officer at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, New Jersey. “The plan is borne out of collaboration with our membership, an understanding of emerging trends and issues, and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is bold, measurable and equips independent school professionals to lead,” she continued.

It is my sincere hope that members see themselves in every facet of the strategic framework. And, as the work to fulfill its promise commences, we need your help! To measure our progress, we need your input to assess the plan’s key performance indicators and to understand where we are today, so that we can effectively measure progress. That is why I’m requesting that you take just five minutes to complete a quick survey and help us understand your current perceptions of NBOA today, with regard to how the association is serving you and your schools and how we are fulfilling our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as an association.

I often have the privilege to share what I feel makes NBOA special and valuable as an association, and I genuinely believe it is our community of members who are always willing to share, help a colleague, and provide useful connections, so that no business officer, controller or human resources professional, among other business and finance administrators, ever feels like they are “on an island.” I’m calling on this spirit of generosity, a hallmark of the NBOA community, and ask that you respond to this brief survey and provide your candid and constructive feedback.

On behalf of the entire staff, and in partnership with the NBOA Board of Directors, we are so eager to begin implementing this strategic framework. Thank you for your support throughout this journey and we look forward to serving you even better in the years ahead propelled by the aspirations and innovations captured in our strategic framework.

Follow NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields @shieldsNBOA.

From Net Assets NOW, June 7, 2022. Read past issues of  CEO Notebook.


Jeff Shields

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE

President and CEO

National Business Officers Association (NBOA)

Washington, DC

Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE, has served as president and CEO of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) since March 2010. NBOA is the premier national association serving the needs of business officers and business operations staff at independent schools. Shields, an active member of the American Society of Association Executives, has been recognized as an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) and earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) professional designation. His current board service includes serving as a director for AMHIC, a healthcare consortium for educational associations in Washington, DC, as well as a trustee for the Enrollment Management Association. Previous board service includes serving as a director for the American Society of Association Executives, as a director for One Schoolhouse, an innovative online school offering supplemental education to independent schools, and as a trustee for Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. Shields holds a BA from Shippensburg University and an MA from The Ohio State University.

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