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.
Title: Director of Finance
School: Hanahau'oli School
Years in current position: 3.5
Years in an independent school business officer: 6.5
Superpower: Resource wrangler: During the height of the pandemic, Chen worked with families to deliver financial assistance and met 100% of families’ demonstrated need. She also handled PPP loans and found the financial resources needed to meet significant new expenses resulting from COVID safety, including a new health room, facility upgrades and supplies. “Quite simply put, we would not have survived the pandemic without her,” said a colleague.
Financing the footprint: Chen orchestrated the financing behind the successful acquisition of three new adjoining properties, effectively increasing the school’s footprint by 50%.
Risk manager: Chen is credited with protecting the school’s financial assets from increased fraud attacks over the past several years. She is “a critical thinker who uses her insights to successfully navigate complex situations.”
Above and beyond: While much of Chen's work requires time in the business office, she is often seen engaging with students and families around campus. “She is an innately giving person who will instinctively go beyond the call of duty,” said a colleague.