Above: Business officers tour the recently remodeled campus of Maret School, less than a mile from the Omni Shoreham.
The 1930s ballrooms and hallways of one of the nation's capital's most celebrated hotels resonated with distinctly 21st-century conversations last week among business officers who traveled from schools in dozens of U.S. states as well as countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. "It keeps getting better every year," said one of the more than 1,300 attendees of the 2017 NBOA Annual Meeting.
Opening receptions Sunday evening featured the Washington Nationals' "Racing Presidents" and a performance by The Capitol Steps, who took a bipartisan approach to skewering Washington politics.
Monday began with remarks from Russell Shaw, the head of school at Georgetown Day School, followed by a performance featuring the GDS Lower School Chorus.
In his keynote address, Sir Ken Robinson encouraged schools to embrace learning as a cultural process that hinges above all on human connection.
Concurrent sessions covered topics from financial sustainability, classroom technologies and enterprise risk management to employee evaluations, gender identity and leadership development.
At lunch and the evening reception, attendees visited the exhibit hall to learn from more than 110 companies, including NBOA Corporate Circle members Commonfund, AWG Dewar, Smart Tuition and TIAA.
Tuesday morning highlights included the "Fun Run" through Rock Creek Park (sponsored by Building Solutions), yoga in the exhibit hall (sponsored by Liebert Cassidy Whitmore) and guided tours of six local independent schools, including Maret School, shown in image at top.
In her lunchtime presentation, Susan Cain, author of the best-selling "Quiet," highlighted the very different leadership attributes of introverts and extroverts.
Wednesday's Business Officer Breakfast addressed change management, featuring professors from George Mason University.
Concluding the meeting, as always, were the popular "Goldmines" - 15-minute mini sessions on dozens of topics involving independent school operations.