Running an Effective Business and Operations Office

Running an Effective Business and Operations Office
Running an Effective Business and Operations Office

Date(s): -
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Certification Credits: 40 BCP/37.8 CPE

Whether you’re new to the Business Office or new to private-independent schools, learn what it takes to be successful in your first years. Master the tactics you must know to move your Business Office forward and discover how to support your private-independent school’s mission for years to come.

Many Business Managers who are new to private-independent schools come from diverse professional backgrounds. Leaders who hail from for-profit industry, nonprofits, and the armed services often find an enjoyable workplace in independent schools.

Whether you’re new to the Business Office or new to private-independent schools, learn what it takes to be successful in your first five years. Master the tactics you must know to move your Business Office forward and discover how to support your school’s mission for years to come.


  • Define your school's "why."
  • Discover what your school's Stability Marker score is and what it implies for your future.
  • Learn how to employ strategic governance in your school.
  • Understand ISM’s research-based system for constructing a strategic plan and strategic financial plan.
  • Create recommended strategies for constructing or refining your financial aid process.
  • Determine how your school's tuition-setting process can match your mission.
  • Identify how to create effective Business Office administrative processes.
  • Build guidelines for dealing with difficult situations.
  • Learn the Human Resources life cycle of events.
  • Recognize how to protect and preserve your school's assets.

    Who Should Attend:

    Business Managers, Controllers, and Business Officers who are new to their position or new to private-independent schools should attend.

    Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

    .Participants may earn up to 37.8 CPE credits for this workshop

    Independent School management is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

    In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, CPE Credits have been granted based on a 50-minute hour.

    Additional Information

    • Program level: Overview
    • Prerequisite: None
    • Advanced Preparation: If attendees are asked to bring any school data with them, they each will receive this list prior to the start of the workshop.
    • Field of Study: Business Management & Organization
    • Delivery Method: Group Live
    • See Administrative Policies below for Record Retention, Tuition, Complaint Resolution, Cancellation, Course Update, and Refund policies.

    Administrative Policies

    Record Retention

    ISM will maintain all workshop records electronically for for five years. This includes:

    • Dates dates and locations; course materials; presentations.
      Faculty roster, contact information, and biographies (also included in the workbook)
    • Individual registration/participation records
    • Individual session attendance transcripts with CPE credits earned
    • Certificates of Completion
    • Primary workshop marketing material (pdf form)
    • Evaluation results and reports

    Past attendees may request their individual records by emailing and indicating their name, school, and year they attended the workshop.

    Tuition Payment

    Full tuition payment is expected at time of registration; however, individuals may register with a $600 deposit through April 12, 2019. Tuition must be paid in full 10 business days prior to the start date of the in-person, group-based program. An attendee with a balance due on the start date will be denied entrance to the program until the balance is paid in full.

    Complaint Resolution

    ISM takes feedback and evaluations very seriously, and we offer up to a 100% refund to individuals who are not satisfied with their experience. ISM strives to give every registered attendee the best experience possible.

    During the workshop we ask that attendees bring issues to the attention of the ISM staff either in person or via email. We will do everything in our power to correct the situation on site.

    We review every end-of-course evaluation form closely. The workshop leaders and the ISM President review all evaluations and will address any below-average grade for refunds up to 100%.

    After the workshop, registered attendees may direct any complaints to the ISM Workshops Department, 1316 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE, 19806 or Complaints will be taken to the ISM President for resolution.

    Complaints regarding ISM as registered a sponsor may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: ISM’s Sponsor ID is 140060.

    Jerry Chambers

    Jerry Chambers, BCP-E

    ISM Consultant


    Jerry’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, business office operations, human resources, financial analysis, advancement, admissions, and marketing.

    Current Role

    Jerry began working with ISM in 2014 as a faculty member and joined the Consulting Team in 2016. In this role, he provides insight and recommended strategies for managing the business office, effective financial aid policies, strategic financial planning, and more.

    Prior Experience

    In addition to his work at ISM, Jerry was the Chief Financial Officer for ten years at The First Academy, FL, a Preschool–12th grade private Christian school with more than 1,450 students.

    Jerry had executive responsibilities over finance, operations, facilities, human resources, technology, admission, international student programs, marketing, the school store, and The Virtual Academy.

    He helped the school experience a tremendous increase in growth and financial stability. Hard income that covers the operating budget increased from 92% to 108%. Receivables were reduced from $150,000 to an annual average of $4,780. Debt services were reduced 25% and replacement plans were established for Operations, Technology, and the Athletic Complex.

    A school store was added and annual sales went from $6,000 to over $200,000. The school also initiated a technology plan of $1.8 million and completed a new middle school building and a new Field House gymnasium, raising $16.2 million to accomplish these projects.

    Prior to joining ISM and The First Academy, Jerry worked at various senior-level positions in investment banking, retail, transportation, and logistics. In 2015, Jerry was honored as one of the top CFOs in Central Florida by The Orlando Business Journal.


    Jerry earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Finance at The Ohio State University.

    Workshop Schedule (subject to adjustment)

    (Continental breakfast is available starting at 7:00 a.m. and breaks are at 10:15 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily.)


    7:00-8:30 Registration and Breakfast

    8:30–10:15 Session One

    10:15-10:30 Break

    10:30-12:15 Session Two

    12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

    1:15-3:00 Session Three

    3:00-3:15 Break

    3:15-5:00 Session Four

    5:00-5:30 General Session

    5:30-6:00 Reception with ISM

    6:00 Dinner with ISM



    8:30–10:15 Session Five

    10:15-10:30 Break

    10:30-12:15 Session Six

    12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

    1:15-3:00 Session Seven

    3:00-3:15 Break

    3:15-5:00 Session Eight

    5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM



    8:30–10:15 Session Nine

    10:15-10:30 Break

    10:30-12:15 Session Ten

    12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

    1:15-3:00 Session Eleven

    3:00-3:15 Break

    3:15-5:00 Session Twelve

    5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM



    8:30-10:15 Session Thirteen

    10:15-10:30 Break

    10:30-12:15 Session Fourteen

    12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

    1:15-3:00 Session Fifteen

    3:00-3:15 Break

    3:15-5:00 Session Sixteen

    5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM



    8:30-10:15 Session Seventeen

    10:15-10:30 Break

    10:30-12:00 Session Eighteen/Action Planning


    31.25 hours

    Workshop Location
    Hilton Penns Landing 
    201 South Columbus Boulevard 
    Philadelphia, PA 19106 

    The Hilton Penns Landing on the Delaware River, adjacent to Independence Seaport Museum and summer activities alone the river. It is the walking distance to historic Old City Philadelphia. Group hotel reservation rate of $209 is available until June 17, 2019. Subject to availability. Please wait until the workshop status is 'confirmed' before making your travel and hotel arrangements.

    Reserve Your Room


    Make your hotel reservations by:

    • Reserving your room online
    • Calling 215-521-6500 and let then know you are with ISM or Independent School Management Summer Institute

    The Hilton Penns Landing is pet-friendly. Please contact the hotel for details.


    Delta Airlines is offering Advancement Academy attendees discounted fares. Click this link to get to Delta reservations. Fill in your departure city and destination (DEN). If the Meetings Event Code box is empty, use the Meeting Event Code NMSM8. You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at 1-800-328-1111, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (CT) and refer to Meeting Event Code: NMSM8.

    American Airlines is offering Advancement Academy attendees discounted fares into Philadelphia (PHL). Visit and select your flights. At the bottom of the passenger info form, you will see “Promo Codes and accounts.” Click “edit” and use code 9979BT. Then proceed to picking your seats.

    Getting there from Philadelphia International Airport

    DIRECTIONS: Take the Philadelphia ramp on the left to merge onto I-95 N. Take exit 20 for Columbus Blvd. Turn left onto S Columbus Blvd. Hotel will be on the right.

    Distance from Hotel: 11.7 miles

    Drive Time: 15 minutes

    How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

    It is essential that your school approves the following email addresses from ISM:


    You will be receiving all communication—including your confirmation email and access to your workshop's Google Drive account—from these e-mails.

    What does my registration fee include?

    All workshop materials, breakfasts, lunch or dinner daily, and social hours are included.

    What is not included in my registration fee?

    Hotel accommodations and travel expenses, other meals not noted.

    What should I wear?

    Meetings rooms are generally cold, as temperature control in meeting spaces and large convention centers is difficult. Please bring a sweater, jacket, or sweatshirt.

    Summer temperatures average mid-80s to a low of 65. It can get quite hot—into the 90s—and humid. The classrooms and guest rooms are usually comfortable, but you may want to dress in layers in case the rooms are too warm or too cool for you. Dress is casual. Wear whatever is comfortable—jeans, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. For current weather conditions, we recommend checking

    What should I bring?

    You’ll receive a letter from your workshop instructor letting you know what to bring. However, please bring a laptop or tablet for online access.

    Where can I work out?

    The Hilton Penns Landing offers a fitness center and a pool, as well as bicycle rentals. Since the hotel is located on the river, you have easy access to walking in Old City, as well as on the riverfront.

    Can my special dietary requirements be met?

    Absolutely. Just give the Workshops Department a call at 302-656-4944, and we'll make sure your needs are accommodated.

    How much free time will I have?

    There are periods before, between, and after workshop sessions for relaxation, recreation, and socializing.

    Should I need medical or dental attention, where should I go?

    Should you need medical attention in a non-emergency, notify ISM staff and the hotel staff. The hotel can recommend what facilities are available, and may be able to supply transportation. In an emergency, call 911.

    Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

    We will correspond with you through email as soon as your workshop is confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to its start date. Occasionally, we may be forced to cancel an unconfirmed, scheduled workshop due to insufficient registration. So we ask that you do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive notice that your workshop is confirmed. (ISM will not be responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by your airline or travel agent.)

    Tuition Payment and Cancellation Policy for In-Person, Group-based Programs

    Tuition must be paid in full 10 business days prior to the start date of the in-person, group-based program. An attendee with a balance due on the start date will be denied entrance to the program until the balance is paid in full.

    Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing, faxing to 302-656-0647, or mailing to: Professional Development Coordinator, ISM, 1316 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE, 19806.

    • Cancellations received more than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will be fully refunded. Gold Dollars will also be fully refunded.
    • There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 15 business days before the start of the program. For registrations paid for with membership Gold Dollars, the member school will receive a 50% refund of Gold Dollars.
    • Non-payment of tuition or no-show to the event does not constitute a cancellation. Full tuition will be due and payable.

    The Substitution Option and Wallet Option

    Should an attendee need to cancel less than 15 days prior to the start date of the workshop, the school has two options to avoid penalty. Schools may also exercise these options at anytime for cancellations. 

    1. The school may substitute another employee.
    2. The school may bank the funds for a future ISM registration. These funds must be applied to a professional development event within one year from the start date of the original workshop. After one year, the funds will be forfeited. To use banked funds, please call the Professional Development Coordinator at 302-656-4944 x152.

    *We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.




    Our Guarantee

    ISM believes in providing quality and excellence in all of our workshops and in ensuring the satisfaction of everyone who attends. Nearly 100% of our participants say they would recommend our workshops to their colleagues. If you are not satisfied with your workshop for any reason, ISM will credit the fee you paid toward another similarly priced workshop or will refund it.

    If you have any questions, click below to send us an email. 

    Workshop Registration

    Register for your Workshop online by filling out the form below. 


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