Effective Business and Operations Leadership: The First Five Years

Chase Center on the Riverfront • Wilmington, DE




Status: OPEN
Certification Credits: 40 BCP

$4,130* Non-Member

*Early bird pricing ends 04/20/18

Travel and accommodations not included

[$3,511.00* Gold Member]

It was very valuable to be given a decision making framework to build upon for the complex, independent school environment.

Daniel Fundo, Director of Finance and Operations
Grace St. Luke's Episcopal School, TN
Workshop participant 2016

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 private-independent school’s mission for years to come.

Topics Include:

  • Calculating your Stability Marker score using our proven criteria—These are the items that strongly correlate to a school’s ability to sustain excellence over time
  • Discovering what your Stability Marker score implies for your school’s future so you can take action now
  • Understanding ISM’s research-based system for constructing a strategic plan and strategic financial plan
  • Creating recommended strategies for constructing or refining your financial aid process
  • Identifying what accounting policies and procedures make sense for your school
  • Building guidelines for dealing with difficult situations
  • Learning the Human Resources life cycle of events

Who Should Attend:

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

staff photo jerry chambers

Jerry Chambers, BCP-E

ISM Consultant | Chief Financial Officer at The First Academy


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

Current Role

Jerry is an ISM Consultant and faculty member for ISM’s Business and Operations Academy. In this role, he provides insight and recommended strategies for managing the business office, effective financial aid policies, strategic financial planning, and more.

Jerry also currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer at The First Academy, FL, a Preschool–12 private Christian school with more than 1,450 students. He joined The First Academy in 2009 and has executive responsibilities over finance, operations, facilities, human resources, technology, admission, international student program, marketing, the school store, and The Virtual Academy.

Jerry 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 average of $4,780 the past five years. Debt services have been reduced 25% and replacement plans have been established for Operations, Technology, and the Athletic Complex. A school store was added and sales went from $6,000 in 2009 to over $200,000 in 2016.

The school has also initiated a technology plan of $1.8 million and has completed a new Middle School building and a new Field House gymnasium, raising $16.2 million to accomplish these projects.

Prior Experience

Before joining 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.

staff photo lee jones

Lee Jones

ISM Summer Institute Faculty | Chief Financial Officer at Regents School of Austin


Lee provides her expertise in accounting, budgeting, investing, and financial reporting.

Current Role

Lee is the Chief Financial Officer at Regents School of Austin in Austin, TX, a K-12 classical Christian School with over 1,000 students. Since joining Regents in 2011, Lee has worked to develop and implement a fully integrated strategic financial planning model as part of the school’s overall operational plan. She leads the finance operation of an $18 million budget, working closely with senior leadership to ensure that the finance function effectively supports mission-driven program operations.

Prior Experience

Lee’s prior experience includes managing the business operations of a network of outpatient primary care clinics for a Texas medical school, serving as Director of a 150-student church school, and teaching in the classroom for 15 years.


Lee earned her bachelor’s degree. in Finance at the University of Texas and completed graduate studies in Elementary Education at the University of Houston.

Workshop Location
Chase Center on the Riverfront
815 Justison St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

Hotel Location
Westin Wilmington
818 Shipyard Dr.
Wilmington, DE 19801

Group hotel reservation rate of $169 is available until June 16, 2018. Subject to availability. Please wait until the workshop status is 'confirmed' before making your travel and hotel arrangements.

Once you have registered for a workshop, please make your hotel reservation by clicking the RESERVE YOUR ROOM link above or calling 302-654-2900 and letting them know you are with ISM. Follow the hotel link on your workshop page for room rates and reservations.

The riverfront has a lot to offer you to occupy your downtime after an intense day of professional development training. Follow the river walk for restaurants, the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge and the DuPont Environmental Education Center, the Delaware Children's Museum, and Stratosphere Trampoline Park, to name a few.

Take in a movie at the new Penn River Cinema, with not only comfortable stadium seating but also an IMAX theatre. At various times during Summer Institute, the Class A Wilmington Blue Rocks will take to the diamond at the next-door Frawley Stadium. For Planet Fitness members, there is a large facility across from the Westin.

The outstanding River Rock Kitchen is right inside the Westin, but you are also walking distance to the first-class Iron Hill Brewery, Delaware's Big Fish Grill, Timothy's on the Riverfront, Joe's Crab Shack, and Firestone; Udon Thai Cuisine and Kooma for Asian fusion; Molly's Ice Cream (sandwiches too!); the Riverfront Market and Harry's Seafood Grill just a little further down the Riverwalk.

You can also hop one of the Dart First State Route 12 Riverfront buses ($2 cash) to go to LOMA, or Lower Market Street, for more excellent restaurants we well as the Queen Theatre.

Getting There

Please do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive an e-mail from ISM informing you the workshop is confirmed to run.

By plane and shuttle: Philadelphia International is the closest airport. A shuttle to Wilmington —a 45–60 minute ride, depending on traffic—costs about $33 each way. Visit the del express.com reservation page and enter 207866 at the bottom under FREQUENT USER ID.You can reach Delaware Express at 800.648.5466.

Flights to Baltimore (BWI) can be less expensive, but it is an 80-mile trip to Wilmington. A shuttle costs about $125 each way, or you can rent a car at the airport.

By train: There is an Amtrak station in downtown Wilmington. You can request the hotel shuttle for transportation.

By car: Click here for directions from the Philadelphia Airport to the Westin Wilmington.

How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

It is essential that your school approves the following e-mail addresses from ISM:


You will be receiving all communication—including your confirmation e-mail 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 weather.com.

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 Westin has a state-of-the-art fitness room and an exercise pool. Planet Fitness members can walk across the hotel parking lot to the expansive Riverfront Planet Fitness facility. The Riverwalk provides an excellent running and walking path as well.

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 Policy

We will correspond with you through e-mail as soon as your workshop is confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to its beginning. 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.)

Cancellation Policy

If circumstances change and you cannot attend the workshop, you must confirm your cancellation in writing via fax (302-656-0647) or email (workshops@isminc.com). If you do so at least 10 business days prior to the start of the workshop, you can request a full refund of monies paid. Thereafter, but prior to the first day of the course, we will refund you all but $600. If you do not cancel in writing prior to the start date of the course, you will forfeit the entire workshop fee.

If you enroll using Consortium Credits, and cancel your attendance in writing at least 10 days prior to the start date of the workshop, all Credits will be returned to your school. Thereafter, but prior to the first day of the course, if you cancel, all but two of the Credits will be returned to your school. (You have the option of buying back those two Credits for $600.)

If you do not cancel in writing prior to the start date of the course, your school loses all the Consortium Credits used for payment.

Please note that non-payment of tuition does not constitute a cancellation. Failure to appear does not constitute a cancellation.

*We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.

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