June 26, 2020

We gathered this past Wednesday for the 2020 PAISBOA Annual Meeting. In his welcoming remarks, Mark Gibbons, Chair of PAISBOA Board of Directors, was clear, “We are you and you are us!” From its inception, PAISBOA works because it was founded by Business Officers, for Business Officers. As we continued with the required annual business meeting for PAISBOA and the PAISBOA Services Corporation; we approved the nominations for the Board of Directors; elected officers; said goodbye to some long-serving directors; honored three retirees who will be greatly missed by their schools and their colleagues; and lastly, we presented the John Batley Award to a most deserving Business Officer. It was just like any other PAISBOA Annual Meeting … except it wasn’t. As one Business Officer commented, “I’ve had been to an annual meeting on a boat, in a helicopter, and in a centrifuge, but this virtual format was a first!” Like all of its members, PAISBOA adapts to meet the challenges brought on by an uncertain future.

Which is why whenever we gather, we have a responsibility to reflect on why we do what we do. PAISBOA’s mission is to stimulate and sustain a passion for providing services and opportunities to empower Business Officers to excel. Our value proposition is to create savings in both time and money while providing useful resources and expanded knowledge to our members. This year more than ever, the Expanding Scope of the Business Office has been acknowledged and buttressed with a wide array of products, toolkits, training, education, networking, and safe spaces for conversations. Like its members, PAISBOA is focused on what lies ahead and moving toward innovation, rather than staying in crisis mode.

COVID-19 has challenged us in ways we never expected, and the entire PAISBOA community has met those challenges head-on by living our mantra -- one for all and all for one -- in every Zoom call, e-list post, short survey, phone conversation, and discussion with each other. For the past few months, all of us have vacillated between abject terror, grim resignation, cautious optimism, amazing resilience, and burgeoning confidence — sometimes all in the same day! Careful not to get too attached to the latest plans, our members have been nimble and agile in their approach to everything that has landed on their desks, and they have been tireless in their efforts to support their school and university communities. Like its members, PAISBOA is agile, resilient, and working on thriving in this fast changing environment!

In this new normal, PAISBOA can continue to grow and stay relevant by being laser-focused on our one strategic goal – to enhance the value and experience of PAISBOA membership, resulting in Association growth and long-term sustainability. With that in mind, here is how we can work together to ensure the future of PAISBOA:

  • All are welcome and included – the more the merrier!
  • If you have a question, ask it on the e-list!
  • If you have an interest, join a committee or one of the Boards!
  • If you need to make a purchase — large or small, check with a PAISBOA Preferred Vendor or Sponsor, first!
  • If you need to talk, pick up the phone and call a colleague or the PAISBOA Office!

Cheryl Hammond Hopewell, Director of Finance and Operations at Friends School Haverford and recipient of this year’s John Batley Award, said it best: “I know I can always call on PAISBOA and count on PAISBOA. Things I did not know, I was able to get help with, and things I did know, I was able to get clarity through PAISBOA’s resources."

As we wrap up this extraordinary school year and make preparations for the 2020-2021 academic year, we look forward to working with you in-person (when we can) and online (when you need us). We need you to get involved – Come out to meetings, network with your colleagues, attend the Monday Morning Coffee Breaks, participate in professional development programs to improve your professional practice, or join the conversation on our e-lists to share your knowledge and experiences. Remember, you are us and we are PAISBOA!

Take Advantage of the Power of the Flock...

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