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Moses Brown School

Director of Finance & Operations

Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc. has been retained by Moses Brown School, located in Providence, Rhode Island, to conduct a national search for a Director of Finance & Operations

Moses Brown School

Founded in 1784, MB has been a leader in education for over 235 years. We have a proven tradition of academic excellence, a commitment to great teaching, and a dedication to fostering character and confidence in young people. Our stunning 33-acre campus—formerly the farm of 18th-century Quaker abolitionist leader Moses Brown—provides expansive academic, artistic, and athletic facilities right in the heart of Providence.

We are a Quaker school, one of the oldest and largest of a network of 78 Friends schools in the U.S. While each is independent, we all share the same essential mission: to nurture and celebrate each child’s special gifts, talents, and identities—what Quakers refer to as their Inner Light.  The daily life of the school is strongly rooted in the Quaker values of peace, integrity, community, equality, and service.

At Moses Brown School, we offer an incredibly varied and rigorous program, including 17 musical and performance groups across the school, 50 clubs and activities, and 61 athletic teams competing in 16 different sports. Upper School students choose from among two dozen AP and honors courses. And while individual achievement is prized at MB, we also foster a close sense of community, evident in collaborative relationships between students and teachers and in our weekly meeting for worship.

At Moses Brown, 111 faculty members serve roughly 750 students ages 3-18, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 8:1. With $5.2 million awarded annually in need-based financial aid, Moses Brown partners with many families to make a shared investment in bright, caring, and thoughtful children from all backgrounds. With 35% of students supported by need-based scholarship, and 28% students of color, we strive to create a community that reflects the demographics of our drawing area.

In its hiring practices, Moses Brown deliberately seeks to maximize the diversity of the school (in terms of class, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, abilities/disabilities, and language).

To learn more about Moses Brown School, please visit www.mosesbrown.org.


The Position

Moses Brown School seeks a strategically-oriented and experienced financial and business leader to fill the key position of Director of Finance & Operations beginning on July 1, 2020 (or earlier by mutual agreement).  This opportunity will be filled upon completion of a comprehensive national search.

Reporting to the Head of School as a member of the school’s senior leadership team, the Director of Finance & Operations supports Moses Brown’s mission by providing strategic oversight of the school’s finances, physical plant, and auxiliary operations.  The Director manages a $26 million operating budget, an endowment of $40 million, and a physical plant valued at $100 million.  Strong finance, accounting, organizational, analytical, business and interpersonal skills are essential for this 12-month exempt administrative position.

The Director of Finance & Operations will work closely with the Head of School in support of the school’s mission and strategic plan. The Director of Finance & Operations is responsible for the organization, management and implementation of comprehensive business, financial, and operational initiatives for the school.  The new Director of Finance & Operations will be a key member of the senior leadership team that oversees the day-to-day operation of the school as well as the “big picture” issues and ambitious plans that outline the school’s future.

The ideal candidate for this high-profile position is a strategic thinker who has exceptional leadership, analytical and critical thinking skills. Our goal is to recruit a seasoned professional who will build on the significant accomplishments of the outgoing Director of Finance & Operations and determine what policies, technologies and programs need to be adapted to respond to the needs of the school and its strategic priorities. The candidate will be proficient with accounting systems and in effective data management and analysis to support innovation and efficiency across the organization. Knowledge of Blackbaud is a plus. The candidate we seek must have demonstrated leadership in implementing change, fostering a high level of teamwork and customer service while embracing technological advancement.


Responsibilities

  • Serving as the school’s key strategic financial leader and planner, informed by industry best practices; to partner with administrative colleagues, faculty, and staff to evaluate, make recommendations, and develop systems that ensure the most efficient and effective use of financial and physical resources in support of the school’s educational mission.
  • Coordinating the work of the business office (including five other personnel) in order to keep an accurate record of the cash and financial position of the school, and to manage and report financial operations so that the school remains financially stable.
  • Maintaining a 10-year projected financial model that facilitates long-term strategic planning and decision making by the Head and Board of Trustees, including tracking revenues and expenditures associated with MB’s current $65 million capital campaign.
  • Partnering with the Head of School and Admissions team in strategically managing enrollment; to provide analytics and reporting that allows for effective tracking, predicting, and modeling of enrollment, net revenue, and scholarship needs; to serve on a committee that oversees the awarding of need-based scholarships.
  • Working closely with the Controller, manage a process for preparing the school’s annual operating budget that will permit discussion and approval by the Board of Trustees early in the calendar year, and to monitor and report on the budget throughout the year.
  • Securing an annual external audit of the school’s financial records and financial positions.
  • Working closely with the Business Office staff, oversee purchasing, payments, debt, financial investments, banking, payroll and benefits programs.
  • Working closely with the Plant Manager, supervise the Operations Department in its stewardship of MB’s historic, 33-acre campus. To oversee all maintenance, capital projects, and relationships with consultants, architects, contractors, lawyers and/or city and state officials.
  • Serving as the school’s liaison to the Budget & Finance, Buildings & Grounds, and Investment committees of the Board of Trustees.
  • With the Head of School and Head of Maintenance & Security, maximize safety on campus by undertaking risk assessment and crisis planning; oversee compliance with building codes and safety regulations and maintain appropriate levels of insurance to protect the property and cover the liability of the school.
  • With senior leadership, be a steward of MB’s workplace culture, proactively seeking to maintain a diverse, inclusive, and consistent environment for all. Provide information, empathy, and support when employees have questions or concerns about workplace policies or experiences.
  • Ensure that personnel policies conform to state and federal laws and, through regular staff meetings, professional development, and annual evaluation, support and monitor the administrative staff.
  • In consultation with the school’s legal counsel, maintain a working knowledge of government regulations, policies, and related issues of importance to Moses Brown. Where appropriate, serve as the school’s representative in legal matters.
  • With the Director of Auxiliary Services, ensure the effective management of out-sourced services (e.g., dining, cleaning, security) and auxiliary enterprises (e.g., summer programs).
  • With the Controller, work with parents on financial issues related to their children’s enrollment at the school.

Qualifications

  • A strong background in financial systems, modeling and forecasting; investment and risk management; support services administration; business services; human resources and benefit administration, and facilities management.
  • Effective financial and business management skills, and the ability to earn the respect and attention of faculty, administration, staff, students and the Board of Trustees.
  • A high level of integrity and an extraordinary work ethic.
  • Ability to effectively interface with all levels of the school community – the administration, staff and faculty; the Board of Trustees; alumni and friends of the school; current parents; students, and the city of Providence.
  • An open and collaborative management style characteristic of a team player who can provide superior customer service.
  • Ability to embrace and implement change while fostering a high level of teamwork, a customer service orientation, and technological expertise.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • A strong commitment to education and an interest in being a positive role-model in a Quaker school.
  • A growth mindset, using industry associations (NBOA, NAIS, etc.) and similar resources to stay abreast of evolving “best practices” and manage change in the spirit of total quality improvement. Effective skills in developing, negotiating, and managing contracts with external vendors.
  • Great interpersonal skills, including ability and interest in effectively leading, developing and motivating staff; ability to recruit and hire new staff. Creativity, a positive outlook, proactive orientation and a sense of humor are helpful.
  • Experience in an independent secondary school, college or university setting strongly preferred. Individuals with strong financial and leadership skills in a related field, especially involving financial analysis and strategic resource allocation, are encouraged to explore this opportunity. Knowledge of and experience in setting up effective financial controls.
  • Ten (10) years of work experience in a financial and business leadership position.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required, M.B.A. and/or a master’s degree in a related field strongly preferred. CPA license preferred but not required.

Moses Brown’s Head of School Dr. Matt Glendinning and students in the Class of 2014 café.

As Moses Brown’s Head of School, I’m often asked, “What is MB all about, and what sets it apart from other schools?” Three things in particular stand out for me:

History

Founded in 1784, MB has been a leader in education for over 230 years. We have a proven tradition of academic excellence, a commitment to great teaching, and a dedication to fostering character and confidence in young people. Our stunning 33-acre campus – formerly the farm of 18th-century Quaker abolitionist leader Moses Brown – provides expansive academic, artistic, and athletic facilities right in the heart of Providence.

Mission

We are a Quaker school, one of the oldest and largest of a network of 78 Friends schools in the U.S. While each is independent, we all share the same essential mission: to nurture and celebrate each child’s special gifts, talents, and identities – what we often refer to as their Inner Light.
To that end, at MB we immerse students in an incredibly varied and rigorous program, including 17 musical and performance groups across the school, 50 clubs and activities, and 61 athletic teams competing in 16 different sports. Upper school students choose from among 19 AP and 20 honors courses. And while individual achievement is prized at MB, we also foster a close sense of community, evident in collaborative relationships between students and teachers and in our weekly Quaker Meeting for Worship (30 minutes of silent reflection during which anyone may share a thought or message).

Innovation

Recognizing that the world is constantly changing, we believe that world-class education needs to evolve with it. We are committed to understanding and meeting the needs of each rising generation.

I hope you’ll take a few moments to read MB Believes: a vision for learning, people and place, a strategic plan that pushes MB to the forefront of 21st-century education. Exciting initiatives include:

A school-wide program in experiential and applied learning, which uses methods like Project-Based Learning, and subjects like Engineering & Design or Social Entrepreneurship to teach creative problem-solving;

A 5,000 sq. ft. maker space called the Y-Lab that supports “hands on, minds on” learning, including a dedicated Vex Robotics lab, a video and sound recording studio, and an array of digital fabrication tools like laser cutters, CNC mills, and 3D printers;

The Dominican Republic Service Trip

MB TRIPs – the Travel, Research & Immersion Program – which fosters global awareness through numerous overnight trips in all three divisions. Last year we sent 400 students from all divisions on overnight expeditions to places like the Dominican Republic, Italy, Spain, Germany, Kenya, China, Nepal, and the Galapagos Islands.

The newly completed Woodman Family Community & Performance Center, a 36,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art venue uniquely designed to support all the ways – artistic, academic, spiritual, and social – that we gather as a community; and

Completely new facilities for tennis, baseball, and soccer. And in December 2017 we opened a 12-court squash facility that serves both MB and SquashBusters, a college readiness program focusing on at-risk urban youth.

As I hope you’ll discover, Moses Brown is a vibrant place of learning and discovery. When you’ve finished reading what’s here, please come for a visit.

In friendship,

Matt Glendinning
Head of School


Moses Brown School Benefits

Moses Brown School offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries and a generous benefits package including a retirement plan, paid vacations, medical insurance, and tuition remission. Moses Brown School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Contact Information

To explore this superb career opportunity on a highly confidential basis please send a letter of interest and a resume (both as Microsoft Word documents) to:

Doug Cooney, Executive Search Consultant, Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc.
572 Washington Street, Suite 15, Wellesley, MA 02482
Telephone: 781.237.2800
Email


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