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  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

Institutional Leadership Through Governance Conference

Date: Sunday - November 03, 2019
Time: All Day
Location: Hotel Murano, Tacoma (WA)
Two Day Conference - November 3-4, 2019

Institutional Leadership Through Governance

November 3-4, 2019 - Hotel Murano - Tacoma, WA


Conference Resources

Program, Slide Decks and Handouts will be posted as they are received


Featuring Keynote Addresses By: 

Peter Baron

Chief Member Relations Officer, The Enrollment Management Association


We are excited to welcome Peter in the stead of Heather Hoerle, EMA CEO, who is no longer able to attend



The Future of Financial Aid: How Today’s Market Trends Are Shifting Enrollment Strategy and Creating New Models



Donna Hicks

Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Award-Winning Author & Internationally Renowned Authority on Dignity


Bringing Dignity to Divided Times

Conference Overview

Join 150 other trustees and heads of school for the premiere independent school governance event in the Northwest.  It focuses on the areas where boards struggle, giving you the information and tools to move your school forward. 

Sessions are led by national thought leaders and focus on trends in education, independent schools, and strategy. Heads of School find this event especially valuable when they attend with their board chair or executive committee, but trustees of all levels of experience will benefit from the broad mix of sessions and topics.



Conference Agenda

Sunday, November 3, 2019


12:00pm - 1:00pm Registration (Ballroom Foyer)


1:00pm - 1:15pm Welcome (Venice Ballroom)


1:15pm – 2:15pm Keynote Session: The Future of Financial Aid: How Today’s Market Trends Are Shifting Enrollment Strategy and Creating New Models (Venice Ballroom)

2:30pm - 3:45pm Breakout Session A 


A1. Case Study: How We Increased Enrollment, Re-enrollment and Fundraising by 25% in one year (Room: Venice 1)

A2. Practicing Emotional Courage in School Leadership & Governance (Room: Venice 2)

A3. Culturally Competent Philanthropy (Room: Venice 3)

A4. Marketing to Millennials (and Gen Z) (Room: Venice 4)


4:00pm - 5:15pm Breakout Session B


B1. Got governance for DEI? (Room: Venice 1)

B2. Speedreading Nonprofit financial statement and tax return (Room: Venice 2)

B3. Teaching Philanthropy: Inspiring a Parent or Alumnus’s First Transformational Gift (Room: Venice 3)

B4. Generative Preparation for Strategic Opportunities: A Panel of Heads of School and Board Chairs Facilitated by Mo Copeland, Head of School, Oregon Episcopal School (Room: Venice 4)


Monday, November 4, 2019


8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast Session: Legal Update (Venice Ballroom)


9:15am - 10:30am Plenary Session: Leading with Dignity (Venice Ballroom)


10:45am - 12:00pm Breakouts Session C


C1. Searching for Ms. Right? The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Room: Venice 1)

C2. Board Meetings That Prioritize Governance (Room: Venice 2)

C3.  So....You've Hired Your New Head. Now What? (Room: Venice 3)

C4. Grand Friends: How to Build Grandparent Relationships to Advance your School’s Mission (Room: Venice 4)


12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch (Ballroom Foyer)


1:15pm - 2:30pm Breakout Session D


D1. Executive Coaching: Ensuring A School Head's Success (Room: Venice 1)

D2. Optimize Your Board’s Role in Fundraising (Room: Venice 2)

D3.  Endowment and the Environment: Aligning Investments with Our Students' Futures (Room: Venice 3)

D4.  Pathways to Leadership Meeting (Room: Venice 4)

 Learn More About Breakout Sessions Here


Learn More About Conference Speakers Here


Additional 2019-2020 NWAIS Governance Programming - Which Program Is Right for You?

Building Wise Boards: This workshop focuses on board operations and case studies. This is best for those who are working on improving how your board functions and in identifying and exploring the role of trustee.

Institutional Leadership Through Governance (November 3-4): This two-day conference focuses on the the issues that boards wrestle with. The sessions are led by national thought leaders and  focus on trends in education, independent schools, and strategy. Heads of School find this meeting especially valuable when they attend with their board chair or executive committee, but Trustees of all levels of experience will benefit from the broad mix of sessions and topics.

Board Chairs and Heads Partnering to Propel Schools (May 16): This single-day workshop is specifically built around supporting the special relationship of the Head and the Board Chair as they lead the board and the strategic direction of the school. Attendees have a chance to deepen their partnership as well as developing connections with others who share their unique role in other NWAIS schools.





Full Conference Rate

Two Day Rate

One Day Rate

Either Sunday or Monday


Early Bird



By September 26, 2019




Between September 26 and October 21, 2019




After October 21, 2019














Hotel Murano (Tacoma, WA)

A Forbes four-star rated hotel in downtown Tacoma located adjacent to the Tacoma convention center and steps from the city’s best museums and restaurants. With a world-class art collection, delicious cuisine, full service spa, and beautiful meeting rooms and event space, NWAIS encourages you to relax, spend the night, and enjoy this lovely location.

NWAIS has secured a special rate of $135.00 per night for single and double occupancy.

Please make your reservation by October 12, 2019

Reserve Your Room Online

Or Call Reservations at 253-591-4145 or 877-986-8083. Ask for “NWAIS Institutional Leadership and Fall Heads Group Rate” to ensure you receive the discounted room rate.    

NWAIS Is Going Paperless.
All program materials will be provided electronically.

If there are pre-event materials, they will be sent to you via email about a week prior to the event. Please bring a internet connected device, download the materials in advance or print out the digital materials and bring them with you. We will not have hard-copy packets for attendees on-site.




NWAIS May Help Cover Travel Costs

The NWAIS travel reimbursement policy is designed to reimburse candidate and accredited member schools for some travel costs. This policy applies to a school’s total travel expenses (not the cost of rooms and meals), no matter how many people the school sends to the workshop. If your school spends more than $150 dollars on travel for this event and is traveling a distance greater than 250 miles you will be reimbursed a percentage of your expenses. Click here for more details



Cancellation Policy

Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by October 28, 2019 are eligible for a refund after a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after the cancellation deadline are ineligible for any refund.

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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
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