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  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Business Officers Conference

Date: Monday - April 26, 2021
Time: All Day
Location: Two-Day Virtual Conference
April 26 & 27, 2020

NWAIS Business Officers Conference

April 26, 2021 (9:00-3:30pm PST) &

April 27, 2021 (9:00-12:00pm PST)

Building from 2020 – Applying What We Learned for A Stronger Future.


Who Should Attend?

Independent School Business Managers and Their Colleagues.



Conference Overview:

Each year NWAIS hosts a dynamic conference which is an opportunity to gather with colleagues and engage with content around school finance and operations. This year the conference will be held virtually. In the light of this change, we have moved it from three to two-days and shortened up the hours. Participants will engage in sessions around the economic and legal landscape and the changing role of leadership in a post-pandemic world as well as have an opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the region.




Bring a Plus One! For this year only – each registration comes with a “plus one”. Registrants can have a colleague from your school join you for each session. They can be different people for each session. This is a great way to share the learning, cultivate emerging leaders and build connection with colleagues



Virtual Conference Agenda

Monday April 26, 2021


9:00-10:00                 Welcome and Reconnect

10:00-12:00               From Survival to Prosperity: Two Economists Discuss Life After the Pandemic

As the American economy entered 2020, it was extending the longest expansion in modern economic history. However, this progress was truncated by a global pandemic that pushed the economy into recession by March 2020.

In the session, seasoned economists Ben Scafidi and Roger Tutterow review the pre-Covid 19 economic climate, consider plausible scenarios for recovery, likely policy responses, successful handling of Covid as a source of strategic advantage and suggests best practices for managing our way through the current health and economic crisis. The session includes suggestions on how independent schools should “audit” themselves for the upcoming challenges and allows for an interactive discussion of best practices. Together we will consider what changes form this year of disruption will be become permanent and what smart leaders learned from 2020.


Benjamin Scafidi, Ph.D.

Ben Scafidi is a professor of economics and director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University. He is also a Friedman Fellow with EdChoice and a senior fellow with the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Previously, he served as the director of education policy for the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, the first chair of the state of Georgia’s Charter Schools Commission, as a member of Georgia’s Charter Advisory Committee, the Education Policy Advisor to Governor Sonny Perdue, on the staff of both of Governor Roy Barnes’ Education Reform Study Commissions, and as an expert witness for the state of Georgia in school funding litigation. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia and his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.


Roger Tutterow, Ph.D.

Roger Tutterow is Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University. In addition, he serves as Director of the Econometric Center, an applied research center housed in KSU’s Coles College of Business. His analysis of the economic, business and political environments have been featured in a variety of media including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, Forbes, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and on CNN, CNBC, NBC, Bloomberg Television, NPR’s “Marketplace” and “All Things Considered,” and CNN-Radio. In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Tutterow has served as a consultant on financial economics and statistical modeling for Fortune 500 companies. He has provided expert testimony on economic, financial and statistical matters in state and federal courts and legislatures. Dr. Tutterow holds a B.S. in Decision Science from Berry College and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University. Prior to joining Kennesaw State University, Dr. Tutterow held faculty and administrative appointments at West Virginia University, Georgia State University and Mercer University. He has also served as a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and at the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies in Seoul, South Korea.


12:00-1:00                Lunch Break

1:00-3:15                   Legal Panel: “Contracts – The principles, the categories and what we have learned from the pandemic to protect our schools in the future”

 Featuring a Panel of Experienced Independent School Attorneys:


Joy Ellis, Foster Garvey PC




Grace Lee, Venable




Michael Porter, P.C., Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, Partner



 Tuesday April 27, 2021

9:00-9:15                   Welcome Back

9:00-10:00                 The Future of Leadership with Mark Saine Senior Director, Client Engagement and National Advocacy, TIAA

The disruptive forces that are changing education necessitate a new way of thinking about and approaching leadership. The talent that will lead in the future also demand an intentional approach to leadership making an institution's practice of leadership a key differentiator in your employee value proposition.  Many of the ways people are taught to lead (if they are taught at all) were developed on the factory floor of the early 1900s and are woefully out of date. This session explores the capabilities that leaders need to effectively guide the organization in the evermore complex, ambiguous future environment.


10:00-12:00               HR Legal and Policy Update With Karen A. Kalzer, Helsell Fetterman LLP and NWAIS Legal Council

Ms. Kalzer practices employment and education law with an emphasis on defending complex litigation for communities of faith, non-profits, schools and private employers. She has handled and successfully resolved over 300 claims of employee misconduct by combining tough incisive legal tactics with an empathetic litigation approach and compassionate communication skills. Her practice requires targeted experience in areas of privacy rights, Constitutional issues, mental health, and human development.




NWAIS Attendees

Early Bird: $225 if registration is completed by March 31, 2021

Regular: $255 if registration is completed after March 31, 2021

Updated Bill School Option: Easiest way to register! Member schools are encouraged to "bill your school". This will simplify your process and minimize transactions. Your registration date will now be calculated as the date you complete your online registration, rather than the date that payment is collected.


Non-NWAIS Attendees (anytime): $295



Bring a Plus One: Share the Learning, Cultivate Emerging Leaders and Build Connection with Colleagues. For this year only – each registration comes with a “plus one”. Registrants can have a colleague from your school join you for each session. A different person can join you for each session.



TO RECEIVE THE REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Your registration must be complete by the appropriate deadline.

Online registrations paid by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the deadline date.


Cancellation Policy

Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by April 19, 2021 are eligible for a refund after a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after April 19, 2021 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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