Chatham Hall School (www.chathamhall.org), founded in 1894, is an independent college preparatory, all-girls, boarding school. The school currently enrolls just over 140 students in grades 9-12, with a projected enrollment of 155 in 2017-2018. The school is situated on 362 picturesque acres in the Piedmont Region of southern Virginia. Chatham is a small, rural friendly community of 1,300 residents and is within two hours of Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Roanoke, the Raleigh/Durham Research Triangle, and Greensboro.
Chatham Hall seeks a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to join the school’s leadership team. Reporting to the Rector (Head of School) and working closely with the Board of Trustees, the CFO is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the school’s finances and operations. Current Rector Suzanne Buck has completed her third year at the helm. Her positivity, goal-orientation, energy and collaborative leadership style have established a forward-moving tone that has been well embraced. In the past three years the school has seen unprecedented enrollment growth, an increase of $2.1M in enrollment revenue, a decrease in the tuition discount rate and the largest unrestricted annual fund giving in the school’s history. Joining the leadership team as the school’s new CFO is a tremendous opportunity to be an integral part of a strong and positive team in a vibrant independent girls’ boarding school community.
The school recently completed both an independent assessment of its current business operations practices and a facilities condition assessment. Both of these assessments were conducted to assist Chatham Hall in planning for strategic initiatives and to better secure long-term sustainability. Chatham Hall is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, (NAIS), the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), and the Coalition of Girls’ Boarding Schools.
Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our rigorous educational program encourages intellectual growth, creativity, and personal responsibility. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.
Strategic Plan: Empowering Girls To Better The World
Over the course of the past year, Chatham Hall has engaged in a strategic planning process as it continues to strive for excellence in all ways and ensure its future sustainability and educational relevance. This is an exciting time in the school’s history and the new CFO will have an opportunity to be an integral part of the additional planning and implementation of an ambitious, innovative plan. As developed, there are three key goals:
Enhance & Fortify the Student Experience
Inspire Global Learners & Entrepreneurs
Ensure Our Sustainability & Competitive Position
The Chief Financial Officer is a key member of the school’s leadership team and will partner with the Rector, Board of Trustees and other school leaders to advance the mission and financial sustainability of the school. The CFO is responsible for all aspects of school finances, operations, and human resources. The CFO manages and supports the three additional members of the business office, oversees buildings and grounds—including the facilities staff, transportation, dining services and the school’s bookstore.
The CFO plays a key role in the development and execution of financial strategy to support the school’s mission, vision and financial sustainability. Essential responsibilities include:
Long range strategic and financial planning including acumen with fiscal modeling and data analysis
Preparing the annual operating budget and regular financial statements
Regularly updating the school’s leadership regarding the school’s financial position, including identification of emerging issues
Developing and managing efficient financial systems, reporting, and procedures, in cooperation with others, throughout the school
Proactively exploring efficiencies to improve the school’s financial position
Communicating effectively and positively with all school constituents
Skillful oversight of facilities and operations
Skills, Qualifications & Attributes
Chatham Hall School’s next CFO will ideally have independent and boarding school experience. The successful candidate will possess strong accounting and financial analysis background and the ability to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the entire workings of the school. Additionally, Chatham Hall’s next CFO will possess highly attuned management skills and the personal skills to work positively and collaboratively with a wide range of individuals in a small, close community. With a healthy endowment of $56M, the school’s yearly operating budget is approximately $9M, and $2.5M is awarded in financial assistance each year. In 2015-2016 the school received gifts totaling $3.8M.
Chatham Hall seeks a detail-oriented, strategic financial professional with strong interpersonal skills who will enthusiastically embrace the school’s mission and culture and continue a climate of trust and responsiveness. He or she will successfully partner with the school’s leadership, provide day-to-day and long-term financial management, and offer wise and creative strategic financial visioning in support of achieving the strategic plan. In addition, the successful candidate will possess:
Strong emotional intelligence, initiative, goal-orientation, professionalism, and an ability to keep the school’s mission at the forefront of decision-making
The abilities to think analytically and creatively and to serve as a strategic and thought-partner with the Rector and other school leaders
Integrity, credibility, enthusiasm, passion, a sense of humor and a strong work ethic
A successful track record positively managing and communicating change
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the interest and ability to work collaboratively with others in a team setting
The ability to effectively lead and inspire others, successfully managing relationships and interpersonal dynamics, and fostering a positive work environment
An aptitude for and comfort with technology and an aptitude for implementing and enhancing systems along with a commitment to positive change management and systems thinking
A MBA, non-profit finance experience, and independent school and boarding school experience are pluses.
Chatham Hall’s next CFO will join a strong, positive school community and work as a key member of the school’s leadership team as it plans and implements exciting strategic initiatives. This is a great opportunity for a school leader who has strong relational skills and is highly capable as a financial strategist. He/she will be an integral part of an already dynamic team with the potential to have a role in ensuring the school’s fiscal sustainability while bringing the school closer to maximizing its potential. The ideal person for this position will be able to move easily and with good humor from a Board meeting dealing with budget and strategic planning issues to a maintenance meeting dealing with custodial, grounds and other facility issues to a parent meeting about the equestrian program to just about anything else that can be imagined.
Interested individuals should submit a current resume and a letter of interest to: