Announcing the 2015 NBOA Award Recipients

By Jeffrey Shields posted 02-04-2015 01:56 PM


CEO Notebook |

One of my favorite programs during the NBOA Annual Meeting is the NBOA Awards Lunch. The only national recognition program of its kind, this wonderful event doesn't just recognize individual achievement in independent school leadership, but also celebrates the entire profession. One time each year, we highlight the collegial and collaborative spirit of business officers, business partners and association executives—a spirit that makes our community like no other. It's a pleasure and an honor to showcase colleagues who demonstrate great leadership, provide distinguished service to others and represent the very best of what our community values. In a profession that makes the lion's share of its contributions behind the scenes, we take pride in giving these individuals "rock star status."

I'm pleased to announce Palmer Ball, business manager at Spartanburg Day School, as the recipient of the 2015 NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award, and John Griswold, executive director at Commonfund Institute, as the recipient of the 2015 NBOA Sarah Daignault Outstanding Support of Independent Schools Award.

Palmer Ball has been business manager at South Carolina's Spartanburg Day School since 1995. Nationally, she served two terms on the NBOA Board of Directors and was elected to the Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools in 2008. She taught at the NBOA Business Officer Institute (BOI) in 2005, 2007 and 2012; attended BOI on a number of other occasions; and has presented her five-year budget model at several NBOA Annual Meetings, always to a room packed with business officers. Regionally, she has been instrumental in the Palmetto Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) business officer group. She also played a major role on the leadership team that established a 403(b) consortium of independent schools and colleges in the Carolinas, and is now president-elect of that group.

In her letter of nomination, the Spartanburg Day head of school described Palmer as follows:

"There are people who simply enjoy the benefits received from an organization. Palmer makes significant contributions to each organization to which she belongs. She seeks ways to make the organization better. She offers mentorship to others in her field. She sets high standards for herself and with those with whom she works and volunteers. I believe that she is among the most outstanding business officers in the country and has a proven track record of leadership and service."

Palmer earned a BA in biology from Converse College and an MBA in accounting from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

John Griswold is a seasoned finance and investment executive with extensive governance experience in the nonprofit sector. As executive director of Commonfund Institute in Wilton, Conn., he supervises the educational, market research and professional development activities for Commonfund, a private, nonprofit investment management firm with $26 billion of institutional assets. John initiated and supervises the annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, the largest survey of investment practices of endowments in higher education. He also founded the annual Commonfund Benchmark Study of Independent Schools, which is co-sponsored by NBOA.

In a nomination, John was recognized (among other things) for helping to "support the inception of NBOA, a faith and support that has not wavered over the years…. NBOA is here, in large part, because of it."

John is a graduate of Yale University and attended the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. He is a member of the Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Conn., and the Yale Club of New York.

I look forward to recognizing Palmer and John with all of you at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston!

From Bottomline, February 3, 2015.



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