Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and postgraduates. For more than 130 years, NMH has been empowering students to be purposeful, compassionate citizens by educating their intellect, humanity, and compassion. True to its motto, “Education for the head, heart, and hand,” the school provides an educational experience that focuses as much on character and citizenship as it does academic development.
At this time, NMH seeks a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to support the ongoing growth and development of this fine school. The successful candidate will oversee a team of six direct reports and will create, map, communicate, and implement short- and long-term strategies to address the financial needs of NMH in collaboration with the school’s leadership. The CFO will be an experienced manager, creative leader, and effective communicator who respects and honors NMH’s traditions while recognizing opportunities for innovative initiatives.
Opportunities and Challenges
Reporting to Head of School Peter Fayroian, currently in his fifth year at NMH, the CFO will oversee six direct reports: Director of Financial Operations (who in turn has a business staff of seven people), Director of Plant Facilities, Director of Human Resources, Director of Information Technology, Director of Dining Services, and Director of Auxiliary Services. The CFO will serve as the primary staff liaison to a number of standing committees of the Board of Trustees, including those for Financial Policy, Buildings and Grounds, Investment, Audit, Compensation and Benefits, and Ad-hoc Property Planning. As well, the CFO will be joining a senior administrative team of 11 members that meets weekly to discuss generative issues surrounding, and thinks collaboratively about, the well-being of the school.
Responsibilities of the CFO
In addition to embracing NMH’s mission, supporting its Head and leadership, and representing the school at professional and public forums, the new CFO has a number of primary responsibilities:
- Oversee the development, administration, and reporting of the operating and long-term budget to the Head of School; the School’s Board of Trustees; Financial Policy Committee; auditors; federal, state, and local authorities; lenders; donors; and various School administrative offices.
- Oversee the administration of the School’s endowment; execute endowment and investment policies; implement investment decisions of the Investment Committee; and coordinate with the endowment consultants, investment managers and custodians, ensuring effective endowment allocations, performance, and reporting.
- Oversee and manage the school’s lending relationships, including debt instruments and planning and negotiating various maturities, covenants, etc.
- Oversee all school operations including personnel, maintenance, food service, campus security, IT, summer camps, off-campus housing, timberland, and a school-owned water company.
- Build and/or maintain the school’s short- and long-term strategic financial models.
- Serve as chief staff liaison to the Financial Policy, Audit, Investment, Buildings and Grounds, Compensation and Benefits, and the Ad-hoc Property Planning committees of the Board of Trustees, working closely with Committee chairs and helping organize agendas and meeting materials.
- Collaborate with the school’s counsel and insurance agents regarding all legal and risk management matters.
- Ensure that the school is in compliance with all local, state, and federal reporting requirements.
- Oversee the physical plant, grounds, and construction functions with the Director of Plant Facilities; help plan and direct all replacements and renewals of the physical plant.
- Publicly represent the school in a positive and proactive way, collaborating with other school administrators, neighbors, and town officials.
- Ensure that there are sound and consistent employment policies, adequate staffing levels, compensation, and appropriate benefits programs for all facets of school operations.
- Help implement and administer all employee benefit programs including health insurance; retirement; worker’s compensation; life insurance; and other related plans.
- Collaborate with the Head of School and other senior administrators on providing leadership regarding employee hiring, termination, compensation, and management.
- Oversee the annual financial and 403b plan audits and filings of tax returns.
- Provide transparent financial reporting and planning that builds trust among administrators, faculty and staff, students and alumni, parents, and trustees.
Qualifications and Qualities
The School is most interested in candidates who demonstrate the following qualities and qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree required; MBA preferred.
- 10-plus years of financial and business leadership.
- Experience on senior administrative teams and working with non-profit boards; independent school experience a plus.
- Demonstrated experience in measuring and improving organization-wide productivity.
- Demonstrated experience in the development of analysis for strategic decision-making, such as key cost drivers, competitive analysis, market analysis, organizational strengths and weaknesses, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to take complex subjects, distill them, and then communicate them to a varied audience.
- Demonstrated management experience in a complex organization.
In addition, the school hopes to find candidates who embody the following personal qualities:
- High energy – brings a sense of urgency to the organization
- Strategic thinker who sees the larger picture
- Ability to understand and embrace NMH’s mission
- Ability to balance and prioritize the needs of the school
- Ability to manage and mentor staff
- Superb people skills; compassionate
- A strong, team player
- Fair, but demanding; a willingness to say “no”
- Committed to diversity and inclusion practices
- Excellent communications skills
- Evident integrity
Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically, in one email (preferably as separate PDF documents), the following materials:
- Cover letter expressing your fit with the specific values and needs of Northfield Mount Hermon
- Current résumé
- List of five references with name, phone number, and email address of each to:
Senior Search Consultant