The Elisabeth Morrow School (EMS), a leader in education from early childhood through middle school, seeks a strategic, experienced financial and business leader to fill the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position. The CFO embodies, in all ways, the excellence, integrity, and joy that EMS is known for and is able to represent the school with pride and professionalism at all times.
Reporting to the Head of School, the CFO supports the school’s mission and strategic plan and will work toward the organization, management, and implementation of comprehensive business, financial, and investment initiatives for the school. The CFO supervises Director of Human Resources, Controller and Director of Technology.
Finance, Strategy, Planning
Provide school-wide strategic leadership, analysis, and management of finances and operations.
Oversee all financial reporting, including the development and approval of the annual operating budget, periodic reports of operating results compared to the budget, and cash flow analysis. Audiences for financial information include the Board of Trustees, the finance committee, the Head of School, and other administrators.
Oversee the administration of the school's endowment; implement investment decisions of the finance committee; and coordinate with investment managers ensuring effective endowment allocations, performance, and reporting.
Develops recommendations to Finance Committee on annual tuition increases as well as salary pool increases in consultation with the Head of School. Prepares annual budget proposal for Finance Committee review and Board of Trustees approval.
Evaluate the business office's strengths and weaknesses, and develop goals and systems to ensure optimal departmental performance.
Oversee the annual financial audit and the filing of tax returns.
Ensure that the school follows all local and state reporting requirements.
Supervise all business office activities and operations.
Oversee the benefits budget (health insurance, retirement, and other related plans) in conjunction with the Human Resources Director.
Partners with the Director of Admission and Financial Aid to approve the financial aid budget.
Build and/or maintain the School’s short and long-term strategic financial models.
Work closely with the Director of Human Resources and the Head of School to examine school policies and industry data to ensure the school’s continued commitment to competitive and equitable compensation for their professional community.
Work in collaboration with the Director of Human Resources to maintain and improve human resources functions, including assessing, writing, and implementing appropriate personnel policies; overseeing the preparation of payroll and benefits programs including health insurance and retirement programs; overseeing the administration of hiring, retention, termination, and personnel records; ensure all programs are in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
Form and maintain relationships with banks, professional accountants, legal counsel, and insurance companies.
Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.
Serve on the school's senior administrative team and lead or participate in several other committees.
Serve as chief staff liaison to several board committees, including finance, audit, building & grounds, and health & safety committees by working closely with the various committee chairs, organizing agendas, generating meeting materials, and presenting at meetings.
Collaborate effectively with and provide support for advancement, admissions, and other departments.
Publicly represent the school in a positive and proactive way, collaborating with other local institutions, neighbors, and public officials.
Work collegially within a highly diverse community. Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work and participate in DEIB-related professional development.
Provide leadership to colleagues who are eager for mentorship, advocacy, and clear communication.
Desired Qualifications and Qualities
Education and Experience
Bachelor's degree required; MBA or CPA preferred.
At least 10 years of senior-level experience creating and executing financial planning and management strategies.
Experience in an independent school is preferred.
Experience serving on senior administrative teams and working with nonprofit boards.
Experience in human resource management, employee benefits, and payroll procedures.
Demonstrated ability to take complex subjects, distill them, and communicate them to varied audiences.
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.
Complete knowledge of not-for-profit administration, accounting policies, procedures, practices, and software programs.
Strong understanding of employment law and practices
Skills and Competencies
Superb communication skills, including excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills.
Ability to think and plan strategically and creatively.
Ability to supervise, manage, and delegate multiple functions and activities.
Ability to remain calm, flexible, and work effectively under pressure.
Commitment to equity and inclusion practices.
Skillfully interprets and applies understanding of key financial indicators to make decisions.
Continually endeavors to hold the confidence and trust of all constituents, displaying honesty, authenticity, and integrity.
Ability to make sense of complex, high-quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems.
Ability to serve as a critical business thinker, capable of providing positive and proactive solutions to business issues.
Sees future possibilities and translates ideas into strategies.
Maneuvers comfortably through complex policy, process, and people-related organizational dynamics.
Applies knowledge of the operating environment to advance organizational goals.
A minimum of standard business hours Monday–Friday.
Ability to occasionally work evenings and weekends as necessary.
This appointment will begin July 2024 or sooner.
Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time position with benefits and a compensation package that will be competitive for the region and commensurate with experience, degree attainment, and the national independent school market.
We aren’t just a school; we are a community. Feeling supported in your professional development and growth is one of the greatest benefits we offer our staff. Of course, we provide traditional benefits, too:
Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
403(b) Retirement Plan with Matching Contributions
Life Insurance and Voluntary Supplemental Life Insurance
Short Term and Long Term Disability Coverage
Tuition Remission for Employee’s Children (EMS’ School and/or Camps)
At The Elisabeth Morrow School, located 10 minutes from northern Manhattan in Englewood, N.J., children’s natural curiosity grows into a lifelong love of learning. Our exemplary curriculum features innovative programming in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM), a nationally renowned instrumental music program, social-emotional learning, and community-wide core values.
The Elisabeth Morrow School is a member of the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). For more information, visit elisabethmorrow.org.
The Elisabeth Morrow School’s shared purpose is to provide exemplary academics and character development in a diverse and inclusive child-centered community, inspiring students to become curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens.