The Opportunity: Presbyterian School (PS) is a growing, complex organization that has experienced especially significant expansion over the last five years. Not surprisingly, the financial management and oversight of the physical plant has become more challenging as well. The next several years will continue to be ones of growth and development. In the Fall of 2015, the School launched an $18-20 million capital campaign for building projects that will provide for significant renovation and redesign of all three academic divisions of the School. The initial phase of construction on these projects began in the Spring of 2018. With an operating budget of $15 million, approximately $70 million invested in facilities, and an investment fund close to $11 million under his or her purview, the next Head of Finance and Operations (HFO) will need to be an experienced and sophisticated financial executive who is adept at dealing with a dynamic, mission-driven organization that is constantly evolving and broadening its scope. Compensation will be highly competitive with comparable organizations in the region.
Serves as a member of the Leadership Team, reports to the Headmaster, and is accountable for the financial and operational health of Presbyterian School.
Works closely with the Board of Trustees and participates in strategic planning and high-level decision-making to ensure that the School’s finances are managed in a way that optimizes delivery of its mission.
Provides fiscal oversight and guidance and is responsible for facilities (those shared with First Presbyterian Church and operated independently), construction and renovation, food services, and transportation.
Supervises an office currently consisting of six direct reports and a total team of 10 employees.
Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Partners with the Headmaster and the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees on all issues of strategic import concerning school finances, facilities, and daily operations;
Develops financial models and projections for strategic planning, business planning, and budgeting that balance the School’s current reality with its aspirations and long-term sustainability;
Manages the Business Office, facilities, transportation, food services, human resources, and ancillary programs and ensures that all departments are optimally structured and funded for maximal operating efficiencies;
Leads and directs the preparation of the operating budget, including incorporating input from key administrators and faculty and manages the budget upon its approval by the Board;
Makes certain that necessary and efficient systems, processes, technology, and controls are in place to carry out all financial and administrative functions of the School;
Supervises all renovation, new construction, and ongoing facilities maintenance on both campuses;
Oversees banking relationships, cash and debt management, and investment of operating cash, reserve funds, and endowment/investment funds;
Prepares and presents accurate, timely, clear, and concise financial reports on both monthly and annual bases for the Headmaster and the Finance Committee;
Facilitates an annual audit of the School’s statements of financial position, activities, and changes in net assets and cash flow;
Develops and maintains positive, productive, and collaborative relationships with faculty, staff, and parents and cultivates an ethic of high quality customer service among Business Office staff;
Oversees all fiscal reporting activities for the School and ensures legal and regulatory compliance;
Supervises, retains, and, as necessary, hires knowledgeable and hardworking directors of the business and operations functions under his/her management.
Qualities of the Ideal Candidate: Leadership
A strategic thinker who sees the “big picture,” anticipates future needs, and is able to articulate a well-conceived plan to achieve goals;
A financial executive whose experience, force of intellect, character, technical knowledge, and expertise engender support and trust among others;
A confident and experienced manager who directs the efforts of others through open communication and active collaboration;
A leader who motivates and empowers people through artful delegation while retaining ultimate accountability;
An accessible, visible, and engaged person who is an active and positive presence in the daily life of the School.
Qualities of the Ideal Candidate: Experience
A minimum of five years of experience in senior-level finance and operations positions, ideally in an independent school, a not-for-profit institution, or an organization that requires a skillset that could be transferrable to the unique nature of an independent school;
A strong track record of advising at the highest level and participating in major strategic decisions that have profound, long-term implications for an organization;
Experience using sophisticated financial models for analyzing new opportunities for an organization, determining the associated financial implications, and recommending and implementing a prudent course of action;
A career that includes involvement in budgeting, accounting, financial analytics, human resources, risk management, facilities, food services, transportation, and ancillary programs;
Background working with multiple constituencies such as parents, faculty, staff, and Board members;
A history of successfully managing a large and diverse staff toward the achievement of common goals.
Qualities of the Ideal Candidate: Skills and Knowledge
A broad and deep knowledge of financial management and skill in implementing its associated administrative processes, budgeting procedures, and accounting systems;
Familiarity with physical plant management, including financing, renovation and new construction, maintenance, and day-to-day operations;
Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to develop genuine relationships throughout the School and building upon them to exercise leadership among the Board, administrators, faculty, staff, and parents;
Strong natural competencies in verbal and written communications that allow one to educate others about the importance of sound financial management and to explain complicated fiscal matters to non-financial constituencies;
The ability to use, learn, and evaluate financial software systems;
A solid understanding of taxation and regulation issues;
The capacity to explore trends, both within an organization and in the broader context, and to make recommendations accordingly.
Qualities of the Ideal Candidate: Personal Attributes
A person of strong Christian faith, who can speak confidently about a personal relationship with God;
An individual of unquestioned honesty and integrity;
A results-oriented person who is able to balance multiple projects effectively and to prioritize competing demands;
One who is self-directed and well-organized, with the flexibility and practicality to respond to unexpected situations;
An innovative thinker who is willing to explore new ideas and to embrace change;
One who is comfortable with rapid growth and ambiguity and who performs well in a growing and complex organization;
An accessible and approachable person with a “service ethic” who demonstrates sincerity, caring, and sensitivity in his or her interactions with others;
A team player with a collaborative spirit and a sense of humor.
Qualities of the Ideal Candidate: Qualifications
Bachelor’s Degree required;
CPA, MBA, or other relevant certifications or graduate degree(s) preferred;
A CFO, HFO, or senior financial administrator, such as a business manager or controller, with an independent school;
A financial executive with a non-profit organization whose skills and experiences can be readily transferred to the independent school world;
A financial executive in the for-profit sector with non-profit experience (probably as a volunteer) and a temperament that would lead him or her to be successful in an independent school.
About Presbyterian School
Presbyterian School is an independent school located in the heart of the Museum District in Houston, Texas.