Dwight-Englewood School is a co-educational independent day school with over 1000 students in preschool through Grade 12. Located in Northern New Jersey, Dwight-Englewood School draws a ethnically diverse population from over 80 communities in New York and New Jersey. The School is a growing organization that is experiencing strong enrollment trends. The next several years will continue to be ones of growth and development. In 2017, the School launched a continuing capital campaign that will provide for the construction of a new Middle School and a new Performance Hall along with renovations of athletic fields and buildings. The School issued tax exempt bonds in December of 2017 to fund these projects. The Director of Finance will have the opportunity to lead the strategic financial efforts to support this work.
The next Director of Finance will be an experienced financial executive who is adept at dealing with a dynamic, mission-driven organization that is constantly evolving and broadening its scope.
The successful candidate will be a strategic financial professional who will understand, embrace and contribute to the school’s mission and will continue a tradition of responsiveness and understanding. He or she will be an individual who will successfully partner with a strong, collaborative school leadership team in providing day-to-day management, as well as the strategic visioning to continue to move the School forward.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Partner with the Head of School and the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees on all issues of strategic import concerning school finances; providing recommendations, financial analysis, financial models and projections;
Prepare operating budget, with input from key administrators and department heads to ensure expenses are managed efficiently and budget goals are met;
Ensure that necessary and efficient systems, processes, and controls are in place to carry out all financial functions of the School;
Collaborate on efforts in risk management to ensure the safety of all staff, students and visitors in their use of the campus; ensure that appropriate levels of insurance are maintained;
Serve a key role in the employee and vendor contract processes as well as in legal matters and employee benefits;
Lead the financial relationship with Board Committees: Finance, Investment, 403(b) Fiduciary, and Audit;
Develop and manage cash management practices and strategies;
Manage debt issuance and continuing debt compliance;
Prepare and present accurate, timely, clear, and concise financial reports;
Oversee all fiscal reporting activities for the School, including financial audits and legal and regulatory compliance;
Supervise a Business Office team of six, and ensure that high quality customer service is provided to all constituents;
Develop and maintain positive, respectful, and collaborative relationships with faculty, staff, and parents;
Act as a mentor to twenty-five budget managers to advise and educate on financial strategies and decisions;
Complete annual surveys and other reports that are relevant to institutional benchmarking and data-driven decision making;
Seek and participate in opportunities for professional growth and networking to be fully engaged in discovering, considering, pursuing and implementing, as appropriate, best practices in this role.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE:
Strong leadership, management and interpersonal skills that will ensure the effective stewardship of a strong, forward-looking school;
A critical business thinker, capable of providing positive and proactive solutions to business issues;
Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and develop genuine relationships throughout the School and building upon them to exercise leadership among the Board, administrators, faculty, staff, and parents;
Ability to teach, persuade, build trust, and establish credibility;
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;
Broad and deep knowledge of financial management and skill in both implementing a budget and developing long-range forecasting models;
A results-oriented person who is able to balance multiple projects effectively and to prioritize competing demands;
Keen analytical and quantitative skills and a demonstrated attention to detail;
A willingness to embrace technological change to achieve a more efficient and cost effective business office;
An understanding of the financial and strategic decisions that are encountered in a not-for-profit, mission-driven institution;
Strong negotiation skills in establishing contracts with outside vendors;
Bachelor’s degree required, CPA or MBA in Finance/Accounting preferred;
A minimum of five years of experience in senior-level finance position, ideally in an independent school, a not-for-profit institution, or an organization that requires a skill set that could be transferable to the unique nature of an independent school;
Non-profit GAAP fund accounting knowledge will be helpful.
DESIRED QUALITIES AND TRAITS:
An empathic, self-assured, and strong leader who is able to work with broad constituencies and who is approachable and diplomatic;
A strategic thinker who sees the “big picture,” anticipates future needs, and is able to articulate a well-conceived plan to achieve goals;
An accessible and approachable person with a “service ethic” who demonstrates sincerity, caring, and sensitivity in his or her interactions with others;
An innovative thinker who is willing to explore new ideas and to embrace change;
An individual of honesty and integrity who exercises sound judgement in both day-to-day decisions and strategic issues;
One who is self-directed and well-organized, with the flexibility and practicality to respond to unexpected situations;