Chief Finance And Operating Officer Job Description And Requirements (2023)

The Independent School Business Office is the beating heart of School administration. The CFO/COO as the leader of the Business Office Team sits in a unique position at the right hand of the Head of School and the left hand of the Board of Trustees, providing resources and support to enable perpetual mission fulfillment. The CFO/COO is just as likely to spend time in executive session with the Board leadership team as they are to discuss sustainable greywater recycling systems with a contractor. They will invest tens of millions of dollars in the morning and have a tough discussion with a budget manager in the afternoon. They will be a model for strong management and accountability in a culture that often attracts community members who seek autonomy. They are a fiduciary not just for today, but for but for the future. The successor in this position will be just the fourth CFO in Dunn’s 65 year history. This longevity is a testament to both the place and the people who have held this critical position.

Dunn School is seeking a Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer to be a caring steward of the School’s resources.

The CFO / COO assumes a key leadership role in managing operational, financial and strategic aspects of the School. Areas of responsibility include: Accounting/Budgeting, Audit/Reporting, Treasury/Investment, Human Resources, Dining Services, Plant/Facilities – including all construction and renovation projects, and Risk Management. The CFO/COO is responsible for safeguarding the assets of the School and ensuring that the financial and operational needs of the school and its constituents are met following best practices. This role reports to the Head of School and is the staff liaison to several critical board committees.

The successful candidate for this position is a strategic and critical business thinker, with an understanding of, and commitment to the mission of Dunn School. They hold a record of successful managerial leadership, experience in a broad range of complex business matters including financial management, facilities management and human resources as well as capital project development and management, and a proven ability to both listen to and communicate well with constituencies inside and outside of the School. This position requires a hands-on professional who is prepared to grapple with and resolve issues in real time as needed.

The CFO/COO position requires a deep respect for the confidentiality of information and must hold to the highest ethical standards. They will respect, appreciate and model the core values of Dunn School (Emotional Wellness, Physical Readiness, Intellectual Growth, Social Responsibility and Moral Courage), and seek to uphold the school’s mission. They will bring a positive attitude to the workplace every day and enjoy working as part of a dynamic, supportive team.

As the CFO/COO, you should expect to work hard, laugh often, brainstorm, flex, create, and iterate. You should yearn for 24/7 student interaction, and the establishment of life-long caring relationships with your co-workers and school alumni. You will raise your hand, volunteer, energize and attend. And in so doing, you will realize that you have found the perfect career - one that allows you to wholeheartedly serve the noblest of missions.
Opportunities (Responsibilities)
Works with the Head of School and Board of Trustees to ensure that the operations, business, and financial objectives of the School are met in an effective and timely manner Directs the Controller with all aspects of financial accounting responsibilities Supervises the Director of Facilities and Outsourced Chef Manager Collaborates with the Head of School and Senior Leadership Team to ensure that programs remain on budget and are scaled to financial means Secures the highest level of quality products and services for the School’s business functions, with an eye to efficiency, cost effectiveness and sustainability (environmental as well as economic) Staff Liaison to the following board committees: Finance, Investment, Audit, and Buildings and Grounds
Core Competencies
Proven executive level financial management & leadership experience Significant expertise in Accounting/Finance, Human Resources, Facilities Management, Risk Management, and day to day business operations Passion for continuous process improvement, accuracy and detail Ability to interpret and explain complex issues and their financial/operational implications to all audiences Strong, hands-on experience in financial management including analysis and reporting, budgeting, asset management, audit compliance, federal and state tax regulations and reporting procedures Ability to strategize and develop mechanisms to manage expenses and capital projects Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and relate well to students, parents, staff, faculty, and others Must be highly analytical and able to multitask and complete projects in a timely manner The ability to be creative, seeking solutions to enable rather than deny Detail oriented and organized; excellent project management skills Ability to employ flexibility and creativity in the execution of duties Must be able to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines Collaborative leadership style Nonprofit and/or private school experience is preferred but not required Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, CPA, M.Ed or MBA preferred An understanding and knowledge of environmentally-friendly business practices (a proven track record of this is a plus)
About Dunn School
Dunn is a community centered on educating the whole student. For us, whole student education is not just a meaningless phrase, instead it captures all of what we try to do at Dunn in and out of the classroom. We deliver on whole student education through the following learning outcomes that we call core values: Emotional Wellness, Physical Readiness, Intellectual Growth, Social Responsibility, and Moral Courage.
Our curriculum, co-curricular programs, advisory, evaluative systems, and pedagogical approach are measured by our core values, and this is how we know whole student education is more than just a phrase.
Our school was founded in 1957 by a dynamic educator who embodied the spirit of our motto, “Ne Tentes Aut Perfice,” essentially translating to mean “all or nothing” — a statement that reflects a special entrepreneurial spirit urging Dunn community members, adults and students alike to accomplish what they set out to do. Following in the traditions of our founder, Tony Dunn, our professional community members throughout the decades have helped build the community we have today–a vibrant community of kind learners who pride themselves on building lasting relationships with each other.
All this unfolds before the beautiful Santa Barbara County backdrop of Los Olivos, California, nestled in the picturesque mountains of the Santa Ynez Valley and within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean. Outdoor opportunities abound, and what better way to experience them than from within such an encouraging and nurturing professional community?
Work year of twelve months. Full time scheduled work week of no less than forty hours. This position is Exempt from the State of California overtime laws.
This is a full time, exempt (salaried) position, which is eligible for Dunn School’s full benefits package including: medical, dental, retirement, life and AD&D, and tuition remission. Salary is set based on industry benchmarks for the position and the candidate’s experience.
How to Apply
This position is available to be filled immediately, but the start date may also be deferred to allow for a summer 2023 transition. Applications will be rolling and the position will be filled when the ideal candidate has been selected.

Dunn is an Equal Opportunity Employer and seeks a diverse and broad spectrum of qualified candidates. Dunn's background screening process requires employees to undergo a social media check, satisfactory reference checks with prior and current employers, and a successful criminal background screening.

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