Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award

Who should be nominated for this award?

Nominees may include individuals who have made outstanding contributions over several years in the field of independent school business operations, including service to other schools, business officers and groups. Nominees for this award, the association's highest honor, must be affiliated with an NBOA member school.

How do I nominate someone?

Nominations are currently closed for the Distinguished Business Officer Award.

When will the award be announced?

The recipient is announced in January, and the award is presented at NBOA's Annual Meeting.

2021 Recipient

Donna Pacchioni

Donna Pacchioni

Interim Director of Finance and Operations

Kentucky Country Day School
Louisville, KY

Donna Pacchioni served as chief financial officer at Hawken School in Gates Mills, Ohio, for 17 years before concluding her successful tenure there in June 2018. Most recently, Pacchioni has served a nearly three-year term as interim chief financial officer at Kentucky Country Day School (KCD) in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to Pacchioni’s exemplary work at both Hawken and KCD, she has provided leadership to the community of independent schools both in the Midwest and nationally. Her contributions include membership in the Midwest Business Managers, Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools (ABOIS) and board service at the Independent School Data Exchange (INDEX).

Pacchioni is concluding a six-year term on the NBOA Board of Directors, during which she chaired the Strategic Initiatives Committee, served on the Executive Committee, and most notably, co-chaired the NBOA Strategic Planning Task Force, which has provided a roadmap for the association’s success the past four years. In addition, she has served as faculty for multiple Business Officer Institute programs and has shared her expertise in Net Assets magazine, amongst many other contributions to the association and industry. Furthermore, she is currently a board member of the Dougbe River School of Liberia and a finance committee member at the Urban Community School in Cleveland.

Past Recipients

Every year since 1999, NBOA has honored an extraordinary professional with the Distinguished Business Officer Award. View the award's past recipients.

About Ken White

The Distinguished Business Officer Award honors the legacy of Kenneth A. White, Jr., who had a passion for this field and an incurable desire to help others. He could discuss business matters anywhere, and always had extra time for problems and questions. Ken pushed himself to find ways to do things better. He was a visionary, not just for his school, but for all schools. Upon his death in 1996, speakers at his memorial services recognized him as "a man of deep faith," a "mentor," and an "inspiration," as well as a valued colleague, neighbor, and friend.

Ken held a top financial position at Davison-Elkin College, and then served for 21 years at Westminster School in Atlanta. He was a founding member of MISBO (Mid-South Independent School Business Officers), and was active in many other organizations, especially ABOIS (Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools), and also served a term on the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Business Service Committee.

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The only research study based on the audited financial statements of independent schools, the Financial State of the Industry draws on data from hundreds of NBOA member schools collected in the BIIS platform. This report considers financial and operational data from the singular 2019-20 school year, which ended with remote instruction for most independent U.S. schools. Changes in schools’ financial health occurred both before the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of it.

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