Lauri Kober, a Bay Area native and mother of two, first learned about Stanbridge about a year ago through Harvard Business School (HBS) Community Partners, a pro bono program that recruits HBS alumni to deliver business consulting services on a volunteer basis.
“I worked very hard for many years to ‘get a pay check.’ I finally realized that wasn’t the most important thing to me anymore” said Lauri. “I wanted to do something that made a difference and was more meaningful.”
Shortly after Lauri and her fellow team members—Mairin Macaluso, Steve Pollock, and Elaine Lam—presented their findings in March, then-Board President Jean-Louis Casabone asked Lauri and Steve to join the board.
“The students at Stanbridge are wonderful. It’s an amazingly welcoming community,” said Lauri, who agreed to join the board and was elected secretary for the 2015-2016 academic year. “Then the position opened up in the business department, and it was perfect!”
Head of School John O’Brien decided to divide the former Business Manager position and create two new positions: CFO and Accounting Manager.
“We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to combine the skill sets that Lauri and the new Accounting Manager bring as the school prepares to move to the next level in its evolution,” said John.
Our Accounting Manager will take on more of the day-to-day accounting and Human Resources responsibilities, and Lauri will be working with John on more procedural, process and strategic work.
“John and I will be working together to implement the action plan resulting from the Board’s work on Stanbridge’s next strategic plan for the school,” said Lauri. “The Board is also considering pursuing CAIS accreditation as well as evaluating the feasibility of building an endowment – these projects will require a great deal of research and prep work.”
In addition to updating the school’s onboarding process, Lauri says she will work to ensure there is accurate and adequate financial reporting and tracking for the management, board and staff. “Even though I need to officially resign from the Board, I’ll still go to board meetings and present, but I won’t be a voting member,” she says.
With more bandwidth in the business office, Lauri says she also hopes to look into the more minute policies and procedures at Stanbridge. “For example: how do we improve earthquake procedures? We have a population of students that are very special. We need to review those policies to make sure we have the best ones in place, especially for our student population.”
What else is Lauri up to?
“That’s probably it for now,” she says, “…but it will evolve. But I can say that I am incredible happy here!”