2018 SAIS Finance Institute
 
Palmer Ball
President
Palmer Ball Consulting

Palmer formed Palmer Ball Consulting, LLC, in 2016, as she embarked on a new career as a consultant specializing in project work for independent school financial operations. In addition to her consulting work, she was an adjunct faculty member of the independent school finance graduate class at the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University in New York City. Before starting her consulting career, Palmer served as business manager at Spartanburg Day School in South Carolina for 21 years. Prior to that, she was vice president for business and finance at Converse College, her alma mater, for four years, following three years in the development office. Palmer was the recipient of NBOA’s prestigious Ken White Award in 2015, served two terms on the NBOA Board of Directors, and was elected to the Association of Business Officers of Independent Schools (ABOIS) in 2008. Palmer earned her B.A. in biology from Converse College and an M.B.A. in accounting from the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University.
 
Josh Clark
Head of School
Schenck School

Following five years as head of school at the Bodine School in Memphis, TN, Josh Clark began serving as head of school for the Schenck School in Atlanta in 2016. Josh holds a B.A from Indiana University and a master's in American literature from Sewanee, The University of the South.
 
Roger Estrada
Director of Endowments & Foundations
TIAA

Roger Estrada is a director of endowments and foundations in the TIAA-CREF Investment Management and Fiduciary Services division, and has been with TIAA-CREF since July 2007. Prior to this position, Roger worked as a senior financial advisor with experience in portfolio construction, financial planning, and risk management. Roger holds a B.S. from the University of South Florida.
 
Damian Kavanagh
Executive Director
MISBO

Since July 2017, Damian Kavanagh has served as the executive director of MISBO. Previously, he spent seven years as a vice president with SAIS where he oversaw the accreditation and membership programs of the association. Damian has conducted research, published, and presented at numerous state, regional, national, and international independent school conferences on a wide variety of topics related to independent school organizational effectiveness and sustainability. Prior to joining SAIS, Damian served as a teacher, coach, and administrator at the Westminster Schools of Atlanta and as head of school for Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, SC. Damian earned both his B.A. and M.A. in Latin literature from the University of Georgia, a specialist degree in education (Educational Leadership for Learning) from Kennesaw State University, and the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.
 
Adam Mandell
Attorney
Boykin and Davis, LLC

Adam Mandell is a 2012 graduate of Tufts University, where he earned a degree in English and taught kindergarten through AmeriCorps in Boston’s neighborhoods. After Tufts, Adam moved back home to Columbia, SC, where he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2015. After law school, he served as a judicial law clerk in Spartanburg, SC, before again returning to Columbia to join Boykin and Davis in 2016. Adam’s practice with Boykin and Davis includes the full host of matters confronting school leaders, teachers, and students under state and federal laws.
 
Steve Mandell
Head of School
Pinewood Preparatory School

With more than 20 years of administrative experience with independent schools, Steve Mandell is currently the head of school at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, SC. Steve previously served as head of The Pine School, and in several key administrative positions at Heathwood Hall Episcopal. Steve holds an M.Ed. in educational administration from the University of South Carolina, is a certified school safety manger, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
 
Jeff Mitchell
Head of School
Currey Ingram Academy

Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell began his career as an educator at St. George’s Independent in Vancouver. After 11 years at St. George’s, as a teacher and administrator, he became the director of Park Tudor Lower School in Indianapolis. After four years, he was selected as the head of Tuscaloosa Academy, in Tuscaloosa, AL. In 2014, Dr. Mitchell became the head of school at Currey Ingram Academy in Brentwood, TN. Dr. Mitchell earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology and special education from the University of British Columbia where he also served as a university instructor.