2023 Conference on Business, Operations & Technology Partners

Thank you to our Principal Conference Partners


CLA exists to create opportunities for our clients, our people, and our communities through industry-focused wealth advisory, digital, audit, tax, consulting, and outsourcing services. With more than 8,500 people, nearly 130 U.S. locations, and a global vision, we promise to know you and help you. CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) is an independent network member of CLA Global. See CLAglobal.com/disclaimer. Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.


Finalsite is the premier provider of website, marketing, enrollment and communications software for nearly 3,000 independent schools in 119 countries. With a 96% retention rate and 98% client satisfaction score, we make it easier to market your school, manage enrollment and communications, and strengthen your online presence—helping your school community to connect, engage, and thrive. Finalsite products and services include award-winning website designs, a robust content management system, a dynamic mass notifications system, enrollment management software, integrated mobile app, innovative inbound marketing tools, data integration, training, support and marketing consulting.

Flagship Networks

Flagship Networks is a proven, trusted Managed and Professional IT Services organization that operates as an integrated arm of your businesses—understanding, predicting, and solving your business IT challenges. Flagship has over two decades of experience working with customers across all industries, from independent schools to healthcare, municipalities, and professional practices. Our comprehensive consulting, design, implementation, monitoring and support capabilities, combined with profound industry knowledge and IT expertise, help our clients achieve their technology goals and run their business more productively.

And our Key Conference Partners

CCI Voice

CCiVoice is a full service local telecommunications company with a history of 42 years in the phone business! We are a soup to nuts telecom provider, offering our own hosted phone service (we are your phone carrier, your phone system and your support), premise phone systems, networking, cameras, access control and cabling. Over the years we have become especially attuned to the unique needs of independent schools and we’re grateful to count 9 (and growing) ConnecticutIndependent schools among our hosted phone service clients, as well as schools in Massachusetts and New York. We know schools often have to stay up to date with technology while also grappling with older infrastructure and we love that challenge! We also know many schools have top notch IT people but other, smaller schools, may not have a dedicated IT resource, so our technicians and engineers can either collaborate with your IT staff on project planning and implementation or we can assume the role of your IT staff ourselves. Give us a call or shoot us an email because we’d love to hear from you.

Cross Insurance

Cross InsuranceCross Insurance is one of the largest family held insurance brokerages in the country, supporting businesses of all sizes with property & casualty insurance, risk management programs, as well as employee benefit plans. Cross is headquartered in Bangor Maine and has over 50 offices across the East Coast, including 10 in Connecticut. Our education practice is focused on helping independent schools with the design, implementation, as well as administration of individualized property & casualty programs. We strive to act as an extension of the business office and serve as the outsourced risk advisor to trustees and school leadership teams.

FACTS Management

FACTS ManagementFACTS Management partners with K-12 schools across the country to help manage their end-to-end needs for everything academic and financial related. In CT, FACTS is partnered with over 100 schools to help with their tuition and fee receivables through flexible payment plan and student billing options.

Fred C. Church Insurance

Fred C. Church InsuranceFred C. Church Insurance, a member of AssuredPartners, is a nationally recognized provider of innovative risk management and insurance solutions for K–12 independent day and boarding schools. Since forming our education practice in 1994, we have become the broker for more than 350 educational institutions, including colleges, universities, charter schools, over 240 independent schools, and 45 prominent outdoor and adventure organizations. Here in Connecticut, we have been the sole broker and risk management adviser since 2006 for the Nutmeg Group. This highly successful risk management consortium currently serves 58 independent schools. Led by Julie Price, Amy Daley, Bobby Riley, Mike Lucas, and Chris Duble, the members of the Fred C. Church education team are long-time, loyal supporters of CAIS.

ISM, Inc.

ismISM is dedicated to advancing school leadership to enrich the student experience. Rely on over 46 years of research, knowledge, and experience to move your school forward. Offering consultations, surveys, learning events, insurance coverage, and industry-leading tech tools, we build and deliver creative strategies for schools using extensive research, proven management techniques, and personalized service.

SAGE Dining Services

SAGE Dining ServicesFor over 30 years, SAGE Dining Services® has partnered with independent schools and small colleges throughout North America that share a passion for great food, nutrition, and sustainability. SAGE prides itself on financial transparency and invests in technology, talent, and training to provide unmatched customer satisfaction.SAGE’s unparalleled expertise in nutrition, sustainability, and culinary trends produces exceptional dining experiences that delight the senses, inspire minds, and foster community. Learn more at SAGEdining.com.

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

ShipmanShipman’s Independent School lawyers understand firsthand the complex issues and distinctive nature of the independent school environment. As experienced advisors in the education and school law field, we are counsel to over 150 educational institutions, including a diverse group of independent day and boarding schools, including Montessori, K-12, junior boarding, and religiously affiliated schools. Working across internal school departments, from the head of school to human resources, we provide integrated counsel tailored to meet the needs of the school community. We understand the complexity of the school environment and our clients’ need to have practical, real-time solutions to even the most complicated legal issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. Whether our clients are navigating a student discipline matter or employment claim, engaging in new campus construction, or responding to regional, national or global disruptions, we have them covered.

S/L/A/M Collaborative

SLAM Plan Design BuildThe S/L/A/M Collaborative is distinguished by design excellence and integrated services. A national leader in planning and design for independent schools, SLAM brings a high level of expertise as a multi-discipline design firm with project experience at over 70 independent school campuses. SLAM’s integrated project management approach ensures seamless and experienced oversight to improve cost efficiencies, maximize team effectiveness and ensure successful outcomes. With a depth of experience and in-house resources, SLAM has the ability to exceed your project expectations. Our extensive industry knowledge as planners, designers and builders, bolsters our reputation as trusted leaders and advisors and adds value at a level that is unique among architectural and construction management firms.


TIAATIAA was founded in 1918 to help teachers retire with confidence. That mission grew to include those in healthcare and more, creating reliable income for their futures while they work to make a difference today. Our commitment to be the change—for our clients, associates and communities—has never wavered and it’s what motivates us to deliver lifetime income for all with investments that build a better world.

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy. P.C.


Updike, Kelly & Spellacy P.C., with three offices throughout the state of Connecticut, represents a wide range of education law clients in a variety of practice areas including Commercial Lending and Banking, Employment, Healthcare, Real Estate, Governance, Taxation, Environmental, and Trust & Estates. We believe in a common sense approach to legal issues and challenges facing our education and business clients. Our firm provides legal and counseling services to independent schools on a variety of matters. Our attorneys have the expertise to help schools navigate internal and external investigations, student discipline issues, employment issues, municipal tax exemption matters, school/parent relationships, board relationships and governance issues, by-law reviews, student, parent and faculty handbook reviews, and vendor, staff and faculty contract preparation and review.

Yay Lunch

Yay Lunch

Yay Lunch provides an end-to-end dining service that is free for schools, easy for parents and deliciously nutritious for students and faculty. We develop custom programs with a focus on providing real food, made fresh daily from local food partners.

And our Select Conference Partners


armaninoArmanino is one of the 20 largest independent accounting and business consulting firms in the nation. Armanino provides an integrated set of audit, tax, business management, consulting and technology solutions to companies in the U.S. and globally. The firm helps clients adapt and change in every stage of business, from startup through rapid growth to the sale of a company. Armanino emphasizes smart technology, leading a cloud revolution of financial, operational, sales and compliance tools that are transforming the way companies do business. In addition to its core consulting and accounting practices, Armanino operates its division, AMF Media Group, a media and communications services agency.

ConnectOne Bank

ConnectOneBankRecognized for outstanding client service and accessibility to decision makers, ConnectOne Bank offers creative solutions to independent schools for tax-exempt bond financing and taxable financing of capital improvements, including loan terms up to 30 years and fixed rate offers up to 20 years. Our cash management suite of products and services enables schools to leverage technology and create a virtual bank branch in their business office.

A.W.G. Dewar, Inc.

A.W.G. DewarServing schools since 1930, Dewar is the originator of the Tuition Refund Plan, a provenmethod for protecting both schools and families from the financial consequences of student withdrawals and dismissals.

EarlyBird Power

EarlyBird PowerIndependent schools engage EarlyBird Power to save money on their energy costs. CAIS selected EarlyBird Power to manage the CAIS Energy Coop, an energy buying group that leverages the volume of 46 participating schools. By aggregating the total load of the group, each school is able to secure the lowest available rates for their electricity and natural gas supply. CAIS member schools also seek EarlyBird’s expertise in leveraging rebates for energy efficiency upgrades, sourcing green power, and exploring solar installations on their campuses. Contact EarlyBird Power if you would like a no-cost utility bill audit or to learn more about the CAIS Energy Coop for your school.


FORVISFORVIS ranks among the nation’s top 10 public accounting firms, helping unlock the potential of our clients, people, and communities. We deliver an Unmatched Client Experience™ with assurance, tax, and advisory services that reflect our exceptional capabilities and uncommon commitment to excellence. Discover how our forward vision can help you prepare for what’s next.​​​​​​​

Gregory & Howe

Gregory & HoweGregory & Howe is a Management Company that provides personalized service and solutions to clients that are required to comply with State and Federal Safety regulations. Gregory & Howe reduces the administrative burden which allows our clients to focus on their core competency.

MDG Benefit Solutions

MDG Benefit SolutionsMDG is an insurance broker assisting schools with the design, implementation and administrations of employee benefit & healthcare insurance programs. Our agency services a variety of clients in the education space. Employee benefit plans are customized to each school’s needs.


NFP is known to independent schools for our expertise in designing, communicating and implementing customized health and welfare benefits programs and providing retirement plan fiduciary investment advisory and educational services. We are also recognized for delivering tailored property and casualty solutions and arranging for individualized executive benefits for school leadership. We begin by helping your school solve its most pressing challenges. We work tirelessly to find the right answer for your school, never relying on a formulaic or by-the-book answer. Instead, we focus on the details. Whatever the challenge we approach it with a fresh perspective and creative thinking, using our extensive independent school experience to deliver a tailor-made solution. That is our promise, as we aim to deliver first-rate results to you and your school every day.


paymerangPaymerang provides a streamlined invoice and payment automation platform that bring Accounts Payable (AP) departments into the modern age. Paymerang’s platform saves AP departments thousands of hours annually, enhances visibility, increases accuracy, improves efficiency, and earns rebates while reducing paper, fraud risks, and operating costs.

PKF O'Connor Davies, LLP

PKF O'Connor DaviesIf you look at a list of PKF O’Connor Davies‘ services they may look like many other firms. We provide accounting and assurance’ tax compliance and planning services, family once and advisory services. But at PKF O’Connor Davies we know it’s not what you provide that defines you, it’s how you provide it and who delivers it that makes all the difference. Our longstanding commitment to serving not-for-profit organizations and special forte in Independent Schools equips us to bring meaningful experience and practical knowledge to administrators and their governing boards. In addition to outstanding audit and tax services, our advisory support helps managers address business issues that grow in quantity and complexity with every graduating class.

Wish to become a CAIS Sustaining Partner for the Conference on Business, Operations & Technology, and/or other conferences throughout the year? Please email Christina Dixcy at c_dixcy@caisct.org.