Lake Tahoe School is fortunate to have an outstanding Board of Trustees, steadfastly dedicated to creating a superlative independent school in the Lake Tahoe region. Lake Tahoe School’s trustees represent a balance of skills, interests, and experience that together provide an essential environment of effective governance and a philosophical foundation for the future growth and success of the school.
Nate Horvath is a Managing Director and the Head of Private Equity Investing for Westwind Investors, an Incline Village based private investment holding company. Nate joined Westwind and moved to Incline Village from San Francisco in 2008, and has spent 15 years working in private equity and M&A roles. Nate received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is also a licensed CPA, having started his career at Arthur Andersen in Chicago after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Accounting. Prior to attending college, Nate spent four years on active duty with the Marines where he served as part of Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST Company) and was deployed on various operations, including the Persian Gulf War. Nate and his wife Evaleen reside in Incline Village and have two children enrolled at Lake Tahoe School.
Bob Byrne is a recently retired executive from Wells Fargo & Co. where he worked in various senior management roles during his nearly 30 years at the firm. Prior to his retirement , Bob worked as a Senior Vice President in the Enterprise Marketing Group in San Francisco developing new product and marketing strategies to build market share among Wells Fargo’s Mass affluent customers as well as various Diverse customer segments. Prior to these assignments, Bob was Wells Fargo’s Regional President for the state of Washington where he was responsible for growing market share in all of Wells Fargo’s Businesses, with direct responsibility for managing all of the Retail Banking stores in the state. Since joining Wells Fargo in 1984, Bob was group Product Manager for Consumer Deposits as well as Small Business loans/deposits and Marketing. He later became the Director of Advertising for the company where his responsibilities included managing all of Wells Fargo’s brand advertising and promotion strategies. Bob earned a a Bachelors degree in Marketing from Babson College in Massachusetts. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he worked as an Account Supervisor at advertising agencies in San Francisco and New York. Bob and his wife Jackie reside in Incline Village and have one child who graduated from Lake Tahoe School.
Chuck and his wife, Deanne, moved their family to Incline Village in 2002. Prior to becoming a highlander, Chuck had a successful career as a high technology lawyer, entrepreneur, and business operations expert in Silicon Valley. He has represented large corporate clients, such as Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems, as well as small single-man software start-ups. In 1997, Chuck founded AltoCom, a software communications company, which he sold to Broadcom Corp. two years later. Since coming to Incline Village, Chuck has served as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship for Sierra Nevada College, and on the Board of Directors of the Tahoe Children’s Foundation. In 2004, Chuck matriculated into The Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Mid Career public policy and administration program, where he earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration. Upon returning to Incline, Chuck was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Incline Village and Crystal Bay as its Treasurer. In 2008, Chuck was re-elected to a second term on the Incline Village Board. In addition to his Master’s Degree, Chuck has a B.A. in Computer Science and a J.D., both from the University of Texas. Chuck continues to be involved in the development and management of several high technology companies. Chuck and his wife Deanne have one child enrolled at and another who graduated from the Lake Tahoe School.
Rob Alston was born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii. He and his wife, Amy, have two children, Turner and Kieran, at LTS. They moved to Incline Village in 2010. Rob is the Chief Executive Officer of Access Information Management, a high growth, private equity backed acquisitive information management company. In addition to his executive management responsibilities, Rob focuses on driving Access’ growth strategy, including over 100 acquisitions. Rob has over 15 years of experience with private equity and in the information management industry. Rob is also a member of the board of directors of the OASIS Group, European records and information management provider. Rob has also served as the President of the Domestic Violence Action Center in Hawaii, Hawaii Chapter of ARMA International and held a position of Director for PRISM International through December 2013.
Linda spent thirty-five years in academics as both a professor and an administrator as a Dean, Vice Provost, and Vice President. She has a Ph.D in developmental biology from U.C. Irvine. Her research into craniofacial biology was funded by the National Institute of Health for twenty years. As an educational administrator, Linda developed substantial expertise in long-range strategic planning and goal-setting for educational institutions. Linda has held numerous Board of Director-level positions throughout her professional career, including serving on the Boards for the Delta Medical Center in Memphis, TN, the Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV, and the Nevada Women’s Fund.
Jason is a Manager of NextG, LLC. a family office located in Incline Village. He is responsible for investment strategy, asset allocation, and performance of a diversified pool of assets. He is also responsible for all tax, accounting, and finance functions at NextG and various related entities. Prior to joining Hallador, Jason held several positions within Hewlett Packard and related subsidiaries. Jason earned a B.A. in Business Administration at Oregon State University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance and Securities Analysis at the University of Oregon. Jason and his wife Melissa reside in Incline Village and have two children enrolled in Lake Tahoe School.
Jeffrey is a Managing Partner of Excelsior Benefits, LLC. a wholesale insurance brokerage firm, operating in twenty-five states across the country with over $1 billion in annualized premium. Jeff founded Excelsior Benefits in 2003, and has spent 30 years working in the insurance brokerage business specializing in the employee benefits sector. Prior to Excelsior Benefits, Jeff worked for The Foster Group in Houston, Old Northwest Agents (ONA) in Minnesota and Nevada, and was Vice President of the Principal Financial Group overseeing the sales and marketing for the western US. Jeff earned a B.A. in Aero Space Science from the University of North Dakota, and sits on the Advisory Board for TransAmerica and is a past advisory board member for United Healthcare and The Principal Financial Group. Jeff and his wife Jennifer reside in Incline Village and have two children who have graduated from LTS.
Bea has had an extensive career in public and private education, including hands on teaching, development of departmental programs and department management. In the New Jersey public school system Bea designed the physical education program for elementary school students. After successfully implementing the program, she continued her career in a private school in Delaware, where she created the school health program and directed the athletic department. In 1989, Bea built a medical records company, Medfax Inc, becoming the largest in the Philadelphia Health System. When she sold the business in 1995, she staffed and operated medical records departments in twenty two Philadelphia hospitals. Bea has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations, including serving on the board of Healthy Families, Free Medical Clinic and Tahoe Rim Trail Association, and continues to be an active volunteer with children. Bea has a BS degree in Health and Physical Education from Alderson Broaddus College, and completed graduate coursework in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine from the University of Delaware. Bea and her entrepreneur husband, Roger, moved to Incline Village in 2003. They have two adult daughters. Their two granddaughters attend Lake Tahoe School.
The Role of the Lake Tahoe School Board of Trustees
Like most independent schools, Lake Tahoe School is governed by a board of trustees and the head of school, each with distinct and complementary responsibilities that are necessary to achieve the mission of the school and preserve the school’s long-term health. The all-volunteer board of trustees ranges in size from 8 to 12 and is made up of community members, educators, and current and alumni parents. Starting with new trustees joining the board in 2011, trustees are elected to three-year terms and may serve for more than one term.1 The head of school serves as an ex-officio member of the board.
The board’s responsibility includes: selecting, supporting, and evaluating the head of school; setting the broad, long-range strategic direction of the school; and ensuring the school’s financial sustainability. The board as a whole and the trustees as individuals follow the NAIS Principals of Good Practices for Board of Trustees and Independent School Trustees.
The head of school is the professional, institutional, and educational leader of the school and is authorized to oversee all administration and day to day operations of the school. At a strategic level, the head of school collaborates with the board of trustees to establish and refine the school’s mission; and to articulate the mission to all members of the community. In addition, the head of school works in partnership with the board, faculty, and staff to implement and manage the board’s long-term strategic plans, policies, and budgets. The academic and co-curricular programs of the school are the responsibility of the head of school, the administrative team and the faculty. The head of school has complete authority for faculty, staff, and student selection, evaluation, and dismissal. The head of school follows the NAIS Principals of Good Practices for Heads.
Board of Trustees Committees and Meetings
Work by the board is done via board of trustees meetings, standing committees, and task forces that are convened from time to time to address specific issues. Each committee meets several times per year and all trustees are normally active on at least one committee. Standing committees may include non-board members. The standing committees of the board are: Finance Committee, Investment Sub-committee, Building and Grounds Sub-committee, Development Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Education Sub-committee, and the Committee on Trustees. Descriptions of standing committees, current task forces, and trustee membership are listed below.
The LTS Board of Trustees along with the head of school meets five times a year. A good portion of each meeting’s agenda follows an annual schedule based on key decisions that must be made to ensure the long-term viability of the school. To aid in making these decisions, the board hears reports from standing committees and task forces, the head of school, faculty representatives, and the parent association president. Decisions made by the board are communicated to the LTS community using a variety of standing communication vehicles following a regular time schedule. Summary of board meetings are available in the head of school’s office for viewing after they have been reviewed by the board which occurs at the subsequent board meeting.
Board of Trustees Selection Criteria
Partnering with the board chair and the head of school, new trustees are identified, cultivated, recruited, and nominated for board election by members of the Committee on Trustees. Individuals, who will complement and enhance the board’s composition in areas of diversity, strategic thinking, and providing special skills, are considered for nomination. Candidates must be able to meet the time commitment required to attend meetings and complete committee work. Although candidates do not need to be persons of great financial means, candidates should be willing to support all fundraising activities of the school. Parents are primarily identified via their participation in school events and volunteering on committees and for programs that further the long-term development of the school. Criteria considered when identifying new candidates is listed below.
To ensure the best possible leadership for the school, today and in the years ahead, it is critical to identify the essential criteria that every individual must meet to be considered for a position as a trustee. We also believe in creating a diverse board made up of trustees that bring different time, talents, and treasury to the table. To that end, the LTS Board of Trustees has identified a number of essential criteria and an ideal board makeup that is considered when identifying trustee candidates and diversifying the board.
- Strategic and broad thinker
- Strong business sense
- Team player
- High integrity
- Strong supporter of the LTS mission
- Ability to focus on long-term viability of LTS while leaving school administration to the head
- Willing to support all fundraising activities of the school although individual does not need to be person of great financial means
- Leadership orientation
- Fulfill one or more of the expertise areas listed below
IDEAL BOARD MAKEUP
- Eight to twelve in number
- Blend of current parents (Lower and Middle School) and community members
- Diversity in demographics reflective of LTS community
- Blend of professional expertise across entire board
- Education K-12
- Building and Property Management
- Human Resources
- Organizational Management
- Blend of other qualities across entire board
- Time availability for board work and to complete full term
- Financial wherewithal
- Community connections
- Independent school experience
- Board experience
SOURCES: DeKuyper, M. H. (2007). Trustee Handbook. National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
LTS Board of Trustees Standing Committees
In concert with staff, this committee develops the long-range financial plan and yearly operational budget; recommends tuition levels for board approval; monitors the implementation of the budget; makes periodic reports to the board on the school’s financial status; and educates the board on nonprofit financial reporting and trends affecting the school’s finances.
This sub-committee develops and recommends to the board for its approval policies that delineate how the school’s cash balances will be invested and what amount of return on investment will be used in the yearly operating budget; monitors the investment portfolio’s return, including setting investment objectives, and meeting with outside professional advisors (if any); and periodically reports to the board on the portfolio’s performance.
Building and Grounds Sub-Committee
This sub-committee develops the master plan of the school’s buildings and grounds with the staff and outside consultants as needed. The overall transportation strategy for the school is under the purview of this sub-committee as well. It monitors implementation of the plan; reports to the board periodically on major plant, campus, and transportation issues; keeps the Finance Committee informed on building, grounds, and transportation needs. This committee also provides board oversight of major building projects, but does not act as the project manager. The building and grounds committee does not get involved in the day to day aspects of facility management but is attentive to the deferred maintenance needs of the physical plant and school transportation vehicles.
This committee coordinates the fundraising activities of the school and assists in its marketing efforts; advises the board on the financial goals of the annual campaign through the budget process, and on any capital or endowment campaign; reviews the case statement for any fund appeal; facilitates the inclusion of all trustees and other volunteers in fund- and “friendraising” activities; and raises funds.
Strategic Planning Committee
This committee works in concert with the head to develop the strategic plan for board approval, including its mission statement, goals and strategic issues. The head is responsible for developing action plans.
This sub-committee concentrates on education at the broadest level; develops and recommends to the board educational goals at a strategic level; and assesses the overall school performance against the strategic plan. This committee does not determine the curriculum or evaluate teachers.
Committee on Trustees
This committee coordinates the identification, cultivation, recruitment, and orientation of new trustees, including parents, who will complement and enhance the board’s composition; re-nominates officers; facilitates board self-assessment; identifies board’s needs for education and training and designs vehicles to meet the needs; and organizes the recognition of individual trustees. The committee is charged with nominating individuals to serve as trustees. All nominations are sent to the board for its approval. In addition, this committee oversees the school’s conflict of interest policy, the school’s bylaws, and other governance matters.
NOTE: The board chair and the head of school is an ex-officio member of all committees and task forces unless otherwise indicated as a full member.
SOURCE: DeKuyper, M. H. (2007). Trustee Handbook. National Association of Independent Schools.