Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops

2019 Trustee Day
Michael Thompson, Steve Pemberton, and Harry Kraemer, Jr.

Thursday, November 7, 2019
9:30 am - 3:30 pm

Louisville, KY

Registration will open in August. Check back for updates.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

9:30 am-3:30 pm (with a special session for board chairs and heads from 8:15-9:15 am)

Louisville Downtown Marriott and the Kentucky International Convention Center

Who Should Attend
Board chairs, trustees, and heads. 

Trustee Day Flyer and Program
Click here for the 2019 Trustee Day flyer.

Designed as an extension of the ISACS Annual Conference, this will be an energizing and thought-provoking day featuring a series of stimulating presentations and conversations designed specifically for the independent school board member. Included in the registration fee will be half-day presentations by Michael G. Thompson and Harry M. Kraemer, Jr. complemented by the opportunity to join the conference luncheon and hear the keynote presentation by Steve Pemberton. 

8:15–9:15 am:  Special Session for board chairs and heads: 
Courageous Leadership, with Michael G. Thompson, Author & School Consultant

School leadership requires countless skills: empathy and a knowledge of pedagogy, the ability to hire great teachers and balance a budget as well as a capacity for vision and risk-taking. But it also requires one harder-to-define attribute: courage. A school leader necessarily bears the pain of the school community and sometimes has to protect that community with tough decisions. For a leader to make courageous decisions,
she or he must have the support of the board, and in particular, the board chair. Thompson will talk about the journey towards courage on the part of the board.

9:30–11:30 am: Understanding School Culture with Michael G. Thompson, Author & School Consultant
All schools have a distinct culture of artifacts, traditions, beliefs, and norms of behavior best described as, “the way we do things around here.” It is also true that most intractable problems in school are the result of conflicting values and messages—many of them unconscious—that are embedded in the culture of the school. In this session, Thompson will address a number of questions: What is school culture? What parts of school culture are visible and which ones are hidden? What is the head’s role in shaping school culture? What is the board’s role in defining and defending school culture?

11:45 am–1:15 pm: Banquet Luncheon featuring keynote presentation by Steve Pemberton, 
A New Take on Diversity: Moving from Labels to Experiences

1:30–3:30 pm: Becoming a Values-Based Leader, Harry M. Kraemer, Jr., Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management
Sometimes “doing the right thing” while also delivering outstanding and lasting results is difficult for leaders to achieve. Values-based leaders are needed more than ever in today’s economic and political environment. In a dynamic session that draws on Kraemer’s global experience as the chairman and CEO of Baxter International, learn the importance of four key principles (self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence, and genuine humility) in the actions and decisions one makes as leaders of an organization.

Presenters (listed in order of appearance)

Michael G. Thompson
Author & School Consultant

Steve Pemberton
Author, Speaker & Executive

Harry M. Kraemer, Jr.
Northwestern University’s
Kellogg School of Management 

Speaker Bios

  • Michael G. Thompson, PhD is an author, and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School (MA) and has worked in more than 700 schools across the U.S. and internationally. He is the author or co-author of multiple books including The New York Times best-selling book, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, Mom, They’re Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems, The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and in Life, and Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow. He has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, and Good Morning America and has been quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Time.
  • Steve Pemberton currently serves as chief people officer for Globoforce. Previously Pemberton served as global chief diversity officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the first global, pharmacy-led health and wellbeing enterprise in the world. He was the first person in Walgreens’ 100-plus year history to hold the position of chief diversity officer, overseeing the company’s global efforts to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive environment that reflects the culture, people and perspectives of the many nations in which they do business. Before his post at Walgreens, Pemberton was the chief diversity officer for, where he helped the company achieve all time growth in applicants. He has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe, and CBS News.
  • Harry M. Kraemer, Jr. is an executive partner with Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm, and a clinical professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he was named the 2008 Kellogg School Professor of the Year. Kraemer is the author of two best-selling leadership books: From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership and Becoming The Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter International Inc. and currently serves on several boards of directors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and received an MBA degree in finance and accounting from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Trustee Day Sponsor
We are grateful for the following Trustee Day sponsor:

Social Media
Follow us on Twitter at the conference @ISACSNews using the hashtag #ISACSCon to join the conversation.

Trustee Day Location
Check-in on Thursday morning to receive your name badge and pertinent conference information at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. The Trustee Day sessions will take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC). The lunch and keynote presentation will take place at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. ISACS will provide additional details via email prior to your arrival.

Hotel Accommodations
Louisville Marriott Downtown
280 West Jefferson
Louisville, KY

ISACS has secured a discounted room rate of $169/night plus tax for single or double occupancy at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. To make a reservation, call 1-800-266-9432 and mention the group name Independent Schools Association of the Central States before Tuesday, October 15, 2019. To make your hotel reservation online, click here. We recommend making hotel reservations early.

ALERT - Hotel Accommodations Scam
ISACS does not reach out to attendees and exhibitors directly to book hotel rooms. To book a room at the ISACS group rate, only use the discounted group rate posted above or communicated with you via emails from If you receive calls or emails from third-party companies, we strongly advise that you do not provide these solicitors any personal information. Large conferences are targets for companies seeking to take advantage of attendees. We have received reports that our attendees have been contacted by third-party companies with offers to provide hotel accommodations at a lower rate than the ISACS group rate. These solicitations are an attempt to confirm your email address and obtain your credit card information. Please do not provide any information to these third-party companies. If you have any doubt about the information that you are receiving regarding the ISACS Annual Conference room block, please email or call us at or (312) 750-1190.

Air Travel
Air travel to Louisville can be accessed via the Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF).

Ground Transportation to/from the Airports
A taxi from the airport to the hotel costs approximately $20 one-way and takes approximately 15 minutes during non-rush hour and 30 minutes during rush hour.

Parking Information
Overnight Parking
For ISACS hotel guests, the discounted overnight self-parking rate is $19/night for hotel guests, which will be billed directly to your hotel room bill and has in and out privileges. At check-in, let the front desk staff know you self-parked in the hotel’s garage. Entrance to self-parking garage is on Liberty Street.

Overnight valet parking is not discounted at the Marriot’s garage and is at a rate of $34/night.

Daily Self-Parking
There is no daily parking at the Louisville Marriott Downtown’s parking garage. However, there are several lots within 1-2 blocks of the hotel and the Convention Center including:

  • Commonwealth Garage at Third and Jefferson Street offers a rate of $10/day. This garage is connected to the Marriott and the pedway to the Convention Center.
  • Jefferson Centre Garage, at the corner of Jefferson & Second Street, and Starks Garage, 430 S. Third Street, offer daily self-parking rates of $10/day.

For more information on downtown daily parking options, click here.

Louisville Visitor Information
For information on Louisville, visit

Trustee Day Registration Fee

  • $175 for trustees and heads in ISACS member schools
  • $250 for trustees and heads from non-member schools
  • Includes programming and a banquet lunch
  • There is no on-site registration, register online by Wednesday, October 16, 2019 to secure your space.
  • Special session for board chairs and heads, 8:15–9:15 am at no additional cost for those registering to attend Trustee Day. During the online registration process, you will be prompted to attend or not attend this special session. Heads wishing to attend with trustees must register for Trustee Day.
  • Trustees and/or heads wishing to attend Friday’s Annual Conference sessions must register separately for the Annual Conference. Contact Karen Zeitlin at to receive a coupon code for a reduced registration fee of $95 to attend the Annual Conference on Friday.
  • If you are a head planning to attend the 8:15–9:15 am head/board chair special session but plan to attend the Annual Conference on Thursday instead of Trustee Day, please email Karen Zeitlin at and she will add you to the list of attendees for the special session.
  • For more information on the Annual Conference, November 7-8, visit

Registration Confirmation

  • Once registered, an automatic email will be sent to the contact person identified during on-line registration.
  • By October 1, ISACS will send a confirmation email to each registrant, which will include conference details and a list of pre-registered sessions.
  • Approximately one week prior to the Annual Conference, ISACS will send a FINAL email confirmation with pre-registered sessions.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the ISACS office at (312) 750-1190 as we may have an incorrect email address in our system.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations for Trustee Day must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing by Wednesday, October 16 to receive a refund. ISACS will determine the refund amount, if any, that can be refunded at the conclusion of Trustee Day. Cancellations received after Wednesday, October 16 will not receive a refund. At any time, registration may be transferred to another member from the same school.

To contact ISACS, please email or (312) 750-1190. 

Member Cost: $175     Non-member Cost: $250
Registration Deadline:  October 16, 2019


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