To print this schedule, select “File” and “Print.” If you are having trouble, please try printing to a PDF. For assistance, please contact

Sunday, March 24

10:00 AM ET | College/University Tour

11:00 AM ET | New Attendee Welcome

1:30 PM ET | Concurrent Session Block 1

A Refresher on Robert’s Rules of Order: What Every BP Needs to Know

During this session, participants will review the basics and get answers to all the questions they were afraid to ask. Although board professionals do not serve as parliamentarians, they are expected to know and understand basic rules, motions, and procedures, which in turn helps boards run orderly and efficient meetings. This session will be interactive, encouraging discussions and questions from participants.

Jason Langworthy
, board associate, policy & committees, University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Developing an Inclusive Board Culture

A key characteristic of a high-performing board is its ability to engage in difficult conversations regarding the myriad challenges facing institutions today. The board professional is in a position to develop and nurture the kind of culture needed for board members to be well informed, to ask generative and meaningful questions, and to be actively engaged. In this interactive session, participants will engage in activities to bring back to their campuses, will discuss how to create an inclusive culture, and will consider collectively how to manage boards with diversity on numerous dimensions.

Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar
, vice president for strategic initiatives and secretary to the board of trustees, Colgate University

The Art of Gathering: A Book Decision

Board professionals are always looking to “level up” meetings and board experiences to build stronger connections and organizational affinity, increase productivity, clarify goals, and build support. We must be intentional and thoughtful in all that we do to best leverage our board’s time and talent.

This discussion will examine learnings and best practices from The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker. Join us as a university president and a board professional talk about how they are using the book for more intentional meetings and how you can use some of the same tools and ideas. Haven’t read the book? No problem. The session will be informative for those who have read the book and those who haven’t.

Stacey Robertson
, president, Widener University
Katie Herschede, vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff, Widener University

2:30 PM ET | Travel Break

2:45 PM ET | Professional Development Sessions – Speed Networking

  • Privates
  • Publics
  • Foundations
  • Systems
  • Community Colleges

3:45 PM ET | Travel Break

4:00 PM ET | Welcome and Plenary: Board Professionals on the Hot Seat

The Board Professionals Conference is all about sharing ideas and gaining inspiration, so it makes sense to start with some of the best in the field. Bring your burning questions, and be ready to join us for a candid conversation with four seasoned leaders as we set the stage for a conference designed to develop your expertise, raise your game, and equip you to “meet the moment.”

Kai Swanson, special assistant to the president, Augustana College

Lauren Ferguson, assistant vice president of board relations, University of Central Florida
Tamara Stoner, university secretary, AVP of auxiliary services, Delaware State University
Jonathan Post, vice president for board relations, secretary of the university, George Washington University
Sally Churchill, vice president and secretary of the university, University of Michigan

5:15 PM ET | Travel Break

5:30 PM ET | Reception & Ideas Exchange

Monday, March 25

6:00 – 7:00 AM ET | Walking/Yoga

9:00 AM ET | Plenary 2: Breakfast Plenary

10:30 AM ET | Travel Break

10:45 AM ET | Concurrent Session Block 2

11:45 AM ET | Travel Break

12:00 PM ET | Professional Development Sessions: Mini Master Classes

1:00 PM ET | Lunch Plenary

Keynote: The Game-Changer BP: Thinking Three Moves Ahead

Over the past year, headlines have been rife with examples of trustees failing to heed their better angels. Whether advocating partisan objectives, micromanaging crisis response, holding donations hostage, or making other missteps that seem only relatively more moderate, board members sometimes fail to bring their best selves to the role. Board professionals can be a hidden hand in getting the best out of board members. Come to this inspirational keynote to think freshly about which levers are available to you, when intervention—subtle or overt—is well-considered, and ultimately what it means for BPs not merely to see all the pieces on the board but to move them.

Aristide J. Collins Jr.
, executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and chief of staff, Strada Education Foundation

2:00 PM ET | Travel Break

2:15 PM ET | Concurrent Session Block 3

Boards and Belonging: Understanding the Role of the Governing Board in Fostering Belonging for Students of Color

This presentation will explore findings from a case study that aims to understand the relationship between the governing board and sense of belonging for students of color within the context of a private nonprofit college and the dynamics at play as board members participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work.

Adriana Lopez Lobovits
, director of the president’s office, California College of the Arts

Charting Your Path to Professional Growth

In our rapidly evolving professional landscape, personal and career growth are not just aspirations; they are necessities. Whether you are an early career professional, midway through your career, or a seasoned professional, it’s crucial to have a well-defined strategy to navigate the changing pursuit of professional development. This session will explore the development of a personalized plan for professional growth and the motivation and opportunities to take proactive steps toward achieving your career aspirations.

Denise Nelson Nash
, vice president and secretary of the board of trustees, Scripps College
Herminio L. Perez, assistant dean of student affairs, diversity and inclusion, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

3:15 PM ET | Break and Networking

3:45 PM ET | Concurrent Session Block 4

Calm, Cool, and Collected: Complexities of Crisis Management

You planned and prepared for the meeting (or event) months in advance, troubleshooted technology, and waited until the final moment to hit print. Inevitably, however, something throws a wrench (or two) into your best-laid plans. The ability for board professionals to quickly pivot to address myriad situations before, during, and after the unexpected is a critical skill in this unique role. Crisis management can be complex, but sorting through the facts and continuing to move forward are not impossible. Learn techniques to maintain a high level of professionalism while addressing the demands of the board, executive leadership, and the public.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify key strategies to effectively prioritize matters as they arise before, during, and after board meetings, events, and functions.
  • Understand the role of servant leadership in addressing unexpected scenarios in the day-to-day role of a board professional.
  • Establish yourself as a trustworthy leader.

Amber McDonnell
, director of board operations, University of Colorado
Amanda Gordon, board relations coordinator, University of Colorado

Enhancing Governance through Board Self-Assessments

In this session, we will delve into the significance and methodology behind board self-assessments. Participants will gain insights into the tools and best practices for developing, conducting, and utilizing the data resulting from board self-assessments. Whether you’re looking to implement a board self-assessment for the first time or refine your current process, this session will offer valuable takeaways for boards of all sizes and structures.

Jessica Burns
, board administrator/executive to CEO, West Virginia University Foundation
Lauren Ferguson, assistant vice president of board relations, University of Central Florida

Six Best Practices in 60 Minutes

Board professionals are constantly learning and implementing new ideas into their work. Join us to get actionable ideas and insights into six best practices that you can immediately implement when you get back to your institution. The six best practices include flipped meetings, board education, action minutes, building board social capital, helping colleagues understand governance, and board recognition.

This session will be led by two seasoned board professionals who have experience at private and public universities.

Denise Nelson Nash
, vice president and secretary of the board, Scripps College
Katie Herschede, vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff, Widener University

Restructuring Committees

Board professionals (BPs) are in a unique position to help facilitate the committee restructuring process because of their role in planning and executing the business of the board. In this session, we will explore the tools you will need to help your board rethink its committee structure—from why this process is important to analyzing whether your board is ready. We will also devolve into how to restructure, including what tools are available to BPs to help facilitate the process. Finally, we will review a case study from the City University of New York.

Gayle Horwitz
, senior advisor to the chancellor and secretary of the board, City University of New York

5:00 PM ET | Break and Networking

7:00 PM ET | Dinner

Tuesday, March 26

6:00 AM ET | Walking/Yoga

8:00 AM ET | Breakfast Plenary: Harnessing the Power of AI

As we venture deeper into the 21st century, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a transformational force in higher education. James Spellos brings a unique perspective to this subject, having dedicated his career to teaching technology applications with a recent focus on AI’s transformative capabilities.

Participants will:

  • Identify 30+ AI tools that can support board professionals’ work
  • Engage interactively with Spellos to elucidate the impact of AI and other technologies on the future of higher education and board governance
  • Understand how current AI technology will continue to evolve

James Spellos, president, Meeting U.

9:00 AM ET | Travel Break

9:15 AM ET | Concurrent Session Block 5

Navigating Trusteeship: Practical Building Blocks for Effective Boards

Explore the building blocks for effective board management and learn some best practices for volunteer engagement. Join us in a conversation that will help you gain tools for streamlining communications, meeting management, and structure—ensuring your board is effective and well-managed.

Jennifer Hendrickson
, associate vice president for advancement, Georgia Gwinnett College; president, Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation
Laura Brown, assistant director of donor and board relations, Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation

Breaking through the Noise: Effective Communication Strategies for Your Board

Communication is a critical component of the board professional role. Board professionals need to communicate not only with their board but also with university and board leadership. Identifying what messages need to be communicated—and when and to whom—is important to the work of a board professional. This session will focus on how to organize board communications into a communication plan and various types of communications while also utilizing the strengths of a board portal. By creating a comprehensive communication plan, board professionals can integrate and execute a consistent communications strategy with their board members and leadership. Presenters will explore many types of communications, including new trustee outreach and orientation, mentorship programs, annual compliance and training, trustee self-assessments, term reminders, board meeting details and registration, e-newsletters, board portal resource centers, and more. In addition, they will share communication plans and samples from Elizabethtown College and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation.

Takeaways include:

  • How to communicate effectively with an integrated, consistent communications strategy
  • What content to communicate in an e-newsletter update for trustees.
  • How to measure overall engagement and participation through data analytics and surveys
  • Why improved and enhanced communication will help strengthen your board and its governance practices
  • How to benefit from multiple types of communications, including new trustee outreach, annual compliance, trustee self-assessments, term reminders, board meeting details and registration, monthly digital newsletters, and more
  • How to utilize a board portal as a communication tool

Kristen Coffey
, program manager, board operations, University of Maryland College Park Foundation
Keri Straub, associate vice president for marketing, communications & external relations, and board liaison, Elizabethtown College

Trending Topics and Insights for Foundation BPs

Take away actionable insights and expand your BP network as panelists discuss trending topics for foundation BPs.

Lisa Cousino-Hoersten
, executive assistant to the president and board liaison, University of Toledo Foundation
Matthew Paskin, executive assistant to the president and board coordinator, University of Alaska Foundation

10:15 AM ET | Travel Break

10:30 AM ET | Professional Development Sessions: From Boston to Boardroom

  • Private
  • Publics
  • Foundations
  • Systems
  • Community College

11:00 AM ET | Travel Break

11:15 AM ET | Plenary – Make a Difference: Placing Your Work in Strategic Context

This closing plenary session of the AGB 2024 Board Professionals Conference will feature two eminent leaders—also former board professionals—who will provide an environmental scan of higher education strategic challenges and opportunities. Where should you apply your skill set back home, and to what end? This session will offer insight and inspiration to help you reset and be a difference-maker as your board strives to “meet the moment.”

Ellen Chaffee, interim president and CEO, AGB; former trustee, Des Moines University; former president, Valley City State University and Mayville State University

Bridget Burns, chief executive officer, University Innovation Alliance; former senior policy advisor and chief of staff, Oregon University System
Kevin Reilly, president emeritus, University of Wisconsin System; former secretary of the university, State University of New York System; AGB Senior Fellow

Take advantage of the early bird rate available until December 1, 2023—the lowest price we will offer for our 2024 conference. Register now to reserve your spot in Boston.

Early Bird Rate*


Regular Member Rate*


Dual Registration Offer
National Conference on Trusteeship and Board Professionals Conference*
Special Dual Registration Offer for Foundation Board Professionals
Foundation Leadership Forum and Board Professionals Conference*

Foundation board professionals who register for the 2024 Foundation Leadership Forum will receive a $300 discount when registering for the 2024 Board Professionals Conference. To take advantage of this bundled rate, members should register for the Foundation Leadership Forum first; or contact the AGB Registrar for assistance.

Save $300

Nonmember Rate


*Member exclusive pricing.

Key Dates

  • Early bird deadline: December 1, 2023
  • Deadline for cancellation: February 15, 2024
  • Deadline to receive discounted hotel rate: March 1, 2024

Cancellation Policy

This program is available only to registrants who are serving a higher ed institution or foundation. Please contact with any questions.

All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to and will be processed after the meeting. Requests for refunds must be received by close of business on February 15, 2024, to receive a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for registrants who cancel after February 15, 2024. If you are unable to attend, a substitute is welcome in your place at no additional charge. AGB is not responsible for cancellations due to airline disruption, inclement weather, COVID-19, or schedule changes.

Group Discounts: If a cancellation causes the group to fall below the required three registrations, the refund will be issued minus the discount benefit received by the original group.

Hotel Information

AGB has secured a room block for Board Professionals Conference attendees at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel at the group rate of $229 per night (or a Wicked Small Room at $189/night), exclusive of 16.45% taxes. Once you have registered for the conference, you will receive a hotel reservation link in your meeting registration confirmation. To receive the group rate, reservations must be made online through the reservation link received. Reservations should be made in the name of the person registered for the 2024 Board Professionals Conference. Multiple reservations under the same name will not be accepted. The deadline for reserving a room at the group rate is March 1, 2024.

With thanks to our 2024 sponsors.

View our 2023 sponsors and see how you can support the Board Professionals Conference.

Contact us.


AGB is committed to excellence in member service. Should you have questions about registering for the Board Professionals Conference, contact the AGB registrar.

Become a Member and Save

If you currently are not an AGB member but want to take advantage of member pricing, contact Matt Stevens, director of membership outreach.


To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Steve Abbott, director of partnerships.

All other inquiries may be directed to the AGB concierge.