History, Lessons of the Geese

Our History

PAISBOA’s seeds were planted in the summer of 1989 when a group of Business Managers from independent schools in the Philadelphia area gathered to discuss the rising cost of health care. From this meeting, a coalition was formed to actively engage Independence Blue Cross in a dialog surrounding the cost and design of program offerings to the roughly 60 schools that comprised this original group.

For several years, health care was the sole purpose of PAISBOA.  Additional schools were added as word spread of the consortium. Monthly meetings were established that focused on various aspects of the business office and the responsibilities of the business manager. Life and disability programs were added as a natural extension offered, as many schools took advantage of the group’s buying power.

In 1994, when many of the Friends schools found themselves in need of a new insurance carrier for Property and Business Insurance, the PAISBOA Business Insurance Group was added as an option, and 40 schools soon signed on.

A natural extension soon followed when the Purchasing Consortium, PAISPC, was established. Taking advantage of the growing number of schools, contracts for goods and services could be negotiated at favorable prices that would not have otherwise been an option for the individual schools. Human Resources services were added to provide ongoing assistance to the business officer. Additional programs were created as opportunities presented themselves: investments, energy, and teacher recruitment are examples of recent successful initiatives.

Monthly professional development programs expanded to cover a range of relevant topics of interest to keep the business officers abreast of changes and updates that affect their schools. Best Practices were developed by means of listservs, data collection, as well as the informational network PAIS2Know.  All this done with a small volunteer team of committed business managers and loyal vendor/consultant partners and a part-time staff. In 2008, a full-time Administrative Assistant was hired and, in 2009, a full-time Executive Director.

Over one hundred schools have joined the original 60 to create a formidable group with formidable buying power. This strong model created in the Philadelphia area is unique in its ability to take advantage of opportunities and be able to “make it happen”.

LESSONS OF THE GEESE

 

PAISBOA - Lessons Video from paisboa on Vimeo.