President-Elect Candidate

Cathy Cramer, Chief Financial Officer, Seton Catholic Schools

Cathy Cramer Résumé

Hello, fellow WASBO Members - As I complete my term on the Board of Directors, I am asking for your consideration to allow me to continue supporting WASBO in a leadership role as your president-elect. I am committed to supporting WASBO's mission to "provide professional development, to foster a network of support and to advocate for funding that ensures outstanding educational opportunities for all children in Wisconsin."

I have had the privilege of working in several school business positions over the past 28 years - in small and large suburban as well as urban settings - each with different leadership and governance styles, challenges and opportunities. These opportunities have included involvement in several referendum elections, one to meet operational needs as a result of declining enrollment and several to address facility needs to meet growing student enrollment; overseeing construction projects; working through the legislative process for an exemption to the revenue limit; implementing new financial and HR systems; revising attendance boundaries; and working with financial forecast models and budgetary planning processes that required staff reductions. Regardless of the setting, the expectations were the same: to manage the required business operations of the organization, while maximizing the resources available to meet the educational goals and needs of the students and communities served.

Without the support of WASBO, I wouldn't have been able to meet these expectations. There were always business officials willing to provide their valuable time to share their knowledge and best practices - through phone calls and e-mails, their attendance at regional meetings, their committee involvement, or their willingness to plan and present at a conference. To me, this is the real value of our organization to not only each other, but also to the schools we support. It clearly represents WASBO's mission in action.

In spite of the many challenges education is facing, WASBO's commitment to provide the professional development to those managing the "business side" of schools to assure the success of all students remains constant. I would like to provide the leadership required to support this commitment while keeping in mind the diversity of the communities, locations, and positions all of our members represent.

I have been married to my husband, David, for over 30 years. We have two children, who have both graduated from college: Angela, who lives in San Diego and Alex, a recent UW graduate working in Milwaukee. While family will always be my number one priority, nearly "empty nesting" provides me with time I haven't always had to devote to greater participation in WASBO.

It would be an honor to continue to serve WASBO as a leader on your Board. I would do so with a willingness to understand, consider and respect all points of view to ensure the recommended actions best meet our mission and vision.

Director Candidate - 3-year term

Tim Erickson, Director of Financial Services, Hudson School District

Tim Erickson Résumé

Greetings! I would appreciate your consideration as a director candidate. The main reason I am running is to give back to this profession and the WASBO organization that has solidly supported me during my career in school business. I know it sounds cliché, but I really feel an obligation to give back, so when I was approached to consider running, it was easy to say yes. It has been over a decade since I came to Hudson, but I clearly remember how various WASBO members reached out to me, took time to answer my questions and provided much needed and wanted advice when I started here. The knowledge I have gained from attending WASBO conferences has been invaluable. As I reflect on attending my first WASBO meeting for new business managers, what became immediately apparent to me was the quality of WASBO and its members who presented on the various topics. I feel the same about WASBO today as I did back then, the organization and its members continue to impress.

Professionally, I have served the Hudson School District and its 5,600 students for the past 10 years leading the Financial Services Department as its Director. It has been a great district to work for with many rewards and challenges that make no two days the same. Prior to Hudson, I worked for a school district in Minnesota as its Business Services Director for 6 years. Previous to working in public education, I worked in county government and a large regional CPA firm. I am a CPA, CGMA and have my 08 license. I have served on various non-profit boards from small to large as a director and officer. I am involved in our District's mentor program and currently mentor a 6-year old student. Being a mentor has truly brought perspective as to why I chose this profession.

Personally, I was born and raised in Minnesota and have lived in Wisconsin for the past 23 years and, yes, I do like the Pack! My family at home consists of my wife, Kris, as well as one dog and one cat. We are now empty nesters and could not be more proud of our daughter, Sarah. Kris and I have been together for over 30 years. Beyond work I have many interests including hiking, hunting, snowmobiling, boating, reading and spending time with family. Growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of education. My dad taught at the high school level and both my parents were the first in their families to attend college.

School business is beyond the numbers and operational aspects of running a school district. Of course, these are important, but just as important is cultivating relationships with all the various stakeholders in a school community including students, employee groups, parents, taxpayers and school board members, to name a few. As we all know, these stakeholders can have opposing needs and concerns. I have always strived to understand each group's needs and concerns to create a win-win environment. I will carry this same commitment as I served on the board if fortunate enough to be elected.

Last, but not least, please join me in thanking current and previous WASBO board members along with Woody and his staff for the tremendous work they do to make WASBO the premiere organization it is!

President-Elect Candidate

Kent Ellickson, Director of Finance and Business Services, School District of Onalaska

Kent Ellickson Résumé

Thank you for taking the time to review the candidate biographies. I am pleased to step forward with my candidacy for WASBO President-Elect. The WASBO organization has been a very important part of my professional life since becoming a school business manager in 2001. Each of our recent WASBO presidents has discussed the importance of giving back to the organization and pointed out that as we do so, we get something in return. This certainly has been my experience with WASBO. I am thankful a colleague gently encouraged my increased involvement with WASBO early on in my career. Because of the tremendous growth of WASBO to over 1,600 members from a variety of positions and locations, we need to continue to evolve through increased involvement in the organization, including its diverse committees.

Over the years I have enjoyed participating in WASBO through a variety of ways. Currently, I am serving a "fourth" consecutive year on the board as I am filling a special one-year appointment consecutive to completion of a "regular" three-year term. These years have gone fast and the reward from participation has been way more than I ever imagined. I encourage those who have been actively involved in WASBO to consider taking that next step and run for the Board sometime in the future.

This winter I am looking forward to participating in the ASBO Leadership Training Academy with other members of the current Board. My previous involvement in WASBO includes completing the training and serving as a mentor in the WASBO mentorship program, serving as a WASBO representative on the Joint Convention Committee, volunteering to present on school finance at a WASB New School Board Member workshop, serving on the WASBO Scholarship Committee, and serving as an Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools facilitator.

One specific activity that helped me appreciate the character and collaboration of our organization was involvement in the School Finance Puzzle during its first years. I was proud to work with fellow WASBO members, DPI staff, UW-Whitewater personnel, and WASBO staff in the earliest years of the School Finance Puzzle half-day workshop at the Joint Convention. They made it fun to co-chair this initiative each year as we worked together to review and evaluate the previous year's presentation, update it, make preparations for organizations of the current year's session, and interact with the attendees at the convention.

Currently I am in my second year in the School District of Onalaska serving as the Director of Finance. I appreciate working in a district with both the board and administration embracing and functioning as true Professional Learning Community. Just prior to Onalaska I was the Director of Business Services in the Sparta Area School District for 10 years.

My earliest years as a school business administrator were in Southern Wisconsin. Before moving "back home" to Western Wisconsin, I worked in the school districts of Cambridge, Deerfield, and Clinton. Initially the Cambridge and Deerfield positions were combined through a cooperative agreement between the districts. I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to be the first school business manager in the Clinton Community School District as my first business manager position.

Prior to serving as a school business manager, I was a business education teacher for more than 10 years in the School District of Lodi. As a business teacher, I experienced the elementary through high school teaching experience - with an added bonus of teaching adult evening classes for Madison Area Technical College. This was an excellent foundation for an embedded permanent reminder about the purpose of our work as school business officials.

The current board has been devoted to improving the organization through transitioning to policy governance and maintaining commitment to long-range strategic planning. I look forward to an opportunity to help the board continue to move in the same direction as the organization strives to meet the professional needs of our colleagues. It has been an honor to serve with my peers on the board.

Director Candidate - 3-year term

Todd Hajewski, Director of Business Services, Greendale School District

Todd Hajewski Résumé

Hello WASBO colleagues. I am very excited to be a candidate for the WASBO Board of Directors. I am currently the Director of Business Services for the Greendale School District in southeastern Wisconsin. I am fortunate to work in the community in which I reside and the district where my children attend school.

I attended my first WASBO Conference while I was still working in the private sector and had yet to enroll in a School Business Management program. A mentor of mine had introduced me to the career and ever since that conference I knew what I wanted to do. I have attended many conferences since that first one. I am currently a participant on the Fall Conference Planning Committee and have been a speaker at multiple conferences.

I have also been involved with ASBO for the past few years. I was fortunate to be chosen as an Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship winner in 2015 and then was asked to be a mentor for the same group last year. I was also a co-presenter at the 2016 Annual Meeting. I find ASBO to be an extremely valuable resource and would like to connect more WASBO members with the benefits that ASBO provides.

Growing up I thought many times about becoming a teacher. At the same time, I always had a fondness for numbers and business. This profession allows me to combine those interests and helps me indirectly educate young minds while using my business strengths. I am a firm believer that in our roles we need to visible in our schools and not just tied to our desks. I try to visit each of our schools regularly to find out how our office can support the teachers and other staff that directly educate our students. As something that is unique to school business officials, I will occasionally fill in for our elementary principals when they are out of the building. This is great experience for me to see firsthand why we do what we do.

If I would be elected to the WASBO board, I would look forward to giving back to an organization that has given so much to me. I would like to focus on continuing to offer informative and unique professional development to those that regularly attend WASBO events. I would also like to work on ways to connect WASBO with those business office and operations staff members that currently do not take advantage of our organization. Finally, I believe we are at a point where we need to work on recruiting new talent to our great profession.

Thank you very much for your consideration for my candidacy for WASBO Board of Directors.