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2016 SAIS Annual Conference - Attendees
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2016 SAIS Annual Conference

The SAIS Annual Conference draws independent school leaders from throughout the region. In 2015, we hosted over 325 heads of school and administratorsJoin us to network with regional colleagues as we delve into relevant independent school issues.

Have a session idea or a speaker you'd like to request for a future conference?  We want to know!  Tell us using this form.  Would you like to present next year? Complete the 2017 Annual Conference Breakout Session ProposalPlease note that the deadline for submission of breakout session proposals for the 2017 SAIS Annual Conference is midnight on March 31, 2017.


The 2016 SAIS Annual Conference will take place October 22-24, 2016, at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346.


You may make reservations at the host hotel (Crowne Plaza Ravinia) online using the orange "Host Hotel" button above or by calling 1-800-554-0055. Check-in time is 4:00 PM. Check-out time is 12:00 PM.  You may view a list of hotels near the host hotel using the orange "Nearby Hotels" button above.


   { through August 22 }
   { August 23 - September 22 }   { September 23 - October 14 }
  { after October 14 }

MEMBER $395 $225 $205 $425 $245 $225 $455 $265 $245 $485 $285 $265
NON-MEMBER $449 $279 $249 $479 $299 $269 $509 $319 $289 $539 $339 $309
VENDOR NON-EXHIBITOR $750 $500 $300 $800 $550 $350 $850 $600 $400 $900 $650 $450

For information on participating as a vendor, please see our exhibits and/or sponsors pages.


Gold Sponsors Silver Sponsors

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Donna Hicks & John Zogby

Donna Hicks
Best-Selling Author & Creator of the “Dignity Model”
5:00 PM KeynoteCreating a Culture of Dignity - sponsored by Carney, Sandoe & Associates

One of the great challenges in an organization is keeping people engaged and productive. Research has shown that people who feel valued are more likely to give their discretionary energy to the workplace and are more loyal than those who do not. This presentation addresses two aspects of creating a culture of dignity: the interpersonal (knowing how to honor the dignity of employees) and systemic (developing system-wide policy that is mindful of the necessity of treating people as if they matter). Knowing how to create an environment where people - at all levels on the hierarchy - feel safe to speak up when their dignity has been violated is a key component to the work. At the same time, knowing how to honor people and executing it on a daily basis, brings a dimension of joyfulness to an organization that not only makes people feel valued, but also brings out the best in them.


Dr. Donna Hicks, author of the best-selling book Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, has gained worldwide recognition for her unique approach to transforming conflict by shedding light on our universal desire to be treated with dignity. Her unique focus on dignity and the essential role it plays in resolving conflict has transformed work environments for the world’s most prominent companies, nonprofits, and governmental agencies.

Dr. Hicks is an associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and has educated the nation’s brightest minds at Harvard, Clark, and Columbia Universities. In the past, Dr. Hicks was a co-host with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the BBC show Facing the Truth and she spoke main stage for the 2013 TEDx Stormont conference on the topic of dignity. Dr. Hicks, and Dignity, has been featured prominently throughout the media, appearing on Fox News, Psychology Today, NPR, Newsday, and radio stations across the country.

Dr. Hicks is a dynamic and thought-provoking speaker who brings her unmatched insights on dignity and conflict resolution to each of her award-winning presentations. She has applied the Dignity Model to international conflicts, the corporate world, schools and universities, faith communities, and the health care community. With past clients such as the World Bank, United Nations, U.S. Navy, and the government of Columbia, her powerful ideas on human interaction enable organizations to build a culture of dignity, heal highly-charged emotional wounds, and thrive in today’s global marketplace.

John Zogby
America’s Most Accurate Pollster & Trendspotter
Monday 9:00 AM Keynote
America’s First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing the Potential of the Millennial Generation

In the most comprehensive research yet, speaker John Zogby explores the impact of America's "First Globals". Americans born between 1979 and 1997 are networked worldwide; monitor global sports, fashion, and music; are unlikely to think American culture is superior to other cultures; and are reluctant to go to war against people who listen to their music and dress like them. They are having a huge impact on the workplace, NGOs, home ownership and housing, the meaning of community, and potentially on elections. In addition to the impact of millennials, Zogby will also share his findings on the upcoming Presidential election.


One of America's most prized thought leaders, John Zogby delivers incredible insight into the most important trends affecting our companies, our government, and our own lives. He has been heralded as the nation's most accurate trend analyst today. Using advanced methods to generate research drawn from hundreds of thousands of respondents each year, Zogby works straight from the raw data without any partisan filters to present the clean truth on emerging issues. From IBM, Microsoft, GE, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to Wal-Mart, Cisco, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's most important corporate leaders rely on Zogby for his unbiased research. For nearly two decades, Zogby has also recognized that there are a lot more to trends than meets the eye. There are attitudes, behaviors, and shifting paradigms that impact us every day … beyond politics. Rather, he helps us understand all of the factors which govern more than just governments – factors that affect and influence us personally, professionally, and of course, in ways we may not even be aware of.

As the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream, John continues to put his finger on the pulse of America, creating a portrait of the trends that drive our society today and will in the future. His new e-book, The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing Our Millennial Generation, provides a detailed analysis of why Americans born between 1979 and 1994 are truly more globally aware, sensitive, and desirous to make their workplace and planet a better place, as well as how to understand them and help them play out their destiny. He currently pens a weekly column for, a weekly report card on President Obama's performance for The Washington Times, and a monthly column for Politics magazine.

Also a well-known political and social pundit, his work has been featured in op-ed pages worldwide, valued in corporate boardrooms, and considered must-read material at every level of America's political landscape. Zogby has been interviewed by every major U.S. news and cable network and has served as an election analyst for the BBC, CBC, and Al Jazeera, among others. He has delivered more than 2,000 speeches, public lectures, and management briefings, simultaneously educating and entertaining his audiences with professionalism, polish, and prophecy. A teacher at heart with 24 years of experience as a professor of American history and politics, his speeches are always conversational, witty poignant, and informative.

Those who can see their own future, control their own future. What information could possibly be more important to your organization than where it will be tomorrow, next month, or next year? Part orator and part oracle, John Zogby brings the combination of accurate data, trend spotting, storytelling, and global perspective to each presentation, allowing audiences to benefit from his unique, perhaps even mystic talents and expertise today … and for the foreseeable future.


Your registration fee includes all meals beginning with Sunday breakfast and ending with Monday lunch except Sunday dinner is on your own.  


The hotel provides self-parking. Follow signs to self-parking, which is located in an underground garage to the left side of the hotel.


Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (airport code = ATL)


The hotel is 1 mile from the Dunwoody MARTA station on the red line ($2.50 one way). Cabs are also available to/from the airport ($60 one way).


Business casual (erring on the side of casual) is always safe with us. We want you to be comfortable. Be sure to bring a jacket or sweater in case you find the meeting room chilly. We tend to skew cooler rather than warmer.


Tweet us @SAISnews! The official Twitter hashtag for the conference is #saisAC. Please tag us when tweeting about the conference.


There will be wireless internet available throughout the conference center.


If you require any special accommodations, please contact


Cancellations received in writing to 21 days prior to the event will be refunded less a 20% processing fee. After that date no refunds are available, but replacement registrants are welcomed.


Registration, attendance at, or participation in SAIS meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to SAIS’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videos, electronic reproductions, and audio of such events and activities.


Please contact if you have any additional questions.


Click here for information about previous conferences, including keynote speakers, dates, and locations.


  • Best value for the dollar.  Great job!
  • I learned, once again, that there are both others out there experiencing and striving for the same things I am, and that there are others finding the same frustrations I am. This is good to know.
  • The most important thing about the conference was the opportunity to network with administrators from schools whose demographics were similar to our own. The conference schedule allowed for a great deal of such interactions that were very useful to me.
  • I was able to attend sessions that filled in gaps in my experience as an educator.
  • I was happy to make new connections this year, and I also appreciated the collaborative format in the workshops. Clearly much time was spent working with the presenters in advance. SAIS just keeps getting better and better.
  • Excellent presenters, with pertinent content, strategies, and ideas that can easily be used upon returning to my school.
  • This was my first visit to the conference and I gained so much that I definitely plan on returning next year.
  • With economic issues, I only attend one conference a year and I always select the SAIS Annual Conference.
  • Great content, well executed, up to usual SAIS standards.
  • The conference is excellent and a great value.  It is amazing how SAIS provides all this for the price!

2016 SAIS Board/Head Retreat


The 2016 SAIS Board/Head Retreat is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the head and the board. Participation in this retreat is limited to heads of school and board members. It will take place on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 AM - 4:15 PM at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346. More information may be found at

2016 BHR FACILITATOR: John Littleford

Littleford & Associates was founded by John Littleford in 1994. Mr. Littleford has served as head of school for 18 years, a teacher for 25 years, and a board member and chair of schools and nonprofit agencies.

He has written and spoken extensively worldwide on each area of the firm’s consulting expertise. John Littleford is the co-author, with Valerie Lee, of the book, “Faculty Salary Systems in Independent Schools”. This landmark publication on this topic was published by NAIS from 1983-94. His articles on the career ladder concept of faculty compensation are found in Larry Frase’s book, entitled “Teacher Motivation and Compensation”, published in 1992 by the Technomic Press.

Calendar more
SAIS@NAIS Reception
February 27 | Long Beach, CA
Please stop by SAIS booth #882 in the exhibit hall too!

Leadership Retreat
April 15-16 | New Orleans, LA
Join us for a real conversation about women in independent school leadership.

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