is reaching
new heights.

About our Leadership Initiative

Missions are advanced and visions realized when the passions and talents of individuals are engaged in a common goal. This requires exceptional leadership as well as generous donors.

Though there are many experienced fundraising professionals working each day to engage new donors and steward existing ones, the magnitude and pace of philanthropic giving are amplified when the institution’s top leader becomes its top philanthropy champion.

Marts & Lundy created The Azure Summit so that leaders of mission-driven organizations can experience the highest-quality teaching on the critical role they can play in developing a deep and broad culture of philanthropy. The Summit’s leadership curriculum is tailored to high-performing professionals who expect to gain significant knowledge that drives their expertise and action to new heights.

The Azure Summit for Heads of School

July 19-21, 2020 Boston, Massachusetts 

Add to Calendar The Azure Summit A Marts & Lundy Leadership Initiative Marts & Lundy 07/22/2019 07/23/2019 true America/Boston Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor, 101 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128 The Azure Summit OPAQUE

The Azure Summit is designed to prepare you to connect mission, vision and philanthropy, engaging your board, staff, volunteers and full community in creating a shared future for your school. We have drawn together a faculty of experienced Independent School leaders from across our firm to create a conference solely for Heads of School.

The Summit will begin Sunday evening with a cocktail reception for attendees who arrive that afternoon. Sessions begin on Monday, July 20, at 8:15 a.m. EDT and will conclude at Noon EDT on Tuesday, July 21.

The Curriculum

Keynote: What Strategy Is, Why it Matters, and How it Works: A Primer for School Heads


Keynote: What Strategy Is, Why it Matters, and How it Works: A Primer for School Heads

In the recurring exercise of school “strategic planning,” one crucial concept often gets lost along the way: strategy itself. In this session, we’ll cut through process and politics to isolate strategy as a core idea in business scholarship and practice. Then, we’ll explore strategy in the context of a mission-driven, value-laden school. What are the key business decisions Heads and Boards must make in order to ensure institutional vitality? And how can Heads begin to establish mechanisms for making sure strategy remains a central, not a peripheral, consideration?

Campaign Realities: Greatest Hopes? Greatest Fears?


Campaign Realities: Greatest Hopes? Greatest Fears?

A campaign impacts the head differently and more deeply than any other person in the organization. We will identify and discuss these stressors and pressures to help position you to thrive in this new role. We also will share scenarios in which the HOS and CAO relationship is most important, discussing what works and what does not—ultimately charting a course to the best partnership.

Donor Motivations and Behaviors


Donor Motivations and Behaviors

Understanding what motivates donors to invest deeply in your School is critical to achieving new heights in your fundraising program. National research and significant field experience will inform your ability to assess the behavior of your major gift donors. This will position you to develop the right strategies for engaging them in a meaningful way.

Planning for a Campaign


Planning for a Campaign

Before hitting the go button, ensure that your School is ready to take on the rigors of a campaign. This session will take you through an assessment to determine the readiness state of your School.

Case for Support


Case for Support

We will focus on best practices in case development, reviewing the many paths to a case. There is no one way to get there, but there are core fundamentals. This session will be infused with examples of strong cases and will provide you with worksheets to guide your thinking about building the case.

Executing a Campaign


Executing a Campaign

Few campaigns follow a linear path. This session will provide an overview of what to expect in each phase and examples of course corrections when necessary. Most important, this will give you a clear sense of the roles you, your Board and your advancement team should play.

Demystifying the Ask


Demystifying the Ask

Asking a donor to partner with you in realizing a bold vision can be one of the most exciting things you do as Head of School. We will help you find a path toward embracing this work fully.

Campaign Action Plan


Campaign Action Plan

Leave with a plan. During this closing session you will develop an actionable plan to make the case, to design a framework for a campaign and to secure the best partnerships with your Board and your CAO.

One-on-One Session With a Faculty Member


One-on-One Session With a Faculty Member

We are offering a limited number of individual sessions with a member of The Azure Summit Faculty on the topic of your choice. These one-hour consultations will take place on Tuesday. There is an additional fee, and the registration form provides you the opportunity to schedule a session.

Keynote Speaker

Peter Upham

Pete has been Executive Director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) since 2007. TABS is the voice for college prep boarding schools, with 250 member and subscriber institutions in the United States, Canada, and around the globe. The Association leads a domestic and international effort to promote awareness and understanding of boarding schools and to expand the applicant pool for the sector. TABS is the go-to resource for boarding school leaders and educators seeking professional development. The Association also delivers original research on the advantages and life-long impact of a residential academic experience for students, and on the evolving educational landscape and operating environment for schools.

Earlier in his career, Pete spent thirteen years in boarding school administration and teaching, six as Assistant Head of School at Asheville School in North Carolina. Before his appointment at TABS, Pete was the owner and principal of CWJ Consulting, a firm assisting schools, educational organizations, and non-profits in the areas of strategy, advancement, and planning. His current professional and scholarly interests include educational leadership, school strategy, institutional risk management, workplace learning, organizational culture and change, analytics, and total resource development. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at education conferences, board meetings, and school ceremonies.

Pete is former Board President for Hanger Hall, an independent school for girls, and former Vice-President of the Board for the Diocese of Charlotte Schools, a regional Catholic school system. He is also a poet; his work has appeared in a number of national and international journals.

Pete was educated at Hotchkiss School. He did his undergraduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar, and earned his M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently completing his doctoral dissertation. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.

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  • Current Clients

    $1,800 First Registration

    $1,800 Second Registration

  • Non-Clients

    $2,000 First Registration

    $1,800 Second Registration

  • One-on-one consultation

    $300 (Optional)

Head of School Registration

To register, please complete the form below. Your chief advancement officer, if attending, can be registered now or at a later date.

We will send an invoice to you via the email you provide below. The invoice will include a link to a secure payment form.

Did your Head of School already register?

Add your Registration

Lodging and Meetings

Hyatt Regency
Boston Harbor

101 Harborside Drive
Boston, MA 02128

Make Reservation Get Directions

We have secured a block of rooms at a special group rate. Please use the Make Reservation button to be taken to the page prepared for registrants of The Azure Summit. To ensure you receive the group rate, please reserve your room by June 29.

If you need additional assistance with your reservation, please contact the hotel at 877-803-7534 or click here to find contact information by Region.

About the Hotel

Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor is an intimate and boutique-style Harborside hotel with breathtaking views of the beautiful city skyline. Guests will appreciate the proximity to Logan Airport and the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle. Boston’s famed cultural and historical sites, recreational options, and neighborhoods are just minutes away and easily accessible through our many public transportation options available including of the MBTA Train and Water Taxi.

Visiting Boston

Boston has something for everyone! Explore things to do in and around Boston during your stay.

Walking Tours

Museums and Galleries

Shopping and Dining

Theaters and Venues



Marts & Lundy Faculty

About Karen Callahan

Karen spent 25 years leading advancement programs at Northfield Mount Hermon School and Brooks School and has served more than 40 schools across the country in various stages of campaigns.

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Karen Callahan


About Sarah Cave

Sarah spent the last 20 years in development programs from Agnes Scott College to Holy Innocents Episcopal School and served as counsel for independent schools throughout the Eastern seaboard including Hackley, McDonogh and Westminster Schools.

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Sarah Cave


About Ninette Enrique

Ninette has served as Director of Development for St. Luke’s School for nearly 17 years. Her career in the nonprofit sector spans three decades, during which she has held various positions in development, nonprofit management, international affairs, grant making and curriculum development.

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Ninette Enrique


About Charlie Melichar

Charlie has worked extensively in the independent school sector, focusing on issues related to strategic communications and building the case for support.

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Charlie Melichar


About Taylor Stockdale

Taylor has 30-plus years of experience with independent schools and has served as Head of Schools at The Webb Schools since 2010.

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Taylor Stockdale


About Jim Zimmerman

Jim spent three decades leading advancement programs at Middlesex School, Cate School, The Lawrenceville School and Francis Parker School. He served as a trustee of his alma mater, Bucknell University.

View Full Bio 
Jim Zimmerman



The benefit my Advancement Director and I received from attending The Azure Summit was far greater than I had imagined! I’ve been to many local, state and national conferences focused on the topic of building a philanthropic culture and capital campaign and this was by far more helpful and personalized. We both walked away feeling more knowledgeable, empowered, and prepared to create and lead the way in advancing my school! It was superb! Thank you!

  • Arvi Balseiro, Head of School
  • The Cushman School

For me, the Summit was incredibly reassuring, as it took away the mystery of campaigns. Peeling back the curtain on the data and process behind running a smart campaign was incredible. I think part of what makes trying to become a headmaster intimidating is that, for most of us on the faculty, we’re presented the ball after it’s already been rolling for 100 yards whether the ball is a campaign, strategic plan, or any other type of new school initiative. Understanding the front-end work that goes into it makes me much more comfortable as I think about working towards becoming a head.

  • Rob Follansbee, Assistant Head of School
  • Brunswick Academy

My experience with the Azure Summit was nothing but positive. I felt that it was designed to help someone like me who has spent my career on the academic side of the program. It gave me the opportunity to learn from the experts, who have been in the trenches with schools across the country during their strategic planning and all stages of their capital campaigns in all cycles of the economy. The shared anecdotes, the role play with potential donors, and the opportunity to ask questions and dig in was invaluable.

  • Jess Hill, Head of School
  • Harpeth Hall

The Azure Summit provided myriad opportunities for me as Head of School to think strategically about inspiring meaningful gifts, strengthening my partnership with my Director of Advancement, and creating a vibrant culture of philanthropy in my school community. Most importantly, it developed my confidence as a fundraising leader who inspires donors’ generous support of my vision and my school’s mission.

  • Laura Konigsberg, Head of School
  • Turning Point School

As a new head of school, the Azure Summit proved an invaluable professional development opportunity. The Marts & Lundy team took the time to prepare a program that met the individualized needs of each of us in the room, and I left the Summit feeling prepared and more confident in my ability to lead my school’s upcoming campaign.

  • Noni Thomas López, Ed.D, Head of School
  • Gordon School

For me, the Summit was incredibly reassuring, as it took away the mystery of campaigns. Peeling back the curtain on the data and process behind running a smart campaign was incredible. I think part of what makes trying to become a headmaster intimidating is that, for most of us on the faculty, we’re presented the ball after it’s already been rolling for 100 yards whether the ball is a campaign, strategic plan, or any other type of new school initiative. Understanding the front end work that goes into it makes me much more comfortable as I think about working towards becoming a head.

  • Rob Follansbee, Head of Middle School
  • Brunswick School

Contact Us

If you’d like more information on our curriculum and presenters, please contact Karen Callahan at kcallahan@martsandlundy.com or by phone, 978-476-1270.


For questions or assistance with your registration or lodging, please contact Angie Sheffer at sheffer@martsandlundy.com or by phone, 434-996-8220.