Finalsite U 


Finalsite University 2019 Chicago

 June 20-21 2019 | Swissotel Chicago 

Check out this fantastic lineup of speakers!

Every year we reach out to top experts in our industry to share their knowledge at Finalsite University. We have a stellar line up for 2019! Learn best practices and up-to-date  strategies for all things school communications and websites including technologies that are on the horizon — preparing us all to embrace them.

Special Guest Speakers

Stephanie Whitney

Stephanie Whitney is the Head of School at The Mead School, in Stamford, CT since July 2015. The Mead School is a progressive, independent co-ed day school serving Infants - Grade 8. Before joining The Mead School, Stephanie worked for 16 years at other notable schools as Assistant Head of School for Admission & Enrollment Management and as Admissions Director.

Liz Thompson

As the Director of Marketing and Communications at Saint Mary’s Hall, Liz is responsible for all strategic marketing, public relations, and communication.  She is passionate about marketing, with more than 20 years of experience in the field.

Patrick Coyle

Patrick is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Georgetown Preparatory School. He is a 2003 Georgetown Prep alumnus and came back to the school in 2013 as the school's first ever Director of Marketing and Communications. He previously worked for a private equity group in Washington, D.C. focusing on brand development and management and marketing strategy in the hospitality industry.

Johanna Parker

Johanna currently serves as the Director of Innovation for Dare County Schools. She started her career as a science teacher in rural Eastern North Carolina through Teach for America. Then, after becoming a school administrator, she opened a new school that offered a Spanish Dual Language Immersion program. She is an advocate for innovative school reform and passionate about working to close the achievement gap.

Bob Macartney

Bob Macartney ’91 joined his alma mater as Director of Web Communications & Technology in 2016. With a nearly two decade background working in higher education, Bob has been responsible for the design, production, and daily maintenance of websites at multiple institutions of higher education before coming home to La Salle.

Brance Arnold

As the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications at Saint Mary’s Hall, Brance is responsible for supporting the department with strategic marketing, public relations, and communication. He has nearly more than seven years of experience in the field, working both in the higher education and independent school sectors.

Emma Christiantelli

Emma graduated from Marist College in May 2015, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. Currently, she works as Website and Digital Marketing Manager at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York.

Chuck Putney

Chuck is the Website Manager at Central Catholic High School and is a 1994 of the school. Chuck works closely with the Leadership, Admissions, and Advancement teams to ensure that the story and mission of CCHS is told in compelling ways across various mediums

Tony Reyes

Tony Reyes is the Digital Media Manager for Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. He is also a Fulbright scholar and has over a decade of experience working in digital media and marketing for businesses and educational institutions in the United States and China. Creator and host of the Black Life China podcast, Tony loves all things digital and is looking forward to sharing his passion for creating content.

Connie Mitchell

Accomplished leader in Strategic Communications with 20 years of experience spanning several industries in the Washington DC area: legal, nonprofit, and education. Possesses a strong skill set to execute on complex strategic communications-- analytical/critical thinking; interpersonal communication, writing and editing-- with a special tact for teamwork, building consensus, and exceeding expectations.

Jonathan Allen

Jonathan is Serra High School's assistant director of advancement. He focuses on promoting the accomplishments, positive outcomes, and compelling stories found within their community. He created Serra’s social media presence in 2010 and has focused on cultivating a diverse audience of students, parents, alumni and prospective families. One of Jonathan's video posts from 2017 garnered more than 1,000,000 views across Facebook and Twitter.

Patty Lynch

Working at large private school in the Marketing & Communications Department. Manage their website and the communications through a content management system (Finalsite). Create web pages, online forms, news releases, email templates, media galleries and more. Promote the School through social media. Train teachers on how to use the website tool to effectively communicate to students and parents. Also coordinate the advertising and public relations.

Keith Parker

Keith is the Digital Communications and Middle School Director at Dare County Schools in Nags Head, NC. Keith is passionate about educating students, connecting his community, branding, and innovation — and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with districts in NC.

Jodie Shoemaker

Director of Marketing, Communications, and Alumni Relations at The Woods Academy. Jodie develops and implements a marketing, communication, and public relations plan while coordinating all communication efforts institution wide. She maintains a strategic and integrated relationship with the school’s enrollment and advancement efforts and establishes and build relationships with alumni.

Laurie Ehrlich

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Director of Marketing and Communications, 16+ years of integrated communications experience including marketing, strategic planning and execution, and digital media. Proven leadership abilities and outstanding organizational and people management skills. Excellent record of exceeding performance goals due to consistency in enthusiasm, creativity, detail orientation and multi-tasking.

Finalsite Speakers

Jon Moser

Jon Moser founded Finalsite close to 20 years ago and is passionate about EdTech and digital engagement. He's sought-after as a speaker at conferences world-wide and is a widely respected thought leader and author.

Angelo Otterbein

Angelo graduated valedictorian from St. Paul's School in Baltimore, MD and from Princeton University. Despite getting his degree in creative writing and English Literature, it generally takes some doing to keep him from programming and breaking websites. Just after graduating, he started Silverpoint, and grew it to over 300 schools worldwide before merging with Finalsite in 2013.

Tim McDonough

Father of two, husband, speaker, blogger, recovering admissions director, runner, vegetarian, Celtics fan, fanatical about coffee and music.

Ritsa Lafond

Ritsa joined Finalsite in 2009 as a Project Manager. As the Director of Deployment Services at Finalsite, Ritsa oversees the delivery and implementation of Client’s creative services and CMS for our US and International Clients. Ritsa works closely with the Project Management, Creative and Front End Development teams to ensure Client’s goals and vision for their website is delivered through a process that is clear, actionable and highly rated. 

Rob Dimartino

Finalsite founding member and Chief Evangelist, Rob brings over 20 years of experience working with the internet in the education space. Rob is a thought leader and global speaker on digital strategy, marketing, communications, s and digital engagement. Rob brings experience, trends, and real world “takeaways” to audiences about maximizing technology to increase efficiencies in the independent school environment.

Lauren Barth

Lauren joined the Finalsite team in 2009 as a member of the integration team. As the Chief Product Officer at Finalsite, Lauren oversees the development and innovation of Finalsite's products. With customer feedback as motivation, Lauren works closely with her team members to ensure that we get great software into the hands of our clients as quickly as we can.

Hilary Mezzi

Hilary joined the Finalsite team in 2016, after working in admissions and communications at a boarding school. As part of the Product Education team, Hilary works with clients to ensure that they feel comfortable and confident with the software, whether that is through webinars, Finalsite Training events, Support tickets, Knowledge Base articles, or individualized training

Anthony Tata

Anthony is a Senior Client Success Manager at Finalsite. He has been offering support for Finalsite clients for over 13 years. He provides training, guidance, product demonstrations, and information about products and services all with one goal — helping his clients be as successful as possible.

Kara Franco

Kara works to create educational content and training for schools and districts. She serves in areas of accessibility, product education and training. Kara is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). She is also an avid gardener, bird watcher and loves jazz and cats!

Kate Persons

Kate has been with Finalsite since 2012, initially in Support and currently on the Client Success Team. She loves working with schools to help them use FInalsite tools to tell their unique stories in the most compelling ways and meet their strategic goals. Prior to Finalsite, Kate spent 16 years working in Advancement in higher ed and independent boarding and day schools. 

Manny Vargas

Manny joined the Finalsite team in 2017 as member of the Deployment team. As a Senior Web Designer at Finalsite, Manny designs and strategizes website redesigns for clients from all around the globe. He is also part of our in-house web accessibility committee team to gain insights and trends changes. 

Sam Lipscomb

Education enthusiast specializing in web presence, brand development and marketing. Experience in school and agency settings, advertising, and printing. Love working with my schools all over the western half of the United States and sharing Finalsite web solutions!

Keegan Soncha

Keegan is the Manager of Product Education at Finalsite. In a previous life she worked as a chemistry teacher in a US independent school. She and her team manage our daily live webinars, Finalsite Training, and the Knowledge Base to help empower clients to make the most of their Finalsite platform.

Red Abbot

Red leads our team of experts who have your back when it comes to organic online searches and ads. With a long history in independent schools — as an alum, former teacher, dorm parent, coach, and now a current parent — his passion for helping you is rooted deep in his own experiences. Alongside his degree in engineering and a master’s in school leadership, it’s easy to see why clients say Red “gets them” when they discuss marketing strategy!

Daisey Fahringer

Daisey has been with Finalsite in various capacities for nearly fourteen years, and now serves on the Product Management Team as a Product Manager overseeing the direction of modules such as Athletics, Apply, Blogs & News, Forms, and more.

Julianne Hamilton

Since joining Finalsite's design team in 2014, Julianne has designed 60+ websites for schools, districts, and universities around the world, winning over two dozen awards along the way. Now, as Design Manager, Julianne works with Finalsite's talented designers to ensure team members have the tools and guidance needed to create beautiful, user-centered websites for our clients.

Alex Wack

Alex Wack joined Finalsite in 2009 and has spent the last 10 years, developing, managing, and presenting on new Finalsite products. Following Composer’s launch in 2014, Alex has also overseen the releases of Finalsite Feeds, Resources and the upcoming Mobile App.

Logan Wagner

A veteran of the US Navy, Logan joined the Finalsite team three years ago as a member of the Support department. As a Product Support Engineer, he's worked on a variety of projects, and is currently focused on deploying integrations.

Tracy Tigchelaar

Marketing and Communications professional with almost 25 years’ experience within the Independent and International Education sector. Appreciates the significant and important role of positive internal and community relations with all stakeholders - parents, students, staff and alumni — and understands the need to balance their individual needs.

Finalsite Partners

Jennie Winton

Since co-founding Mission Minded in 2002, Jennie has served 200+ nonprofits, and inspired hundreds more as a nationally-sought lecturer. Her popular workshops cover brand strategy and how to increase fundraising through better messaging. Jennie excels at helping senior nonprofit leaders clarify how they talk about their work, which leads to greater organizational stability, increased revenues, and an expanded presence.

Miles Latham

Co-founder of Affixxius Films, based in the UK, and is a frequent speaker on the topic of strategic use of film material in Independent Schools. Independent school educated and a graduate of Christ Church, Oxford with over 12 years experience in over 300 schools across the world, Miles is a proud Daddy to Jack, a whisky collector, and an amateur academic.

Chelsea Janke

As Director of Client & School Services at CEL Marketing PR Design and #boymom of two, Chelsea is a school advocate and self-proclaimed digital search extraordinaire! She is always on-the-go working on #marketing and #strategies for #schoolPR! She is respected within the field for helping schools tell their story and interact with stakeholders by using effective communication tools and technology.

Ryan Bowse

Ryan Bowse is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ravenna Solutions. Ravenna Solutions is a new approach to private school admissions. We partner with private school admission offices to help them elevate their process and receive better outcomes.

April Morgan

I am a high school chemistry teacher turned trainer. My experience helping high schoolers understand detailed scientific information has translated seamlessly into helping adult learners understand complex topics. Generally, I love helping others learn. Currently, I am focused on training others about web accessibility and other related topics in order to help make digital content more usable for all.

Ty D’amore

Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) Ty D’amore is a leader in the accessibility space and vocal advocate for digital inclusivity. Instrumental in developing and managing the partnership with Finalsite, Ty specializes in managing the seamless integration of AudioEye into third-party platforms. Ty possesses an in-depth understanding of the legal and technical demands of ADA-related digital accessibility requirements.

Ready to Join us in Chicago?

20 years and so much to celebrate! Join us in making this the best Finalsite University ever.