The Value of Membership

"I could not have survived 30 years in school business without the support I've received from ASBO. No matter how much you may think your problem is unique, it's not. I've always found support from colleagues facing the same issues no matter where they work, and I've shared solutions. We have a lot to learn from one another, so I value my memberships in Tri-State ASBO, New Hampshire ASBO, Vermont ASBO, and ASBO International."
—John Aubin, South Burlington School District, South Burlington, Vermont
Member since 1992

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Joann Gilman Auricchio

Member Spotlight from December 15, 2016

Joann Gilman Auricchio describes her path to school business as a conventional one—after all, she majored in accounting in college. But her story took a twist when she sought her first job. Upon graduation, it was Joann’s father, whom she describes as a traditional Italian grocer, who told her “she was going to an interview.” At the time, Joann lived in Jersey City, New Jersey, and her interview was with Jersey City Public Schools.

“The next thing I knew, I was an accountant for the school system,” Joann recalls with a laugh. She was never quite sure if there had even been a job opening at the time, but obviously, it was meant to be. Over a 27-year period, she rose through six more positions, eventually serving as business administrator.

In 2008, Joann decided she needed a change, and took on the business administrator and board secretary position for Morris Hills Regional District in Rockaway, New Jersey. At first glance, it may seem easy to move from a district with 32,000 students and a $600 million budget to one with fewer than 3,000 students and a $60 million budget, but Joann admits it was frightening.

“In Jersey City, I had certain responsibilities, but I had a host of directors who carried out their own set of tasks,” Joann says. When she arrived at Morris Hills, everything was on her shoulders. “It was like trying to remember how to ride a bike.” Luckily, she got up to speed quickly!

Despite being in the field for 35 years, Joann recognizes that learning is an ongoing process. She is particularly grateful that she decided to attend her first ASBO International meeting—the 2016 Executive Leadership Forum in Las Vegas last February.

“I walked away from that ‘wowed’,” she says. Prior to attending this meeting, Joann and her facilities director had discussed plans to conduct their annual warehouse inventory upon her return. But when she attended a leadership forum session hosted by Zappos Insights, she realized that their district’s approach to the inventory needed to change completely! Joann learned so much during the two-day forum that she began paying closer attention to, and subsequently benefited more from, various ASBO membership elements. She was equally pleased with her experience at the 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo and looks forward to her second Executive Leadership Forum this February!

Connect with Joann on the Global School Business Network

Want to be an ASBO International featured member? Email Theresa Boulware, membership manager. We love to share our members’ stories!