Pomfret Hires New Chief Financial Officer

Pomfret Hires New Chief Financial Officer

Melissa Woodin has been selected as the next CFO of Pomfret School.

Pomfret School is pleased to announce Melissa Lee Woodin as its next chief financial officer. “Everyone who has worked with Melissa sings her praises,” said Head of School Tim Richards in his announcement to the community. “I’m impressed with her passion for independent school finances and extensive experience as a presenter at regional and national conferences.”

A veteran financial leader with over twenty years of experience, Woodin has deep experience in auditing and spending, as well as in the preparation of long-term forecasts and financial models. At Pomfret, Woodin will oversee Pomfret’s financial and business matters, as well as benefits and insurance programs. She will also be heavily involved in critical aspects of the School’s physical plant and operations.

For nearly a decade, Woodin served as the controller at the Hotchkiss School and was the interim CFO during the 2018–2019 academic year. Prior to Hotchkiss, she was the controller at Marist College, where she also taught accounting to undergraduate students. Before moving  into education, Woodin held several high-ranking roles in industry, progressing in her career from accounting clerk all the way up to controller.

“Great boarding schools like Pomfret have such a transformational impact on the students that come through its doors,” says Woodin. “I have seen this impact firsthand with my own children who have the fortunate opportunity of attending one, and I am passionate about advocating for the boarding school industry as well as making the opportunity to attend one accessible to more students.”

Melissa with her husband, George, and their two daughters, Camryn and Danielle.

In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, Woodin is also an active member of NBOA, formerly the National Business Officers Association, and ABOPS, the Association of Business Officers of Preparatory Schools, where she recently served as program co-chair. She is also a sought-after conference speaker who has presented on auditing best practices, closing the gender pay gap, school partnerships, and hybrid business offices.

Woodin follows in the footsteps of current CFO Ed Griffin. Under Griffin’s tenure, Pomfret’s endowment increased by 75 percent ($30 million) in just nine years. At the same time, he reduced the board-approved endowment spending formula for the long-term benefit of the School's financial health. Griffin also restructured Pomfret’s employee health insurance program; refinanced its long-term debt, locking in a fixed interest rate of 2.6 percent; tempered its tuition increases, reducing the School's relative tuition costs; and established an experiential travel fund so that every Pomfret student can see the world.

On the capital side, Griffin was a driving force behind the renovation of Jahn Rink, Hard Auditorium, and the Dining Hall. Moreover, he played an integral role in the planning of the $4 million Health and Wellness Center, which opened in 2018, and the new $22 million science center, VISTA, scheduled to open this fall.

In a joint statement, trustees Lindsay Paul and Michael Marrus, who sit on Pomfret’s Finance Committee, wrote: “Beneath the modest demeanor of Ed Griffin lies a superhero of financial and operational wizardry. Battling the perennial challenges of sufficient tuition revenue, uncertain gift and endowment draw amounts, inflationary cost increases, and necessary infrastructure investment, Ed consistently managed to develop budgets that were both ambitious and achievable. With an accountant’s grasp of the details, he understands that numbers reflect people: students, faculty, staff, and administrators in service to Pomfret’s mission. Working with Ed for these last nine years has been an exceptional and rewarding partnership, and we wish him well moving forward.”

Melissa Woodin holds an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut, a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Connecticut, and an associate degree in accounting from Northwest Connecticut Community College. In addition, she is a past participant in the NBOA Business Officer Institute and NBOA Leadership Academy and a current board member of the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education, where she serves as treasurer and chair of the Audit Committee.

Woodin and her husband, George, have two daughters, Camryn and Danielle, and a black lab named Scout. She and her family love to travel, camp, garden, and tend to their chickens.

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