New Assistant Head for Finances Announced

March 1, 2020

Gould Academy is pleased to announce that David F Willis, Jr., has accepted the position of assistant head of school for finances beginning July 1.

An experienced senior manager, Willis has worked in education, manufacturing, technology, advertising, retail, and travel. He has developed expertise in financial operations, business operations, project management, strategy, branding, marketing and sales, customer service, and retention.

New CFO Dave Willis

“My wife and family are thrilled to be moving back to a community we love,” Willis says, “to do the exact kind of job that I love.” Currently assistant head of school and chief financial officer at Killington Mountain School, where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school, he worked for American Skiing Company from 1996 to 1999.

“When my wife and I moved from New York City to Bethel, little did we know that this move would cement our desire to live in a rural setting — and still have jobs that were just as intense and just as interesting as the ones we experienced in Manhattan.”

While in Bethel, he became a father, bought his first home, and met a young Gould faculty member named Tao Smith [head of school at KMS, who returns to lead Gould in July]. “We played hockey together and talked about our shared love of the outdoors and a life well-led.”

During his tenure at KMS, he helped increase revenue from $3.3 to $6.1 million and increased enrollment from 68 student-athletes to 132. He reduced attrition and increased the percentage of inquiries who enrolled at the school. He also oversaw the implementation of a blended-learning curriculum, attained initial NEASC accreditation, and attained United States Ski Team’s High Performance and Gold Club status.

Among other accomplishments, Willis managed and improved partner relationships with Killington Resort, the Killington Ski Club, and the town of Killington. He also founded the lacrosse program at KMS and is the Varsity Lacrosse coach for Woodstock High School. An LC Mountain Lacrosse club founder, he is also a master coach with 3D Lacrosse, as well as a certified Level 1 firefighter.

For ten years, he worked at Kiosko, a 125-person manufacturing company within the retail fixture market, where he was was president, CFO, and minority owner. He was senior VP of marketing and sales for Bullhorn in Boston and director of marketing and business development at myteam.com, an amateur sports web portal with exclusive agreements with organizations such as Little League Baseball and the NFL Youth Programs.

In 2013, he joined Smith at KMS.

“My involvement and oversight at KMS have run the gamut,” says Willis, “from student life, discipline, buildings and grounds, food service/nutrition, athletics, financial management, and academic management. As assistant head of school at a small institution, I am involved in all aspects of boarding school life. I have been a dorm parent, lacrosse coach, advisor, shuttle driver, snow plower, or whatever is needed to get the job done. Today, I am an absolute ‘school guy.’”

“I’m thrilled that Dave will be joining us at Gould next year,” says Smith, “and look forward to working alongside him and the other faculty and staff to build a great future for the school. Dave is a skilled and capable CFO/COO, and I have learned much from him about business and management as he has learned to love and value working at a school.”

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