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VAIS Admissions & Communications Professional Development Conference

Thursday, April 11, 2019 to Friday, April 12, 2019

Telling Your School's Story

With the independent school admissions landscape ever shifting, it is essential to continue the conversations about the current trends, gathering and analyzing the data, and effective ways to tell your school’s story and keep on pointe in the marketing arena.

VAIS brings together national experts to support the efforts of admissions and marketing/communications teams in VAIS schools. With a shifting landscape, it is always good to keep abreast of national trends, data and effective approaches to telling and marketing the unique story of each school.


Day One:      Thursday, April 11:       10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Day Two:       Friday, April 12:            8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Click Here to Register Online




Heather Hoerle, Executive Director & CEO, The Enrollment Management AssociationHeather Hoerle, Executive Director & CEO, The Enrollment Management Association
Heather became EMA’s executive director in 2011. Working with the leadership team, she sets a clear direction for the staff, espousing gold-standard service to members and pushing for us to continuously innovate. Externally, in her work with schools and the wider education sector, she aims to advance the profession of enrollment management and empower individual professionals. Since joining EMA, she has led us through several steps to modernize the organization itself and professionalize the admission and enrollment industry. In that time, we have restructured our management, rebuilt our IT infrastructure, enhanced our SSAT test development processes and procedures, launched an elementary level SSAT, grown the use of the Standard Application Online to bring more families to the independent school community, and published groundbreaking research in the field of enrollment management.  For Heather's Full Bio


Emily Cretella, The School Storyteller and Founder/Owner of Cursive Content MarketingEmily Cretella, The School Storyteller and Founder/Owner of Cursive Content Marketing
Emily Cretella is a marketing strategist and copywriter who helps her clients create and share stories that make audiences take action. As owner of Cursive Content Marketing, Emily provides consulting, copywriting services and workshops to independent schools and higher education. Read her stories at




JR Hipple, Managing Partner, SIRJR Hipple, Managing Partner, SIR
Ask anyone who knows JR Hipple and they'll tell you he's a glass-half-full kind of guy who energizes those   around him at work and during his daily dip in the pool. JR is blessed to be highly gifted in all things related to helping organizations manage and communicate  change, often times during difficult situations. He spent over 25 years in public relations agencies before  striking out on his own and focusing more on leadership, public affairs, and reputation management issues. JR merged his practice with SIR in 2016, bringing tools, experience, resources, and solutions now to a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors, and especially for higher education organizations. These days JR is managing a talented young group of professionals who are assessing organizational needs, developing plans, producing videos, conducting social media activity, and even building websites for SIR clients. In a world where content is king, the days of issuing press releases are gone. On top of that, JR is delivering important diversity and inclusion training at senior levels for several clients.  For more about SIR


Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree ConsultingTrevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree Consulting
Trevor Waddington is an Educational Entrepreneur with 17 years of experience working in independent schools as a teacher and administrator. He is the founder of DCschoolHUB and NYmetroSchools, digital platforms that help educate parents and students about the different educational opportunities and where they can find them. These two flagship websites, based in the Washington, DC and New York City markets, are just the beginning of a franchise that will enter most major US markets in the coming years. Trevor is the founder and principal at Truth Tree Consulting, a full-service firm that works with independent schools in the areas of admission, marketing, brand development, and financial operations. These companies fall under the umbrella of TYW Education Group, a coalition model of educational entrepreneurs looking to disrupt and obliterate the barriers keeping students from world-class educations.   For more info about Truth Tree Consulting

Chesapeake Bay Academy
821 Baker Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: 757-497-6200

    VAIS Members: $250
    NonMembers:   $400

The program registration deadline is Friday, March 29. No refunds after that date. Please see the complete VAIS Cancellation Policy for more details.


Westin, Virginia Beach Town Center
Hilton Garden Inn, Virginia Beach Town Center

We welcome sponsors at the Admissions, Communications and Marketing Conference. If your company wishes to sponsor dinner ($2000), lunch ($1000), or a break ($750), registration is NOW OPEN.