Highlights from EMA’s 2019 Annual Conference

September 25, 2019 Matt Netter

More than 1,200 members of the independent school community from near and far joined together in Washington, DC, for EMA’s 2019 Annual Conference, themed “Prepare to Lead.” The week-long event kicked off with pre-conference workshops for the ALC (Admission Leadership Council), ATI (Admissions Training Institute) and ADI (Admissions Directors Institute), and culminated with four keynote speeches, sponsor booths, design team collaborations, the launch of the EMA community, an awards ceremony, and our first ever “unconference.”

From the feedback we’ve gotten, attendees left with inspiration, motivation, and a growing network. Most importantly, guests left the nation’s capital with actionable plans for new enrollment strategies, more robust marketing and recruitment efforts, and the data to support their pitch for more support to their Head of School or Board of Trustees.  For access to slide decks, photos and much more from our Annual Conference, be sure to visit our member community.

Here are some highlights:

“Prepare to Lead” was the theme of this year’s annual conference.


EMA Executive Director Heather Hoerle kicks off the week with an opening presentation on the state of the independent school industry.


EMA 2019 Annual Conference attendees packed the ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington, DC


Clay Stites (pictured) and Tony Featherston led an intensive Path to Headship Workshop.


David Baker, Director of Admission and Financial Aid at St. Mark’s School of Texas, led EMA’s 2-day Admissions Training Institute.


2019 ATI graduates celebrate the end of two days of intensive commiseration, collaboration, and contemplation.


EMA representatives and conference attendees collaborated on some design thinking.

For more pictures check out our Facebook ACDC album or visit Robert Merhaut Photography.

About the Author

Matt Netter

Associate Director of Content and Creative Services

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