Meet Dr. Tracy Ginsburg, Ed. D, CAE, Executive Director for the Texas Association of School Business Officials.
Ever since Dr. Tracy Ginsburg went to her first Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) conference in El Paso, she has been a big believer in both the association and the conference environment.
“I went to my first TASBO conference in the mid-80s and my predecessor was a member also. She was serving in the Round Rock area and she was getting an award. I remember looking at her and saying I want to be her one day so I just set my sights,” said Ginsburg, a Hobbs, NM native. “I believe in TASBO. I have been involved in TASBO my whole career and I think that you can’t be successful as a school business official without being a member.”
Ginsburg has worked in the education business her whole career. Her first 10 years she was in the El Paso area working at both the El Paso and Socorro Independent School Districts as an auditor and business official before serving as chief financial officer for both Fort Bend (southwest of Houston) and Round Rock (north of Austin) ISDs.
She says she was honored to be interviewed and eventually selected to serve as TASBO’s Executive Director in 2013. In this role, she and her staff have continuously focused on trying to execute conferences that leave their members feeling the way she did when she went to her first one.
“I want to make sure the attendee experience is well-rounded. I want to make sure they get their education and knowledge that they need so they can go back and be very successful in their position,” stated Ginsburg, who received her Doctorate in Education Leadership from University of Houston in 2012. “I also want to make sure they have the opportunity to network. I think meetings alone – and that’s what worries me about the virtual world – are not going to fulfill that sole need, that connection with their peers.”
“That’s what TASBO gave me,” she continued. “And that’s what I and all the staff try to make sure that our members are having the opportunities to connect and make those life-long peer connections. Because that’s how you’re going to be most successful.”
In a recent virtual meeting, Ginsburg said the attendee experience was good. With a smaller meeting she feels you can replicate a portion of the networking opportunity, but probably not in a larger meeting. She feels in-person meetings are the best avenue to create that connection she feels is needed.
“At TASBO we are going to do hybrid meetings beginning next month. We have an academy that usually has – it’s a smaller event – it usually has about 100 people. We have 19 people signed up to meet face-to-face and we are going to go meet them face-to-face. (We’ll) train the other 80 or 90 people on line at the same time,” Ginsburg said. “We want to make sure that we are working with the hotel to make sure that the venues are safe and secure and clean. We have no doubt that the hotel industry can step up to do everything they can to keep us safe. Our job is to come back and help people understand that it is okay to meet in a different setting.”
Ginsburg knows that the in-person meetings will come back, even though the current uncertainty leaves everything in limbo.
“We were probably the last big conference in Houston before the shutdown,” Ginsberg said of TASBO’s 74th Annual Convention March 2-6. “We left on such a high and we are going to be 75 years next year. We have already started planning for our 75th anniversary (conference). That stuff could change. I don’t want to not celebrate.”
No matter how the conference shapes up, you can be certain Ginsburg and her team will give the members an opportunity to learn and to connect.
Notes: Ginsburg has won numerous honors in her industry including the 2009 Austin Business Journal, Non-Profit CFO of the Year, the 2011 TASBO commitment to Excellence Award, the 2013 ASBO (the international Association School Business Officials) Eagle Award- the top honor it awards, and the 2014 University of Houston STAR Award.
Hobbies: Gardening, reading, avid dog walker of her Chihuahua-mix Benjamin.
Favorite Movie: When Harry Met Sally