Generate practical solutions to complex societal problems.

Solutions for Progress (SfP) is a 20-year-old mission-driven private sector company, based in Philadelphia, that delivers practical, cloud-based services to directly assist low- and moderate-income individuals and families to move sustainably out of poverty.

The products and services offered by SfP are designed to assist individuals in meeting their financial needs both in the short- and long-term and to ultimately become self-sufficient.

Starting as a public policy consulting firm addressing complex social and economic problems, SfP’s increasing use of innovative technology led to the implementation of services in recent years that have assisted more than 500,000 households to claim over 1.5 billion dollars in work and income supports.

SfP was one of the initial 15 companies that registered as Benefit Corporations under newly enacted legislation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A Benefit Corporation is a new class of corporation that (1) creates a material positive impact on society; (2) redefines fiduciary duty to require consideration of non-financial interests when making a decision; and (3) reports on its overall social performance using recognized third-party standards. In 2013, B Lab certified SfP as a B Corp and listed SfP in the top 10 mid-size companies that are “Best for the World.”

Leadership

Christopher H. Jacobs
Christopher H. Jacobs

Chief Executive Officer

Christopher H. Jacobs
Christopher H. Jacobs

Chief Executive Officer

Chris is responsible for providing the strategic leadership of SfP. With input from the Management Team and the Board, he is responsible for establishing long-range goals, strategies, plans, and policies. Chris also leads the sales operation for SfP and ensures the quality of SfP services for both current and future users.

Chris has expertise in the international information and communications technology industry, with an emphasis on marketing, operational management, and strategic planning and capital formation. Chris has made leadership contributions in Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurial ventures, and international consortia in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Australia, U.S., and the U.K. He is a successful author on technology and change and is recognized for his ability to effectively communicate complex issues understandably. Chris has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wolverhampton (U.K.).

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Jennifer E. Stanton
Jennifer E. Stanton

Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer E. Stanton
Jennifer E. Stanton

Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer joined SfP in 2010 as Controller and advanced to head the Finance & Administration Department in 2011. Jennifer is primarily responsible for directing and coordinating SfP’s accounting activities, budgeting, and developing financial strategies. Additionally, she is responsible for the corporate governance of the company and serves as Secretary and Treasurer to the corporation.

Before joining SfP, Jennifer spent 10 years as Controller of Jewish Funds for Justice (formerly The Shefa Fund), where she held a similar set of responsibilities, including maintaining the 501(c)3’s compliance with the federal government and 38 states. She was responsible for the fiscal sponsorship of many start-up non-profits throughout the years, guiding them into independent status.

Jennifer previously worked in union organizing, serving as both Lead Organizer and Business Representative for the Service Employee International Union’s local Philadelphia chapter. She has also been involved in community activism in several organizations. Jennifer earned a B.A. in Journalism and Labor Studies from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.

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Carolyn Daffron

Chief Policy Officer

Carolyn Daffron

Chief Policy Officer

Carolyn directs multiple teams at SfP including Research, Planning and Public Policy, Policy Maintenance, Content and Translation, Business Analysis, and Training, as well as being jointly responsible for coordinating all of SfP’s operations and development.

Carolyn and her staff also conduct more general public policy research and data analysis related to benefits access, tax policy, and other areas where policy and technology intersect. Carolyn has represented SfP in joint efforts by public and private agencies to use technology as a tool for breaking down socioeconomic barriers.

Before joining SfP in 2007, Carolyn had extensive and diverse experience in law and public policy. This includes working for the U.S. Department of the Interior (Solicitor’s Honors Program), leading public-benefits, consumer, and housing units at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, teaching law at the Rutgers School of Social Work in Camden, N.J., and serving as a consulting attorney on complex federal litigation. Carolyn has also published several nonfiction books for young adults. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Alec Wood
Alec Wood

Chief Technology Officer

Alec Wood
Alec Wood

Chief Technology Officer

Alec is the key contributor to strategic decision-making related to the technology required to meet SfP’s anti-poverty mission and its implementation in the Strategic Plan. He directs the teams that handle all programming, technical infrastructure, software usability, quality assurance, and customer support functions: Application Programming, Software Engineering, IT Support, and Help Desk teams. Alec serves as the public face of technology at SfP and is jointly responsible for coordinating all of SfP’s operations and development.

Before coming to SfP, Alec spent several years working in software development, system administration, and data networking. He holds a B.A. in the History of Science from the University of Chicago.

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Peter Rubenstein
Peter Rubenstein

Director of Financial Wellness

Peter Rubenstein
Peter Rubenstein

Director of Financial Wellness

Peter focuses on the financial wellness services of SfP, primarily the overall management and administration of MyBudgetCoach (MyBC). In this capacity Peter is recruiting large organizations to utilize the MyBC service. Peter's proudest professional achievement is the creation of MyBC at Co-Opportunity Inc. in Hartford, CT, where he served as Director of Special Projects.

Prior to joining Co-Opportunity, Peter was Vice President of Plymouth Spring Company in Bristol, CT here he managed technology, sales and operations along with various special projects. In Boston, Peter created a new profit center for the Phoenix Media/Communications Group through the monetization of the media company’s Internet properties. Peter has a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Administration, specializing in Nonprofit Management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

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Leslie Winder

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Leslie Winder

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Leslie is responsible for developing and maintaining key business relationships with nonprofit partners, foundations, community-based organizations and networks, and governmental entities to bring The Benefit Bank (TBB) online services to a new state or add a major new benefit area to those supported by SfP’s services. Leslie joined SfP in 2004, wearing a number of different hats as the company grew and expanded its network. Most recently Leslie headed the team that supports the company’s external partners overseeing Customer Support, Training, Marketing/Communications and Help Desk.

Prior to SfP, Leslie spent over 20 years in the hospitality industry working for a number of national companies including Marriott Hotels, Omni Hotels, and the Toronto (ON) Tourism Commission in various sales roles. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Hampton University.

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June-Ann Garafano
June-Ann Garafano

Director of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness

June-Ann Garafano
June-Ann Garafano

Director of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness

June-Ann ensures that SFP’s staffing and structure meets its strategic and operational goals through the recruitment, development, deployment, and retention of appropriately qualified people who have a passion for the company's mission. She is responsible for providing all staff with input on the company’s personnel policies and assisting them with meeting their professional goals. June-Ann assists supervisors in the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process to ensure the highest quality candidates are recruited.

A respected Human Resources Director, June-Ann holds more than 22 years of experience in the areas of organizational effectiveness and human resource strategies. She combines the knowledge of a hands-on human resources professional with that of a senior level business executive. Her problem solving acumen, superior interpersonal skills, and ability to manage multiple priorities have been essential to her successful leadership of multiple project engagements and business relationships. Prior to joining SfP, June-Ann worked for PROXUS HR for more than 10 years, as the Client Services Director and senior level HR Consultant.

June-Ann holds a B.A. in Psychology and Business Administration from Muhlenberg College and a Masters in Human Resource Development from Villanova University.

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Board Members

Flora Barth Wolf

Board Member

Flora Barth Wolf has dedicated both her professional and volunteer lives to improving the lives of children, women, and families. After earning her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Wolf spent a decade working for the Philadelphia City Solicitor. For several years, she represented the Department of Licenses and Inspections, working to enforce housing standards and close nuisance bars and drug houses. In 1991, Wolf was elected into Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, where she served as a judge for more than 20 years. Flora has worked on the boards of numerous organizations ranging from Women’s Way, to Jewish Family and Children’s Service.

Margaret Shapiro

Board Member

Margaret Shapiro has spent the majority of her professional career in mental health. She worked in Boston for 20 years serving as Director of Halfway Houses for the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and then as Director of Social Work for a psychiatric hospital outside of Boston. In Philadelphia, she served as Assistant Director of the Council for Relationships in University City, and continues to work there part-time as a senior clinician and supervisor. Margaret received her Master of Social Work at the University of Chicago.

John Riggan

Board Member

John Riggan is Chairman and CEO of Innovare Advisors, LLC, a financial engineering and investment firm focusing on growing sustainable agricultural value chains, alternative energy, and profitable social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. He is a founding Board member of the OrganiMark Foundation, based in South Africa. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Solutions for Progress, which creates and markets pro-poor technologies including The Benefit Bank.

Team

Each individual employee contributes directly to SfP’s growth and success. The members of various teams are active participants in the achievement of the mission through their work, ideas, and passion.

We employ a talented mix of individuals who provide expert research, analysis, programming, development, training, and call center, help desk services. Driven by a desire to work for social justice, our team is respectful of one another and our customers and is passionate, creative, idealistic yet practical, intelligent, and often geeky.