HomeSustainable Business Network Appoints New Board Members

Members voted at 2017’s Annual Members Meeting

Philadelphia, PA (January 19, 2017) — The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) has appointed the following board members to its Board of Directors: Chris Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer, Solutions for Progress, Ben Block, Marketing and Communications Manager, Clean Markets, and Melissa Muroff, President, Roofmeadow.

Chris Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of Solutions for Progress (SfP), a mission-driven Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp that combines technology and public policy with a commitment to community outreach to deliver practical solutions to the complex problems of poverty — moving households from Crisis to Choice. In Philadelphia, as well as throughout Pennsylvania, and multiple other cities and states, SfP provides a set of web-based services that enable outreach partners to help low- and moderate-income individuals and families stabilize through enhanced access to federal, state and local work and income supports, grow by obtaining assistance in job preparedness, and build and manage the resulting financial assets.

SfP was one of the first 10 companies to register as a Benefit Corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is an active contributor to the new Philly B Local. SfP is proud to have been recognized in B Lab’s 2013 and 2016 lists of the “Best for the World.” Internally and externally, SfP works to ensure that “sustainability” encompasses the economic needs of low-income urban and rural communities, the equitable capital requirements of social impact companies, and the recognition that workers must balance effort with replenishment to avoid burn out.

Chris brings more than 30 years’ experience in the international information and communications technology industry, with an emphasis on marketing, operational management, strategic planning, and capital formation. He has been in leadership positions in Fortune 100 companies, as well as a leading contributor to entrepreneurial ventures and international consortia in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Australia, and the U.S. He is recognized for his ability to communicate complex issues understandably and is a successful author of Change Management and the Momentum of Open Systems, Prentice Hall and Discovering OMNIPoint — A Common Approach to the Integrated Management of Networked Information Systems, Prentice Hall. (More than 30,000 copies sold.)

Chris served on the Technology Leadership Group for Mayor Rendell’s Private Sector Task Force on Management & Productivity, served on the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Small Business Board, and spent several years as a Portfolio Manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners. He was elected to and served as a member of the National Executive Committee of a UK labor union and has acted as a campaign manager and/or field director for over 20 political campaigns in the UK and PA. Chris has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wolverhampton (U.K.).

Ben Block is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Clean Markets, a Philadelphia-based market development firm focused on growing market share for sustainability solutions. Ben brings ten years of program management, media, and communications experience to support Clean Markets’ utility and government clients. He has successfully developed and executed advertising and public relations campaigns that have resulted in measurable increases in program participation and engagement.

Prior to joining Clean Markets, Ben managed business-to-business outreach and communication campaigns for the Verified Carbon Standard Association, the largest certification program in the voluntary carbon market, and he served as staff writer for the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research group. His articles for World Watch magazine were frequently republished by The Guardian and Christian Science Monitor, among various other publications. He has also written for Smithsonian, Popular Mechanics, and The Baltimore Sun.

Ben holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania in addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He lives in South Philadelphia with his wife Emmy and his terrier Gus.

Melissa Muroff, Esq. is the President and managing principal of Philadelphia-based Roofmeadow. She oversees strategic partnerships, risk management, business development, and government affairs for Roofmeadow, a 20-year-old national design firm specializing in green roofs and other depth limited landscapes — including playspaces — in challenging urban sites. On behalf of Roofmeadow and the local green infrastructure industry sector, Melissa actively advocates for policies and strategies that promote well-designed vegetated stormwater management practices. Prior to joining Roofmeadow, Melissa lived in Washington, DC where she provided government affairs and communications services for healthcare providers and for large trade associations. Melissa earned a MS in Medical Genetics from the University of Wisconsin — Madison and a JD from IIT Chicago Kent College of Law.

Additionally, the organization appointed the following officers:

  • Colleen Bracken, Bracken Leadership — Chair
  • Amy Kate Failing, Community Energy Solar — Vice Chair
  • Demond Mullen, Streetside BBQ — Secretary
  • Heather Hanowitz, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation — Treasurer

Following is a complete list of the SBN Board of Directors:

  • Lynne Andersson , Fox School of Business, Temple University
  • Colleen Bracken, Bracken Leadership — Interim Chair
  • Clifford David, Conservation Economics
  • Amy Kate Failing, Community Energy Solar — Vice Chair
  • Heather Hanowitz, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation — Treasurer
  • Lee Huang, Econsult Solutions
  • Paul Marcus, Marcus Reinvestment Strategies
  • Demond Mullen, Streetside BBQ — Secretary
  • Paul Spiegel, Practical Energy Solutions
  • Daniel Stern, restauranteur and owner of R2L
  • Phil Walker, The W2Group
  • Omar Woodard, The GreenLight Fund Philadelphia

About the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) is a non-profit membership organization working to build a thriving, local, and sustainable economy in the Greater Philadelphia region. We are accomplishing this by educating and growing a broad base of local, independent businesses and educating policymakers and the public. SBN’s 350 members are locally-owned businesses committed to doing well through environmentally and/or socially-focused enterprises. Through their products, services, and/or internal practices, SBN’s members exemplify how business can be a force for good. SBN was founded by Judy Wicks in 2001 after envisioning how strengthening relationships among independent, community-rooted enterprises could inspire profound social change.