Q&A with Tia Jeffress, VP of Finance & Administration

By Shareef Phillips, posted on

Benetech is pleased to welcome Tia Jeffress as Vice President of Finance and Administration. She’s worked in both public accounting firms and nonprofit organization spaces. The interview explores what brought her to Benetech and how she plans to make a positive contribution to society.

Tell us a little about your background.

Over the last two decades, I have worked with nonprofits organizations externally and internally, providing audit, accounting, and consulting services. I have always had a passion for giving back to the community which led to me staying in the nonprofit field.

What attracted you to Benetech and its mission?

As a child raised in a small town with limited resources, I witnessed firsthand how the lack of resources had a significant impact on students’ education and outlook for the future. After moving to the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, I discovered that there were many resources available that my family and community were unaware of in our small town. I have witnessed the positive impacts on people’s future when they have access to resources that can assist them in reaching their goals. The small town I come from still lacks all the necessary resources available in the DMV area. Benetech is committed to ensuring equitable access to education.

In what ways do you believe your industry experience will contribute to your role here at Benetech?

Since almost all of my professional experience has been in the nonprofit sector, I am confident that my experience will enable Benetech to be financially transparent, improve efficiency and processes, and maintain compliance with all rules and regulations set by our funders and other regulatory agencies. I have experience working with government funding on both an auditing and accounting level, and will bring this expertise to Benetech.

Which Benetech truth resonates with you the most and why? You can find the Benetech Truths here as reference:  https://benetech.org/about/our-truths/

As far as my field is concerned, I would choose “Right Stuff Right” since this is how I approach work, especially when it comes to improving efficiency and processes. It is important to listen to the problem in order to understand it, then to assess the issue to determine the challenges involved, and then to develop a results-driven strategy. Throughout my career, I have adhered to this philosophy. The first step in addressing any problem is to listen carefully.

What does education equity mean to you?

In order to achieve education equity, every individual must have the opportunity to access and receive a quality education. This requires the removal of systematic barriers and the provision of equal access to all.

To learn more about Tia Jeffress, Check her out on LinkedIn.