Prior to his current adventures, Jeff served in a variety of roles at Vertex, Inc., ultimately as CEO and then Chair of the Board. He was instrumental in helping grow Vertex into a global leader in tax software, serving Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Starbucks. As he worked to transform the tax technology industry, guiding Vertex to 10-fold growth during his 20-year tenure, he devoted himself to encouraging a values-based collaborative culture, recognized by numerous ‘Best Places to Work’ awards. Vertex went public on the Nasdaq exchange in July 2020 and Jeff retired from the Board of Directors in 2021, having served the company for 33 years.
Integral with his career, Jeff began his own personal journey of discovery. His experiences and learnings at Vertex, combined with his lived experiences at home and in the community, instilled in Jeff a desire to help advance institutional transformation founded upon the primacy of intrinsic meaning. He seeks to serve this vision in three areas about which he has applied experience and about which he is deeply passionate: business, education/equity and autism.
Jeff’s new ventures, MeaningSphere and Mosaic, are born from his own journey of collaborative discovery at work and in his children’s learning experience. Mosaic enables the acceleration of experiential, collaborative learning that is meaningful to the learner; and MeaningSphere supports people seeking to create, develop and pursue deeper meaning in their work, whatever that work might be.
Jeff’s wife Jenifer founded Wavelength Productions, an independent film company, which together with Greenwich Productions released the Emmy-nominated feature documentary film, Let Me Be Me on February 25, 2022. Let Me Be Me explores the relationship-based, intrinsic meaning-centered approach their family undertook to support their son Kyle’s journey through autism.
Jeff’s passion for experiential learning also comes to life in his collaboration and support of Dr. Fredricka Reisman in the creation of the Drexel University Reisman Center for Translational Research in Creativity and Motivation. Dr. Reisman joined other prestigious educational experts in a major study, envisioned by Jeff and supported by the Westphal’s philanthropy, of the learning preferences of Americans with school-aged children, the results of which were published in the International Journal of Progressive Education.
Jeff is a recipient of the American Creativity Association (ACA) Champion of Creativity Award and in 2014, he served as a panelist for the ACA World Conference, Creativity in Action, sponsored by the Drexel/Torrance Center for Creativity and the Innovation Lecture Series entitled Creativity as a Bridge Between Education and Corporation. He is collaborating with Dr. Reisman, Dean Penny Hammrich* (School of Education) on a new book to be published by Cambridge University Press in February 2024 titled Connecting Creativity and Motivation Research With End Users (also available on amazon).
Jeff’s own soon to be released first book, will focus on the potential for anyone to create a more meaningful career.
Jeff has also recently participated as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University mentoring students to help them bring their business ideas to fruition.
*Penny Hamrich, deceased Aug 22