University of Pittsburgh

Alumni Spotlight: Jeff Fox (MBA ‘83) Named E&Y Entrepreneur of Year

Monday, February 23, 2015

After working as a chief financial officer for more than 20 years at large publicly traded companies, Jeff Fox (MBA ‘83) purchased his own business, Source4Teachers, a company that provides substitute teachers and paraprofessionals for school districts in July 2009.

Source4Teachers offered a unique way for schools to lower costs and improve the educational experience for students. But its service concepts were unproven and its market strategy was unfocused which left the Cherry Hill, N.J. headquartered Company in need of enhanced management and increased capital.

Yet, within 60 days of buying the company, Fox had Source4Teachers focused in the PreK-12 education market and profitable.

“When I bought the company, it had less than $2 million in revenues. Now we have $150 million in revenues. It originally had four corporate employees. Now we have 175 employees.” Fox says. 

How did Fox do it? He says he strengthened Source4Teachers’ management team, which provided the company with more credibility. He then defined the business strategy to provide services exclusively to public schools and charter schools. Jeff also personally met with existing and potential public school district clients to build trust that the Company would run a successful program, stand behind its services and work diligently to deliver on its commitments to its public school district clients.

In June 2014, Fox was honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year®award for the greater Philadelphia region. There were 12 winners in total, across categories including life sciences, technology, and distribution and manufacturing. Fox was recognized as the winner in the services award category.

“The E&Y award is a culminating achievement. It recognizes that you can put the entire process together of buying the company, growing the company, and managing the company to be successful. It’s really like a lifetime achievement award,” Fox says.

Today, Source4Teachers fills more than 6,000 daily and long-term vacancies for over 170 public and charter school districts in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia. Plans are underway to expand in 14 other states.

Source4Teachers assumes the responsibility of recruiting, credentialing, training, managing, and evaluating school districts’ substitute teachers, substitute paraprofessionals, and substitute support staff.

“We take responsibility for all aspects of the substitute teacher program and give school district officials mutually agreed upon results. Source4Teachers’ program saves school districts money, delivers fully-trained substitutes, and provides transparency of costs and results to school district administrators,” Fox said.

In addition to his role at Source4Teachers, Fox serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Md., and on the advisory board of the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and George Mason University’s Graduate School of Education.

Fox previously served on the James Madison Council at the Library of Congress, the Walter T. Walters Association of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Md., the William G. McGowan Graduate School of Business in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and the Business Volunteers for the Arts in Philadelphia.

Prior to his purchase of Source4Solutions, Fox had more than 20 years of experience with NASDAQ- and NYSE-listed companies focused on customer-centric service businesses.  He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, before joining a financial services company, and then progressing into chief financial officer roles for various publicly traded companies.

Fox credits the Katz School for helping him develop his strategic planning skills.

“What I learned from Pitt was the discipline to think through a problem completely, to analyze it from multiple areas, and to provide a comprehensive solution. This ability has served me well in my career,” he says.