LEADERSHIP

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DAVE GROFF

Solvit Academy

Co-Founder

Dave has been the President of Webstaurantstore.com, the e-commerce division of Clark Associates, since its launch in the summer of 2004.  He has led the company through its rapid growth from a four-person startup to an enterprise with over 2,500 employees throughout the country.  Now generating over 1 billion in revenue annually, Dave attributes the growth of the company to its emphasis on culture and people.  He is excited to bring these ideas and the many lessons learned through his experience to Solvit.

Dave graduated from The Smeal College of Business Administration and the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University.

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MELISSA GROFF

Solvit Academy

Co-Founder

Having had professional roles within the telecommunications and healthcare industries, Melissa brings diverse experience to Solvit.   After spending some time at home with her and Dave's daughters, Avelina and Estelle, Melissa turned a lifelong passion into the next phase of her career.  In 2019, she launched her own home organizing business, Namastay Organized, and has been busy keeping up with the rapid growth of this entrepreneurial venture.   

Melissa graduated from The Smeal College of Business Administration at Penn State University.    

JEFF SANDEFER

Acton Academy

Co-Founder

Jeff Sandefer lives a dual life as an entrepreneur and a Socratic Guide.   As an entrepreneur, he founded his first company at age 16 and went on to found or co-found seven successful businesses.  As a Socratic teacher at the University of Texas, Jeff's students five times voted him the School's Outstanding Teacher and Businessweek named him one of the top professors in America.  Jeff went on to co-found the Acton School of Business, an MBA program perennially ranked by the Princeton Review among the best in the nation.  In 2012, The Economist honored him as one of the top fifteen Business School Professors in the world.  

Jeff is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, where he served for over twenty years on the school's governing committees.   He was a longtime director of the Philanthropy Roundtable and National Review magazine and one of the youngest members ever elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

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LAURA SANDEFER

Acton Academy

Co-Founder

Laura lived on both US coasts and in between as a child, then settled into Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Science.  After being awarded the highly competitive Walter Wattles Fellowship at Lloyd's of London, Laura worked in the aviation insurance industry in New York City.  Deciding to follow her calling into the world of education, Laura returned to Nashville and earned her Master of Education at Peabody College.  This led her to work at the Oklahoma Arts Institute, creating fine arts education programs for teachers and talented high school students.  

Laura married Jeff Sandefer and is the happy mother of Sam and Charlie and step-mother to Taite.  It is the inspiration of these children that led Laura and Jeff to co-found Acton Academy.  

Her greatest hero is her mother who was a Master Teacher.  Her wisest mentor is her father who sent her off to college with two words of advice: "Be curious."