Stephen YadzinskiKSFR Board Member
Stephen Yadzinski is the senior innovation officer for JFF. In this role, Steve works with JFF leaders and teams to identify new opportunities, establish new partnerships, and transform JFF programs and service lines to meet an evolving and dynamic education and workforce ecosystem, leveraging the fields of technology, innovation, and investment to further our mission.
Passionate about the role technology can play in creating business aligned education and workforce social impact, Steve also leads the JFFLabs Acceleration work and team, JFFLabs’ social impact technology accelerator. The JFFLabs accelerator is a unique model, combining insights and publishing, incubation, acceleration, and digital transformation capabilities to support entrepreneurs, grow startups, and bring to market proven solutions to help people connect to quality jobs, education, and training.
Previously, Steve founded the Innovate+Educate Employment Tech Division in response to the critical need to improve workforce readiness for high-demand jobs in key U.S. industries. Under Steve’s leadership, the division grew to include organizational psychologists, data scientists, user interface developers, and others to create leading-edge mobile technologies, assessments, and labor-market insights connecting Americans living at or near poverty with education, training, and quality jobs.
Earlier in his career, Steve founded and led his own branding, communications, and technology consultancy. The organization grew to serve a national clientele with marquee projects that included Emirates Airline North American advertising and photo books presented to President Obama in support of National Monument designations across the Southwest.
A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Steve lives with his wife and two children in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and enjoys backpacking and skiing in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near his home.
Senior Executive – Leadership, Technology, Entrepreneurship
Senior executive with deep expertise in leadership, technology, and entrepreneurship. Identifies and grows major alliances across stakeholders critical to organizational success and growth. Visionary offering a unique combination of progressive experiences with proven success. Skilled in inspiring and motivating organizations, teams, colleagues, and partners to do amazing things together.
Areas of Expertise
Organizational leadership and strategic planning
Fundraising and development
Strategic alliances and partnership building
Fiscal Management and budgeting
Visual communications including brand, marketing, PR, print, and interactive
Organizational governance & compliance
● Founded and led the JFFLabs impact accelerator, which works with entrepreneurs and growth stage companies to accelerate and scale mission-aligned workforce and edtech innovations.
● Founded and led Innovate+Educate Employment Tech Division (I+E ETD), launching national and regional technology platforms connecting tens of thousands of underserved Americans to training and employment. Launched the Employment Tech Application Program Interface (API), providing natural language processing, geolocation, matching and recommender algorithms, and other capabilities to mobile applications. Led the development and launch of a soft skills assessment. Raised 6M over three years.
● Founded award-winning visual design and technology consultancy Big Swing. Notable accomplishments include: Branding and artwork for Emirates Airline’s out-of-home advertising; Architect, design, and develop the TalentABQ workforce matching platform; Developed book series presented to President Obama in support of successful National Monument designations. Grew revenue thirty percent each year over five years.
SENIOR INNOVATION OFFICER (SIO) - JFF, 2021 - Present
● Sets the JFF innovation agenda, aligning organizational strategy, capabilities, and market opportunities to accelerate growth and impact across all lines of business.
● Manages a fluid portfolio of high impact programs and projects, building new service lines, lines of business, and organizational capabilities.
● Supports the development and transformation of JFF teams and capabilities, positioning the organization for continued growth and impact.
ACTING GENERAL MANAGER - JFFLabs, 2020-2021 - Present
● Led JFFLabs on an interim basis, growing the organization and managing more than $20M in assets.
● Served on the JFF executive team.
● Advanced operational systems including people & culture, financial, technical, and marketing & communications
MANAGING DIRECTOR, ACCELERATION - JFFLabs, 2020-2021 - Present
● Founded the JFFLabs impact accelerator, grew to more than $3M annual operating budget in 18 months.
● Led the JFFLabs solutions and go-to-market advisory practice, adding technology capabilities to teams