Jed Coffin of Social Advocates for Youth in Sonoma County wins North Bay CFO award

Jed Coffin


Social Advocates for Youth

2447 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa 95405


Jed Coffin, who started as chief financial officer at Social Advocates for Youth in 2016, wins North Bay Business Journal CFO award.

Professional background: Principal of Arts Finance Resources, whose clients have included San Francisco Ballet, Sonoma Resource Conservation District, Santa Rosa Ursuline Corp, Music in the Vineyards and St. Francis Solano School.

What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?

Communicator. Functioning as an impartial adviser on all financial matters to an organization's board, and assuring the board, staff and all stakeholders have a clear and practical perspective of the organization's financial profile and condition.

What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?

The escalating pressure on private funding, and the shifting requirements underpinning nonprofit financial reporting.

Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past.

SAY's growth into the Dream Center has fostered significant changes in virtually all aspects of its mission delivery, impacting staffing requirements, service provision, funding streams and revenue profiles. Challenges to be met and opportunities to discover, in broadening its reach into the community, are plentiful among all members of the SAY staff.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Know the underlying operational and capital dynamics driving your organization's financial profile as well as you know the process of monitoring, assessing, recording and reporting its results.

What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?

Reserves, reserves, reserves. Oh, yes. And reserves.

How do you think your business will change in the next five years?

Standard models of earned vs. unearned income could undergo significant flexion, if funding is driven further into the private sector. Pressure to restructure revenue streams has the potential to impact program and service recipients.

What is a decision you wish you hadn't made? What did you learn from it?

Orchestrating a data conversion without fully considering all long term requirements and implications. Learned? To insure recommendations are framed within appropriate contexts.

What is your most memorable business experience?

Stabilizing critical cash flow environments.

What is your greatest business success?

It's ongoing. Contributing to the creation of financial environments that allow missions to succeed.

What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?

I spent the first 12 years out of college in the arts.

Quick Takes

Most admired business-person outside the company: Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes

Stress relievers: Going up in a Cessna 172 and practicing power-off stall recovery at 5,000'.

Best advice for weathering today's economic environment: Reserves, reserves, reserves. Oh, yes. And reserves.

Most memorable business experience: Stabilizing critical cash-flow environments.

Jed Coffin


Social Advocates for Youth

2447 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa 95405


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