Our Team:

Melanie Lavelle’s work has focused on helping families move out of poverty for more than fifteen years.

In 2004, Melanie founded a non-profit consultancy company called Self-Sufficiency Solutions. The firm built a set of web-based programs that help low-wage workers access vital work supports to meet their basic needs (such as health insurance and food assistance) and helped caseworkers track their clients’ progress towards getting these benefits.

Due to the success of these programs Melanie pivoted to launch a platform and marketplace to work with non-profits, insurers and retailers. Benefit Kitchen is the first of it’s kind platform that connects working Americans with over $80 billion in unclaimed benefits such as Food Stamps, tax credits and health insurance.

Dan Beeby has worked in the education and social benefit worlds for more than two decades.

Dan was CTO of Self-Sufficiency Solutions and built the first javascript-based benefit screening tool in the nation for Pennsylvania in 1997. With the development of the Benefit Kitchen platform he created the first web app in the country targeted for low-income consumers.

As Associate Director for Services at Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning from 2000-2014, Dan facilitated hundreds of faculty partners’ projects, planned and taught over 500 workshops, and served as the Center’s representative among the university’s diverse academic and administrative units. Prior to Columbia University, Dan worked with Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore colleges on dozens of educational technology projects and developed the “Makers” (an interactive-exercise creation tool), which was in use in the late nineties at more than one hundred colleges worldwide.

Dan taught English at the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania and German at Michigan State University. He holds a masters degree in communications from Teachers College and a BA in Political Science, Economics, and German from Michigan State University.

Advisors and Development Team


 Dana Keefer – Healthcare Sales/Marketing. Dana is the President of Keefer Consulting, introducing hospital clients to several best-of-breed business office services. Formerly, she was employed for 35 years in various capacities at Health Management Systems based in New York City. She holds a B.A. degree in English, an M.A. in English, an M.A. in Theatre Arts and a Ph.D. in Theatre Arts. She is active in the Metropolitan New York chapter of HFMA and is President of the Board of The Pearl Theatre Company in New York City.


 Adam Metzger – CFO/Advisor. Adam works as a full-time or interim CFO and/or Controller for startups across a diverse range of industries. He has over fifteen years of leadership experience in finance & capital markets, investment management, business development, and accounting. Read more about Adam on LinkedIn.


 Rohit Gandhi – CFO/Advisor.  Rohit works as an interim or full-time CFO/COO for venture capital and private equity backed growth companies. He is an experienced corporate finance executive with over 15+ years of strategy, operations, business development, legal, capital raising and M&A experience. Read more about Rohit on LinkedIn.


Diallo Powell is a Co-founder of Zipari, where he focuses his 15+ years of experience in health insurance, business development, management and enterprise technology on the successful strategic positioning and go-to-market tactics of the company. Diallo has had leadership and executive roles in the development of six companies in the healthcare payer space since 2007. He began his career with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, in their Advanced Development Center (ADC), and Deloitte Consulting..


Winton Wedderburn – President and Founder, Simian LLC. Winton is a Public Health Professional who uses web technologies and social media to educate communities about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Winton is a driven individual committed to health education, promotion and disease prevention using traditional marketing and promotion techniques enhanced by the power and reach of the Internet. His future goals include Ph.D. study in health technologies. Read more about Winton on LinkedIn.


 Stefan Doering – President and Founder, Best CoachesStefan has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs (primarily in environmental and sustainable businesses) around the world since 2003. Stefan knows, first hand, the importance of having a great team when striving to achieve “unreasonable” goals: in 2002 Stefan suffered a life-threatening assault. Drawing on support from his friends and business associates, he overcame insurmountable obstacles and was able to run five miles in Central Park within 90 days of the incident! Stefan decided to dedicate his life to helping other entrepreneurs achieve ambitious and outrageous goals in their businesses and lives. Read more about Stefan on LinkedIn.


Andy Milk – Development Director, Kindred Development. An expert web developer and designer, using technologies from RubyOnRails to jQuery and everything in between, Andy has eighteen years experience crafting and building online brands, custom web applications, social media & mobile apps, and content management systems. His previous positions include Technology Director of a digital agency in Cambridge, MA as well as Senior Developer for Staples and Agency.com.