Our Founders & Board

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Marc Vetri

Founder, Board Member

Marc Vetri is the chef/founder of Philadelphia’s critically acclaimed Vetri Family of Restaurants. In addition to his storied career in the kitchen, Marc is also the driving force behind the Vetri Community Partnership, a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower children and families through fresh food, hands-on experiences and education.

A Philadelphia native, Marc initially pursued a career in music as a guitarist before realizing his true passion came from cooking. Spending his formative professional kitchen life in Bergamo, Italy, working alongside some of the region’s most noted chefs, Marc has become known the world over for bringing a bold, contemporary sensibility to classic Italian cooking. In 1998, he and business partner, Jeff Benjamin, opened the eponymous, fine-dining restaurant, Vetri, to universal acclaim. Vetri’s outstanding pastas, innovative flavor combinations and artful presentations captured imaginations and propelled Marc to the culinary forefront. Within two years of the restaurant’s debut, he was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating. In 2005, he was given the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.”

Following years of continued success at Vetri, Marc launched Osteria in 2007. Larger and more casual than Vetri, Osteria’s menu of traditional Italian thin-crust pizzas, homemade pastas and wood-grilled meats and fish quickly won over the dining public. The restaurant was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation. In 2010, it helped earn Vetri Family chef/partner, Jeff Michaud, the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.”

The Vetri Family’s third restaurant, Amis, opened its doors in 2010. Inspired by Rome’s neighborhood trattorias, this smaller but energetic restaurant specializes in small plates such as handcrafted pastas and house-cured meats. In November 2010, Bon Appetit named Amis one of the top “10 Places for Pasta” in the country. The opening of Amis also brought Chef Brad Spence in as a Vetri Family partner, and subsequently, he has been a two-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” award.

Alla Spina, an Italian gastropub opened in 2012. It’s been recognized by publications such as GQ and Zagat as being one of the top craft beer havens in the U.S., making it a must-visit destination for beer connoisseurs of all levels. The following year saw the debut of two more Vetri Family restaurants: Pizzeria Vetri, the group’s most casual eatery to date, and a second location of Osteria in Moorestown, NJ, the group’s first restaurant outside of Philadelphia, which has since closed.

In 2014, Lo Spiedo opened in Philadelphia’s up-and-coming Navy Yard district and serves a casual Italian-inspired menu with a focus on spit-roasted meats. This year will also saw the expansion of the flagship Vetri restaurant which now encompass two floors, making it available for private events and accommodating larger parties. The new Vetri space includes a test kitchen, allowing Marc and his fellow culinary partners a place to develop and explore new dishes and menus.

Marc is the author of Il Viaggio di Vetri (Ten Speed Press, Oct. 1, 2008) a collection of more than 125 of Vetri’s most-requested dishes. His second cookbook, Rustic Italian Food (Ten Speed Press, Nov. 1, 2011), brought artisan cooking into home kitchens and was named one of the top cookbooks of 2011 by such outlets as Bon Appetit, St. Petersburg Times and The Huffington Post. He most recently released Mastering Pasta (Ten Speed Press, 2015). In addition to his cookbooks, Marc’s writing can be found on The Huffington Post where he is a regular blogger.

Outside of his restaurants, Marc is deeply passionate about giving back to the community, in particular his hometown of Philadelphia. In 2009, he and Jeff Benjamin created the Vetri Community Partnership. The organization’s signature initiative, “Eatiquette,” is a school lunch improvement program currently servicing 10 schools and two camps, and has served more than 500,000 healthy, scratch-made meals. Culinary classroom and after-school cooking programs help reinforce lessons learned in the lunchroom. Additionally, Marc and his business partner Jeff Benjamin are the founders of the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

In November 2015, Urban Outfitters Inc., a leading lifestyle specialty retail company acquired several of The Vetri Family restaurants including Amis, Osteria, Pizzeria Vetri, Alla Spina and Lo Spiedo.

Marc lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Megan, and their three children. He enjoys spending weekends cooking with his family, training in Brazilian jiu jitsu and playing his beloved guitars.

Jeff Benjamin - HS

Jeff Benjamin

Founder, Board Member

Jeff Benjamin serves as Partner and Chief Operating Officer for the Vetri Family of Restaurants. In addition to being an integral component of the company’s day-to-day work, Jeff also serves as co-founder of the Vetri Community Partnership, a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living.

Jeff was bitten by the hospitality industry bug in his junior year of high school when he worked weekends as a busboy at a kosher catering hall in New Hyde Park, NY. The energy and pace of the working in the dining room, coupled with meeting and serving all kinds of interesting guests truly lit a fire. In 1987, he enrolled in UMass-Amherst, majoring in Hospitality Business. Throughout college, Jeff held various front-of-the-house positions, experiences that solidified his chosen career path.

Following his college graduation, Jeff landed in New York City with foodservice industry giant, Aramark. He spent the better part of the next decade managing high-level corporate employee and executive dining operations. During his time in the Big Apple, Jeff met and became friends with Chef Marc Vetri, who was also working in the city at the time. When Marc decided to return to his native Philadelphia to open his own restaurant, he tapped Jeff to be his general manager.

In 1998, Marc and Jeff opened Vetri, a small, intimate, fine dining restaurant in Philadelphia’s Center City neighborhood. Vetri was an instant hit, with Marc’s bold, contemporary Italian cuisine and Jeff’s thoughtful service style and finely curated beverage program earning universal acclaim. Within two years of the restaurant’s debut, it received The Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating, and Jeff was made a partner. This dynamic duo has been rolling along ever since.

Outside of restaurants, Jeff is a committed philanthropist. In 2009, he and Marc created the Vetri Community Partnership. The VCP’s signature initiative, “Eatiquette,” is a school lunch improvement program in which children experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living. The program currently services 10 schools, and has served nearly 265,000 healthy meals. Additionally, the partners are the driving force behind the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Jeff also serves as a member of the board of directors for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Community Partnership School.

Jeff lives in Cherry Hill, NJ, with his wife, Melissa, and their two daughters. When he’s not working, he can be found rooting for his children’s sports team, and his beloved Cubs and 76ers.

Michael Forman, President, Franklin Square PartnersMichael Forman

Chairman of the Board

Michael Forman is Chairman & CEO of FS Investments, an alternative asset manager headquartered in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard. Mr. Forman has been leading the company since founding it in 2007, when it was known as Franklin Square Capital Partners. FS Investments’ mission is to bring investors access to alternative sources of income and growth historically available only to large institutions and the wealthiest individuals. Today, the company has grown to more than 330 employees and manages approximately $25 billion in assets.

Prior to founding FS Investments, Mr. Forman founded a private equity and real estate investment firm. He started his career as a corporate and securities lawyer.

Mr. Forman is a member of a number of civic and charitable boards, including The Franklin Institute, Drexel University and the Philadelphia Center City District Foundation. He is also Chairman of Vetri Community Partnership.

Mr. Forman has also received a number of awards for his leadership and philanthropic contributions, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, one of Philadelphia Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs in 2017, and Mural Arts Philadelphia’s 2017 honoree for his dedication to the city’s public art initiatives. FS Investments has also been acknowledged as one of Philadelphia’s Best Places to Work annually since 2013, and by Forbes in 2013 as one of America’s Most Promising Companies.

Mr. Forman received his BA from the University of Rhode Island where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He received his JD from Rutgers School of Law.

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Sylvia DiBona

Board Member

Sylvia is a certified public accountant. She started her career as a member of the tax department at Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia. She later joined the tax department of Smith Kline, specializing in international tax issues. She co-founded The William Penn Insurance Agency, a commercial insurance brokerage firm, in 1987. After making a career shift to counseling psychology in the 1990s, she worked for several years as a volunteer at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, counseling patients undergoing cancer treatment. Since 2005, Sylvia has been chairman of the board of Fred’s Footsteps, a public charity founded in the memory of her late husband. The mission of Fred’s Footsteps is to support working families who are in a financial crisis due to the costs associated with caring for a critically ill or injured child. Sylvia has previously served on the Boards of ESF Dream Camp Foundation, the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur and The Wellness Community, and is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the Abramson Cancer Center.

Sylvia received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Temple University, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Rosemont College.

Sandy Brown

Sandy Brown

Board Member

Sandy has been a leader in the Jewish community of Southern New Jersey. While serving as board chair or committee chair she has developed skills in board governance, strategic planning, funds development and organizational structure. Currently, she serves on the Board of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and is an Advisor to Kellman Brown Academy. In recent years she has served on the Board of Trustees of Moorestown Friends School,  Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Community Center, Congregation Beth El and Kellman Brown Academy.

Sandy is married to Sid Brown and has three children. They live in Philadelphia.

Lisa Dykstra

Board Member

Lisa C. Dykstra is a partner in the firm’s White Collar Litigation and Government Investigations Practice Group. Lisa primarily represents healthcare and technology companies in connection with federal and state criminal and civil government investigations, False Claims Act litigation, antitrust litigation, and class actions. In addition to her focus on False Claims Act litigation, Lisa manages internal investigations and litigates cases involving government contracts, the federal Anti-Kickback Act, Medicare Anti-Kickback Statute, Medicaid Rebate Statute, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and federal and state civil and criminal fraud laws. Lisa also extensively advises on compliance issues, Corporate Integrity Agreements and supervises compliance audits.

Lisa represents major pharmaceutical companies and other organizations in federal and state government investigations involving product marketing and pricing, marketing and promotional activities, FDA regulatory matters, and class action litigation. She has also negotiated compliance agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

She serves as National Discovery Counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, overseeing the company’s discovery across its ongoing litigations and investigations. Among her technology clients, she represents a Fortune 50 California-based computer manufacturer in FCA litigation, government investigations, and consumer class actions. Lisa also provides public sector contracting and compliance advice.

Lisa handles a variety of pro bono matters, has served on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and is a participant in the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Lisa regularly lectures on FCA litigation, compliance issues, white collar crime, ethics, and internal investigations. She frequently participates in seminars and advises in-house counsel on managing internal investigations, creating and implementing compliance programs, and decisionmaking around indemnifying employees. Lisa is also a frequent panelist at educational events.

A former Assistant US Attorney, Lisa served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

Walter Buckley

Board Member

Walter is co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Actua (formerly ICG and Internet Capital Group). Walter founded Internet Capital Group in 1996 and took it public in 1999. Prior to that he was Vice President of acquisitions for Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., where he led many of Safeguard’s investments through the mid-1990s, including Diamond Technology, ChromoVision and Video Server. He also was responsible for developing and executing Safeguard’s multimedia and Internet investment strategies.

Before Safeguard, Walter was President and co-founder of Centralized Management Systems, Inc., a medical supply company, which he sold in 1987. Previously, he spent three years at CoreStates in the commercial lending group.

In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board for Actua, he is also Chairman of the Starfinder Foundation, a non-profit organization, the Board of Advisors of the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative and on the Board of Visitors of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Walter was recipient of Business Week’s 2000 e.biz 25 award and the Ernst & Young 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year; Regional Entrepreneur of the year 2010; Impact Executive of the year 2013.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., political science | Board Seats: Actua (ACTA); Episcopal Academy

DaCarla M Albright, MD

Board Member

Dr. DaCarla M. Albright is an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Clinically, Dr. Albright has a thriving practice as an academic generalist Obstetrician/Gynecologist, emphasizing wellness and prevention. In this capacity, she has immense exposure to the impact of hypertension, diabetes and obesity in women of reproductive age, especially during pregnancy.

Dr. Albright is a member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO). Her academic interests are strongly focused in medical education, as the current Associate Clerkship Director for the Core Clinical Ob/Gyn Clerkship at the Perelman School of Medicine and Chair of the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee. As a result of her excellence in teaching and empathetic approach to medical care, Dr. Albright has been rewarded with the Penn Pearls Teaching Award and a Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction. In 2018, she was also identified as a Top Doc in Obstetrics and Gynecology by Philadelphia Magazine.

In addition to her clinical and academic responsibilities, Dr. Albright prides herself in the mentorship of medical students and resident trainees. She functions as a Faculty Wellness Champion, with the attempt to foster a healthier work environment and prevention of burnout amongst physicians.

Dr. Albright received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, followed by a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. In her early career, she practiced at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York, transitioning to private practice at Lenox Hill Hospital until her relocation to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2008.

DaCarla is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and takes pride in a strong culinary and catering tradition in her family. She and her daughter reside in the city of Philadelphia. She is an avid cyclist, with participation in charity rides for the American Cancer Society and Bike MS. On weekends, she enjoys training rides on the Schuylkill River Trail.

Kimberley Brown, Ph.D.

Board Member

Kimberley joined Janssen, The Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in 2007 as a medical science liaison from the Rainbow Center for Women, Children and Families in Jacksonville, Florida where she served as HIV Clinical Specialist, and clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida School of Pharmacy. Kimberley holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from UNC- Chapel Hill and completed a Pharmacy Practice and an Infectious Diseases Specialty Residency.

Since joining Janssen, she has also served as Associate Director, Training with responsibilities for the virology MSL team. She also served as Associate Medical Director of US Medical Affairs, Infectious Diseases, where she was responsible for working as part of both the HCV and HIV clinical teams to lead efforts on research trials and launch team activities, as well as participate in business partner collaborations. She was also responsible for acting as the company’s pharmacovigilance officer. From 2015- early 2018, she served as the US Medical Director for the HIV franchise (PREZISTA, PREZCOBIX, EDURANT, INTELENCE, ODEFSEY, COMPLERA, SYMTUZA). Now she serves as Scientific Director for Janssen Research and Development.

In addition to her work with Vetri Community Partnership, Kimberley serves as Assistant to the COO with the Junior League of Philadelphia, as a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc, as a board member the UNC Pharmacy Alumni Association, UNC’s Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity(ACRED), and teaches yoga at Core Power Yoga.