Get to Know Our Leaders
The Executive Leadership Team of VBA
Decades of combined experience and a vision for the future prepares our leadership team to continue growing VBA. We remain focused on expanding our services to better serve our members, benefits administrators, brokers, providers and labs.
CEO & President
After earning his Bachelor of Science in Science from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. (Magna Cum Laude) from the Michigan State University College of Law, Jeff returned to Southwestern Pennsylvania to practice law in a boutique law firm in Sewickley, PA where he represented private and public entities throughout the region.
Following nearly a decade of experience in civil litigation, business law, real estate law and regulatory compliance, Jeff was elected to VBA’s Board of Directors in 2012 where he could apply the unique perspective and skills he gained from counseling private organizations and serving as Solicitor to numerous boroughs, townships, cities and municipal authorities.
In 2015, Jeff resigned from VBA’s Board of Directors and became the company’s General Counsel. After orchestrating the creation of VBA’s Legal Department and overseeing various interdepartmental initiatives, Jeff’s role in the company continued to grow and he was elected as its Corporate Secretary in 2016. Following the retirement of the company’s former President & CEO in March of 2018, Jeff was chosen by VBA’s Board of Directors to fill the vacancy and serve as VBA’s CEO & President.
In his free time, Jeff is an avid sports fan who enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. In addition to playing guitar, running and swimming, Jeff continues to maintain his attorney license and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Aaron R. Risden, CPA
Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
As the Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer for VBA, Aaron oversees the accounting, data processing and information technology departments. Aaron is hard working and an excellent problem-solver.
Before starting at VBA in 2014, Aaron was a Controller for BBL Fleet Leasing. He also served as a Senior Manager at ParenteBeard LLC, a regional accounting and consulting firm. Aaron earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. He went on to receive his Master of Science in Accounting from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 2011.
Aaron serves on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). From 2012-2013, Aaron served as President of the PICPA and has previously served the Pittsburgh Chapter of the PICPA as Co-Chair of the Community Involvement & Social Responsibility Committee and Chair of the Member Services Committee. Aaron is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In 2014, Aaron joined the Business Alumni Association Board of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.
Aaron grew up in Ocean County, New Jersey. He now resides in Mt. Lebanon, PA with his wife, son and three dogs. Aaron enjoys reading, working in his garden and martial arts practice.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Jessica brings her passion for process improvement and team building to VBA. With overarching responsibility for operations supporting VBA’s benefits administrators, brokers, providers, members and labs, Jessica is known for her strong work ethic and strategic thinking.
Since joining VBA in 2015, Jessica has grown the provider relations department to integrate the existing call center with newly created roles and processes, including network management, network development, credentialing, contracting, implementation and on-boarding. During her time at VBA, she led a team that expanded the vision provider network by 40% and increased the number of independent practitioners, as well as large retailers. In addition, she developed a marketing department, integrating outside agencies. She also rebranded VBA to include a new brand identity with improved messaging and imagery.
Jessica has been an integral part of information systems initiatives, serving as a product owner and subject matter expert on projects and enhancements. Jessica played a pivotal role in developing and implementing VBA’s strategic plan.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Westminster College, Jessica went on to earn a Master of Education in special education from Geneva College and a Master of Business Administration from Robert Morris University.
Jessica is an active member of the Optical Women’s Association, participating in the membership committee. She serves as an adviser for PowerLink and is a member of the American Marketing Association and Pittsburgh Young Professionals.
Jessica grew up in New Wilmington, PA., and currently resides in Cranberry Township, PA., with her husband and two dogs. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, riding her bike, playing pickleball, decorating her home and traveling.
Vice President Sales and Sales Support
As Vice President of Sales and Sales Support at VBA, Matt oversees the VBA sales pipeline, new group implementation and renewals. Matt is a dynamic, energetic sales leader with nearly 20 years of insurance industry experience.
Since joining VBA, Matt has developed a powerhouse sales team who consistently increase new membership. Matt worked diligently to launch a dental product in 2016 while growing the sales and sales support infrastructure to support the evolving product line. Matt is known for his ability to mentor new sales representatives and to motivate experienced team members.
In addition to building his team, Matt created a continuing education course and taught hundreds of hours of CE credits for brokers in Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the education commission of the National Association of Dental Plans and is a contributing member of the Pittsburgh Human Resource Association.
Prior to joining VBA, Matt worked in production and support roles in both life and health as well as property and casualty insurance. Matt earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Duquesne University.
He resides in the McCandless Township, Pennsylvania with his wife, two children and dog. In his free time, Matt enjoys golfing, fishing, coaching baseball and learning about early American History.
Vice President Software Engineering
As Vice President of Software Engineering, Sean is responsible for cultivating VBA’s software development road map and managing its new application development and production support. Sean oversees the Information Technology department.
Since joining VBA in 2015, Sean has served as Software Architect for VBA’s proprietary internal software applications. Sean actively manages internal team members, independent contractors and information systems related vendors. Sean champions an Agile software development philosophy to include personal and team education. Sean was the recipient of the 2018 VBA President’s Award for his accomplishments and dedication to his work.
Prior to joining the VBA team, Sean served as a Software Engineer for BBL Fleet Leasing. He also worked as an Applications Developer for Lending Processing Services, Inc. Sean earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Sean grew up in New Brighton, PA and currently resides in Monaca, PA with his wife and two children. Even in his free time, Sean enjoys working with technology and learning new skills. He is an avid baseball fan, and has visited over a third of the MLB stadiums. Sean likes to attend opening day each year for his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.