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Volunteer Spotlight Published November 3, 2020

Small But Mighty: The Philadelphia Bar Association Finance Team

Philadelphia VIP is a community-focused organization. We thrive on our diverse partnerships with volunteers, law firms and corporations, legal aid providers, and more. These supporters help us further our mission of expanding access to justice, and we often highlight their work on our blog.

As we close out this challenging year, we want to showcase an important partner whose praises too often go unsung: the finance team at the Philadelphia Bar Association (PBA).

For decades, the PBA has provided VIP with essential financial and accounting services. The team handles VIP’s accounts payable and receivable, payroll, reserves, and more. Susan Knight, Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administration, sums up her department’s work this way:

We’re always looking out for VIP, and we realize how important every dollar is.

The PBA finance team is small, but mighty. Staff Accountant Michael Stegossi and Accounts Payable Coordinator Diana DeLaurentis-Rockey regularly work with VIP to pay staff and vendors, ensure accuracy of financial statements, and plan for audits and budgets. With Susan at the helm, this trio deftly manages the finances of the PBA, VIP, and the Homeless Advocacy Project.

It’s a tall order, but the team doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, Susan says, “Working with VIP is one of the best parts of my job.” Michael and Diana concur and add that the work they do for VIP is one way they give back to the Philadelphia community.

The admiration is mutual. Without the help of the PBA finance team, VIP would need to divert resources from its critical work of matching low-income Philadelphians with volunteer attorneys. Karna Laubenstein, VIP’s Director of Operations, says,

The PBA finance team is a joy to work with. They keep things running smoothly so our team can focus on its mission.

In 2020, Susan, Michael, and Diana have stood by VIP in an inspiring way. When the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through the nonprofit world, the PBA finance team worked tirelessly to help VIP cut costs, retain staff, and craft new financial strategies.

We are grateful for their work and fortunate to be able to count on them through thick and thin.