Life doesn’t happen in a straight line.
The memories that resonate with Jane Scaccetti from her undergraduate years at Temple stem from the grind of perseverance: taking public transportation to get to Temple University and Center City; starting an afternoon shift at work after a morning full of classes; followed by a full day of work on Saturday.
Ms. Scaccetti entered her freshman year wanting to be a marine biologist, but an organic chemistry class left her wondering if she was better suited for a major that was less technical. It quickly became a moot point. Finances got tight and Ms. Scaccetti withdrew from Temple at the end of her freshman year to work full time. Such was the reality of a student paying her own tuition.
Amid that trying time, Ms. Scaccetti discovered direction from an unexpected source: Her job at Strawbridge & Clothier. She never intended for the position to lead to anything more than a paycheck every two weeks, but more and more she found herself understanding the sales reports and analysis she was providing to her manager. This led her to suggest to a close friend at Temple that she check out an accounting course on their behalf. She was right, the friend reported back; accounting was a good fit for them.
When Ms. Scaccetti re-enrolled at Temple after a year hiatus, she ironically opted for a major that was no-less-technical than her first: accounting. Through the remainder of her tenure at Temple, she also continued working full-time. This period would come to define Ms. Scaccetti, not just because she’s become one of the most accomplished tax accountants and business consultants in Philadelphia but because she understood, from then on, that she could not be derailed.
“Life doesn’t happen in a straight line,” she says. “I wasn’t alone in having to leave school or figure out what my strongest contribution would be. But the Fox ethos helps students like me find their way. I never felt like I failed because I had to leave school for a year.”
Ms. Scaccetti was hired straight out of Temple by Laventhol & Horwath, the largest accounting firm in Philadelphia at the time. She was named a tax partner—the first woman to achieve the title as a tax partner among any of the national accounting firms with offices in Philadelphia—a decade later.
Within three years, at the age of 35, Ms. Scaccetti found herself at a critical crossroads. Laventhol & Horwath had just closed their doors. She was invited to latch onto another Big 8 firm. Instead, she boldly chose the entrepreneurial road. With several partners, she founded Drucker & Scaccetti, a public accounting firm that specializes in taxation and business consulting. It was a move that some may have explained as youthful ignorance. “No one thought a firm doing only taxation had a chance,” she says.
Today, Drucker & Scaccetti stands on the cusp of entering its second generation. “It’s been extremely rewarding to see our firm grow from seven or eight people to 100,” Ms. Scaccetti says. “We’re going to go beyond the founders in the next couple of years. That’s something so few firms accomplish.”
Ms. Scaccetti also serves on the public company boards of Penn National Gaming, where she is the audit committee chair, and Myers Industries, as well as the private company board of Mathematica, Inc. She also served as audit chair on The Pep Boys board for 14 years. And, in addition to Temple University’s Board of Trustees, Ms. Scaccetti also sits on the Salus University board and chairs its finance committee.
For her part, Ms. Scaccetti’s been honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal no less than three times: in 2010, as a “Woman of Distinction”; in 2013, as the inaugural recipient of its Outstanding Directors Award; and in 2017, as one of its “20 Most Admired CEOs.” She was also recognized nationally in 2017 as an “Elite Managing Partner” by Accounting Today.
Four decades removed from Temple, Ms. Scaccetti’s passion is as evident as ever. Earlier this year, she concluded a term as the chair of the Temple University Hospital Board of Directors and ended her 26-year membership. She was also the chair of Temple Health System’s Board of Directors for five years.
Ms. Scaccetti was inspired to become involved in healthcare once she grew to appreciate its impact on her own life. Her mother had required home healthcare since Ms. Scaccetti was eight. “I wanted to be associated with something that changed my life and that I thought would change our city,” she says.
Just as when she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Temple University became the best opportunity for her to enact that change.