About Goal Scaling Solutions

Our Mission

Setting and working towards goals should be a positive experience for personal and professional growth, not another low-valued task. We provide digital tools that celebrate small but meaningful changes over time and support organizations in finding new ways to reach their goals. GSS enables program evaluation that is meaningful and supported at each level of an organization.

Our Story

Goal Scaling Solutions (GSS), Inc. is the result of years of scholarly and market research and business development based on our team values of integrity, equity, and creative problem-solving. Here is our timeline that illustrates our evolution to a core focus on providing intrinsically-motivating tools and services to improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.

2014: Dr. Ann Chapleau first envisioned a digital version for making use of Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS, Kiresuk & Sherman, 1968) much easier. GAS is a method of scaling goals originally developed for program evaluation that has been widely used in varied settings. As a clinician and professor, Dr. Chapleau began implementing GAS as an outcome measure in the occupational therapy teaching clinics at Western Michigan University (WMU). GAS was an ideal choice as it allows a quantitative comparison of outcomes among diverse programs serving diverse individuals with diverse goals. But she found herself running around from clinic to clinic, collecting handwritten goal scales that needed to be manually entered into a software program for statistical analysis. The process was time-consuming and laborious, and prone to human error. In searching the market for goal setting apps for students that used goal scaling, she came up empty handed.

2015: Dr. Chapleau partnered with colleagues from the WMU Department of Computer Science and graduate students to develop an early prototype that eliminated the need for the paper and pen process. As good fortune would have it, Dr. Chapleau then met Dr. Jennifer Harrison, a professor and behavioral health researcher in the WMU School of Social Work. Together, they continued to refine the prototype and explore marketability.

2017: Drs. Chapleau and Harrison began participating in multiple rounds of Customer Discovery sponsored by the National Science Foundation and traveled extensively to meet with researchers, clinicians, and business executives about their program evaluation needs.

2018: We incorporated as Goal Scaling Solutions, Inc. but continued to incubate our technology within Western Michigan University.

2020: Multiple new features were added to the prototype to create a secure, comprehensive software platform. Further design refinements were made to meet tele-education and telehealth needs heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Current: GSS development has been funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Sammons Center for Innovation in Occupation-Based Technology, the Small Business Administration, and WMU. Our commercially-available tools are designed to meet goal achievement needs in business, education, and healthcare. GSS is a HIPPA and FERPA-protected comprehensive software platform that is both web-based and available on the app stores by subscription only. Supporting goal achievement requires evidence-based tools. We have conducted multiple research studies using GSS and published and presented our findings extensively in peer-reviewed publications and in state, national, and international conferences. Our outcomes are consistent with the research literature that has shown that users feel more motivated to work on their goals and have a higher rate of achievement when they are individualized and supported over time.

Our Team

Dr. Ann Chapleau, DHS, OTR/L, FAOTA

President and Co-Founder

Ann Chapleau is a professor of occupational therapy and currently serves as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Acting Chair of the Physician Assistant Department in the College of Health and Human Services at Western Michigan University. I have worked in the behavioral health field for over 30 years as a clinician and manager. In academia, I have led and co-led multiple research studies related to behavioral health outcomes and assessment learning. I was a WMU Assessment Fellow 2013-2015, receiving the WMU Assessment Excellence Individual Award in 2016. My work related to behavioral health, interprofessional outcome measurement and technology development has been recognized by the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association’s Award of Excellence, the WMU College of Health and Human Services’ Interprofessional Collaboration Award (with Jennifer Harrison), the WMU Presidential Innovation Professorship 2020-2023, and induction into the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows. I am passionate about achieving innovative solutions to problems that impact individual and organizational success.

Dr. Jennifer Harrison, PhD, LMSW, CAADC

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Jennifer Harrison is a social worker, chemical addictions counselor, and professor in the School of Social Work at Western Michigan University. I have researched the implementation of outcome measurement in clinical and educational practice for many years, and with colleague Dr. Ann Chapleau. We have received over $5 MM in foundation, state, and federal grants which have implemented Goal Scaling Solutions as an outcome measure and knowledge translation tool in workforce development and clinical practice. My career-long focus on team and relationship-building, including study abroad course partnerships in Guatemala, India, and Mexico has provided a global skill set for my current leadership roles. My prior clinical practice and teaching in the field of co-occurring disorders inspires me to continue development of technology tools that support diverse groups and individuals with complex needs as well as the dedicated professionals who serve them.

Jason Kniss

Chief Operating Officer

Jason is an accomplished technology leader, with over 20 years of experience leading teams in the financial service and insurance services industries. Most recently I served as Chief Information Officer for American Advisors Group where I had oversight of technology infrastructure and engineering, custom software development, Salesforce, enterprise data warehouse, integrations/automation, and solution architecture. During my time with AAG, I also took on the role of CIO for BetterCare Insurance Services, a startup Medicare insurance agency, which achieved financial success. Prior to joining AAG in 2013, I held leadership positions at OneWest Bank, supporting strategic initiatives, customer experience, and technology. I am a certified telecommunications engineer and have studied Business Administration at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. In joining Jennifer and Ann on the leadership team, I look forwarding to bringing my technology and business development expertise to a small company that values integrity and equity to empower people to achieve their goals.

Advisory Board

Amy S. Courter

In the first 30 years of her career, Courter served in executive and board roles in diverse industries and types of organizations: private, publicly-traded, and not-for-profit. She also served as Major General Courter, national commander and CEO of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol, leading over 60,000 members. Currently, she uses her passion for leadership, management, and accountability to strengthen other organizations by helping them shape a shared vision and garner increased discipline and accountability, while building a more cohesive team that delivers results. Courter is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and earned her MBA from Western Governor’s University.

Clark Bennett

Clark Bennett received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in Molecular Biology followed by a post-doc at UC Berkeley. Clark has worked on most aspects of startup companies, with academics, scientists, companies, entrepreneurs and investors. From his previous positions at Sigma Chemical, Pfizer, and OtoMedicine, and his work as a US Patent Agent, he gained significant experience in technology commercialization, patent development, small business development, marketing, and small company financing. In 2020, he retired from his role as Director of Technology Transfer at Western Michigan University. He has provided much support to the GSS team since its inception, joining the GSS Advisory Board after his retirement.

David A. Esposito

David is a combat veteran and business executive, serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of several innovative healthcare companies that have made significant contributions in the areas of allergic disease and the early detection of cancer. As an airborne ranger infantry officer, David led a rifle platoon of 39 men with the 101st Airborne Division through several combat operations in the Gulf War. He was recognized with a Bronze Star for combat operations in February 1991. David develops programs and resources designed to strengthen the character of individuals and build and sustain healthy relationships. He holds an MBA from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from West Point. He has appeared on CBS, NPR, and PBS and has been featured by many other news outlets.

Robert Forgey

Bob is a seasoned pharmaceutical development executive and entrepreneur who has founded therapeutics companies resulting in one case an IPO. Most recently, Bob is the President and CEO of Iaso Therapeutics. A vaccine research and development company based on a platform technology spun-out of Michigan State University. Immediately before Iaso, Bob was Vice President of Operations for ONL Therapeutics, a clinical-stage ocular neuroprotection company housed in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Previously, Bob was co-founder, President, and COO of ProNAi therapeutics an oncology therapeutics company, now traded as Sierra Oncology on the NASDAQ. Before his work in start-ups, Bob spent 15-years in midsize and large pharmaceutical companies: Searle, Pharmacia, and Pfizer. Where he served in multiple scientific leadership and operational roles. Bob has an M.S in Biology from the University of North Dakota and an MBA from Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

Terri Goss Kinzy, Ph.D.

Terri Goss Kinzy Ph.D. Dr. Kinzy is recognized for her academic leadership experience and as a world leader in the study of how mRNAs are converted to proteins. Her work has been widely published in numerous scientific journals and books and has been funded by numerous sponsors including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Human Frontiers Science Program, and numerous foundations and corporations. During her career at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School she quickly rose to full professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Pediatrics. Her administrative experience has included graduate education, dual degree programs including as director of the Rutgers Princeton MD PhD program Dr. Kinzy served as Vice President for Research at Western Michigan University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She then served as the 20th President of Illinois State University. Dr. Kinzy has received numerous awards including election to the University Master Educator Guild, selection as a Bridges to the Professoriate Faculty Mentor of the Year from the Compact for Faculty Diversity and being named a Crain’s Detroit Notable Woman in STEM.

Steve Trebing

Steve Trebing, R.Ph. Steve brings over forty years of pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare and diagnostics sales, marketing, training, mentoring and leadership experience. His background includes retail pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and healthcare/medical diagnostic business experience. Steve was in a leadership role with Phadia (formerly Pharmacia Diagnostics), now Thermo Fisher Scientific where he had responsibility for many different facets of the business including sales and sales support functions, marketing, business development, customer service and training and development. With Steve’s diverse education and background, he helps companies develop business strategies and leads teams through business and marketplace paradigm shifts.