Commonwealth Team

John Jeffrey Plakans, President


With nearly two decades of experience in the payroll and HR industries, Jeff’s experience in creating payroll and HR solutions that have an efficient and user-centric focus is born of his own evolution as a business owner.

As the president of Payrolls Plus from 2000 to 2005, Jeff helped guide the company’s explosive pattern of growth. In late 2005, Jeff helped oversee the merger between Payrolls Plus and software company Payroll Associates to form PayChoice, a national payroll provider.

Jeff founded Commonwealth Payroll & HR in 2006 and is proud to offer a service that combines technology and service to meet clients’ varying needs. A 1992 graduate of the University of Maryland, Jeff lives with his family on the North Shore of Massachusetts. In his spare time he enjoys coaching youth football, and was a driver in the formation of the Marblehead Flag Football League.

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Alan Braslow, Vice President, Client and Partner Development

Alan brings to Commonwealth over 40 years of experience in the Payroll, Human Resources, and Benefit Administration arena. His being a licensed Group Health Broker gives him additional insight into the challenges faced by businesses and brokers today with the constantly changing ACA rules and regulations. Alan is referred to by his clients as “a Trusted Advisor” who looks to their best interest as being paramount.

In addition to having built 3 businesses, Alan has had executive positions with Bank of America, ADP, and General Electric. Further, Alan was a member of the executive team that built the only BA and MA degree programs that exist for Professional Sales.

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Call Alan:  M: 856-261-9402  |  T: 978-599-1526


Jim Costello, Chief Relationship Officer

Jim Costello has been providing solutions and services to the Payroll, Human Resource and Benefit industry for over 30 years.  He has a unique and diverse background with experience in sales, client support and operations.  Jim has held senior leadership positions at a number of the nation’s leading outsourcing services providers, including Bank of America, Genesys Software and Mangrove Employer Services.  He was a founding member of Employee Matters, a dot-com startup that was one of the first internet based HRIS systems to market. The company was acquired by Intuit and implemented as a basis for their current product offering.   Jim also served as President of Payroll Associates, the leading provider of payroll software to the independent service bureau market, providing software to over 250 service bureaus, servicing 2 million employees.