Erin Kilmer Neel is passionate about building more humane, equitable, and sustainable local economies by supporting and ensuring that businesses are a force for good. To that end, Erin currently serves as Deputy Director and Chief Impact Officer at the Foundation, where she supports overall Foundation operations and helps to protect, strengthen, measure, and communicate the social and environmental impact of Beneficial State Bank.Erin is also Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Alliance of the East Bay, where she works to connect and provide resources to sustainable and socially responsible businesses, and build tools to help people spend and invest consciously. She previously served the role of Program Officer at the Foundation (when it was One PacificCoast Foundation) In that role, she helped build new alternatives to predatory financial services, create a retail banking strategy to support low-income communities and conscious consumers, develop the City of Oakland Business Assistance Center website, and manage Oakland Unwrapped!, an e-commerce marketplace she created for Oakland independent businesses and artists.
Erin co-founded Oakland Grown and the Oakland Indie Awards, is a BALLE Local Economy Fellow, and serves on the board of directors of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA). Erin has a Master of City Planning from MIT and a Master of Education in Educational Media and Computing from Arizona State University.
Her passion for community development arose out of the juxtaposition of her car-centric life in Northern California and the lives she observed in her travels through Southeast Asia. Her ardent belief in the social, economic, social, and political impact of community ownership and control of resources strengthened during her time as a volunteer in Thailand, where she helped build grassroots, community-owned eco-tourism villages. She is head over heels in love with her husband Beau Kilmer, with whom she likes to kayak, camp, travel, dance, and sing karaoke (in the confines of their home).