Author Archives: maritessa

Vivian Zhu

Vivian Zhu, Impact Storytelling and Community Engagement Intern

Branch: Beneficial State Foundation
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Education: B.A. in Political Economy and Classical Civilizations at the University of California, Berkeley

Biography:
Vivian is a rising senior at UC Berkeley pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Political Economy and Classical Civilizations with a minor in Chinese language and culture. She has had over 6 years of experience working at nonprofits, both in high school as an executive board member of Hugs for Ghana, a student-led organization dedicated to supporting children’s education in Ghana, and in college as an appointed official at the ASUC, the officially recognized and independent student government of UC Berkeley. After taking former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s public policy course on widening economic inequality last semester, she was inspired to join a nonprofit that values and supports economic sustainability and social responsibility. She is passionate about writing and is excited to share the human stories to our clients’ impact in our communities.

Project Description:
Vivian conducted interviews with current clients to capture information about their impact in the community and produce stories for our “Share Your Beautiful” campaign.

2016 SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

After screening a large pool of applications and conducting many interviews, we chose highly skilled individuals whose passion for economic justice and environmental sustainability matched the vision and goals of Beneficial State.

2016 Internship Dinner

The 2016 Internship Dinner with Tom Steyer, Kat Taylor and the other interns within the TomKat network of allies.

We are thrilled to have a fantastic 2016 cohort.  Check out their bios and a description of their projects below.

david-headshotDavid Hsieh, Technology Industry Market Research Intern
Branch: Beneficial State Bank – Seattle
Hometown: North Vancouver, Canada
Education: MBA Candidate at the University of Washington

Biography:
David Hsieh is currently a first year MBA student at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Prior to that, he worked as a SAP consultant for IBM in China. The best part about his job was the opportunity to travel all over China and even to Latin America. Now that he is pursuing his MBA, he would still like to focus on the tech industry, but become more strategic and business oriented. He is very excited to be working as a Technology Industry Market Research Intern this summer. He wants his next career move to be fulfilling and impactful and is very happy to be a part of the Beneficial State team.

Project Description:
David conducted research and identified the ecosystem of mission-aligned technology companies in the Seattle market and provided recommendations for the bank to serve this sector.

Jhana Taylor Valentine, Social, Economic and Environmental Data Specialist Intern
Branch: Albina Community Bank
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Education: B.A. Environmental Studies at Lewis & Clark College

Biography:
Jhana is a recent graduate of Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Environmental Studies.  In her second year, Jhana received a grant to spend a semester studying social entrepreneurship in Guatemala.  This inspired her to pursue a career serving mission-driven companies. She has focused her recent work on impact measurement and sustainable business standards.  Her latest projects include drafting her college’s first Sustainability Report in accord with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and researching the local impacts of the B-Corp certification in Portland, Oregon.  Jhana plans to continue working within Portland’s thriving green business sector, building toward a career in sustainable business development, and spending her free time hiking, rock climbing, and biking around the Pacific Northwest.

Project Description:
Jhana conducted research, compiled data for Albina’s B-Corp assessment and helped support our impact work.

marianas_headshotMariana Chinellato, Civic Engagement Analyst and Sustainability Intern
Branch: Beneficial State Foundation
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Education: MBA at San Francisco State University

Biography:
Mariana just completed her MBA in Sustainable Business at San Francisco State University.  She has been co-president of the Net Impact graduate chapter at SFSU for the last year, coordinating logistics for diverse events that promoted community engagement, career development, and problem solving to environmental challenges.  While at school, she has been actively involved in many consulting projects, most of which focused on helping mission-driven organizations overcome challenging problems.  Her favorite projects included developing a tailored growth strategy for a Bay Area social enterprise and supporting a local co-op bakery in joining a program that converts food waste into renewable energy.  She has also enjoyed volunteering with community outreach initiatives aimed at empowering low-income Spanish speaking communities.  She currently lives in Mill Valley and in her spare time, she enjoys hiking, “skyping” with her niece and nephew in Buenos Aires, and exploring new places around the California coast.

Project Description:
Mariana spearheaded the Foundation’s voter education and engagement efforts in our California branches as well as green team projects for our new Central Valley and LA locations.

michael-wong-headshotMichael Wong, Loan Portfolio Analysis Intern
Branch:  Beneficial State Bank – Oakland
Hometown:  Oakland, California
Education:  B.S. Economics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Biography:
Michael Wong is a rising junior studying Finance, Management, and Social Impact at the University of Pennsylvania in The Wharton School.  As a Gates Millennium Scholar, he would like to pursue graduate school in the future.  He loves learning and has immersed himself in a variety of leadership experiences in clubs, internships and local government.  He loves applying concepts learned in an academic setting to real world situations.  Outside of class, he enjoys philosophical and tech discussions, breakdancing, and playing sports like basketball and baseball.

Project Description:
Michael reviewed and analyzed Beneficial State Bank’s loan portfolio.

nathan_weller_photoNathan Weller, Economic Inequality Analysis Intern
Branch: Beneficial State Foundation
Hometown: Walla Walla, Washington
Education: Masters in International Environmental Policy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Biography:
Nathan’s commitment to community development derives from 15 years of shaping rural development programs and policies in the United States and abroad. Nearly half of that time has been spent in coastal El Salvador, where Nathan worked with rural communities to improve national policies in ecosystem restoration, fisheries management, agricultural development, and coastal governance. Working in both the government and non-profit sector, Nathan has experience designing; managing and funding successful, multi-stakeholder community develop initiatives in forestry, wetland restoration, fisheries management, disaster risk reduction, agriculture, integrated water management, and coastal regulatory regimes. He has helped facilitate the necessary partnerships with authorities, experts and elected officials to advance improvements in land use, local enforcement and capacity building programs with municipal governments and national agencies. He has also worked directly with rural farming and fishing cooperatives and enterprises, and understands first-hand the challenges, and opportunities, of financing under-served populations toward a more sustainable, just society. Nathan has a Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), and a B.A. in Anthropology from Grinnell College.

Project Description:
Nathan conducted research on inequality and provided recommendations for Beneficial State’s economic justice framework.

ryan-leclercRyan Leclerc, Sustainable Forestry Sector Research Intern
Branch:  Beneficial State Bank – Portland
Hometown:  Rochester Hills, MI
Education:  M.S. of Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan

Biography:
Ryan recently completed a M.S. of Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. He worked at a major global company during the Summer of 2015 and managed the CDP Climate Change and CDP Supply Chain filing for the company which resulted in an above average industry score of 85% for quality and completeness. He also completed a Global Reporting Initiative referenced environmental footprint for private retail giant Meijer with a team of interdisciplinary graduate students over 15 months.  He is ecstatic to be in the Pacific Northwest and would love advice on the best places to hike and explore nature.

Project Description:
Ryan conducted research on the sustainable forestry sector in Oregon and Washington to identify the size of the market, key trends, financing gaps, circles of influence and provide recommendations for the bank to serve this sector.

vivian-headshotVivian Zhu, Impact Storytelling and Community Engagement Intern
Branch:  Beneficial State Foundation
Hometown:  Seattle, WA
Education:  B.A. in Political Economy and Classical Civilizations at the University of California, Berkeley

Biography:
Vivian is a rising senior at UC Berkeley pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Political Economy and Classical Civilizations with a minor in Chinese language and culture.  She has had over 6 years of experience working at nonprofits, both in high school as an executive board member of Hugs for Ghana, a student-led organization dedicated to supporting children’s education in Ghana, and in college as an appointed official at the ASUC, the officially recognized and independent student government of UC Berkeley.  After taking former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s public policy course on widening economic inequality last semester, she was inspired to join a nonprofit that values and supports economic sustainability and social responsibility.  She is passionate about writing and is excited to share the human stories to our clients’ impact in our communities.

Project Description:
Vivian conducted interviews with current clients to capture information about their impact in the community and produce stories for our “Share Your Beautiful” campaign.

2015 SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

In 2015, Beneficial State received a record number of applications for our intensive 8-week summer internship program. After screening a large pool of applications and conducting many interviews, we chose highly skilled individuals whose passion for economic justice and environmental sustainability matched the vision and goals of Beneficial State. We are thrilled to have a fantastic cohort. Check out their bios and a description of their projects below.  Learn more about the program here.

Alyssa Kuchenreuther

Alyssa_headshotAlyssa Kuchenreuther, Small Business Research & Engagement Intern
Branch Location: Portland, OR
Hometown: Bellingham, WA
Education: MBA at Western Washington University (2015)

Biography: Alyssa recently earned her MBA degree from Western Washington University (WWU). During her time in graduate school she worked extensively on a year-long policy and research project analyzing human trafficking on the Western Coast of the United States. While in school Alyssa worked as an intern with the Bellingham Angel Investors, as a marketing intern for the Low Income Housing Institute in Seattle promoting a computer literacy program, and supported WWU MBA program marketing and recruitment efforts for two years as a graduate assistant. Alyssa is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honors society. Prior to graduate school Alyssa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Catholic Housing Services in Bellingham, WA. Alyssa was responsible for building community among 200 diverse clients residing in three separate low-income apartment buildings. She also taught English in Seoul, South Korea after graduating with her BA in Economics in 2010. Alyssa is from Bellingham, WA and recently relocated to Portland, OR.

Project Description: Under the guidance of the Foundation’s Community Engagement Manager in Portland, Alyssa will help expand the “Money on a Mission” initiative. She will survey small business owners, community stakeholders including public agencies, and mission-aligned lenders to identify the gaps and opportunities to help small business owners access capital in Portland and Oregon. She will also create content on the Foundation’s website.

Carly Straus

Carly_Straus_headshotCarly Straus, CDFI Program Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Education: B.A. Candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies (Human Rights Minor) at the University of California, Berkeley (expected May 2016)

Biography: Carly Straus is a rising senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies with a minor in Human Rights. Last summer, she worked in community development as a member of Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Policy Team in Washington, DC. She has also interned at Bend the Arc and Alliance for Justice, two Bay Area progressive advocacy organizations. Outside of class and work, she enjoys singing with her a capella group on campus and exploring the Bay Area. She just returned from a semester in Madrid, and is excited to be working in Oakland and making a difference in her hometown.

Project Description: Under the guidance of the Social and Environmental Impact Analyst, Carly will conduct research and help prepare the CDFI FA application narrative and accompanying workbook. Carly may also help develop and implement systems to track data for award compliance reporting, and produce materials to educate Bank and Foundation staff about the CDFI Program.

Catherine Dooling

Catherine Dooling_headshotCatherine Dooling, Social and Environmental Impact Analysis Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: Darnestown, MD
Education: MBA Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley (expected 2016)

Biography: Catherine Dooling is an MBA candidate at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where she is focusing her studies on Impact Assessment. She is originally from Maryland and received a BS from Skidmore College before moving to the West Coast, where she worked at Los Angeles’ preeminent day center and permanent supportive housing facility for homeless and low income women, the Downtown Women’s Center. Over the course of four years, Catherine designed job training programs and launched three social enterprise businesses with the Downtown Women’s Center: a cafe, a resale boutique, and an online store for handcrafted products under the brand name MADE by DWC. She remains passionate about social justice and economic empowerment in homeless and low-income communities.

Project Description: Catherine will assist the Beneficial State Foundation Impact team in gathering, analyzing and reporting social and environmental impact data.

Ember Chen

Ember Chen headshotEmber Chen, Human Capital, Strategy & Development Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: Diamond Bar, CA
Education: B.A. Candidate in Computer Science & B.A. Candidate in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Berkeley (expected May 2016)

Biography: Ember is a rising senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. Last summer, she participated in a startup accelerator program in Nice, France, where she developed an interest in social entrepreneurship and design. Ember is involved with an organization at school that seeks to affect local and social impact through the human-centered design process. Last summer, her team tackled the issue of providing career exploration services to youth in underserved communities. Her hobbies include dance, DIY projects, and traveling, and she also does freelance design work in her free time. Ember hopes to continue to serve the community in the Bay Area through innovative means after graduation.

Project Description: Under the guidance of bank and foundation staff, Ember will research and create an online guidebook to help students learn about the career pipeline and opportunities in beneficial banking and the good money movement. She will also conduct research on banking products and services most valued to the Millennial generation and will curate a list of meaningful human capital resources to distribute on the company’s intranet platform.