Category Archives: Board of Directors

Elmy Bermejo

Board Director

Elmy Bermejo has been a senior government official with more than 25 years of experience in executive level management, strategic planning, policy development and advocacy.  She has an established successful record of collaboration with public and private stakeholders on a range of issues including workforce development, immigration, paid leave, minimum wage, discrimination in pay, disaster relief, small business and healthcare. She has deep relationships with Congress, the Executive Branch, federal, state and local government. Elmy has a passion for building and strengthening relationships while assisting people and organizations attain their goals.

On January 4, 2010 Elmy was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve at the US Department of Labor as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and in 2014 was appointed as the West Coast Regional Representative for former Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Her public service includes working for several elected officials including Retired CA State Senators John Burton and Don Perata and former U.S.Rep. Lynn Woolsey and U.S. Rep. Mel Levine and the late U.S.Senator Alan Cranston.

Elmy is currently the President of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, serves on the board of The Beneficial State Foundation and is an Advisory member of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). She is also a founding member of the Emily’s List Latina Advisory Council.

Elmy previously served on the CA Commission on the Status of Women and the Women’s Foundation of California. She is a founding member of EMERGE, an organization that trains democratic women to run for local office.

Elmy’s family owns Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, a well-known and beloved restaurant recognized as a San Francisco institution for more than 50 years.  There she gained valuable insights and sensitivity to the challenges faced by small business owners.

Kriss Deiglmeier

Kriss Deiglmeier Board Director

Kriss Deiglmeier, currently the CEO of Tides, has more than 20 years of senior executive experience that spans the business, social enterprise, nonprofit, academic and philanthropic sectors.  She is recognized as a pioneer in the field of social innovation and has presented nationally and internationally on social innovation, social entrepreneurship, design thinking and public-private partnerships as well as guest-lectured at myriad universities around the world.

Before joining Tides, Kriss was the founding Executive Director for the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at Stanford.  She established CSI as a global leader in the emerging social innovation field. Kriss worked as an Advisor to the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies while living in Myanmar in 2013.  In her previous role as Chief Operating Officer for Juma Ventures, Kriss helped raise the profile of the social entrepreneurship field from a niche market to mainstream.

Kriss has written and published leading thought pieces on social impact.  Her most recent publication is a book chapter, “Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: What’s New, and Why is it Important?” in The Real Problem Solvers. Kriss developed and taught the course, “Social Innovation through Corporate Social Responsibility” at Stanford.  In Myanmar, Kriss conceived, created, and led an “Innovation in Action Lab” to equip organizations with design thinking methodologies and tools.

Kriss has served on a number of boards, and advisory groups. Kriss received her BA from the University of Washington, and her MBA from UC Berkeley.

Kriss resides in the Bay Area with her husband, two children and dog, Lucy.  A favorite activity is traveling locally, nationally and internationally.  She has visited over thirty-five countries with many more on her “wish to visit” list.

Michael Kieschnick

Michael KieschnickBoard Director

Michael Kieschnick is CEO, President and Co-Founder of CREDO/Working Assets, Inc., a progressive mobile phone company, built from an activism community of over three million members.

Prior to co-founding Working Assets, Mr. Kieschnick served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as an economic adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown of California (way back in time from 1980-1982), and helped create several socially responsible investment funds.

Mr. Kieschnick serves on the board of the League of Conservation Voters and the Beatitudes Society, and teaches a seminar on innovations in microfinance at Stanford University. He is also co-author, with Julia Parzen, of Credit Where It’s Due: Development Banking for Communities.

Born and raised in Dallas, he earned a Ph.D in public policy from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees in biology and economics from Stanford University.

Cynthia A. Parker

Cynthia ParkerBoard Director

Cynthia A. Parker is the President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing Corporation. She is responsible for the overall direction of BRIDGE, as well as its major affiliates such as BUILD, an investment advisor to CalPERS under the California Urban Real Estate Program, and BASS, a licensed life care provider. She joined BRIDGE Housing as President and CEO in February 2010.


Tom Steyer

Tom SteyerBoard of Directors, Beneficial State Co-founder

Tom Steyer is an investor, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate. He is also the President of NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to avert climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded and was the Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management. He also was a Managing Director and member of the Investment Committee at Hellman & Friedman.

Tom is actively engaged in climate politics and works to promote economic development and environmental protection in the state. In 2012, Tom served as co-chair with former Secretary of State George Shultz for Yes on Proposition 39, which closed a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and created jobs in California. In 2010, Tom teamed again with George Shultz to defeat California’s Proposition 23, an effort by out-of-state oil companies to dismantle California’s groundbreaking clean energy law, AB 32. In 2013, Tom also supported the successful campaigns of Ed Markey for Senate in Massachusetts and Terry McAuliffe for Governor in Virginia.

Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes. Tom and Kat created and funded the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank and Foundation, which provide loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities, and individuals in California and along the west coast. Tom serves on Stanford University’s Board of Trustees as Vice-Chair, where he and his wife founded two renewable energy research institutions: the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. Tom also founded Advanced Energy Economy, which works with businesses to make energy secure, clean and affordable, and Next Generation, which addresses energy and children’s policy issues.

Tom and Kat have four children.

Kat Taylor

Board of Directors, Beneficial State Co-founder

Kat Taylor is active in a variety of public benefit and philanthropic ventures in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 1986, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, a nonprofit entity that helps new immigrant families in San Francisco access needed services, stabilize in the country, develop self-sufficiency and participate in the community.

She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Insight Prison Project, a nonprofit organization working in collaboration with San Quentin State Prison. The project provides unique rehabilitation programs that help self-selected, motivated prisoners break the cycle of incarceration.

Ms. Taylor served as a member of the Board of Directors of KQED, Inc., a Bay Area-based public radio and television operation. During her tenure with KQED, 1997–2003, she chaired the Development Committee.

As a member of the Board of Directors of the Yerba Buena Center for
the Arts, 1996 – 2002, Ms. Taylor served as Chair of the Development Committee. The multidisciplinary art center, located in the Yerba Buena Gardens district of downtown San Francisco, features visual arts, performing arts, film and educational programs.
 Ms. Taylor graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1980 with a 
Bachelor of Arts degree. She earned a joint JD/MBA degree from the
 Stanford Law School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1986.