Category Archives: 2015-Intern


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.

Evan Haynes

Headshot_EvanEvan Haynes, Treasury & Payment Solutions Research Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Education: B.S. Candidate in Business Administration & B.A. Candidate in Philosophy at the University of the Pacific (expected May 2016)

Biography: Evan Haynes is a Senior at University of the Pacific, pursuing dual degrees in Finance and Philosophy. After receiving a Speech and Debate Scholarship to attend Pacific, Evan served as the VP of Finance for the Council of University Social Entrepreneurs in his first year. He was also selected to present research on technology as a catalyst for social impact at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. In his second year, Evan collaborated in the development of Stockton Impact Corps, a Stockton, California based microfinance enterprise which offers microloans, financial literacy training, and small business development training. He now serves as the Lead Microfinance Associate, leading the microfinance operations of the organization. In 2015, Evan was voted the Lincoln-Douglass College Debater of the Year. He received honors from Phi Sigma Tau, the international honors society for philosophy.

Project Description: Evan will research the full sweep of treasury management and payment solutions products, specifically those offered by comparable community banks, in all the regions we serve. He will analyze the bank’s current portfolio of treasury management products. Finally, Evan will develop a system, process and list of criteria for vetting products/ vendors and create a product roadmap and strategy for implementation.

Genevieve Hale-Case

Genevieve headshotGenevieve Hale-Case, Commercial Real Estate Research Intern
Branch Location: Seattle, WA
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Education: Master of Urban Planning Candidate (Real Estate Specialization) at the University of Washington (expected 2016)

Biography: Genevieve is a earning her Master’s in Urban Planning at the University of Washington, with a focus on real estate. She is especially passionate about building and retaining community identity through small business and neighborhood-scale retail. She has a background in project and program management and has been interning for the past year with an affordable housing developer. Genevieve earned a bachelor’s degree in urban community development form Colorado College. She is a Seattle native and spends her free time enjoying the pacific northwest by bike, on skis and on the trails.

Project Description: Genevieve will support a team of commercial relationship managers to research and identify new CRE and affordable housing opportunities for the bank in the greater Seattle area.

Kamila Demkova

Kamila DemkovaKamila Demkova, Small Business and Non-Profit Research & Financial Modeling Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Education: Master’s in Development Practice at the University of California, Berkeley (2014)

Biography: Originally hailing from Slovakia, Kamila has lived in a variety of places including Vienna, Austria where she attended the Vienna International School. She went on to study at the University of Sussex in the U.K., receiving a BA (Hons) in Economics and International Relations. Finally, due to her interest in South America, she also attended Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile for a semester. Her career decisions were influenced by working at Kommunalkredit Public Consulting under the Kyoto Protocol, and her personal beliefs, she decided that what she really wants to do is to tackle environmental challenges, inequality and to work with technology. The first effective step in achieving this goal was to undertake a Master’s in Development Practice at UC Berkeley. In the past three years she worked at the United Nations, in South Africa working on an impact evaluation, and in the U.S. conducting computer human interaction research and working as a business developer for a renewable energy startup.

Project Description: Under the guidance of Salvador Menjivar, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Kamila will research best practices and successful innovative financing models launched by other Foundations. She will help build a conceptual model for a pool of funds that will be used to distribute resources to small business owners and non-profits who currently have mission-aligned loans.

Marie Bush

Marie Bush, CRA Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: Madison, WI
Education: MBA Candidate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (expected 2016)

Biography: Marie Bush is currently an MBA student with a specialization in corporate finance and investment banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining the program, Marie worked in the international nonprofit sector. Most recently she was the Director of Integration Programs at the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee, where she led a team in the implementation, evaluation, and reporting functions of the organization’s largest grants. Previously, Marie worked for the International Rescue Committee in Bangkok, Thailand where she managed field programs as well as was highly involved in proposal development. Marie has also worked in Washington, D.C. for the US Agency for International Development and Damascus, Syria for the International Organization for Migration. Marie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in International and Area Studies and from the Monterey Institute of International Studies with an MPA. Outside of work, Marie enjoys spending time outdoors and perfecting new recipes in the kitchen.

Project Description: Under the guidance of the CRA Compliance Officer, Marie will research and draft the Performance Context for the Community Reinvestment Act exam and develop and recommend a plan for the bank’s overall CRA strategy.

Patty Viafara

Patty headshotPatty Viafara, Small Business and Non-Profit Research & Financial Modeling Intern
Branch Location: Oakland, CA
Hometown: Miami, FL
Education: MBA Candidate in Global Impact Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (expected 2016)

Biography: Patty has worked with diverse cultures and across all levels of an organization, giving her an appreciation for the idiosyncrasies that bring organizations to life. She is currently pursuing an MBA in Global Impact Management at MIIS, with the goal of working to create sustainable and thriving business ecosystems.

Project Description: Under the guidance of Salvador Menjivar, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Patty will research best practices and successful innovative financing models launched by other Foundations. She will help build a conceptual model for a pool of funds that will be used to distribute resources to small business owners and non-profits who currently have mission-aligned loans.

Thomas Brempong

Thomas HeadshotThomas Brempong, Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts Data Specialist Intern
Branch Location: Albina Community Bank in Portland, OR
Hometown: Ghana
Education: B.A. Political Science (Business Administration Minor) at Washington State University, Vancouver (2015)

Biography: Originally, from Ghana, Thomas Brempong is a recent graduate of Washington State University and holds a degree in Political Science. With experience working in local government and was heavily involved in campus life, where he served as an orientation leader and student ambassador. Thomas has an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit and interest for helping developing countries, and a passion for community/economic development, fair lending, banking regulations, compliance, small business, impact investing, emerging markets, and banking in general. Fluent in three languages, and having travelled extensively around the world, Thomas brings a unique perspective, skills in research and other valuable attributes into this internship. Looking forward, he looks to emulate his skills and expertise into the banking sector or any avenue or sector where he can better reach the populace he serves.

Project Description: Thomas will conduct demographic research in areas within and adjacent to Albina’s lending areas. He will also research the B Corp certification assessment process and, under the guidance of the Chief Financial Officer at Albina, compile the data for the application and help draft the assessment.