Beneficial Banking Fellowship

2019 Fellows

We are thrilled to have 10 exceptional individuals join us for the summer — check out their bios below!

Clean Vehicle Assistance Program Outreach Fellow

Alexa Diaz

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: Fresno, CA
Education: Master’s of Public Policy, Oregon State University

Working collaboratively with the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program team, Alexa will research best practices, successes and trends of clean vehicle adoption within DACs (disadvantaged communities) and will conduct outreach to help expand the program’s reach.

Biography: Alexa Diaz is currently pursuing her Master of Public Policy with a focus on Transportation Policy at Oregon State University. Alexa is interested in transportation because it is something that impacts everybody and is the connecting piece to greater opportunity. Her interest in transportation began while she served as an AmeriCorps member in Portland, assisting on an electric vehicle carshare, which introduced her to the importance of mobility access in traditionally underserved communities. As a graduate student, Alexa is focusing on analyzing the perceptions of electric vehicles in California and conducting a program evaluation of different electric vehicle advancement programs. While in graduate school Alexa has interned at the Greenlining Institute as an Environmental Equity Summer Associate and at the Oregon Legislative Policy and Research Office as a Graduate Transportation Intern. In her free time, Alexa likes to cook, explore new parts of Oregon, and train for her next half-marathon!

ITM Research and Development Fellow

Alexis Nelson

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: Portland, OR
Education: MS in Finance, Portland State University

Alexis will conduct research on ITMs (interactive teller machines) and produce a written implementation report to help Beneficial State Bank effectively launch this service.

Biography: Alexis graduated in June 2019 from Portland State University, earning her Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree. Alexis also holds an MBA from the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College and a BA in Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis from Mills College. During her MSF degree, she founded and developed Impact Ventures at PSU, which is the first program of its kind at a Pacific Northwest University. The program is a student-led venture capital fund complemented with graduate-level coursework. The program is focused on giving graduate business students practical experience, investing intentionally for positive social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Alexis began her career at Allianz Global Investors in San Francisco as a Business Development Associate. She left her corporate job in 2007 to help start a company – LifeCycle Adventures, LLC – a travel adventure company. For 10 years Alexis profitably grew the company to have 13 locations in the U.S., Europe, and Canada and acquired a hot air ballooning company along the way. Alexis is now thrilled to be pursuing her new found passion for sustainable finance and launching her next career.

Mission Principles and Policies Fellow

Amy DeNinno

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: Oakland, CA
Education: Dual Master’s of Public Policy and Business Administration, Mills College

Amy will help advance the development of our existing Mission Principles policies by conducting research and providing policy recommendations on specific investment areas.

Biography: Amy DeNinno is a recent transplant to the Bay Area. She lived in San Diego where she studied sustainability, and urban studies and planning at San Diego State University. She is passionate about environmental, social, and economic health and justice. She is currently a graduate student at Mills College pursuing a joint masters degree in public policy and business administration. Her background varies from fundraising and zoning administration to restorative justice and instructional technology. Her hobbies include camping, cooking vegan food, gardening, singing and playing guitar, and reading non-fiction. Her personal goals include going low to zero waste and diversifying what genres of music she plays.

Strategic Communications Fellow

Ben Lee

Pronouns: he, him
Branch: Oakland, CA
Education: B.A. in Government, Minor in Theatre and Russian, Cornell University

Ben will work with the foundation’s communications team to complete a messaging audit, produce issue briefs, and help align our communications and messaging on policy and positions.

Biography: Originally from Palo Alto, California, Ben Lee is a rising senior at Cornell University. He is committed to institutionalizing changes that will advance social and economic justice and ensure a cleaner, more livable planet in the future. His background is in policy research and non-profit political advocacy for civil rights. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing basketball (poorly), and writing.

B Corp Research and Outreach Fellow

Brianne Logasa

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: East Los Angeles, CA
Education: Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning, University of California – Los Angeles

Working collaboratively with the Los Angeles bank team and with local B Corp leaders and organizations, Brianne will help shape and support the growing community of B Corps in the Los Angeles area and build a business case for why B Corps are the future of business in the local market.

Biography: Brianne is passionate about the role outreach and engagement play in planning issues, and how communities empower themselves in the face of climate change. Before becoming a fellow, Brianne served as a research consultant for causeIMPACTS, a consulting firm dedicated to community development and public policy strategy for vulnerable populations. Brianne also worked for Valley Water, a Bay Area water district, where she helped coordinate community outreach events and campaigns related to water quality and conservation education. Brianne is thrilled to be one of this year’s Beneficial State Foundation Fellows to continue fostering her interest and skillset in community outreach and research.

Equitable Banking Research Fellow

Isabelle James

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: Oakland, CA
Education: Master’s of Business Administration, Stanford University

As a key member of the systems change team at the foundation, Isabelle will help conduct research on the banking sector and equitable banking standards and will provide recommendations to the systems change team.

Biography: Isabelle James just completed the first year of her MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Before business school, Isabelle served as political director at Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. Isabelle is passionate about issues of equality and justice and is a student leader of Stanford GSB’s Corporations and Society Initiative, which encourages business leaders and students to think beyond shareholder value maximization and work together with government in the best interest of society. A Bay Area native, Isabelle received her BS in International Health from Georgetown University.

Product Research (Credit Cards) Fellow

Keelia Murphy

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: East Los Angeles, CA
Education: Master’s of Business Administration, Mills College

Keelia will research trends in the credit card industry, identify other socially-responsible credit card products and provide recommendations to the bank to execute a successful and mission-aligned credit card program.

Biography: Keelia (pronounced KEE-lah, with a silent “i”) is pursuing her MBA at the Lorry I. Lokey Schools of Business and Public Policy at Mills College. A fervent advocate for building stronger communities through financial empowerment, Keelia volunteers with local nonprofits working to build economic mobility pathways for low- income young people. Keelia plans to build her career in community development finance, helping to create values-driven and socially responsible financial products that equitably serve our diverse communities. She is also very interested in behavioral finance and how psychology shapes our financial decisions. Keelia holds a BA in Sociology from St. Mary’s College of California, where she was named Student Activist of the Year for her involvement in social justice work. In her free time, Keelia can be found reading outside (with a goal of finishing 50 books per year), exploring seaside California towns, and enjoying the food, wine, and nature that Oakland has to offer.

Solar Power Finance, Research and Strategy Fellow

Matthew Gibbs

Pronouns: he, him
Branch: Portland
Education: Master’s of Business Administration, Portland State University

In collaboration with the bank’s “Earth Services” team, Matthew will conduct research and produce recommendations to help the bank expand our solar financing.

Biography: Matthew’s passion for working with people has led him to seek opportunities where he can create and manage relationships. He loves working in teams aimed at common goals. Originally from Greater Boston, Matthew earned a BA in Environmental Studies at Dickinson College. After graduation, he worked in environmental- and energy-related departments as an intern at the Massachusetts Port Authority and DOT. He then worked in residential energy sales, where he helped homeowners make low-cost weatherization upgrades at home. Eager to continue improving building energy utilization, Matthew joined a commercial construction management company. After three years, Matthew realized that construction did not align with his long-term goals, and he moved west. During his two-year stint in Jackson, WY, he applied to Portland State University’s MBA program for its leadership development and sustainable business focuses. Now a second-year MBA student, Matthew has cultivated a passion for CSR and finance, as well as a desire to work with people. He eagerly explores new industries where he can pursue these interests. Outside of work, you’ll find Matthew leading teenagers through the wilderness, ski mountaineering, playing soccer, eating mangos, cooking, and reading (assuming he finishes his homework in time).

Organizational Development and Culture Fellow

Rachel Mattenberger

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: Portland
Education: Master’s of Business Administration, Portland State University

Rachel will conduct research on key trends in the non-profit sector and focus on best practices for organizational transparency, decision-making and performance management in distributed power cultures.

Biography: Rachel Mattenberger is excited to be joining the Beneficial State Fellowship Team after spending the last two years immersing herself in the Portland B Corp community while pursuing her MBA at Portland State University. Rachel’s background is in commuter transportation, and she started to recognize the power of the private sector to advance social and environmental impact when she spent a year and a half working as an activation manager for a New York-based rideshare startup. She learned a lot in those 18 months, and felt right at home among her highly motivated, ambitious, values-aligned coworkers. When that startup didn’t scale, the natural next step was for Rachel to focus on finding similar-minded people closer to home in Portland. She appreciates how friendly and welcoming the B Corp community has been to her as a student, and she looks forward to giving back to that community as a Summer Fellow with a very well-respected B Corp. When she’s not working, Rachel enjoys hiking, practicing aerial silks, and snuggling with her cats, Luna and Jelly Bean.

Impact Data and Deposits Research Fellow

Sabrina Cerquera

Pronouns: she, her
Branch: Portland
Education: B.A. in Political Science, Lewis & Clark College

Working collaboratively with the bank’s relationship managers, Sabrina will use our internal deposit calculator to determine the social and environmental impact of our clients’ deposits and will help share how these impacts support a socially-responsible lending practice.

Biography: Originally from Miami, Florida, Sabrina Cerquera moved to Portland, Oregon to go to college as a first- generation student in her family. Passionate about environmental justice and policy, Sabrina believes that great strides can be taken through institutional and political change to elevate the voices of those who have been historically silenced. As a past intern at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon Environmental Council, Sabrina is enthusiastic to broaden her skills to serve and tell the story of socially-responsible lending in the Portland community. As a Hispanic female-identified woman, Sabrina is passionate about seeing more women and people of color in the political and for-profit sector. In her spare time—Sabrina enjoys playing with virtual reality, climbing rocks, and being involved with environmental activism in her community. Sabrina will be graduating in the spring of 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College.