The Center for Responsible Business is pleased to announce the newest members of our Student Advisory Board*. The Student Advisory Board is composed of students who help the CRB continue to question the status quo, as a sounding board for new projects and ideas and provide feedback on existing programs. There were a record number of applications, which made for a rigorous selection process. This year’s applicant pool continued the trend of high-caliber, exceptional candidates.
Second year board members met with candidates during the interview portion of the application process. On behalf of the current board members who supported the selection process, David Sternlicht, MBA 18, said, “We’re thrilled with this new crop of student advisory board members. Throughout the interview process we were blown away by their passion and demonstrated interest in responsible business through a stunning richness and diversity of backgrounds. We’re excited to welcome them aboard!”
Nellie Boonman, MBA 19
Nellie is thrilled to be joining the CRB Student Advisory team to help advance and formalize Haas’ foothold in sustainable food. Before coming to Haas, she worked for a seed company and then in the natural/organic food industry. Since 2011, she led digital marketing at Annie’s in West Berkeley. Nellie also managed their cause programs and strategic community partnerships, including Annie’s Grants for Gardens, Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships, and the General Mills Hometown Grant Program in Berkeley. At Annie’s, she witnessed firsthand how the combination of private-nonprofit partnerships, sustainable sourcing, and responsible and transparent business practices resulted in a powerful force for change in the food system. This experience showed her that it is possible to build a socially conscious and successful business, and to do so at a greater scale in partnership with a large parent organization.
Jeff Hartsough, MBA 19
Jeff comes to Haas from public sector management consulting, where he helped state and local government entities develop strategies that strengthened their financial and operational performance while improving accountability to and outcomes for their constituents. Jeff also has extensive experience in China, including in product development, seeing firsthand the environmental and social challenges of responsible supply chain management. At Haas with the CRB, he is excited to connect academic theory with commercial practice, empowering others to become better advocates for sustainability, equity, and inclusion in their future organizations.
Kira Mikityanskaya, MBA 19
A native of Russia and an east coast transplant, Kira moved to CA from Boston. For the last six years, she worked at a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund – New Profit. New Profit finds and invests in innovative social entrepreneurs and works closely with them to scale their solutions to social problems. As a member of the federal policy team, Kira partnered with 75+ of those entrepreneurs and federal policy makers to address the systemic barriers to scaling socially impactful and results-oriented solutions. While focusing on issues of workforce development and innovative financing mechanisms (like Pay for Success), it became clear to her that business has an important role to play in creating positive social impact. The desire to gain first hand business experience brought Kira to Haas and to the CRB. She is passionate about working at the intersection of business, nonprofits, and government to accelerate our transition to a more just and equitable society and she know that the CRB Student Advisory Board will be a critical step in achieving that vision.
Trisha Mittal, MBA 19
A bay area native, Trisha has spent time working in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Most recently, she was Associate Director at strategy analytics firm Protagonist Technology, combining social science and data science to analyze industries across sectors for customers such as the Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Omidyar Network, Citibank, and US Department of Defense. Prior to that, Trisha worked at the United Nations Foundation supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals negotiations process, and at the European Union’s Foreign Service Department covering EU-Asia relations. She holds a Master’s in Global Governance and Diplomacy from Oxford University and a Bachelor’s in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley. Having witnessed the unique strengths that each sector brings to solving complex problems, Trisha is a strong believer in cross-sector collaboration and is excited to join the Center for Responsible Business board to engage business as a critical partner in tackling social and environmental challenges.
Abby O’Reilly, MBA 19
Abby is passionate about finding opportunities to integrate social impact and business. She moved to the Bay Area from Washington, DC, where she worked as a strategy consultant supporting clients across industries and sectors. She led and delivered solutions for executives at Fortune 100 companies, social enterprises, nonprofits, and foundations through rigorous data analysis and innovative thinking. In addition to her consulting experience, Abby also spent time with the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program and the American Red Cross. Abby holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Virginia. She loves discovering new social enterprises, exploring unfamiliar cities, and cheering for the Nationals. Abby is thrilled to join the CRB Student Advisory Board because she believes in the power of business to drive sustainable, large-scale change and address the world’s most challenging social and environmental issues.
Adrian Rodrigues, MBA 18
Adrian is an east coast transplant that has fallen in love with the California sun. This summer he worked for Patagonia’s Venture Capital Fund – Tin Shed Ventures and hopes to spend his career helping allocate resources to companies that create holistic value and not just financial profit. This fall, Adrian will be finishing his MBA at Berkeley Haas, where he is one of the proud co-presidents of Food@Haas and a principal on the socially responsible investment fund. He is also a budding yogi and deeply passionate about regenerative organic agriculture.
Rebecca Rowe, MBA 19
Rebecca Rowe graduated from Hamilton College in 2011 with a concentration in Economics and Biochemistry. She started her career working for John Hancock Financial Services, where she focused a significant amount of her time financing projects in the renewable energy sector as part of the Power & Infrastructure group. She led the company’s first investment in green bonds, and managed its $2bn portfolio of energy efficiency projects in partnership with a variety of government agencies. In 2015, Rebecca transitioned to Social Finance, a nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing private capital to improve social outcomes across the country. She worked with governments, nonprofits, and impact investors to structure outcomes-based financing vehicles to scale critical services with a focus on measurement and evaluation. Rebecca is passionate about leveraging the private sector to create positive social and environmental impact, and is excited to explore sustainable business strategies to help tackle the most intractable global challenges while on the Student Advisory Board.
Jennifer Werkmeister, MBA 19
Jennifer graduated from The University of Pennsylvania in 2012. She is passionate about environmental sustainability in consumer goods with a special interest in agriculture and food products. Jennifer is excited to join the CRB both to connect with companies who are making an effort to make their products more sustainable and to share her passion for these topics with her classmates. With a background in consumer insights, Jennifer ultimately hopes to help companies design products and experiences that make it easy for consumers to say “yes” to better more sustainable choices.
Director of the CRB, Robert Strand notes, “We put the students at the center of everything we do at the CRB where we work through our CRB Student Advisory Board (SAB) to have more effective reach across the entire student body. I could not be more pleased with the group of new students we just added to the SAB. Their collective talents and passions are absolutely incredible. It is such a privilege to work closely together with these bright minds and warm hearts.”
We look forward to working with these exceptional students.
*Our 2017-18 CRB Fellow, Adam Brudnick, also joined the Student Advisory Board and was featured in this blog.