Executive Director | Corporate Finance Attorney | Microenterprise Activist
After twelve years as a corporate finance attorney in New York, Seattle and the Bay Area, Mike chose to dedicate his energy to the elimination of poverty and the development of individual economic self-sufficiency and strong local economies. Mike spent a year in Central America where he volunteered with a microcredit organization serving Mayan women business owners in the Western Highlands of Guatemala and helped a group of low-income business women in Nicaragua form a self-help bank.
As a VISTA with the Diocese of Olympia, Mike helped develop the JumpStart Fund, a microloan program serving refugees and other newcomers in the Seattle area. At JumpStart, he played a key role in the formation of the Washington State Microenterprise Association where he served two terms as the association’s board chair. As Manager of Training and Education at the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Mike developed training workshops for the organization’s annual conferences and regional training institutes. As program director at Washington Community Alliance for Self Help, Mike embraced the opportunity to continue his work at the local level. Mike left CASH to design, develop and manage StartZone, an award-winning microenterprise development program of Highline Community College providing first-level training and technical assistance to low-income underserved communities in South King County. Mike has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Washington and a JD from Columbia University School of Law.
CIE Program Manager | Pinchot University MBA Sustainable Business | Food Business Advocate
Kerrie earned an MBA in Sustainable Business at Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University (now Presidio Graduate School) with an industry concentration in Microfinance, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Food Business. She’s been a business owner several times over, including a paper arts supply manufacturing company, a sustainable art supply store, a recycled sketchbook and journal production business, and a small press magazine and publishing business. She is currently involved with an industrial hemp supply start-up and a sustainable dog treat manufacturing business.
Before joining CIE, Kerrie worked as a nonprofit program coordinator assisting low-income individuals who are striving to maintain their independence and potential despite barriers such as poor health, disabilities, mental illness, and cultural marginalization. Her specialties are bootstrapping and grassroots marketing, and bringing sustainability to businesses.
Coast Works Business Advisor | Pinchot University MBA Sustainable Systems | Finance Specialist
Jacob received his MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University (now Presidio Graduate School) with a concentration in finance, which serves his passion to make a more just and inclusive world for underserved populations. He has been working to create meaningful community based programs since co-founding the non-profit Earth Givers in 2007. His specialty is working with multi-stakeholder groups to build sustainability programs that encompass triple bottom line thinking.
In 2008, Jacob designed the Neutral Gator program to create the first carbon neutral collegiate football season by generating carbon offsets through community-based programs to conserve energy and reforest conservation lands. With Jacob’s help, the University of Florida’s entire athletics program has been carbon neutral ever since.
Jacob has also worked with rural women in the mountains of Haiti to create microeconomic opportunities through sustainable capacity building since 2010.
Community Advocate | MED University of Phoenix, Utah | Strategic Community Builder
Alexis has worked to build community throughout King County through positions with Catholic Community Services, Asian Counseling and Referral Services, South Seattle Preschool Co-op, and as an Americorps volunteer. She lived briefly in England, and taught English in South Korea and Taiwan.
Alexis moved to Seattle 12 years ago, and lives near White Center with her husband and two sons. She has a B.A. from Willamette University in Oregon, and an M.Ed. from University of Phoenix in Utah.
Alexis is thrilled to be part of the CIE team, and truly believes that education (including learning about all self-employment options) is the path to building stronger communities. She loves to interact with people of differing backgrounds from her own. In particular, Alexis has experience working with immigrant populations who don’t speak English as a first language, people who are low-income and over 55 years of age, high school students who are considered at-risk, and intervention programs for children with developmental delays.
Business Advisor | Outreach for Snohomish SBDC | Economic Self-Sufficiency Advocate
Giselle started her career in the microfinance industry in the Philippines implementing the Grameen methodology. After moving to Washington, she joined Community Capital Development to direct their Northwest Washington Women’s Business Center (NWWBC). She also works with the Small Business Development Center in Snohomish County. As a military spouse, she has spent years teaching entrepreneurial classes as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Naval Air Station in Everett, earning recognition from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Seattle District Office as the Veteran Small Business Champion for 2013. She is a seasoned business mentor recognized for her ability to help people in underserved communities access information, capital and markets to start and grow small businesses. Giselle lives in Marysville, WA with her husband – a Retired Navy Veteran of 20 years – and their two kids.