Interise is powered by passionate, curious, and innovative people who bring deep and varied experiences to the team.
We live out our values of being bold, purposeful, and inclusive and we welcome the opportunity to work with others who share these beliefs.
What Do I Care About?
I care about equity of opportunity. As a first-gen student, immigrant, and Asian American, I seek to reduce gender, race, and class barriers in our fight to tackle structural inequalities through community-centered research, policy, and practice. My life mission is to expand greater access to opportunities and mobility to more marginalized communities and individuals.
I believe that cross-sector collaboration among governments, businesses, academics, and nonprofits is critical to enhancing equity and justice locally and nationally. I am passionate about Interise’s work in uplifting communities by bringing together all these stakeholders. Small-business-led economic development plays a critical role in driving economic mobility for individuals, families, and communities.
As the Research and Evaluation Manager, I support program evaluation, impact evaluation, internal and external research projects, cross-functional collaboration, and strategic initiatives. Prior to Interise, I was a researcher at Harvard Business School and Stanford University programs and a teacher at BEAM Education Foundation, a grassroots NGO in Thailand. I hold a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in education from Middlebury College.
1. What do you care about?
At my core, I care about people. More specifically, I care about access and opportunity for all. As a first generation, black woman who grew up in a low-moderate income community, I have witnessed and experienced the challenges that so many times hinder development, achievement and success in various aspects of life. My personal experiences and passion for equity drive my professional purpose which is to serve and support underserved communities including those who face the obstacles that are created by systemic oppression.
2. Why Interise?
Interise is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to small businesses that may otherwise never experience such exposure. I love that Interise is committed to intentional, practical and valuable program delivery. This results in the sustainability and growth of small businesses which translates into positive impacts within families and communities. And just as important, each member of Interise wholeheartedly believes in the organization’s mission and is committed to doing the work to bring about change.
3. What do I bring to this work?
I hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana. I also hold a Master’s degree of Science in Biology from Prairie View A&M and a Master’s of Education in Education Administration from Lamar University. Before joining the Interise team, I was a high school administrator managing special programs and also a program manager coaching and training educators in various districts in the Houston area. Relationship building and education are second nature to me. I’m an advocate, problem solver and a cheerleader for others and I apply the same energy to my work.
What do you care about?
I care deeply about dismantling systemic racism in America. I believe that, in the land of the free and home of the brave, everyone should have the right to build generational wealth without structures put in place to discourage or hinder their upward economic mobility. I care about moving Interise’s mission forward – an economy that works for all.
Born and raised in rural South Carolina, I witnessed my parents labor tirelessly in our family’s small business. It was my parents’ fortitude and courage that inspired me to work with small business owners. It’s knowing that, following your passion, along with community support and resources, can push small businesses from good to great. By being a part of Interise’s mission, I hope to build sustainable businesses that uplift all communities.
As the Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Jerrianne works to build relationships and expand the Interise network with the goal of building brand, driving revenue, and increasing mission impact.
Prior to working at Interise Jerrianne was the Senior Economic Development Specialist for the City of Charlotte, NC where she strategically managed AMP UP Charlotte. She also is the founder and broker in charge of Blu J Agency. A graduate of Winthrop University with a degree in Economics and Political Science, Jerrianne has worked in both the corporate and government sectors, as a successful Marketing Analyst and Economic Developer.
What do you care about?
I’m passionate about the betterment of the world, specifically revitalizing broken or under-served communities and fighting for “the underdog”. I have made it my mission to try and uplift communities of color and advocate for the types of systemic changes that need to occur in order to give the next generation of children, teens and families a fair and equitable shot at success. I believe economic and legal systems should work in an inclusive way for all humans, regardless of their race or background. I’m also passionate about creating partnerships at a local and state level that will allow for equal participation of minority and low income groups in all aspects of society.
Interise allows me to work towards improving the world through tangible and practical means. I believe that generational wealth should be accessible to individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life; so I love that the Streetwise MBA curriculum allows community partners to improve performance within all aspects of their businesses and sets them up for current and future equitable success. Additionally, the small business growth that is directly tied to what Interise is doing, aids in the empowerment and economic advancement of minority communities, which improves society as a whole. It’s my belief that being a part of Interise, is causally tied to helping right the decades worth of systemic wrongs that have plagued the American economic system for far too long.
As the Program Associate for Partnerships, Christina provides support for the new and existing partners. As well as, researches new initiatives and partnership opportunities, engages entrepreneurs and collaborates with the Programs Team. Christina is a graduate of the University of Kentucky – College of Arts and Sciences. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with minors in Neuroscience and Biology as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science with a research certificate. Prior to joining Interise, she served the beauty and women’s empowerment industries as a Pageant Coach for women and children within her own minority-owned small business. Christina has experience in government, legislative policy, and historic preservation spaces through her time spent with the Nevada Women’s Lobby, Nevada State Legislature and Preservation North Carolina. In her free time she enjoys spending time volunteering as an active member of the Junior League and doting on her three year old dog, Wilbur.
Spencer is an experienced non-profit professional from Philadelphia. He is dedicated to providing access and opportunities to the various communities he serves.
He has a BA in Sociology from the University of Delaware where concentrated on organizational and community leadership. During his time there,
he founded the Sociology and Criminal Justice Club. Spencer’s favorite previous efforts included organizing the largest Martin Luther King Day of Service in the nation and planning community health fairs to provide children with screenings and information regarding their health. He’s had the opportunity to lead virtual programming surrounding volunteerism and activism in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spencer is the Network Engagement Program Manager at Interise, where he works to develop the strategic plan for Network Engagement and program development of the MBA Response with his colleagues. He is also completing his masters in Public Administration from the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware.
What do I care about?
I care deeply about providing access and opportunity to communities and individuals by developing sustainable programs and partnerships. I believe that in order to drive opportunity for individuals, organizations must develop programs that people can count on to provide support and information. As a Jewish American whose ancestors feld Poland and the Soviet Union right before WW2, I understand that organizations have the power to develop opportunities for businesses, individuals and communities, the same ones that supported my family when coming to America.
I have always known that I wanted to continue in the nonprofit space and my passion has always been in children’s health and adult education. In order to be our best selves, we must continue to learn and develop and Interise provides that exact opportunity to small business owners across the United States. Helping to develop small business owners has a direct impact on those who work for that organization and the community members who support them. To me, it is all about growing and Interise does an incredible job of not only growing small business, but the individuals who work for the organization itself.
What do I care about?
I hold an unwavering belief in what’s possible when people come together to imagine a greater good with a willingness to work and make it so. As a third-generation educator-activist and former entrepreneur, I care deeply about the work to eradicate systems of oppression and remove barriers of access to information for under-resourced, and marginalized communities. My father and grandfather modeled for me a passion for doing transformative, community-based work and a commitment to liberate, empower and create meaningful change.
I am energized by work centered on addressing the root causes of economic injustice and the critical interpretation of data to improve societal outcomes. My tenure as a business educator and school leader in the US and abroad afforded me the opportunity to engage and be inspired by a culturally diverse community of thought partners. Similarly, I am emboldened by Interise’s commitment to innovation in the design and delivery of programs; and the intention to ensure lasting, positive impact in the communities we serve.
As Program Manager for Learning and Development, Risa supports Interise’s program development, delivery and hiring process nation-widet. Prior to working at Interise, Risa served as an education consultant, entrepreneur, and business educator in the U.S. and abroad. Risa holds a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a MBA with a concentration in Finance.
What Do I Care About?
I care deeply about equity, social justice, and the environment. I seek a more just, harmonious world where difference is celebrated while our common humanity is never forgotten. I believe that it all comes down to a need of showing respect for each person and creature on this planet. To do this we must undo institutional inequality, systems of oppression, provide equitable access to resources, and care for our environment so that all living things have a chance to live their best life.
I have always loved supporting my local, small businesses. I believe that they are an engine for building vibrant, thriving, and inclusive communities. Interise is the perfect joining together of my passions for social justice, racial equity, and community development. Supporting small businesses is good for the environment. I also chose Interise because they do an incredible job of providing the data to show their impact.
What is my role at Interise?
As Development Manager, Harper leads the planning and executing of a comprehensive development and fundraising program at Interise. Harper raises funds through individuals, corporations, and foundations to help advance Interise’s mission and programs. Before joining Interise, Harper led development at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and Ocean River Institute. Harper has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College and a BA from Earlham College. When not working to advance social justice, he can be found painting watercolors and singing in choruses.
What do I care about?
Equality. Since the first slave came off the boat in 1619, Black Americans have been fighting for equality in America. Every individual born black is forced to start life on an unequal playing ground, and there is not one facet of one society where that is not the case. As a result, I have made it my mission to uplift and support communities of color through the growth of local economies as a way to start building generational wealth for Black families in this country.
Interise is a national organization which means our impact spans far and wide. Being a former small business owner myself, I personally understand the struggles that our alumni go through on a daily basis. From understanding their finances to accessing capital or gaining economic traction with anchor institutions, I have lived and felt the challenges of it all. No matter where I have been in my career, I have always worked to transform lives and that’s exactly what we do at Interise.
Darrell came to Interise from Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco where he was Chief Advancement Officer and has previously held leadership roles at Easterseals Bay Area and EarthJustice. He was the recipient of the Eleanor Collier Award from educational organization Case District 1 for his contribution to his profession. Darrell holds a B.A in History from College of Holy Cross.