Surprise them with the gift of giving. Now Benevolent offers Giving Cards.

Our team



Megan Kashner
Founder & CEO
Aleca Tesseris Sullivan
Development Coordinator
Michele L. Larimer
Planning & Implementation
Cay'me Jones
Community Engagement Manager-Charlotte

   
Emily Brittain
Operations and Project Manager
Andrea Perkins
Community Engagement Manager-Detroit
Ken Goldstein
Community Engagement Mgr- Greater Bay Area
Samantha F. Brdek
Accounting & Finance

 


Lindsay Rosenfeld

Community Engagement Resident

Laura Przybysz

Community Engagement Intern

Kathiana Edouard
Intern
Tolu Ojoyeyi
Intern

   
       

Megan Kashner

Founder & CEO

LinkedIn Profile

megan at benevolent.net

For over 20 years Megan Kashner, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, walked alongside low-income families, creating relationships, programs and supports that would help people reach their goals and provide a sound future for their children. When she woke up on February 13, 2011 with the idea of Benevolent she saw a solution that had the potential not only to plug the gaps for families and support their pursuit of personal goals, but to introduce a new perspective on the experiences of low-income Americans who had for too long been publicly denigrated. Read more…


Aleca Tesseris Sullivan

Development Coordinator

LinkedIn Profile

aleca at benevolent.net

Aleca brings over 25 years of experience in economic development and community outreach experience to Benevolent, crossing the private, nonprofit and government sectors. She has worked in management consulting for private firms both in the United States and abroad, spent several interesting years working for the National Park Service and most recently completed a decade of very fulfilling work in education and community building. Aleca earned her Masters Degree from Boston University in American Studies and Preservation Planning. She earned her BA in economics from the University of Michigan. She is the mother of three wonderful children and one very enthusiastic puppy.

Samantha F. Brdek

Accounting & Finance

LinkedIn Profile

samantha at benevolent.net

Samantha ensures that our clients are able to get the money they need to improve their lives and that Benevolent has the ability to help as many people as possible for many years to come. She received her Masters Degree in Accounting from DePaul University and is a member of the Illinois Certified Public Accountants Society. For the past five tax seasons Samantha has volunteered to help senior citizens complete and feel more confident about their taxes. Before becoming an accountant Samantha had the opportunity to travel to India where she taught English and Math to orphans and underprivileged children. She currently spends her free time with her child, reading, biking around Ann Arbor, MI, and working in her yard.

Michele L. Larimer

Planning & Implementation

LinkedIn Profile

michele at benevolent.net

Michele helps manage communications, partnerships, special projects and Benevolent's nationwide expansion. A wearer of many hats in her professional career, Michele has explored the roles of: planner, designer, marketer, educator, sales, community developer, small business owner, and food & wine guru, resulting in the unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects, navigate complex challenges, and explain the difference between New and Old World wines.


Michele holds a dual Master’s in Urban Planning and Urban Design from the University of Colorado Denver. She also studied at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and in St. Petersburg, Russia. She spends her spare time in gardens, running long distances, and geeking out on all things related to design.

Emily Brittain

Operations and Project Manager

LinkedIn Profile

emily at benevolent.net

Emily manages Benevolent's operations and project implementation. She has extensive experience in youth development, customer relations and community partnership building, as well as technological troubleshooting. Before moving to Chicago, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia. Emily earned her Bachelor's from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL and her Master's from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, with a focus on community planning, organizing, and development. Emily enjoys hiking, riding her bike, and spending time with a good book.


Cay'me Jones

Community Engagement Manager-Charlotte

LinkedIn Profile

cayme at benevolent.net

Cay’me Jones comes to Benevolent after having worked the last few years in development and communications. With over 13 years of building community partnerships and advocating for social justice, this seasoned life coach has made her life’s mission working collaboratively to effect change within the larger society for the under-represented. Holding a BA in Psychology from Wichita State University and currently working on her master’s degree in Executive Coaching from Queens University of Charlotte, Cay’me is touted as someone who can see “both the forest and the trees." When she is not trying to save the world *smile*, you can find her singing with her church’s worship team, being silly with her daughter, Zavi (and managing Zavi’s ever-growing fan club), or desperately trying to make her way to the closest beach.



Ken Goldstein

Community Engagement Manager- Greater Bay Area

LinkedIn Profile

ken at benevolent.net

Ken has over twenty years of prior experience in the nonprofit sector as a senior executive, board member, volunteer, and ten years as an independent consultant. He has helped organizations through strategic planning, leadership transitions, and fund development training, and has raised several million dollars in grants for small, grassroots organizations. An avid blogger, he has written repeatedly about social media for nonprofits and the importance of storytelling in fundraising. Ken received his BA in Politics from University of California Santa Cruz and his Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from California State University Sacramento. Ken and his wife live above Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains, among the coastal redwoods, enjoying long walks through the forest, yet still manage to spend entirely too much time online.

 

 

Andrea Perkins

Community Engagement Manager-Detroit

LinkedIn Profile

andrea at benevolent.net

Dedicated to optimizing the resources and infrastructure of underserved communities, Andrea hails from Detroit as the Community Engagement Manager. With experience in planning, community development, government, grant writing and youth development, Andrea is happy to have joined the Benevolent team and work alongside individuals committed to uplifting communities one resident at a time. When Andrea is not working, she enjoys playing recreational sports, coaching youth volleyball, bike riding (in large groups), gardening and exploring unfamiliar cities large and small. A native of Detroit, Andrea received a BA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University. 


Kathiana Edouard

Intern

kathiana at benevolent.net

Kathiana joins Benevolent as one of our Community Engagement interns. Recently relocating to Chicago, she is currently completing her master’s degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in English at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. With an extensive background in serving children and adolescents with special needs Kathiana’s interest in the welfare of others is a major goal for her professional development. Through her internship at Benevolent, she aspires to gain essential exposure to the range of problems impacting communities. She enjoys creative writing, reading, and spending her free time with family and friends.


Lindsay Rosenfeld

Resident in Social Enterprise

Community Engagement Resident

LinkedIn Profile

lindsay at benevolent.net

Lindsay joins Benevolent through New Sector Alliance's Residency in Social Enterprise fellowship - an 11-month program which prides itself on developing emerging professionals in the social impact sector. While earning her BA in Global Studies and Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she sought to better understand how individual and collective histories and enduring struggles manifest themselves in the individual and in society. With over four years experience in crisis intervention and equine therapy, Lindsay is excited to join the Benevolent team and the non-profit community in Chicago. She currently spends her free time soaking up the smells, tastes, and sounds of her new city - one bike ride at a time.


Tolu Ojoyeyi

Intern

tolu at benevolent.net

Tolu contributes to Benevolent as a student of the Clinical and Mental Health Counseling Masters Program at The Adler School of Professional Psychology. Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota is where she received her BA in Psychology. Tolu moved to Chicago in the fall of 2013 to begin the journey to achieve her Master's degree. Currently, Tolu stays occupied with school as she adjusts to her new life in Chicago. She enjoys working out, being with family and friends, exploring new places, cooking, and magnificent scenery.


Laura Przybysz

Community Engagement Intern

LinkedIn Profile

laura at benevolent.net

Laura contributes to Benevolent as a student of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Armed with a BFA in Directing from the University of Michigan, Laura arrived in Chicago 3 years ago to begin work in community-engaged arts and theatre projects. Her experiences in the non-profit arts sector led to an interest in social infrastructure development, community organizing, and administration of social service programs. Today, she is keeping busy with all the inherent demands of graduate study as she explores the niche of social enterprise. Laura’s enthusiasm for creative new ideas and innovations fuels her work and learning with Benevolent. Laura enjoys downward-dogging, vegetarian cooking, and cutting rugs with her awesome dance moves.