Our Team

Jenny Kassan

Jenny Kassan

Founder

Jenny has over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises.  She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars from values-aligned investors and raised several hundred thousand for her own business.  Jenny is certified as a coach by the International Association of Women in Coaching.

She is the author of the forthcoming Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017).

Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

She serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. She submitted the petition to the SEC that led to the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act and was present at the White House signing ceremony.

Jenny is also a fellow at Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of the Force for Good Fund.

Before becoming a securities lawyer, Jenny worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents.

Jenny is the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities. She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal information to support sustainable economies.

Jenny is a director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.  She is a member of the Content Advisory Panel of Conscious Company Magazine and serves on the advisory boards of Lioness Magazine and Investibule.

Michelle Richardson

Michelle Richardson

Accountant

Michelle Richardson is the founder and owner of Leverage, a boutique cloud-based accounting firm for freelancers, startups and small to mid-size businesses. A senior accountant with over 15 years of experience, she is recognized as an early adopter of cloud technology for accounting and other businesses. Her areas of expertise include software integration, systems creation, complex reconciliations and financial reporting. Before launching Leverage, she worked in a wide variety of industries including publishing, wine import/distribution, online education, technology, digital media and non-profits.

In addition to her training in accounting, she received a BA in International Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. As a French-American, she is a board member of an association for developing the local French community, Los Angeles Accueil. A proponent for women’s education, she sponsors schools in Guatemala and is an avid supporter of women entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

Lynn Johnson

Lynn Johnson

Coach

Lynn Johnson is a visionary entrepreneur, speaker, girl advocate, and Co-Founder/CEO of Spotlight: Girls – a certified B Corp that inspires, educates, and activates girls & women to take center stage. A multi-media platform and summer camp, Spotlight: Girls gives girls the skills to step into their light and become the leaders we’ve all been waiting for.

In 2016, Lynn raised over $300,000 in capital to grow her business and prepare to franchise nationally.  A sought-after speaker and facilitator, her work has been recognized by Ashoka Changemakers, SheEO, and ICA Fund Good Jobs. Lynn is the very first recipient of the Force for Good Fund, an accelerator focused on women/people-of-color entrepreneurs growing best-for-the world businesses. Most recently, she became the winner of #BlogHer17’s #ThePitch – a platform and video series launched to elevate, connect and coach female entrepreneurs.

Lynn and her wife, Allison Kenny, live and work in Oakland, CA with their yappy dogs and squirrely Go Girl!, playing theater games at the dinner table and fighting to see who can be the bossiest.

Francesco Barbera

Francesco Barbera

Of Counsel

Francesco Barbera is a veteran corporate attorney that represents development-stage companies and established corporations in a wide range of industries, including software, technology, digital, fashion, health care, retail and e-commerce, with an emphasis on social enterprise and purpose-driven ventures.

Francesco is the Co-Chair of the Los Angeles chapter of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and a founder of B Corp Advisors, a consultancy that helps executive teams leverage new legal forms, such as Benefit Corporation, Social Purpose Corporations, and Certified B Corporations, to drive engagement and results in their businesses.  A lifelong student of psychology and personal development, he holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology and has been trained and mentored by numerous mentors in the fields of leadership, psychology and personal development.

Francesco is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, cum laude, and the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Kelsey Pressnall

Kelsey Pressnall

Business Manager

Kelsey Pressnall is a Bay Area native with over a decade of experience working in business and office management. She has been an active member of her community since high school, donating her time and talents to non-profits, community groups, and progressive causes and campaigns. She is a co-founder and the appointed lead of F.U.N. Progressives and also serves as a member of the RISE Coalition, Stand Up 4 Fremont, and in the past has served as a Relay for Life chairperson with the American Cancer Society. Her upbeat personality and panache always bring a smile to our clients’ faces!

 

Michelle Thimesch

Michelle Thimesch

Legal Director

Michelle has over two decades of closely-held business consulting experience as an estate and succession planning attorney. She has helped her clients create legacy and philanthropic planning goals that ensure the continuation of business and community involvement for the next generation. Michelle is the founder of East Bay Revitalization, Inc., a nonprofit that addresses the scarcity of affordable housing and economic opportunities for working families.

 

Amrita Sankar

Amrita Sankar

Consultant

Amrita Sankar works as a Senior Investment Associate for ImpactAssets, a non-profit financial services firm supporting the deployment of capital to optimize financial, social and environmental positive impact.  Amrita previously worked at New Heights Research (now Sterling Associates), a boutique business consulting firm based in Cleveland, OH that specializes in acquisition research. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Spark, a seed venture grantmaking organization that supports women entrepreneurs internationally.  Amrita graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and a minor in Public Policy.

 

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