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Volunteers

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Nicole Cassara - Development Intern

As Development Intern, Nicole provides research and administrative support for all of Rising Tide Capital’s fundraising initiatives. A Jersey City resident, Nicole was attracted to Rising Tide Capital’s mission to help individuals reach self-sustainability through business education and support. Through her summer internship, she hopes to gain the first-hand experience she needs to one day start a non-profit focused on an issue that is close to her heart—the rehabilitation of trafficked women and girls. She is on her way to earning a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-profit studies from Kean University in Union. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Techology, Nicole has worked for seven years as a healthcare designer and is excited about transitioning into the non-profit sector.  Nicole loves doing outdoor activities with her husband, especially hiking, rock-climbing, backpacking, scuba-diving and snow-shoeing. Read More. 

 Jong Lim

Jong Lim  - Programs Intern

As the Programs Intern, Jong helps Rising Tide Capital plan and execute monthly workshops and events including the semiannual Plan & Pitch competition. A student at New York University, Jong was attracted to Rising Tide Capital because of its mission to support businesses which then have a ripple effect throughout communities of need. He hopes to apply the lessons he learns at Rising Tide Capital to a career with an economic development nonprofit after he graduates. Prior to joining Rising Tide Capital, Jong interned with the international charity, World Vision, and also started his own initiative to support the homeless in Manhattan. When he’s not in class or volunteering, Jong loves participating in group sports and playing with his beloved pet Yorkie, Geru. Read More. 

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Max Gonzalez
- Fundraising & Development Intern


Known around the office as “Max”, Maximilienne Gonzalez is the latest intern to join the Rising Tide Capital team. Originally from Montreal, Canada, she moved to Jersey City in August 2011 to start a new life with her husband. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in economics at New Jersey City University, she learned about Rising Tide Capital’s internship program. Gonzales comes once a week to help the fundraising and development team with everything from developing a donor database to calling volunteers. She also plans to help out with the Start Something Champions gala on December 14, 2012. So far, her favorite experience has been meeting the entrepreneurs at Business Acceleration Services workshops. Outside of work, Gonzales loves cooking and participating in outdoor activities like hiking and camping. She’s obsessed with her cats and speaks three languages fluently: French, English and Spanish. Her favorite thing about Jersey City is the variety of small businesses, including her favorite, the French restaurant Madame Claude. Read More.

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Rob Jelinski - Volunteer

Hailing from Bloomfield, NJ, Rob Jelinski is a seasoned print designer, energetic entrepreneur, and admirer of artistic expression. With nearly 10 years working in the design industry, Rob contributes a wealth of knowledge and insight to every Rising Tide Capital event he participates in. He first volunteered with Rising Tide Capital in 2011 as a one-on-one coach during a Marketing Master Class. As an entrepreneur himself, he was drawn to RTC’s mission to support fellow entrepreneurs in his community and to help them overcome some of the same challenges he once faced. He also saw it as an opportunity to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in his community. He has remained an avid supporter ever since and in September 2011 joined the fledgling Rising Tide Help Desk as a branding and marketing consultant. He has been a freelance designer since 2002 and started his own design company, Rob Jelinski Studios in 2009. Since then, he has completed projects for a diverse spectrum of clients including restaurateurs, musicians, and therapists. When not working on design, identity and marketing projects, he can be found blogging about artists and creative trends for his blog, My Ink Pad. He is a self-described “family man” who loves spending time with his wife, Gina, and two-year old son, Christopher. He is also actively involved in his local church, Abundant Life Worship Center of Nutley, NJ.

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Haley Rose – Communications Intern

To Haley Rose, Rising Tide Capital is all about people, their lives and success. This is why she chose to apply for the Communications Internship at RTC. Haley is originally from Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City, KS, but is living in West New York for the summer. She is currently a student at Kansas State University and will be graduating in May of 2011. In the future, Haley hopes to work as a photojournalist, specifically in an investigative capacity, in conflict zones such as Sudan, Uganda and the Middle East.  Haley’s passion for journalism is fueled by the need to document the lives of people who are often forgotten by present day journalism. She wants to travel to places that others are afraid to go to and capture stories about the lives and circumstances of the people living there. Working closely with Esther Fraser, Communications Manager, Haley is able to contribute to the direct impact made by Rising Tide Capital in the local community. Having an opportunity to work with such a passionately involved organization, and interact with professionals in the journalism world will certainly prepare Haley for work after college. In her spare time, Haley enjoys playing tennis and soccer and creating ceramic art.

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Helen Diaz – Programs Intern

Originally from North Bergen, NJ, Helen Diaz is currently studying at Montclair State University and will graduate in May of 2012. After completing her undergraduate studies Helen hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in public policy and volunteer within a developing country for a year. Her ultimate goal is to work in the service sector for a nonprofit organization with a focus on social and economic development.  Helen first came across Rising Tide Capital online. After doing some research she immediately felt a connection with the RTC mission. As a daughter of an entrepreneur, Helen can relate to the challenges and struggles entrepreneurs face when starting a business. She felt the Programs Internship at RTC was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of a nonprofit organization.  To Helen, Rising Tide Capital’s clients are inspiring and their hard work and high energy is contagious. As an intern in the Programs Department at RTC, Helen is able to directly impact local entrepreneurs and help them attain skills necessary to build strong business practices. In her lifetime, Helen hopes to impact at least one person and watch as they work on improving themselves.  When Helen finds free time to relax, she enjoys going to plays, visiting New York City and spending time with her friends.

 

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Joel E. Ruffin Jr. – Programs Intern

As Programs Intern at Rising Tide Capital, Joel E. Ruffin Jr. is able to learn firsthand how to develop and cultivate innovative ideas into tangible outcomes. He is also able to think critically and come up with strategies for executing various tasks while working closely with the Programs Department. This opportunity is indispensible to Joel because he hopes to run a nonprofit consulting firm for high school students in the future, developing and strengthening the pipelines that connect them to colleges and universities. Originally from Washington Crossing, PA, Joel is a student at Michigan State University and will be graduating in May of 2012. He first learned about Rising Tide Capital from his father. The constant push for community renewal and growth through local entrepreneurship hit close to home with Joel’s personal belief in the development of environments that enrich people’s lives and experiences.  By working alongside the Rising Tide Capital team, Joel is able to get a feel for the daily operations of nonprofit organizations and the direct impact they make on the local community. Joel enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies and listening to music in his spare time. Generally he enjoys anything that will allow him to live life and help him grow as a person.

 

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Jeff Liesch - Volunteer

When COO of Rising Tide Capital, Alex Forrester, needed a helping hand in developing Rising Tide Capital’s first website, he turned to childhood friend, Jeff Liesch. Liesch, a biology major of the University of Maryland, College Park, and current neurobiology graduate student at Rockefeller University, is not a web designer by trade. However, he developed Rising Tide Capital’s original website, and has given free website support on an ongoing basis for the past 5 years. Liesch is also responsible for contributing a large amount of the programming for the new Rising Tide Capital website. In his regular life, he studies neurobiology with the goal of understanding how and why mosquitoes are attracted to humans, and he aspires to develop new, more effective repellants based on this information. RTC is extremely grateful to Jeff for contributing his time, talent, and unwavering support to our organization.

 

 

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Aarti Jaisinghani - Volunteer

Aarti Jaisinghani is a volunteer who knows that no job is too big or small for her to handle at Rising Tide Capital (RTC). As a volunteer, Aarti’s tasks vary from day to day; however, she is consistently doing whatever is needed of her. She was of great assistance during the Plan & Pitch Competition 2010 as a team leader during the Tutorial as well as the actual Competition. She is currently assisting Director of Program Evaluation, Farah Omer, with interviewing our entrepreneurs as we participate in MicroTest for the first time ever. A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, this Bombay, India native majored in Economics and Mathematics, and has a growing passion for microfinance. Upon graduation, Aarti worked for an investment bank in the fixed income division. She was also a junior fixed income and currency trader for two hedge funds. In November 2009, she joined the Microfinance Club of NY, and after hearing RTC COO Alex Forrester speak about microfinance and the long-lasting, deliverable results that RTC provides, she reached out to the organization and has become an important part of the team ever since - adding critical capacity to program support staff.

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Joseph Bianchi - Volunteer

For Joseph Bianchi, the decision to volunteer for Rising Tide Capital was very simple. As a new student in New Jersey City University’s MBA program with a specialization in Marketing (anticipated to graduate May 2012), Joseph felt it would be an appropriate start to a career in marketing to volunteer for a organization that helps small business entrepreneurs establish their own businesses. Joseph also chose to volunteer for the organization because he was highly impressed with RTC’s commitment to community development and improvement. In the future, Joseph aims to have a career in marketing and advertising in a company that has strong ties to the Chinese market. China is no strange market for Joseph,  as he studied for two semesters at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China after he graduated from Rutgers University in 2009. Working for a company with ties to China would ultimately help Joseph to stay true to what he is passionate about:  communicating between cultural barriers and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard.

 

 

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Lorenz Los Banos - Volunteer

Born and raised in Jersey City, NJ, Rising Tide Capital volunteer Lorenz Los Banos is very passionate about seeing his community (and ultimately the world) become a better place to live. Inspired by social entrepreneurship, when the opportunity to volunteer for RTC presented itself to the New Jersey City University senior (majoring in finance), Lorenz made sure to join the organization whose mission he felt deeply about.  Lorenz volunteers three days a week, helping out with every department, but primarily programs. When he isn’t in class or volunteering for RTC, Lorenz enjoys snowboarding, camping, biking, hiking, and reading about spiritual science and astronomy among many other things. In the future, Lorenz looks to become a personal financial advisor to help educate, inform, and promote financial literacy to others, especially younger generations, with hopes of building a fiscally responsible community. Lorenz hopes to devote his life to helping create a sustainable, fulfilling, and harmonious worldwide community through education, advocacy, and the promotion of self-awareness.

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Paradzai "PJ" Jawona
- Volunteer

From Zimbabwe to New Jersey, Paradzai Jawona’s passion to help the community and assist those in need has led him to volunteer at Rising Tide Capital. Starting at RTC back in November 2010 as a volunteer for Global Entrepreneurship Week in Jersey City, Paradzai—better known around the office as “PJ”—continues to volunteer for the organization every Friday. He says he is impressed by the organization’s commitment to helping struggling entrepreneurs achieve economic self-sufficiency, and feels that this volunteering experience will assist him in his future endeavors. A business management /marketing graduate of  New Jersey City University, PJ aspires to start his own company someday, one that will facilitate business between American and African markets. PJ feels that this experience has given him the opportunity to meet and interact with many business owners, giving him a competitive edge that he could only attain through his experiences with RTC.


 

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