Interns contribute at Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities in a variety of capacities, utilizing their research, analytical, and communication skills to support our client services delivery and company development, while gaining experiences that will advance their careers. They have analyzed solar development values for an investment client evaluating a real estate portfolio, researched and synthesized literature on sustainable agricultural practices, developed our website and social media, prepared and facilitated our board meetings, developed marketing and communication pieces, conducted foundation research and submitted grant applications, and helped with office administration, accounting and finance. Greenleaf demands professional performance and develops requisite skills of its interns.

Past interns have gone on to work for Akoya Capital, Boston Consulting Group, Braintree, Deloitte, Delta Institute, Google, The Nature Conservancy, Thoma Bravo, and Tesla.

Past Interns

Melissa Chanthalangsy

Melissa contributed to Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities through the launch of a new social media initiative, including Twitter and Facebook, in an effort to engage partner organizations and clients and to inform the wider public of the missions of both enterprises.  She also conducted research for potential funding opportunities for regional water planning projects within the State of Illinois for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Melissa is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Chicago. She has previously interned at UChicago’s Office of Sustainability and works as a student coordinator of the Environment,  Agriculture, and Food research group.

Emmy Grace

As an intern with Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities, Emmy contributed to research on gypsum as an agricultural amendment that has informed nutrient management standards in Ohio. Emmy also helped organize Greenleaf events, including the DePaul Sustainable Business Conference. Additionally, she created graphics and marketing pieces. Emmy is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with degrees in environmental studies and Hispanic studies. She graduated magna cum laude and is a member of several honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa. Emmy completed a M.A. in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development at the American University, School of International Service and is currently living in Guatemala working for De la Gente as the Director of Community Engagement.

Kari Grace

Kari worked on several efforts for Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities. She assisted with searching for funding opportunities for Greenleaf Communities and preparing grant proposal materials for its healthy soils applied research projects. She helped with administrative tasks like preparing the annual Board meeting events, and editing communication pieces. Kari earned a BA in sociology and Hispanic studies with a minor in environmental studies and graduated summa cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University. She also holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and currently works as a planner for the Town of Morrisville.

Ken-Ichi Hino

Ken-Ichi is pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Prior to enrolling at Chicago Booth, Ken-Ichi focused on efficient energy and waste energy recovery projects at Recycled Energy Development, leading financial analysis of acquisition opportunities as well as evaluating wholesale and renewable energy markets for high-value project locations. Ken-Ichi also has 3 years of experience as a management consultant for financial institutions, specializing in operations optimization, as well as 1 year as an economist focusing on central government budget management, including energy subsidy expense projection. Additionally, Ken-Ichi serves as a board member of the Chicago chapter of Young Professionals in Energy, a nonprofit networking organization providing a forum for career development for professionals in the energy industry. Ken-Ichi holds a BA in mathematics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sam Sperling

While at Greenleaf Advisors, Sam co-wrote a report for two clients assessing the financial viability of installing solar canopies in multiple surface parking lot locations, contributed to a project dedicated to expanding offshore wind power generation into the Great Lakes and researched potential funding opportunities for Greenleaf Communities. Sam graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2012 with degrees in biology and environmental studies. Since graduation, Sam has been working at Tesla Motors where, among other projects, he manages the financial bill of materials, works with the purchasing team on analysis for supplier negotiations, creates cost models for internal manufacturing functions, assesses the financial impact of make versus buy decisions and helps drive the cost reduction process.  He has quickly become spoiled by the northern California weather and is starting to question whether he’s still tough enough to deal with a Chicago winter.

Derek Wietsma

Derek is currently pursuing a Master of Public Affairs [MPA] degree at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs [SPEA]. His studies concentrate on urban economics, sustainability, and finance. Derek has contributed to several Chicago-based sustainability advising organizations including Foresight Design Initiative and Centre for Sustainability and Excellence.  During the academic year he serves as the teaching assistant for graduate course Public Management Economics.