Michael Criscione

Founder and Executive Director

Our Mission

Friends for Benefits' mission is to promote contributing and donating activities for selected charitable organizations by arranging for, promoting, and managing fund raising events. We are a 501(c)3.



Attended The University of California Berkeley and started a local indie rock band, Pied Paupers. Through these experiences he became well acquainted with not only the Bay Area indie rock scene, but also the non-profit sector and community organizing.

From 2006 to 2010 he served as benefit organizer Banderas de Esperanza, a charitable organization that served impoverished children living in Banderas Bay, Mexico. After Banderas de Esperanza disbanded, Michael decided to lend his skill set to other charitable organizations with the formation of Friends for Benefits.


EMAIL: michael@friendsforbenefits.org

Also referred to as Jim--served as a former director of regional customer care for a fortune 500 company. Jim brings years of experience with organizing and directing very diverse groups to serve a common cause. He is exceptional in problem solving and creating a team environment.

Since joining Friends for Benefits, Jim serves as liaison with the venues to set up and follow through on requirements for venues where the events are held.


EMAIL: jim@friendsforbenefits.org

James Criscione

Director of Operations

Currently attending Los Medanos College and has served as a volunteer with Friends for Benefits before joining the board. Christian has also spent over 5 years volunteering and being a head coach for Special Olympics. He brings to the table his ability to be a quick learner and communicate well with everybody. Christian serves as the volunteer and social media coordinator.



California CPA and former division controller for a large homebuilder. Mary is currently a financial consultant for several companies in the Bay Area. Mary provides expertise in financial advice as well as all areas involving the recording and monitoring of all money raised during the events.


EMAIL: mary@friendsforbenefits.org

Mary Hurt

Christian Smith


Volunteer and Media Coordinator

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