Innovation Fellows

Ann Bevans

Ann Bevans, Innovation FellowAnn Bevans is Principal and Chief Smarty Pants of Ann Bevans Collective, a marketing and web development company based in Clarksburg, Maryland.

Ann has created world-class marketing collateral and software solutions for a broad range of clients, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Booz Allen Hamilton, the Maryland Department of Transportation, and the National Cooperative Business Association.

Ann is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and was a “Top Three” winner in the 2011 George Washington University/Hot Mommas Global Case Study Competition. She is a regular contributor to the Women Grow Business blog and speaks on topics related to marketing, social media and survivorship. She does all her own stunts and helps the Innovation Program with its web and social media presence.


Charles Halverson

HalversonHeadshotCharles Halverson is a Senior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD, where he is exploring a variety of academic opportunities. He is actively involved in the Math and English Honors Societies, and serves as the treasurer of the History Honors Society. In college, he intends to major in both Chemical Engineering and Marketing, but is open to other fields that may present themselves during his senior year. Outside of the classroom, Charles plays varsity basketball for the division champion bulldogs, and is also active in the leadership of Boy Scout Troop 1434, where he aims to attain his Eagle Scout award by January 2014. He also enjoys golfing, country music, and buffet dinners. Charles has been working on the Justice Reinvestment and Positive Coaching projects.


Cheryl Kollin

Cheryl Kollin, Innovation Fellow Cheryl is the founding principal of Full Plate Ventures LLC, a consulting business that leverages the symbiotic relationship between business and social mission. She works with entrepreneurs, new businesses, and non-profits creating social enterprises that address interconnected issues of local food systems, environmental sustainability, and economic development.

In 2012 she co-founded Farm to Freezer to address surplus fresh produce, hunger, and food waste. Farm to Freezer benefits the whole community—this social enterprise turns surplus fresh, local food at its peak ripeness into local, organic and healthy frozen tomato sauce, ratatouille, and mixed vegetables for the retail market. These products subsidize the cost of providing this healthier food for people who are food-insecure.

Cheryl is a founding member and currently co-chairs the Montgomery County, Maryland Food Council. Cheryl won the 2013 TEDxManhattan speaker challenge and introduced Farm to Freezer at the 2013 Changing the Way We Eat Conference.

Farm to Freezer is recognized by Foodshed and Bethesda Magazines. Cheryl was featured as Green Gaithersburg’s environmentalist of the month. Cheryl blogs and speaks about local, sustainable food systems and organizes local educational events. In her spare time, Cheryl loves to cook and is the 2012 winner of her local Iron Chef Contest fundraiser.


Gianna Pisano

pisanoGianna is a senior at Clarksburg High School in Clarksburg, MD, where she enjoys studying english and environmental science.  She is the editor-in-chief of Clarksburg’s literary magazine “Images in Ink,” and she is a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.  As the vice president of her class, she enjoys achieving academic excellence and practicing leadership skills.  Gianna is the captain of her varsity field hockey team and also enjoys skiing and playing the guitar.  In college, she hopes to study Journalism or Human and Organizational Development, but her well-rounded experiences have prepared for her future, regardless of which career path she chooses.  Gianna gathers information and reports on the current projects happening in Montgomery County.


Issa Rizkallah

Issa Rizkallah, Innovation FellowAs a student enrolled in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Issa is ambitiously pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Business. His diverse field of study has enriched him as a student and strengthened him as a leader. Outside the classroom, Issa leads a committee for the Smith Student Affairs group at the University of Maryland, which has oversight over job-site visits. Issa works hard to organize events and reach out to potential employers that represent all the different majors offered at the Smith business school. He is a very outgoing person who always enjoys a wide array of outdoor activities and sports like soccer, basketball and football. Issa is working on the Food Truck Catalyst Project and the Food Recovery project.


Kayvan Vakili

Kayvan Vakili, Innovation FellowA life long resident of Bethesda, Maryland, Kayvan Vakili attended Winston Churchill High School and went on to earn his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. During his time at UMBC, Kayvan was a reporter for The Retriever Weekly, where he focused on stories pertaining to student involvement on campus.

Most recently Kayvan has been interning at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. For the past few years at the center, Kayvan has utilized his skills in community engagement and worked on such projects as Bethesda Development Map 3.0, updating the Community Toolkit and composing blog posts. As an innovation fellow, Kayvan is excited to work on new initiatives such as the Food Truck Catalyst Project and the Nighttime Economy Task Force.


Karen Vanegas

VanegasKaren Vanegas is a graduate of James Hubert Blake High School. Vanegas is currently pursuing her Associate’s Degree at Montgomery College as a Montgomery Scholar. She is currently co-secretary and one of two student representatives of the Rockville Campus Council. Vanegas will be graduating Spring 2014 and will consequently be transferring to a four-year institution, where she plans to double-major in International Relations and Political Science. Karen will be working on food-related projects as an Innovation Fellow.


To see some of our past Innovation Fellows, click here.