Speaker Bios

The 7th Annual Social Enterprise Symposium

Friday, February 27, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland


Erin Andrew, Assistant Administrator, Small Business Administration's Office of Women's Business Ownership

Erin AndrewAs the U.S. Small Business Administration’s assistant administrator for women’s business ownership, Erin Andrew is the director of the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership.  She oversees the agency’s efforts to promote the growth of women-owned businesses through advocacy and programs that provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and multiple business and networking opportunities. Andrew manages a nationwide network of women's business centers that provide training, counseling and mentoring to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs in every state and two U.S. territories.  Her office also works with representatives in every SBA district office to oversee operations of the women’s business centers and to coordinate services for women entrepreneurs.

Dr. David Backer, Assistant Director - Center for International Development & Conflict Management, University of Maryland, Park

David BackerDr. Backer joined the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland in March 2012. In his capacity as Director of CIDCM, he serves as an expert on projects in the area of conflict management policy research, as well as coordinates the development of the biennial publication Peace and Conflict. Previously, Dr. Backer was a Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Christine Beckman, Associate Professor, Robert H. Smith School of Business / Academic Director, Center for Social Value Creation

Christine BeckmanDr. Christine Beckman is an associate professor in the Management and Organization department of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. She joined the Center for Social Value Creation in Fall, 2014 as the Academic Director to help transition the center to it's next phase of growth, connect the center with current research on social innovation and coordinate the Center's curricular programming. Professor Beckman's research has been published in such academic journals as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, American Sociological Review, and Journal of Business Venturing. She currently serves as the elected Past Division Chair of the Organization and Management Theory division of the Academy of Management and is on the editorial board of Administrative Science Quarterly,Organization Science, and Academy of Management Journal. Her first faculty position was at University of California, Irvine, where she was most recently the Director of The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Co-Director of the Center for Organizational Research.

Mickey Bergman, Executive Director, Global Alliances Program, The Aspen Institute

Mickey BergmanMichael "Mickey" Bergman works in Fringe Diplomacy, a discipline exploring the space just beyond the boundaries of States and Governments’ capacity and authority in international relations. He is Executive Director of the Global Alliances Program at the Aspen Institute; Senior Advisor to Governor Richardson Center for Global Engagement; co-founder and President of Capsoole Inc.; consultant to the Clinton Global Initiative; and Founder and President of Solel Strategic Group. Mickey also teaches at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. At Aspen, Mickey directs partnerships engaging both public and private sectors in the Middle East, Latin America and South East Asia. At the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, Mickey manages private diplomacy efforts in N. Korea, Cuba, Myanmar, Middle East, Africa, and efforts to negotiate release of political prisoners. Mickey has published numerous articles and opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Boston Globe, Foreign Policy Online, and Huffington Post.

Mrim Boutla, Co-Founder, More Than Money Careers

Mrim BoutlaDr. Mrim Boutla is a cognitive neuroscientist turned career coach turned social entrepreneur. Mrim is proud to be a first generation college student who paid her way through college and graduated debt free with her Bsc in Psychology from the Unversité Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), as well as her MA and PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester. Both at Brown University and at the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University), Mrim leveraged her brain-based coaching method to help hundreds of liberal arts graduates, MBA students and PhD candidates get hired faster for career opportunities in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), social enterprise, and sustainable business. Blending her life experiences, her 10 years of studying brain plasticity and executive function and her in-depth knowledge of job search strategies and tactics, Mrim has developed a proven brain-based career development methodology that will help you get hired for jobs that maximize impact and income.

Thomas Debass, Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships, Secretary's Office of Global Partnerships

Thomas DebassThomas Debass serves as the Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships in the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP) and is responsible for managing the office and provides leadership on partnerships related to economic growth, global finance, entrepreneurship, and technology programming. Prior to joining the State Department, he was Lead Economist/Deputy Director in the Office of Investment Policy with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, DC. Thomas also served as a senior technical advisor in USAID’s Global Development Alliance and Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade teams, where he developed USAID’s Diaspora Networks Alliance (DNA) framework and the associated African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) competition. He also developed access to private capital partnerships, including the microRISK Alliance (MRA) and numerous credit guarantee and technical assistance facilities in African and Latin America.

Arley Donovan, Program Coordinator, Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

Arley DonovanArley Donovan is the Program Coordinator at the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.  Previously to joining the Center, Arley worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian as a Special Events Coordinator. Arley graduated from the University of Maryland in 2012 with a BA in History and Art History. While an undergraduate at Maryland she worked at the Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation as a Grants Assistant and interned with Dr. Grimm and the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. She was a student in Dr. Grimm’s pilot philanthropy class, which she took as her capstone for the College Park Scholars Public Leadership program. While at University of Maryland she also stayed active in the College Park Scholars community by volunteering as a student team leader on service day and representing Public Leadership at new student visit Maryland days.

Erica Estrada-Liou, Director of Curriculum & Experiential Learning, Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Erica Estrada LiouErica Estrada-Liou is an innovator with experience in and passion for designing products and services for underserved markets and creating opportunities for students to do the same. Here at the University of Maryland she creates learning experiences that exposes all 25,000 undergraduates at the University of Maryland to innovation & entrepreneurship. Most recently, Erica was the Director of the Social Entrepreneurship Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford where she created and co-taught programming, course and workshops on social entrepreneurship. Erica also co-founded d.light design in 2006 - a global solar energy company delivering affordable solar-powered solutions designed for the two billion people in the developing world without access to reliable energy.

Ryan fisher, Chief Operating Officer, MF Fire Benefit LLC

Ryan FisherRyan is responsible the business and fundraising operations for the Mulciber Stove - a high efficiency wood stove that brings clean, local, renewable energy with a push of a button. Ryan graduated for the University of Maryland with a B.S. and M.S. in the Fire Protection Engineering program.

Fagan Harris, CO-Founder & CEO, Baltimore Corps

Fagan HarrisFrom Baltimore, Maryland, Fagan is the co-founder and CEO of Baltimore Corps, an organization dedicated to building a stronger Baltimore by mobilizing a new generation of leaders focused on urban renewal. Fagan is proud to work everyday strengthening one of America's greatest cities. Previously, Fagan worked at College Track, a national after school program dedicated to creating college-going cultures in historically underserved communities. As Fellow at the Emerson Collective, Fagan staffed the White House Council for Community Solutions where he supported efforts to harness the talents of Opportunity Youth. As a passionate service advocate, Fagan has worked to ask and empower Millennials to pursue careers of social impact at Stanford University (where he was Student Body Vice President) and later, at the Franklin Project, a national cross-sector effort dedicated to revitalizing citizenship through service. Fagan studied international human rights in Ireland as a Senator George J. Mitchell Scholar and holds a Masters of Philosophy in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Tony Keith, Poet & Educator

Tony KeithTony Keith is a Washington, D.C., area native that identifies as a poet, educator, and a nerd. As a poet Tony has traveled around the world teaching poetry and empowering young people to engage in the art of spoken word. He most recently featured at Washington National Cathedral's Martin Luther King Jr Celebration, Bus Boys and Poets, and Bloombars.   As an educator, Tony has committed his life to working with first-generation, low-income, racial and ethnic minority students and engaging in cultural education and social justice programming on college campuses. He currently serves a Director of the Cathedral Scholars Program at Washington National Cathedral - a college preparatory program for selected high school students in Washington, D.C. Public Schools. As a nerd, his thoughts, writings, teachings, and performances are centered on topics dealing with race, gender, poverty, culture, and sexuality. Tony is graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors Degree in Communication.

Dr. Stephanie Lansing, Assistant Professor - Department of Environmental Science & Technology, University of Maryland, College Park

Stephanie LansingDr. Lansing’s research focus is agricultural and municipal waste treatment, anaerobic digestion design, microbial fuel cells and sustainable technologies for developing countries. She currently teaches classes at the University of Maryland in Renewable Energy, Ecological Design and Engineering, and Sustainable Technologies for Developing Countries.

Michelle May, Founder & CEO, Shenami

Michelle MayMichelle has believed in the power of women since 5 years old when she wanted to be the first woman President ( her sister wanted to be a disco dancer). As she grew up, she continued to be a champion of women delving into women’s issues during her college years at Penn State.  She’s worked in media for 20 years in companies such as NBC, Tribeca Productions and Trilogy. Coming to DC, she ran TLC.com, pioneering a new model of business that brought in record revenue and audience engagement which was subsequently adopted by the other networks. She then spearheaded the creation of an award-winning digital media enterprise at Interface Media Group. During her tenure, she developed experiences using web, mobile, social media and live events with monetization in mind for clients such as the Washington National Cathedral and The Sheik Zayed Institute Pediatric Institute for Surgical Innovation. Recognizing a shift in technology, media and our culture, she pulled up her big girl panties and launched out on her own with Shenami… the manifestation of her dream to champion women and make an impact in a big way. She has served on the Boards of the DC Chapters for Women in Film & TV and FemFessionals.

Shannon Maynard, Chief Talent and Knowledge Officer, Bankers without Borders, Grameen Foundation

Shannon MaynardOriginally from Appalachian Ohio and based in Washington, D.C., Shannon leads Grameen Foundation’s Talent & Knowledge practices globally including strategic oversight of Bankers without Borders.  Shannon joined Grameen Foundation as BwB’s founding director after a career leading national service and volunteer initiatives in the nonprofit and public sectors.  When not convincing others that skills-based volunteering is the bee’s knees, Shannon balances motherhood, country living, and teaching the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

Amy Millman, President, Springboard Ventures

Amy MillmanAmy Millman is a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs building Big Businesses Starting Small. In 2000, she co-founded Springboard Enterprises, a non-profit venture catalyst which sources, coaches, showcases and supports women-led companies seeking equity capital for product development and expansion. Springboard has assisted hundreds of women entrepreneurs in raising billions in investments and connecting with thousands of expert resources. The successes of Springboard entrepreneurs include 10 IPOs, legions of high value M&As and a community of accomplished serial entrepreneurs. During Millman's career in Washington, DC, she has served as a representative for several industry groups and was appointed as Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council during the Clinton Administration. She has served on the boards of many organizations including JumpStart Inc., DellEIR and Enterprising Women Magazine. Millman is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and holds a Masters degree from The George Washington University.

Atin Mittra, Founder & Executive Director, MADE / Innovation Specialist, Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Atin MitraAtin Mitra is part problem solver part dreamer. He likes to take on difficult issues and find innovative solutions to them. That's why he founded MADE - a non-profit focused on providing peer driven financial literacy for college students. Atin is also an Innovation Specialist at the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship where he designs new initiatives to engage larger student body in innovation and entrepreneurship. Atin is a University of Maryland graduate, earning a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship.

Taylor Myers, Chief Technology Officer, MF Fire Benefit LLC

Taylor MyersTaylor is responsible for much of the research and technical advancement of the Mulciber Stove - a high efficiency wood stove that brings clean, local, renewable energy with a push of a button. Taylor Myers is a PhD student at the University of Maryland studying Mechanical Engineering with a focus on fire science. Taylor received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Maryland in Fire Protection Engineering and worked for three years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developing the Fire Dynamics Simulator, the world’s most popular fire modeling software.

Sheri Parks, Associate Dean - College of Arts & Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park

Sheri ParksSheri Parks’ research focuses on public aesthetics, with particular concern for popular culture as public mythology and its effect upon individuals, families and minority cultures. Her book Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Woman in American Life and Culture will be released in paperback edition in April of 2013. She is an active public intellectual, appearing in national and local media, and is in demand as a public speaker. Dr. Parks is active in the university’s civic engagement initiatives, as a steering committee member of the Coalition for Civic Engagement and as an instructor whose classes often include projects that benefit non-profit associations. In 2008 she was recognized by the campus as the Outstanding Woman of Color and as Faculty of the Year in the University Honors Program.

Sabrina Quaraishi, Senior Program Manager, Bankers without Border, Grameen Foundation

Sabrina QuaraishiOriginally from Bangladesh and based in Washington, D.C., Sabrina oversees BwB operations and leads the BwB team.  After interning at Grameen Bank, working at Merrill Lynch and pursuing her master’s at the New School, Sabrina joined Grameen Foundation where she has worked in operations, legal, and business development roles.  Sabrina woos the world with her amazing customer service and cooking skills.  In her next life, Sabrina wants to own a restaurant empire.

Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, Senior Vice President & Provost, University of Maryland, College Park

Mary Ann RankinProvost Rankin, Professor of Biology, became Senior Vice President and Provost of the University of Maryland, College Park on October 1, 2012. Prior to assuming this position, Rankin was CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in Dallas. NMSI is a public-private partnership dedicated to expanding the pipeline of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduates and STEM K-12 teachers. Previously, she spent 36 years at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, where she served for six years as chair of biological sciences and for nearly 17 years as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

Teju Ravilochan, CEO and Co-Founder, UnReasonable Institute

Teju RavilochanFrom a young age, Teju wondered what we could to tackle problems like global poverty. Frustrated that this BA in International Affairs wasn't preparing him to do so, he obtained a University Grant to conduct research about the effectiveness of non-profits in India. He learned that traditional charity-based models are not effectively combating poverty. He became inspired by Paul Polak, whose entrepreneurial work has lifted over 19 million farmers out of poverty, and began working with him as his assistant at D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%, eventually leaving to co-found the Unreasonable Institute. 

Karen Rennich, Project Manager, Bee Informed Partnership

Karen RennichAs the Project Manager of the Bee Informed Partnership and the APHIS National Survey, Karen Rennich is based out of the University of Maryland’s Entomology Department. She works closely with all members of the BIP team and other organizations throughout the U.S. and gets to tackle everything from data analysis to field work and all jobs in between to keep BIP’s goals in sight and to keep the project moving forward. She has a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in Ocean Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. She designed and worked on large, underwater Navy sensor systems while she was employed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for 14 years. She has been a beekeeper for 7 years and manages 12 colonies at home.

Joyce Russell, Vice Dean, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Joyce RussellJoyce E. A. Russell was named vice dean at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2012. She is a Clinical Professor at the Smith School and has been a major force in shaping the student experience at all levels. As vice dean, Russell’s duties include oversight of the school’s undergraduate, MBA, MS and executive programs, and the development of the school’s global, university and corporate partnerships. Prior to joining UMD, she was a tenured full professor in the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee. She received her PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron, Ohio and her BA degree in psychology from Loyola College in Maryland.

Rachelle Sampson, Professor, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Rachelle SampsonRachelle Sampson has been a professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business for over 10 years, in the Logistics, Business & Public Policy Department. With a background in law and economics, Rachelle examines how firm ownership structures affect performance, both financially and environmentally, in her research. She teaches graduate level coursework on managerial economics and the economics of sustainable business, PhD classes on organizational economics as well as an upcoming undergraduate course on startups for sustainability solutions. She is an active participant in several activities related to expanding the sustainability curriculum at the University of Maryland, most recently serving as a faculty mentor and facilitator on the Chesapeake Project, an initiative to infuse sustainability throughout the undergraduate curriculum. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Prof. Sampson lived in Australia for 10 years. During this time, she received her law degree and was admitted as a barrister in New South Wales. Rachelle also held several legal and consulting positions during this time, including time at Ernst and Young advising firms on optimal expansion strategies for South East Asia.

Meenu Singh, Innovation Specialist, Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Meenu SinghMeenu Singh's passion is empowering students to believe in the power of their ideas. As an Innovation Specialist, she engages in a variety of facets of the innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) movement at UMD, including shaping project-based learning experiences and experimenting with programs and workshops to boost student engagement. Prior to AIE, Meenu studied at the University of Maryland where she earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Philosophy.

Albe Zakes, Global Vice President - Communications, TerraCycle

Albe ZakesAlbe Zakes rose from marketing department intern to become Global Vice President, Communications, for TerraCycle, Inc., the world’s foremost post-consumer packaging upcycling company. He was named to PR News' 15 to Watch in 2012 - a list of top PR Professionals under 30 - and was recently featured in PR Week for running an 'Outstanding Media Camapign'. Zakes led the TerraCycle PR department to secure over 500 unique media placements and $150 million dollars in ad value for TerraCycle’s partners and products in 2012 alone. He has extensive experience in launching over 100 robust campaigns for new products and services in major print, television, and online media outlets; securing appearances for company executives on such programs as Oprah, Good Morning America, and CNN and placing feature articles in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Investor's Business Daily, Reader's Digest, Time, Businessweek and many more.