Meet the Bean Team

Sharon Chapell, PhD.

Executive and Artistic Director

Sharon holds a doctorate in education from Arizona State University, and is a credentialed, bilingual arts educator. She is a breast cancer survivor, parent, and writer/artist. Sharon has experienced multiple medical crises with her father, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma during her youth, heart transplant while a young adult, and terminal Glioblastoma brain cancer last year. Sharon is the author of The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic!, a story for families impacted by cancer. She founded the Little Green Monster Project, which has donated over 2,000 copies of the book since November 2018, as well as impacted hundreds of families through her creative arts and healing workshops. She has partnered with over 50 organizations to deliver her book and workshops across the country.  Sharon has raised over $60,000 to fund LGM project, which has served as the model for the establishment of the Well Beings Studio non-profit organization. Sharon also works as a teacher educator at California State University Fullerton, where she specializes in social emotional learning, the arts, and inclusive school climates. 

Matthew Rodriguez

Chief Operations Officer

Matthew is a passionate advocate and philanthropist for those in need, who has lost multiple close family members to cancer. He is an IT engineer with Carrington Mortgage Holdings and has worked for well-known technology companies including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Toshiba and Western Digital.  Matthew’s non-profit involvement started in high school working at the Theater Development Fund in New York City for six years. He spent his senior year of high school in the Netherlands with Youth For Understanding International Student Exchange; then volunteered with YFU for six years in the SF Bay Area. Matthew has been volunteering with Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa CA since 2015, and has volunteered at one-day charitable events for Lyons Club, Carrington Charitable Foundation and Special Olympics. 

Brian Huezo 

User Experience Designer

Brian has a bachelor’s degree of fine arts from California State University Fullerton. In his previous position he was an Art Director designing brand experiences. He is currently a freelance UX Designer. 

Elahe Amani

Board Member

Elahe is a cancer survivor, educator and administrator with California State University System. She is a trained mediator and has conducted numerous trainings on campus and off campus on conflict resolution and peace building.  Elahe works closely with UN Women Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB) and currently chair of the Global Circles of Women’s Intercultural Network; is a lead trainer of MBB and has served as co-chair of the inaugural Training Institute of MBB for women leaders; served as facilitator of Days of Dialogue/The Future of Policing, dialogue between communities and police across Los Angeles.   She has written extensively in English and Farsi on issues related to Human Rights, Peace and gender issues. 

Mariam Tariq

Board Member

Mariam is a cancer survivor with a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara. She works for Irvine City Council member Farrah Kahn and is the President of th eIslamic Center of Irvine Young Professional Organization. Mariam has also worked as a campaign fellow for CA state senator Dave Min and an intern with Congressman Lou Correa. She uses the arts in her family and community to support healing.

Marianna Mott-Newirth

Board Member

Marianna is cancer survivor with a bachelors of fine arts from Stephen’s College and a masters from The New School. She is a writer and producer who has managed communications for higher education, currently runs a corporate office in mid-town, served as president of the Town and Village synagogue for three years, and is building a career as a playwright and librettist.  Adept at orchestrating events and organizing people, she is seeking a return to the not-for-profit sector. It is her goal to be an arts administrator with a focus in the production of opera. She is well practiced at community organizing, public speaking and fundraising with a strong emphasis on writing, team building and creative problem solving.

Marilyn Kaplan

Board Member

Marilyn is a licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice specializing in death, dying, grief and bereavement along with trauma and post traumatic stress disorder with individuals, families and groups. Marilyn also facilitates a rehabilitation bereavement program through Hoag Presbyterian Hospital in Newport Beach under the Pastoral Care Department, which is based on her own recovery model for healing grief, specifically great love relationships within our sense of belonging in life. She holds a masters in social work degree from the University of Southern California. Her passion to teach others to heal from loss by learning to grow from our pain comes from her vast personal experience of recovering from great love loss, healing from traumatic life experiences and over 20 years of clinical work with healing and recovering from trauma and loss.   

Pamela Sterling

Board Member

Pamela is an Associate Professor of Theatre in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.  She teaches courses in theatre for social change, the history of children’s dramatic literature, new play development, playwriting and acting.  Prior to her arrival at ASU in 1999, she served as Executive Director for the Muny/Student Theatre Project in St. Louis, the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth.  

Our Partners

CSUF Children’s Center     Camp Kesem     Santa Ana Unified School District      UC Irvine Special Events      Kaiser Anaheim Children’s Oncology      St. Jude Medical Center Fullerton       

Orange County Reading Association      OC3: Orange County Cancer Coalition     

Very Special Arts Orange County      MaxLove      Cancer Community Center

CSUF Children’s Center

Camp Kesem     

Santa Ana Unified School District

UC Irvine Special Events

Kaiser Anaheim Children’s Oncology

 St. Jude Medical Center Fullerton

Orange County Reading Association

OC3: Orange County Cancer Coalition

Very Special Arts Orange County


Cancer Community


Our Artists

Darleese Brown

Crochet Artist, Scoops of Joy.

Jackie Gorman 

Illustrator, Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic!; Well Beings Studio Logo and Illustrated Beans.

Joris Hogstadder

Composer, Monster in Me album

Carly Nagelhout

Illustrator, Scoops of Joy

Pamela Rodil

Cover Concept and Book Design, Wet Wings: Poetry through Breast Cancer

Beth Weeks

Book Design,  Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic!, Little Green Monster Logo





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