PORCH Leadership 2023
Laura, the mother of three grown boys, has seen firsthand the speed with which children can empty a well-stocked fridge. She can only imagine the stress parents face when their monthly budgets are stretched too thin to adequately feed their growing children. Helping to relieve at least a little bit of this stress is a very important cause, one that Laura is proud to support over the past ten years through PORCH. Her primary duties include using her marketing degree from Virginia Tech to promote our hunger relief effort within the community, assisting with the distribution of non-perishable foods to local pantries, and supporting the Food for Families program by packing and delivering fresh produce to local families. Outside of her work with PORCH, Laura has been active in the PTAs at her sons’ schools and as a parent committee member of their Boy Scout troop.
Lenore has been a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community since 1998, raising three boys in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system. An attorney with a solo practice in agricultural biotech transactions and licensing, Lenore has an MA in international relations. She joined the Transportation Advisory Board to the Carrboro Town Council in 2021. Lenore also joined the Board of Directors of PORCH in the fall of 2021, serving as a member of the Governance Committee. Lenore believes that PORCH has a critical role in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro food relief community. She seeks to ensure that PORCH has a strong and agile corporate structure to support its growing mission through whatever changes or challenges may come.
Jim has extensive experience in finance as well as working with non-profit boards. Most recently, Jim served on the Board of the YMCA of the Triangle Area, and served on a task force that helped the Chapel Hill YMCA merge with the YMCA’s in Raleigh and Durham.
Susan is one of the three founders and directors of PORCH. She is also a founder and director of the nonprofit Orange County Living Wage, a volunteer-driven organization that certifies and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assists workers seeking living wage jobs. In 2019, Susan was elected to Carrboro Town Council, and in 2021, she was elected as Council’s Mayor Pro Tem. Susan is thankful to live in a community where local government strives to meet everyone’s basic needs, nonprofits help to fill in the gaps, neighbors take care of neighbors, and there is dignity in work.
Debbie is one of the three founders and directors of PORCH. She manages PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s fresh Food for Families program, growing participation by nearly 20-fold since 2010. Debbie’s favorite parts of her job include working directly with recipient families and school social workers, recruiting and managing wonderful volunteers, overseeing finances, and collaborating with the many other organizations that partner with PORCH.
Jesus is a high school graduate with experience in customer service, management, and leadership, currently working as a sales and marketing manager at Gonzalez Painters & Contractors Inc. Experienced in making connections in the community, the company has been very supportive to many non-profit organizations and local schools. He is excited to begin a new journey serving on the PORCH board. As someone who is bilingual and passionate about bringing food to those in need, he wants to make a difference in the community.
Julie began her career in local government management and finance with the City/County of San Francisco, CA followed by the City of Durham, NC. She now works as a public sector management consultant focusing on strategy, organizational effectiveness, leadership, and community engagement. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for the UNC Master of Public Administration program. When she and her family moved to Chapel Hill in 2001, Julie became involved in our public school system and a variety of other community programs. Julie has been contributing food for her neighborhood’s monthly food drive since PORCH’s early years and is honored to join the Board of Directors.
Julie had a career in various entrepreneurial businesses in the medical device industry for over 25 years. As part of her role, she raised significant funds through state and federal grants for product and business development, and she brings that experience to grant writing for PORCH.
Becky enjoyed a career in Human Resources, working in various capacities gaining training and managerial experience. Among her employers were Despatch Industries and Continental Bank. When she and her family moved to Carrboro in 2001, Becky became actively involved in our public school system and a variety of other community initiatives. Becky brings to PORCH her passion for supporting young people and public school teachers and staff, serving as Food for Schools Program Coordinator.
Mack had a corporate career in the travel and hospitality industry with American Express and Wyndham Hotels. He especially loved his second career in the nonprofit sector. He served as Chief Strategist and COO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle. He served on local and national nonprofit boards. He and his wife, Hope, are thankful that their friend Ann Fogleman engaged them with PORCH years ago.
Linda is a social worker at Chapel Hill High School. Her family immigrated to Carrboro from Mexico when Linda was an infant, and she is an alumna of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. She first became familiar with PORCH as a high schooler – some of her classmates’ families were enrolled in PORCH’s programs. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, attending Alamance Community College and Guilford College before heading to NC State for graduate school. She lives with her husband and their dog in Burlington and spends her summers working with Grow Your World, a youth-centered, community-building organization based in Carrboro.
Stefanie is a school social worker in her second decade at Culbreth Middle School. Stefanie became a school social worker after being a classroom teacher in Durham, NC & Los Angeles, California as well as in the countryside of Hyogo-ken, Japan. Observations about the effects of community support and food security moved her from education into social work. She grew up in Georgia, Texas, and Missouri and is happy to call North Carolina her home of the past 20 years.
Mary Ann, PhD, is the Executive Director and President of the Public School Forum of NC. Her work at the Forum focuses on ensuring that every child in NC has access to a high quality and equitable education. Mary Ann previously served as Chair, Vice Chair, and a member of the Chapel Hill Carrboro City School Board of Education. Mary Ann served on the Board of the CHCCS Public School Foundation and as the Board liaison to Food for Summer during her time on the School Board. Her experience in education and in our community, along with her commitment to supporting the whole child, provides an important context for PORCH’s mission. Mary Ann and her family have been a part of our public schools and community for twelve years and greatly appreciate the critical role that PORCH plays in supporting our families and children.
Erin brings her visionary leadership, passion for food justice, and community-building skills to PORCH in her role as Executive Director.
In addition to prior non-profit advocacy work and numerous volunteer roles, her past experience includes over 15 years as a community college educator and student champion. Chief among her many projects include collaborating with students to create Durham Technical Community College’s robust campus food pantry and spearheading the creation of interconnected holistic student supports for student parents and those experiencing housing insecurity and other basic needs challenges. Erin also led a statewide alliance of other college pantries, created the college’s civic and community engagement office, and wrote a college success textbook that has been utilized by community colleges across the state to help first-generation students navigate higher education.
A resident of Chapel Hill since 2004, Erin is passionate about developing inclusive, equitable solutions to engage and support our Chapel Hill and Carrboro neighbors.
Robin joined in July 2023. Robin is responsible for procurement of food and other resources, distribution to our participants, and our Food for Schools program.
Robin has been deeply involved in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community since 2005 both as a small business owner and also as a volunteer in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district. Robin’s family has been volunteering with PORCH for years, and she is committed to PORCH’s mission and continuing the relationships that have been developed.
Robin enjoys the very special moments she has with her husband and her two daughters. She loves a good cup of coffee, cooking, traveling, and kayaking.
PORCH welcomed Lucky in early 2023. Lucky manages, maintains, and develops all aspects of our programs. She is also the Spanish interpreter and the main contact for all of our families enrolled in our Food for Families program.
Prior to accepting this role, Lucky was a volunteer for the Town of Chapel Hill Food Distribution at Eubanks Road. She’s also served as the Spanish interpreter for PORCH since May 2022. She is passionate about PORCH’s mission to provide fresh, healthy food to those in our community.
Lucky enjoys spending quality time with her husband, her daughter, and her two sons. She loves dancing, gardening, crafting, and volunteering.
Read about just a few of our 200 wonderful volunteers on our blog.