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A Place Where Teamwork Thrives

Staff and board of directors
Meet the team

Meet Your Place at the Table Staff

Maggie Kane

Founder and Executive Director

Maggie is the Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can nonprofit cafe. She graduated from NC State University in 2013 and began working for a nonprofit with people experiencing homelessness. By befriending many people living on the margins, she saw the challenges of food insecurity as well as providing dignity to those in need. In February 2015, A Place at the Table was born and Maggie never looked back. Opening in January of 2018, Table has served thousands of people in Raleigh with a dignified and an affordable meal, together. Maggie has a heart to serve, a desire to always be inclusive, and a passion for loving people.

She lives in Raleigh, loves to jump rope, and eats a large amount of peanut butter. She loves hiking in the mountains, and all things sunflowers. You’ll find her watching movies at the theaters in those big comfy chairs, skydiving, or breaking away for a quick 2-day weekend trip.

 

Maggie Kane executive director of A Place at the Table

Andrew Gravens

Director of Operations

Andrew grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi and was raised on the delicacies of the Mississippi delta. Helping Momma in the kitchen, he learned that serving others first was top priority. Andrew received a degree in psychology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. While in college, he worked in kitchens and became fascinated by Cajun and Creole cuisine. Learning as much as he could along the way, he began his career as a chef. Being the executive chef of A Place at the Table, is a dream come true for Andrew.

Having a position where he can fulfill his desires to serve those in his community by creating delicious and nutritious food for everyone is an integration of lifelong passions. Outside of the kitchen, Andrew enjoys being outdoors with his wife and their four dogs. They love to go hiking and canoeing. While at home, Andrew will be found working in his garden or woodworking.

headshot of chef andrew gravens of A Place at the Table

Amanda Hampton

Chef De Cuisine

Amanda started cooking at the age of 15 under the tutelage of Anna and Sybille Pump at Loaves & Fishes in Sagaponack, NY. After several years of working part time, Amanda opted to pursue a culinary degree at the California Culinary Academy, graduating in 1997. Shortly thereafter she became a manager and partner in a restaurant in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco.

Following her time there, she chose to return to the kitchen at Skywalker Ranch, the headquarters of Lucasfilm in Marin County, CA. She eventually was named the Head Chef of the Technical Building restaurant which serviced Skywalker Sound.

Amanda stepped away from cooking for several years to travel, scuba dive, live abroad and raise her two children.

She is thrilled to return to cooking at A Place at the Table as she believes the kitchen is her true home! 

Amanda Hampton Sous Chef

Eliot Burnhams

Chef De Cuisine

Eliot was born in England and moved to the states 15+ years ago. He loves cooking and has a passion for making really good food, especially Indian food. He loves visiting Spain and eating Spanish food! He interned with the cafe for months, volunteering in the kitchen until we finally convinced him to join the team officially.

His number one passion may be cooking, but he is an even bigger music guy. He is a credited producer and will be releasing his hip hop beats soon. Stay tuned because we will have them at the cafe!

headshot of sous chef Eliot Burnhams

Amanda Whicker

Cafe Manager

Amanda started working in restaurants at the age of 16. Growing up with a large family in Hillsborough NC, she decided to move to Raleigh at 18 to discover who she is as an individual.

Being in the service industry for a little over a decade, she has found that her passion is COMPASSION! Forming connections and building relationships with people gives her the ultimate meaning in life.

Formerly working as the Assistant General Manager at MOFU Shoppe, she is excited to use her leadership skills at A Place At The Table.

Amanda loves her two pups Mushu and Pickles, spending time with her loved ones, going on adventures when she’s hiking or camping, and grooving out at music festivals.

Emily Weidman

Volunteer Engagement Manager

Emily moved to Raleigh with her husband and pup after living their whole lives in Pennsylvania. Emily has a degree in social work and worked as a Team Leader for Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence in the Philadelphia region. In that role, Emily developed a passion for nonprofit work. Since being in Raleigh, Emily spent time with Haven House Services working with youth in the county.

Being new to an area means feeling a little out of place. However, Emily feels at home with the Table staff and volunteers. She can’t wait to continue to work alongside the amazing people that come to the cafe every day.

Emily Weidman volunteer manager at A Place at the Table

Morgan Cates

Pastry chef

Morgan is originally from Connecticut, but has lived in 5 other states the last 11 years! Her and her husband have a black lab/pitbull mix dog named Luna, and she is the love of their lives!⁠

She has been in the pastry world for the last 10 years and has done everything from cake decorating, to bread baking, to French and Italian pastries and so much more! She really loves making delicious treats and sharing them with the world.⁠

Morgan has been practicing yoga for the last 5 1/2 years and one day she wants to get her Yoga Teacher Training and share that gift with others as well!!⁠

Her favorite foods include french fries, bagels, doughnuts, and pizza!

 

Ke’ciana Harvey

Baker

Ke’ciana started pastry school at Wake Tech in August 2021 and she loves the curriculum and the people there. She has been in aikido for a few years, so in her free time she is most likely at the dojo, watching tv with her sister, or hanging out with her bearded dragon Mello. She is very excited to be apart of A Place at the Table!

 

Mael Karcher

Barista

Mael has lived up and down the east coast all his life, but he considers Orlando, FL his first home, where he and his spouse, Jo, lived for many years. They found family within the LGBTQ+ community there. With a love for both coffee and cuisine, Mael also found his niche in the Orlando food scene, changing his career from working in biology to working as a barista and baker. He has always looked to improve himself and his environment, fostering a supportive working space for his co-workers, as well as advocating for his fellow queer employees.

Mael and his spouse recently moved to Raleigh to be closer to family. They are both excited to immerse themselves in a new community and scene. He loves working with the Table staff and the staff at Jubala Coffee. When he isn’t serving up fresh coffee and biscuits, Mael likes to cook at home, read, and dote on his one-eyed cat, Diamond.

 

Cheyanne Headen

Community and de-escalation specialist

Before joining the Table Team, Cheyanne worked in various non-profit organizations in social work positions in both North Carolina and her hometown of New York City. Her experience working in hospitality, coupled with her background in social work prepared her for her current role as the Community and DeEscalation Specialist at A Place at the Table. Cheyanne grew up observing her parents be intentional about gifting their time and resources to folks within their community who were in need, and, she firmly believes that those experiences led to her commitment to being of service to marginalized populations and underserved human beings. She recognizes that “bad” stuff happens to good people and considers herself blessed to connect with others daily.

Cheyanne loves spending quality time hanging out with family and friends (who she considers her chosen family) and looks forward to having more time to do so once she completes her graduate degree from NCA&T.  Cheyanne views each day as an opportunity to show up better than she did the day before, and if she can sprinkle a little love and lots of laughs, she considers it a win!

Sobia Zehri

LINE COOK

Sobia was born and raised in Arizona and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a degree in nursing and a degree in physiology. Wanting to try something new and to jump start her career, she moved to North Carolina in 2019 and is happy to call North Carolina home.

She has enjoyed cooking and baking since a young age and enjoys volunteering. When she heard about A Place at The Table, she knew it would be the perfect place to volunteer and fell in love. She is excited to join the team as a line cook!

In her free time, she enjoys hot yoga, going on walks, reading, and cuddling with her cat. Her favorite place to visit is the beach! She continues to work as a nurse and also as a postpartum doula. She believes the best way to live is in the service of others.

 

James Thompson

Barista

James has been slinging coffee and lattes since 2010. James is an artist; painting and special effects are a passion. He also loves music and horror films. As a constant learner, he enjoys applying new skills to old crafts.

He loves to keep patrons caffeinated on the weekends and he considers working at Table the most rewarding work he’s ever done.

 

James Thompson barista

Tynajia Pullen

fRONT OF HOUSE

Tynajia, who goes by T, was born and raised in Rocky Mount NC, but Raleigh has been her home for the last 6 years. She enjoys traveling with her spouse, playing basketball, and helping people. She plans to bring her kind spirit, huge heart, and friendly personality to the team At A Place At The Table. She has big dreams to help change the world by creating two centers; one for foster children and the other for the homeless. She will use her life experiences from trials and tribulations to help people get through their trials. Her testimony is powerful; she can’t wait to share it with the world one day!

Conthita Pullen

Front of house

Conthita (Connie) was born in Raleigh, NC, but she was raised in Wake Forest, NC. She is the mother of a lovely, intelligent, 10-year-old princess. Her spouse and her are a powerful dynamic duo that wishes to change the world day by day. Her childhood wasn’t what she would of hoped for but she believes that God made no mistakes; therefore, she has been chosen for something greater in life. She is such a people’s person that’s full of love, integrity, and compassion. She’s excited to be a part of the team to spread equality and happiness. In the near future, she plans to begin operating in her passion of being a motivational speaker. She enjoys spontaneous dates, spending quality family time, and most of all, traveling the world. Her final destination is Los Angeles, California, but Raleigh will always be her home.

 

Danny Wilkins

Culinary Intern

Danny is so excited to join the Table team. Growing up in Raleigh–Broughton Cappies HEYYY, he has found his passion for cooking over the years. He loves making the Turkey Clubs for everyone and loves eating the Huevos Rancheros at the cafe. Danny is a huge fan of EDM music and all things hondas, but even more importantly Danny loves people.

Bosh

Culinary Intern

Bosh grew up in Raleigh and went to Millbrook. He loves playing basketball and is a rockstar shooting guard. He’s playing on teaching the team how to play spades too! He wanted to join the Table team to learn how to cook. Pro tip: his favorite food is pizza and says the best pizza in town is Sergios.

Vrutika Soneji

Marketing Coordinator

Vrutika was born in India and spent her early years in New Jersey. North Carolina is now her home, where she attends Apex Friendship High School. She found her passion when she created an annual mug cake fundraiser to benefit local nonprofits.

The position of Marketing Coordinator at Table is a dream come true for Vrutika, since it combines her love of community, food, and graphic design! In her free time, Vrutika is a calligraphy connoisseur and loves to pass around a volleyball.

Join the Team!

Check out any job openings at A Place at the Table. If you don’t see any open positions below, be sure to check back in with us later for updates!

 

Job Openings

Meet the Board of Directors

Maggie Kane

Maggie Kane

Maggie is the Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table. She graduated from NC State University in 2013 and began working for a nonprofit with people experiencing homelessness. By befriending many people living on the margins, she knew something needed to be done. February 2015, A Place at the Table was birthed and Maggie never looked back, opening in January of 2018 serving thousands of people in Raleigh with a dignified and an affordable meal. Maggie has a heart to serve, a desire to always be inclusive, and a passion for loving people.

She lives in Raleigh, loves to jump rope, and eats a large amount of peanut butter. She loves hiking in the mountains and all things sunflowers. You’ll find her watching movies at the theaters in those big comfy chairs, skydiving or breaking away for a quick weekend trip.

Zinith Barbee

Zinith Barbee

Zinith joined A Place at the Table in 2015. His passions are roads and rocks from his careers as a civil engineer and hydrogeologist. A decade has passed since the medical trauma changed his life; Zinith credits this to healing from exemplary care to the Raleigh Mennonite Church and caring neighbors. He is a volunteer and member of the community advisory board at Table. Zinith retains the panoramic, forward-looking, and detail-oriented outlook practiced in his career and maintains the discipline and ethic learned in previous jobs in a factory, school, hospital, and restaurant. Not forgotten is his experience of homelessness and stint as a short-order cook.

Alicia Barfield

Alicia Barfield

Alicia is the Director of Community Affairs at Duke Raleigh Hospital. She has over 17 years of experience in health care administration with a background in strategic planning, business planning, development, and community relations. Prior to joining Duke Raleigh, Alicia was a Business Development Manager for UNC Physicians Network. She has volunteered with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, and Urban Ministries of Wake County.

Cliff Britt

Cliff Britt

Cliff is an Executive in Enterprise Independent Testing at Bank of America. He leads the enterprise testing utility onboarding organization responsible for integrating front line unit testing resources across the Enterprise. 

In his 25 years with the bank, Cliff has served in many leadership roles, including, most recently, as Chief Testing Officer for the Consumer Bank. He also served as the Consumer Market Executive in the Triangle Market of Central North Carolina and the Hampton Roads Market of Southeastern Virginia. Cliff’s bank experience was in quality & productivity and technology & operations/project management. Additionally, he served on the NationsBank/Boatmen’s Transition in St. Louis, MO. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Tosheria Brown

Tosheria Brown

Tosheria is the Program Coordinator at the Oak City Outreach Center in downtown Raleigh and is employed by Catholic Charities. As a business management undergraduate of NC State University, she called Raleigh her home for many years. She is originally from Rockingham, NC and spent seven years living in San Diego, CA where she was employed by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. At the Oak City Outreach Center, Tosheria schedules volunteers and community partners to provide meals and events, which support our friends experiencing homelessness and/or hunger in downtown Raleigh. Under her leadership and compassion, over 50 service partners and 120 host volunteers connect to build community through active engagement and hospitality. She brings experience and a wealth of knowledge working directly with our friends experiencing homelessness so that Table can better understand how to serve this population.

Marina Carreker

Marina Carreker

Marina is president of Bandwidth and leads strategic initiatives. She is responsible for a broad range of Bandwidth’s legal portfolio, including the negotiation of key strategic commercial agreements, oversight of litigation and government investigations, and management of all data privacy issues. Marina and her family found Table during the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately embraced the mission. In her words, “It’s impossible to miss the joy and authenticity and love that is guiding A Place at the Table, and I’d very much like to contribute to that however I can.”  

Marina graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar. She earned her law degree from the University of Virginia.

Johnny Hackett, Jr.

Johnny Hackett, Jr.

Johnny is the founder and CEO of The Black Dollar Corp, a Black-owned business directory in North Carolina. In addition, Johnny operates Black Friday, a retail storefront in downtown Raleigh and is an alliance member for online businesses with Raleigh’s Office of Economic Development and Innovation. Johnny specializes in design and marketing. He has been active on the front line of the community and corporate environments — enjoying a great I.T. career at Xerox, IBM, BCBSNC, and Unity Digital Agency and led multiple entrepreneurship ventures where he supports other nonprofits and small businesses.

Johnny migrated to Raleigh, NC in 1998, attending Broughton High School. from there, he graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

William Halvorsen

William Halvorsen

Willam is a Solution Architect at CCI, inc. and has 30+ years of experience in the telecommunication industry. His work philosophy is to do better, help people, and grow community awareness of kindness and volunteering. His passion to be a strong and effective leader guided his career at Cisco, Nokia, and the US Marine Corp. 

William has raised three daughters; the oldest is a bull ride, the middle is a firefighter and the youngest is a redhead. All three are fierce, strong and independent. 

Lisa Humphreys

Lisa Humphreys

Lisa serves as the Chief Strategy Officer with the YMCA of the Triangle. She has dedicated the last 30 years of her career to the YMCA, leading initiatives, developing partnerships and building community collaborations. Lisa is a seasoned nonprofit executive energized by transforming bold ideas into action that satisfy community needs and support ambitious missions for nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about finding equitable and inclusive solutions.  

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lisa lives in Raleigh with her husband Rob, their two children, Mac (23) and Cate (18).  As an emerging empty nester, Lisa enjoys spending quality time with her family, live music, travel, connecting with dear friends and lots and lots of pilates.

Sean Maroney

Sean Maroney

Sean is the former main anchor at CBS-17 and a familiar face in the Triangle. During his five years at the station, he won numerous awards, including an Emmy and was named “Anchor of the Year” out of both North and South Carolina by the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas. Prior to that, he was a bureau chief and correspondent for the Voice of America with bylines that included Afghanistan, the United Nations, the Pentagon, and Capitol Hill. After 15 years in journalism, Sean switched careers to become Habitat for Humanity of Wake County’s first-ever Major Gifts Officer, doubling down on his passion for community work. He is now Habitat Wake’s Interim Director of Resource Development. In addition, Sean serves on several non-profit and community advisory boards, and he is the founder and instructor of a free guitar lesson program at the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club of Durham.

Sean grew up in the area and graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he mentors students through the school’s Media and Journalism Alumni Association. As a first-time homeowner, Sean loves to spend his free time doing house and yard projects with his wife Kate, volunteering with their neighborhood’s association and exploring the outdoors with their dog Gatsby.

Nathan Powers

Nathan Powers

Nathan is a Human Resources Manager for the Raleigh-based engineering firm S&ME, Inc. Nathan works in regulatory compliance, corporate business processes and employee development. Nathan’s passion is helping those in need, specifically in need of food. At Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Nathan works with several different groups, cooks for fundraising dinners and provides an annual meal for the homeless that is served by the congregation. Nathan received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy from Belmont University and a Master of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond. He is married to Libby Stephens and they have one son, Henry. The family enjoys traveling, working in the garden and cooking.

Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson

Tom is a licensed CPA and CFP with over 35 years of experience in business. He works primarily with small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. For 14 years he was Executive Director of The Ministry Incubator, a shared workspace environment for nonprofits and ministries that operated in downtown Raleigh. Tom and his wife Linda have two adult sons.

Danny Rosin

Danny Rosin

Danny is the Co-Founder and Co-President of Brand Fuel, a free-spirited, full-service promotional products agency. He is the Co-Founder of Band Together, a volunteer-driven nonprofit that uses live music as a platform for social change that has donated $10 million+ to Triangle community efforts. He serves on the boards of PromoCares, PromoKitchen, Reciprocity Road, American Marketing Association (Triangle Chapter) and most importantly, A Place at The Table.

Danny is a tireless connector, community leader and entrepreneur. He helps people and brands realize higher aspirations that will have a positive and sustainable impact on both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He is hubs to Niccole and pops to Tyler and Brooke.

Dr. Terrance Ruth

Dr. Terrance Ruth

Terrance is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at NC State University. He also spearheaded the launch of a social justice foundation called the Justice Love Foundation. Terrance is one of the newest research fellows for the African American Center at NC State University. In addition to his social work, Terrance was the former executive director of the NAACP of North Carolina, a former administrator for Wake County Public Schools.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida. His research interest includes the theoretical fields of globality and structuration with a focus on future projections in cultural perceptions. He acquired his Master’s in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. 

Terrance is happily married to Kiara Ruth, and they have a son named Miles. 

Jennifer Sundstrom

Jennifer Sundstrom

Jennifer is the Director of Development at Teach For America – Eastern North Carolina. She moved to Raleigh in 2013 from Nashville, TN, where she worked as the Director of Administrative Services at the YWCA. Jennifer has a bachelor’s of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from West Virginia University but has spent the majority of her career in nonprofit administration and fundraising. Jennifer is passionate about building thriving and equitable communities, and coffee. She is a proud mama of two children, Graham and Cora, who are often found sipping on hot chocolate at one of our community tables.

Alisha Dreese

Alisha Dreese

Alisha currently serves as Customer Service Specialist at United Restaurant Equipment Co. She is well known and connected in the restaurant industry in Raleigh. United Restaurant Equipment Company is a family-owned business, and a leader in the restaurant equipment and supply industry. URECO is a full-service dealership that specializes in the design, supply, delivery, and installation of commercial kitchen and dining equipment. Alisha works will all types of food service clients providing excellent knowledge and customer support. 

Alisha was also recognized as a 2020 TBJ Women in Business Award winner. 

Alisha previously served on the APATT Board and was instrumental in opening the cafe. Her expertise in the restaurant industry and commitment to the mission of A Place at the Table was essential in the cafe’s first few years. Alisha also served on the Creative Planning committee and has assisted in the planning and implementation of many of A Place at the Table’s fundraising events.

Jennifer Tolle Whiteside

Jennifer Tolle Whiteside

Jennifer Tolle Whiteside serves as president and CEO of the North Carolina Community Foundation. She has led the Foundation, its 20-member board of directors, and 30-person staff for more than a decade, more than doubling NCCF assets and grantmaking in her tenure. As NCCF’s second CEO, she is responsible for long-term growth and sustainability, and strategic planning, and serves as the public face of the Foundation. She loves working every day with generous, passionate, and engaged North Carolinians to build community through philanthropic giving.

Tolle Whiteside has 28 years of experience in nonprofit management and civic affairs. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the first CEO and president of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, a nonprofit organization she grew from one staff member to 14 full-time employees and a statewide network. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, received a master’s degree from Louisiana State University, and is an alumna of Leadership North Carolina.

Tolle Whiteside has served on numerous nonprofit boards and public commissions, including several legislative appointments. She is the vice-chair of the North Carolina Rural Center board and serves on the Community Foundation National Standards Board. She previously served as chair of the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children and co-chair of the NC Child Fatality Task Force. She is a past recipient of the Old North State Award from the Governor of North Carolina and the national US Commissioner’s Award. She has been named a News & Observer Tar Heel of the Week and counted among the Triangle Business Journal’s most influential female leaders. She is a recipient of the Women of Achievement Award by the Federation of Women’s Club and was inducted into Leadership Raleigh’s first Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

Neal Seigler

Neal Seigler

Since 2012, Neal Seigler has served as the Director of Environmental & Nutritional Services at Duke Raleigh Hospital where he manages and directs budgets, purchases, labor, compliance, and strategic initiatives as well as oversees the clinical aspect of nutritional services. Prior to joining Duke Raleigh Hospital, he served as a District Manager for Sodexo for North Carolina and Tennessee.

Serving the community, improving social conditions, and addressing inequalities is important to Seigler which makes the opportunity to serve on the A Place at the Table Board even more compelling. He currently serves on the Marcus Harris Foundation board.

Seigler holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Mount Saint Mary College and a master’s of business administration from the University of Mount Olive. Certifications include Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional (CHESP) with the American Hospital Association and ServSafe with the National Restaurant Association. He is also Green Belt/Six Sigma certified. 

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