Meet Your Place at the Table Staff
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.
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.
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.
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.
Director of Operations and Finance
Sophia is the Director of Operations and Finance of A Place at the Table. She is passionate about hospitality, connecting people who should know each other, and mentoring youth and the next general of problem solvers. Previously, Sophia was the Managing Director of District C, a small education non-profit, and co-founded Mofu Shoppe, a full-service Asian-inspired restaurant in downtown Raleigh, and was a contestant on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.
Sophia graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s in Business administration with a minor in biology. In 2011, She received her Master’s of Accounting from the Kenan Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.
She enjoys spending time cooking, visiting new restaurants, and traveling with friends and family!
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 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!
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!
Sam is a second generation immigrant with his father coming to the United States from Spain. Visiting his aubeula in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain got Sam interested in cuisine. Sam has volunteered on farms in Washington and California, and studied how regenerative farming will change the world. Prior to joining Table, Sam had the opportunity to work with Ashley Christenson at Poole’s Diner.
In his free time, Sam loves being outdoors; running, walking and hiking.
COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR & PARTNERSHIP COORDINATOR
Davon is from Richmond, VA. He recently graduated college with a degree in social work and a minor in recreational leadership. He didn’t grow up with the best situation, but learned at a young age his passion is to inspire others to be their best selves. He spends his free time at the gym, with his beautiful girlfriend, or making inspirational videos on his Instagram. He wanted to leave each of you with this message: “YOU MATTER!”
Tracey was born and raised in Raleigh, and stuck around to attend NC State University, getting a degree in philosophy. Her love for food and cooking began when she was ten, and decided to try to be a vegetarian. She learned how to cook for herself, and when one day found herself working in a professional kitchen, something clicked and knew this was what she wanted to do. When she is not cooking, she loves hanging out with her partner and dog, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and watching too much TV.
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!
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.
Thabiso has recently joined the staff at A Place At the Table. He was born in South Africa and has lived in Raleigh since 2013. Thabiso is currently a student at Sanderson High School. His main passion is soccer and he plays for WakeFC 03/04 NPL team and also Sanderson High School Soccer Team. Thabiso is enjoying his job at A Place At the Table and the people he is meeting there.
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.
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.
Meet the Board of Directors
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
Shana is the Director of the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness. The partnership works collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, leading to stronger programs and policies that help communities achieve their goal of ending homelessness.
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 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 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
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 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.
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