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


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.


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 Director of Operations 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


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!


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. She and her spouse 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.



LIne cook

Dawn grew up in upstate New York and moved to the Raleigh area in 2014. She loves to travel and and left her heart in South Korea after living there for a semester in college. In her free time she writes, does photography and is always listen to music. She has over 8 years of experience in food service and enjoys the ever changing environment that it brings with it.


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


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


Line cook

Hannah was born and raised in upstate NY but moved to the Raleigh area in 2014. She has toddler who keeps her constantly on the move. When she has free time Hannah loves listening to K-pop/Taylor Swift, as well as taking care of her many many plants, and cooking new foods. Hannah loves to travel, and is always down for a good hike or bike ride. She has been working in the restaurant industry for 10+ years and had been searching for something that was more fulfilling and impactful. As a people person, A Place At The Table offered what she had been looking for.


Admin coordinator

A Raleigh native passionate about community and service. Before joining the Table crew, she spent time pursuing her undergraduate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and spent time pursuing a dance career in Brooklyn. When the pandemic called us all into quarantine, Kay moved back to North Carolina from Brooklyn and began to dive into her passion for plants. Post pandemic, she made the decision to stay home, open a houseplant business, and work with her family on their farm. Today, Kay is still continuing to spread plant love to the community and can now pursue her passion-work: people with the Table family. Outside of her love for community, Kay enjoys hiking, yoga, and is a mother to 120 plants + her pup, Kodak.


Pastry chef

Morgan is originally from Connecticut, but has lived in 5 other states the last 11 years! She

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!




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.



Line Cook and Front of house

Taais is a loving mother of two intelligent and charismatic young men. She is originally from Harlem, New York. She and her family moved to North Carolina when she was 13. Taais explored my athletic and musical abilities playing basketball while participating in marching band. She took some classes and marched for the Marching Sound Machine at North Carolina Central University. Taais received her culinary arts degree at The Chefs Academy.



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!


Line cook

Sharon was born in Honduras. After moving first to Miami, she later found her home here in Raleigh.  She is honing her skills as a chef at Wake Tech’s Culinary School and stays involved in her community volunteering at organizations she is passionate about. Sharon was driven to food service because she loves making things beautiful and bringing together family with delicious food. In addition to cooking, she is trained as an EMT. Her hobbies include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, baking, cosplay, watching anime, and playing video games. 


Superior “Soupy”

front of house

Soupy is an aspiring social worker who is super excited to be a part of community. Her passion is to help others by putting her gifts and abilities to use. She loves people, nature – honestly everything in the whole world.


Marketing Coordinator

Vrutika was born in India and spent her early years in New Jersey. North Carolina is now her home, where she attends UNC-Chapel Hill. 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.

Dr. Terrance Ruth – Board Chair

Dr. Terrance Ruth – Board Chair

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. 

Alicia Barfield

Alicia Barfield

Alicia is a strategic planning professional with expertise in leading organizations to greater strategic growth and social impact by leveraging purposeful partnerships and data-driven insights. She has spent over 18 years working within health systems focused on expanding their portfolio of services to improve health and well-being for all. Alicia is passionate about community and connection and has served on several nonprofit boards whose mission involved addressing food security, housing security, and access to care. Alicia holds a Master of Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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.

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 SVP of Development + Strategic Partnerships for Lotus Campaign, a nonprofit that brings together the for-profit real estate sector and nonprofit social service providers to move those experiencing homelessness into next step housing. Before Lotus, Sean was the VP of Resource Development for the country’s third largest Habitat for Humanity affiliate and biggest Restore operator – the same affiliate where he first started volunteering while growing up in the Triangle.

For 15 years, Sean was a journalist reporting around the world for Voice of America and then serving as the evening anchor at Raleigh’s CBS station. He enjoys giving back to our community through board service and volunteering. In his free time, you’ll find Sean cheering on his Tar Heels, cooking, or enjoying the great outdoors and live music with his wife, son, and 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.

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.

Jennifer Sundstrom

Jennifer Sundstrom

Jennifer is a highly experienced fundraiser who has been supporting A Place at the Table even before the organization signed its lease on West Hargett Street. She has been instrumental in leading the Board’s fundraising committee and driving key activities to secure critical funding for the organization. In particular, Jennifer played a pivotal role in leading the Set the Table campaign during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which helped ensure Table’s financial sustainability during a challenging time.

In addition to her work with Table, Jennifer is a seasoned professional in the nonprofit sector, currently serving as the Senior Director of National Development at OneGoal. OneGoal is a leading postsecondary access and success organization that works to dramatically increase the percentage of students from low-income communities who earn a postsecondary education.

Jennifer is a mom to two incredible children and one very spoiled rescue pup. Her favorite menu items at Table are the breakfast sandwich on sourdough toast and a lot of coffee.

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. 

David Ellis

David Ellis

Mr. Ellis is the County Manager for Wake County, NC. He began his role as County Manager on February 12, 2018, becoming the first African-American County Manager in Wake County’s history.

Mr. Ellis started his tenure with Wake County in 2015 when he was appointed deputy county manager. In this role, he oversaw several departments, including Human Services and Community Services.

Prior to coming to Wake County, Ellis served as assistant city manager in Charlottesville, Va., for three years. He also held positions in Fairfax County, Va., including assistant to the county executive, assistant director of Human Services, and manager of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Department of Code Compliance.

Ellis holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University. He also holds the distinction of credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association. In addition, Ellis successfully completed the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2017.  Ellis is also a proud life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

Bart Norman

Bart Norman

Bart Norman practices corporate and commercial law and has broad experience in financial transactions and mergers and acquisitions of public and private companies. His finance experience includes syndicated and commercial loans, senior and subordinated debt offerings, mezzanine finance, and financing for start-up and growth companies, including venture loans, fund finance, and sponsor finance. He represents buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and regularly counsels clients with regard to other complex commercial transactions. Bart has been recognized by clients and peers in such ranking publications as Chambers USA and North Carolina Super Lawyers. According to sources interviewed by Chambers USA on the quality of Bart’s service, he exhibits “great analysis, skill, and judgment” and is “highly knowledgeable and practical.” Bart is currently the co-leader of the Finance Group at Smith Anderson. Additionally, Bart is a member of Smith Anderson’s Management Committee and a co-chair of Smith Anderson’s Lawyer Development Committee.

Chase Jones

Chase Jones

Chase is a Director at Thyme Care, building partnerships and networks to serve oncology patients in their cancer journeys. Most recently, Chase helped lead Cityblock Health in North Carolina, serving the Medicaid population through community-empowered health initiatives, and previously founded the Vs. Cancer Foundation, an NPO empowering athletes to fund pediatric oncology research.

Chase graduated from the University of North Carolina and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Chase is married to his love, Katrina, is a proud girl dad to Kennedy and tells every person he knows the Spicy Cheddar Biscuit at Table is the best thing to happen to the South since buttermilk and air conditioning.

Lorena D. McDowell, MPNA

Lorena D. McDowell, MPNA

Director, Department of Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization, Wake County Government

A native Minnesotan, Lorena began her work as a community advocate in the early 2000s, serving in winter shelters and soup kitchens. Having come from a less privileged background and experiencing the shelter system as a youth, Lorena has dedicated her life’s work to ensuring that families nationwide have safe, affordable places to call home.

In late 2018, Lorena came to Wake County to raise and lead the County’s new Department of Housing Affordability & Community Revitalization. In this role, she and her team are responsible for efforts across the spectrum of affordable housing, from running the most prominent men’s shelter in North Carolina to Permanent Supportive Housing vouchers, Veteran Services, multimillion-dollar annual investments in affordable housing development, and much more in between.

Before coming to Wake County, Lorena served as the Vice President of Programs for Northern Virginia Family Service, the largest human service agency in Northern Virginia, and as a Deputy Director for the Atlanta Mayor’s Office, where her work resulted in a complete revamping of Atlanta’s homelessness response system.

In addition to her government and nonprofit leadership roles, Lorena has consulted nationally, helping government and nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, best practice program development, and financial stability.

Stephanie Sarazin

Stephanie Sarazin

Stephanie Sarazin is a writer, researcher, and experiential expert in ambiguous grief. Her work began with her experience of mid-life trauma, which sparked an ambitious journey— spiritually and around the world—to understand, name, and heal the grief she found within her. Her efforts revealed a first-of-its-kind definition for “ambiguous grief,” whereby grief is onset by the loss of a loved one who is still living and wherein the experience of hope presents as a stage of the grieving process. Stephanie’s work brings new resources to reframe disruptive, activating events as a gateway to discovering your highest self, championing ambiguous grief as nuanced, natural, and navigable. Stephanie is also the founder of Rise Up Rooted, an online resource center for those navigating ambiguous grief, a grief educator, and a TEDx curator in her community. 

She graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master of Public Policy from The University of Chicago. She is an avid reader, recreational runner, and aspiring camper, and lives in North Carolina, where she is training to trek to Mt. Everest’s Base Camp. Her book, Soulbroken: A Guide for Your Journey Through Ambiguous Grief, is published by Balance, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, and was released in October 2022. It is available for order at Barnes & Nobel, Amazon, or your favorite independent bookseller. 

Tawanda Foster Artis 

Tawanda Foster Artis 

Tawanda Foster Artis serves as General Counsel and Vice-President of Legal Affairs & Human Resources for the North Carolina Community College System.  She is a North Carolina native and proud double Tarheel, receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has worked for almost 20 years in state government legal counsel roles.

Tawanda has served our State in several different capacities.  Before joining the Community College System team, Tawanda was a senior staff attorney (non-partisan legislative attorney) at the North Carolina General Assembly.  As a non-partisan attorney, Tawanda served as counsel to legislative committees and commissions, drafted legislation, and advised lawmakers and partisan staff.  In this role, she also served as the Chief Editor for the guidebook, “Summaries of Substantive Ratified Legislation,” with new editions published after each legislative session. 

In addition, Tawanda has previously served as appellate counsel and pro bono program manager at the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts handling cases, arguing before our State’s highest courts and training other attorneys to do the same. She has also served our State as an assistant attorney general at the North Carolina Department of Justice, representing the North Carolina Department of Labor in employment and labor law disputes and as an assistant district attorney prosecuting felony and misdemeanor matters.  Before attending law school, Tawanda worked in human resources and training and development functions with several corporations. 

Tawanda sits on the Board of Governors for the North Carolina Bar Association and serves on the NCBA President’s Diversity Task Force.  She has also been active in and served in leadership roles in the Government and Public Sector Section, the Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section, Corporate Counsel Section, and the Professionalism Committee.  Tawanda is active in the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and has served as a co-facilitator for their General Counsel Roundtable.  She has served in leadership roles in the Wake County Bar Association, including as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and as a member of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the North Carolina Commission on Racial & Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.  Tawanda is a former co-chair of the NCBA Minorities in the Profession Committee and past president of the Capital City Lawyers Association.

Tawanda enjoys volunteering with child literacy and education programs in local elementary schools, as well as with hunger relief/food insecurity and arts-related charities.  She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Wilson and the Food Runners Collaborative, Inc., and as an associate board member for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Inc.

 She was presented the Statewide Citizen Lawyer Award in 2020 for providing exemplary public service to her community and the legal profession.  In 2022, Tawanda also received the Wake County Bar Association’s President’s Award of Excellence for exemplary and dedicated service to the legal profession and the citizens of Wake County.

Tawanda has taught continuing legal education courses and workshops on a variety of topics across the State of North Carolina.  In 2015, as an adjunct law professor, she created an appellate advocacy clinic to teach law students to write appeals for child welfare cases at Elon University School of Law.   

In her free time, Tawanda enjoys traveling, attending live music events, volunteering, and spending time with her family.


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