Meet our staff bios
North Carolina Community Foundation
4601 Six Forks Road, Suite 524
Raleigh, NC 27609
Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, President and CEO
Jennifer joined NCCF in 2006 when the board named her to serve as the second president and CEO in the organization’s history.
Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as executive director of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. Under her leadership the organization expanded programs delivered through a network comprised of affiliated organizations and individuals across the state. She worked to strengthen policies and laws affecting children and families ranging from the graduated driver’s license program to the installation of smoke detectors in rental properties.
Jennifer won the distinguished Commissioner’s Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her work at Prevent Child Abuse. She also is a recipient of the Old North State Award for her work on behalf of the people of North Carolina and was named a News & Observer Tar Heel of the Week. Prevent Child Abuse also honored her with the Professional Leadership Award in 2010 for her “vision and courage in leading others to foster the next generation of our state’s citizens, parents and leaders” as the organization’s first executive director.
Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in counseling from Louisiana State University.
Jennifer is active in community activities and serves on the boards for the NC Rural Economic Development Center, the NC Pediatric Foundation, the NC Network of Grantmakers and the Philanthropy Journal. She is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina and a member of the NC Women’s Forum as well as other organizations. She, her husband and daughter live in Raleigh.
Cherry Ballard, Assistant to the President
Cherry has been with the Foundation since its inception in 1988. She serves as the assistant to the president and works closely with our board of directors and donors across the state. Cherry has an associate’s degree in business from Wake Technical Community College. Cherry enjoys tennis, yoga and spending time with her two grandchildren, Abby and Nolan.
Beth Boney Jenkins, Vice President of Development
Beth leads the development team in fundraising, including estate and planned-giving services, with particular focus on the NCCF’s 60 affiliate foundations serving 67 counties across the state. She also serves our six affiliate foundations in the Coastal Plains region of North Carolina. Beth has a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College and a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University.
Mary Morgan, Philanthropy Counsel
Mary serves as in-house legal counsel for NCCF on issues concerning contributions, unique gifts, fund agreements, granting and planned giving. She serves as liaison to professional advisors across the state as a member of our development team. She worked for nearly 15 years in law before originally joining the Foundation as legal counsel in 2006. Mary has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Duke University and attended the Wake Forest University School of Law. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Wake County Bar Association. Mary is interested in documentary studies and the political process and enjoys writing children’s books.
Melinda Allen, Gift and Development Specialist
Melinda is responsible for the overall implementation of the gifts entry and acknowledgments process for the Foundation as a member of the Development Team. She also manages designated and agency funds. Melinda graduated from Duke University and joined the NCCF staff in 2004. She currently serves as board treasurer of the Even Exchange Dance Theater and enjoys reading, movies, knitting and cooking.
John Berngartt, CPA, Chief Financial Officer
John oversees all financial matters of the Foundation and its affiliate organizations, including the coordination of investments, accounting, budgeting, finance and regulatory compliance. He is a certified public accountant and has more than 30 years of experience in accounting, finance and business management. He joined NCCF in 2005. He serves as a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the North Carolina Association of CPAs. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida and an MBA with a concentration in accounting from Georgia State University. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, exercising, following college sports, traveling and scuba diving.
John Hartley, Director of Finance
John manages the Foundation’s portfolio and the work of our investment managers. He also serves as the NCCF’s financial liaison with affiliate foundation boards and current and potential donors. He is a Certified Treasury Professional and currently serves on the board of the North Carolina Treasury Management Association. He had more than 20 years of experience in treasury management and corporate finance before joining the NCCF staff in 2005. John has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He enjoys travel, music, reading and a wide variety of sports.
Sandi Matthews, CPA, Controller
Sandi manages day-to-day financial transactions and assists with financial reporting as a member of our finance team. She is a lifelong resident of North Carolina and was born and raised a proud farmer’s daughter in the Sandhills. She is a first-generation college graduate and holds degrees in accounting from North Carolina State University and Meredith College. She joined NCCF in 2007. In her free time Sandi is an active member of the North Carolina Association of CPAs and the principal flutist of the Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle. She enjoys volunteering in the community, exercising and being outdoors. She has travelled to more than 14 countries spread over four continents. Her most memorable trips have included trekking in the Himalayan Mountains, going on safari in the Okavango Delta and traveling by camel across the Sahara desert. She currently resides in Raleigh with her cat, Chunky Buns.
Lisa Meeks, Financial Specialist
Lisa handles accounts payable for the Foundation. She is originally from Illinois and graduated from Highland Community College. She joined the NCCF staff in 2007 after working as a bank teller, bookkeeper and business owner. Lisa is an avid dancer, specializing in ballroom, salsa and west coast swing and is interested in healing and wellness, graphology and personal growth.
Noël McLaughlin, Director of Marketing and Communications
Noël manages communications, PR, marketing and the IT division for NCCF. She joined the Foundation in 2008 after five years as a public relations consultant. She has 20 years of corporate experience and served as group vice president and manager of the corporate communications department for a national financial institution. She is co-founder of the Mountain Times in Boone. She graduated cum laude from Appalachian State University with a degree in English and has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has won numerous awards, including international honors for an NCCF annual report. She has served on many boards, including the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, NC Center for Nonprofits, Kids Voting-Wake County and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. She was a charter member of the Wake County Women’s Giving Network. She enjoys travel, hiking, reading and spending time with her husband and their college-age twins.
Lori oversees headquarters facility issues and provides administrative support for the field and main office staff. She also assists with website maintenance and news release distribution. She joined the Foundation staff in 2008 after serving as an executive assistant and earning an associate’s degree from the Tefft Business School in New York. Lori is president of the Usher Board of the Henderson Grove Missionary Baptist Church and a board member of the East Cedar Grove Ushers Association. In her spare time Lori enjoys reading, dancing and playing with her grandson.
Sally Migliore, Director of Community Leadership
Sally leads and coordinates the statewide team of regional associates in all aspects of affiliate and donor services, scholarships and grantmaking. The Community Leadership Team supports our statewide network of local affiliates to lead philanthropic efforts in their communities. Sally joined the NCCF staff in 2011 after a successful career in the nonprofit sector. She was the executive director of the National Society for Experiential Education and served as the director of collaboration and training at the NC Center for Nonprofits. Sally has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a master’s in sociology from North Carolina State University. In her free time, she enjoys jogging.
Leslie Ann Jackson, Director of Grants and Scholarships
Leslie Ann oversees our community grantmaking and scholarship programs, working closely with scholarship administrators, educational institutions and students across the state. She also facilitates the distribution of grants to nonprofits from our donor-advised funds. Leslie Ann joined the NCCF staff in 2011 after many years working for nonprofits in the area of child mental health. Most recently, she worked as program manager for KidsPeace at the Raleigh and Durham locations. Leslie Ann earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and continued her graduate studies in psychology at the College of William & Mary. She is still involved with KidsPeace on a voluntary basis, as well as with other child-centered organizations. She is active in the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh and completed her Nonprofit Management Certificate from Duke University. For fun, Leslie Ann enjoys reading on the beach, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.
(Cherokee, Clay, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Madison and Swain)
Sue LeLievre, Regional Associate
PO Box 1396
Franklin, NC 28734
Phone: (800) 201-9532 (toll-free)
Sue provides leadership for nine affiliate foundations we serve in Western North Carolina. She develops funds within the region, works with local nonprofits to strengthen their work, builds relationships with donors and fund holders and promotes scholarship opportunities. Sue is an associate member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, western North Carolina chapter. She joined the Foundation in 2001. She has an associate’s degree in business accounting from Morris College. Sue’s pet project in the community involves children’s literacy issues. She enjoys breeding straight Egyptian Arabian horses, yoga, children’s literacy and golf. She is the current Ladies Club Champion at WindStone Golf Club.
(Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Catawba Valley, which includes Alexander, Caldwell and Catawba counties; Mount Airy, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin)
74 13th Avenue NE
Hickory, NC 28601
Mail: PO Box 2851, Hickory, NC 28603
John works with seven affiliates in nine counties in the northwestern region of the state. He supports affiliate foundation boards’ community leadership initiatives, reaches out to donors and fund holders in these counties and helps affiliates develop new funds. John has extensive experience working in philanthropy. He served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Boston, an organization that provides tutoring and mentorship to students at risk of dropping out of school. He stayed on with City Year Boston after his time in the AmeriCorps as the manager of civic engagement programs. In 2009, John was selected as the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Fellow, where he served until 2011. He’s been awarded the MLK Service Award, the Idealism in Action Award and the Team of the Year Award by City Year Boston. John is originally from Westfield, N.C., and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in geography and peace, war and defense. He loves to spend his free time with his wife, Katie, and their dog, Sheba. He also enjoys playing softball and running. John is excited about continuing to learn about the important issues facing the State of North Carolina and is particularly interested in social investment, corporate social responsibility, economic development and public policy.
(Cary, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Person, Vance and Wake)
Katie Crumpler, Regional Associate
4601 Six Forms Road, Suite 524
Raleigh, NC 27609
Katie works with six affiliate foundations in the Northern Piedmont region, as well as two women’s giving networks. She supports affiliate foundation boards’ community leadership initiatives, develops funds within the region, works with local nonprofits to strengthen their work, builds relationships with donors and fund holders and promotes scholarship opportunities. Her career has been in the nonprofit sector, with experience including the Public School Forum of NC and the NC Healthy Start Foundation. Katie also serves on several boards and groups, including the Women’s Forum of NC, Wake County Making Magic Alliance Board, NC Girls STEM Collaborative Leadership Team and NCSU Public Administration Alumni Society Board. She volunteers for a number of organizations that support homeless populations, youth development through mentoring and tutoring and the empowerment of women. Katie received her master’s degree in public administration and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from NC State University. Her undergraduate degree is in political science and history from UNC-Greensboro. She also is an alumna of the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) through the Institute for Educational Leadership.
(Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and Rockingham)
Mary Anne Howard, Regional Associate
4601 Six Forks Road, Suite 524
Raleigh, NC 27609
Mary Anne works with seven of our affiliate foundations in the Sandhills region of the state. She develops funds within the region, works with local nonprofits to strengthen their work, builds relationships with donors and fund holders and promotes scholarship opportunities. Mary Anne worked for years in the corporate sector in sales, marketing and management before joining NCCF in 2007. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from East Carolina University. She enjoys walking, hiking, traveling and the arts and serves on the board and as chair of the membership committee for the Gregg Museum at North Carolina State University.
(Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson and Sampson)
Patricia Lawler, Regional Associate
1213 Culbreth Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Mail: PO Box 991, Wilmington, NC 28402
Patricia provides leadership to nine affiliate foundations we serve in Southeastern North Carolina. She develops funds within the region, works with local nonprofits to strengthen their work, builds relationships with donors and fund holders and promotes scholarship opportunities. She had an extensive career in the nonprofit and government sectors before joining the NCCF in 2008. Her experience includes working with the National Federation of Independent Business, the Friends of the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and serving as a senior legislative assistant to NC Congressman Bob Etheridge. Patricia has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English and composition theory from North Carolina State University. She has served as the president of the Cape Fear Region Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and was named an AFP Chamberlain Scholar in 2009. She is also involved with Leadership Wilmington. She enjoys reading, travel, wine and visiting the beach in her spare time.
(Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, Rocky Mount, Warren, Wayne and Wilson)
Kelly Lee, Regional Associate
PO Box 7394
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-973-1205; 252-245-1794-cell
Kelly works with seven of our affiliate foundations in the Coastal Plain north region of the state. She develops funds within the region, works with local nonprofits to strengthen their work, builds relationships with donors and fund holders and promotes scholarship opportunities. She is a Certified Events Planner. Kelly loves being a mom to her son in middle school and is active with the PTA at his school. She is also a board member for Kids4Change, a founding member of the Women Givers of Nash-Rocky Mount and a volunteer with a local animal rescue organization. Her hobbies include reading, musical theater and knitting with a “Linus Project” group that knits blankets for sick children.
Coastal Plain South
(Carteret, Craven, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico and Pitt)
Kim Ball, Regional Associate
PO Box 3411
New Bern, NC 28564-3411
Kim provides staff support to affiliate community foundation boards in the Coastal Plain south region. Her responsibilities include supporting affiliate foundation boards’ community leadership initiatives, reaching out to donors and fund holders in these counties and helping affiliates develop new funds. Kim worked in banking for 10 years and also worked in sales and marketing before joining the foundation in 2012. She is a founding member of the Colonial Capital Club, a regional director of the Meredith College Alumnae Board, a member of the Craven County Chamber of Commerce and attends Garber United Methodist Church. She is originally from Chocowinity, N.C., and has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Meredith College. In her free time, Kim enjoys jogging, gardening, reading and boating.
(Beaufort, Bertie-Hertford, Chowan, Currituck-Dare, Martin, and Northern Albemarle, which includes Camden, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans)
Peggy Birkemeier, Senior Regional Associate
8845 Caratoke Highway
Point Harbor, NC 27964
Mail: Harbinger Center, Suite 4, Point Harbor, NC 27964
Peggy provides leadership to six of our affiliate foundations in Northeastern North Carolina, including the Northern Albemarle Community Foundation, which serves Camden, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. She develops funds within the region, works with local nonprofits to strengthen their work, builds relationships with donors and fund holders and promotes scholarship opportunities. Her professional background includes education and nonprofit management, and she is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Peggy has worked with community foundations for more than 20 years and joined the NCCF staff in 1999. She is a founder of the Friends of Jockey’s Ridge, a nonprofit established for the support and maintenance of Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks, and the Dare County Chapter of the League of Women Voters. Peggy has a bachelor’s degree from American University and Nonprofit Certification for Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She enjoys gardening and photography in her spare time.