Bee on Honeycomb with Pollen

Our Team

Our team spans across multiple statewide organizations and offers a diverse skill set to best support communities working on intentional networking and food council development for more thriving, resilient local food economies and healthy communities.

MeganMegan Bolejack, Care Share Health Alliance | (919) 869-5177

Megan Bolejack serves as the Program Coordinator for Care Share Health Alliance. She provides technical assistance and facilitation to the Collaborative Networks, Healthy Carolinians Partnerships, and collective impact initiatives across the state.   Megan collects and disseminates best practices, organizes webinars and trainings, and supports communication and technology for Care Share.  Prior to joining Care Share, Megan worked for two years with the NC Division of Public Health as the WISEWOMAN Project Health Educator and Interventionist.  She worked with the Chatham County Public Health Department for six years as the Health Promotion Coordinator and Health Disparities Coordinator.  Megan received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from UNC- Charlotte and her Masters of Public Health from UNC- Greensboro.  Megan enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.  She is an active volunteer in her community.  Megan serves as Chair of the Pittsboro Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Vice Chair of the Chatham County Recreation Committee, and Secretary for the Chatham Parks Foundation.

Cates_smJared Cates, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association| (919) 695-3391

Jared holds a Masters of Social Work degree from UNC and has worked in nonprofit organizations in NC for the past 10 years. His recent work has centered on organizing and mobilizing community members around critical public policy issues. Since joining the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association in 2011, he has focused on raising the visibility of local farm and food issues in communities across the Carolinas. As part of the CFS team, he works to support the growing network of food councils across the Carolinas. He has specifically facilitated food council interest groups through various stages of development in Beaufort, Cleveland, Durham, Johnston, Lincoln, Orange and Pitt Counties in NC, and Chester, Lancaster, Union, Fairfield and York Counties in SC. Jared’s work with various organizations in both rural and urban counties provides the experience to work successfully in highly diverse communities on crosscutting issues like food, farming and public health.

Gates_smCarlye Gates, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project | (828) 236-1282 x121

Carlye Gates brings a decade of experience in community engagement, organizational development, and social research. Currently, she serves as the Research Assistant in the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP)’s Local Food Research Center where she evaluates the impact of ASAP’s internal programs and conducts research on the social, economic, and environmental impacts of local food systems. Prior to joining ASAP, she worked with Rural Support Partners, a social enterprise focused on strengthening organizations and developing collective impact networks throughout rural Appalachia. She has worked on food systems related issues in varying capacities throughout the country with a plethora of community groups and non-profit organizations. She holds a Masters degree in Public Affairs from Western Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Geography from the University of Florida. Carlye is particularly passionate about engaging diverse communities, building organizational capacity, and using research to strengthen social impact.


KnightGini Knight, Center for Environmental Farming Systems | (919) 515-5362

Gini brings more than a decade of project management and communications experience around agriculture, local food systems, and conservation topics. She holds a MS degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, started and managed an organic vegetable farm, facilitated several public and private sector teams developing urban and rural conservation practices, and currently works for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems on the Community Food Strategies (CFS) team. As part of the CFS team, she works on food council development and communications to help build a stronger NC local food economy.

PinerAbbey Piner, Center for Environmental Farming Systems | (919) 515-5362

Abbey has worked with non-profits at the intersection of food and community development for nearly 10 years in both Washington DC and NC. Abbey layered her experience in Public Health with a Masters Degree in Horticulture where she studied urban agriculture and community engaged design. Abbey began work with Center for Environmental Farming Systems in 2013 working to build community-based food systems across NC. She now coordinates the Community Food Strategies project at CEFS, with an aim to develop and network local food councils across NC to increase the capacity of local communities to influence food systems change.

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