CEF Executive Director
Donna Carrington, She/Her
Executive Director Full-Time
Donna leads both the Chapel Hill and Durham geographies, working with staff, Advocates, Members, and the Board of Directors. She stewards organizational vision and growth for all of CEF. Donna supports both offices in developing partnerships to secure housing justice and financial security for all Members. Donna’s passions are music, Jeopardy, Mahjong, and cooking shows.
Joe Katusich, He/Him
Member Services & Program Manager Full-Time
Joe is the Member Services and Programs Manager and primarily focuses on supporting CEF’s program staff in Durham and Chapel Hill, as well as guiding program strategy. With a large background in community service and civic engagement, Joe’s connection to CEF’s mission and values runs deep. After receiving a degree in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, he served two years as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Boston before launching into a non-profit career in Boston. That is where he discovered his passion for fostering beloved communities through empathy, equity and empowerment. In his free time, you can find him checking out the local trails on foot or on his mountain bike, cooking, kayaking, and spending time with friends and family. Decades from now, when Joe retires, you will find him in a rustic cabin in the wilderness surrounded by his loved ones, dogs, good food, and all the books and movies he can get his hands on.
Durham County Team
Jada McLeod, She/Her
Advocate Program Coordinator Full-Time
Jada is the Advocate Program Coordinator for CEF’s Durham office where she is in charge of recruiting, training, and managing Advocates. Additionally, she facilitates two Advocate leadership teams, provides in-office support to Advocates and Members, and serves as the co-lead of her office. She aims to create a place of learning, growth, and joy for all who enter our space. Jada recently graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill where she studied public policy and political science. She was once an Advocate and summer intern in CEF’s Chapel Hill office. Her combined experiences of working with Members and her academic study of systems of oppression have driven her commitment to social justice work. In her free time, Jada enjoys cooking, reading, music, and being creative.
Heeya Sen, She/Her
Office & Community Organizer Full-Time
Heeya is the Office and Community Organizer at CEF’s Durham office where she welcomes Members and Advocates into the office. She is in charge of making sure the office runs smoothly as well as coordinating community advocacy efforts outside of individual meetings. Her goals are to create more opportunities for Members to know each other and work together in shaping their community. Heeya recently graduated from Duke University and has lived in the Triangle since she was 6 years old, so she sees her work as a labor of love for her hometown. When she’s not at CEF, Heeya enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her greatest strengths are her optimism and creativity, and she is always looking for new ways to serve her community more effectively.
Leah Whitehead, She/Her
Member Services Coordinator Full-Time
Leah coordinates Member Services in our Durham office. She is passionate about working collectively to support the resiliency of her community and believes wholeheartedly that ALL people are creative, resourceful, and whole. In her free time, Leah enjoys being in nature with her given and chosen family (especially her dog, Sandy), participating in dance parties, being creative, riding motorcycles, and reading books that remind her that the world is full of possibility.
Orange County Team
Yvette Mathews, She/Her
Office and Community Organizer Full-Time
Yvette is the captain of the ship in the Chapel Hill office, leading the front of the house including reception, welcoming, and administration. Yvette also leads community advocacy efforts in Chapel Hill and is the creator and director of the CEF Advocacy Choir! Yvette is the first face many Members and Advocates see when they enter the office, and effectively ensures that everyone who walks through the door is cared for and leaves happy (and keeps CEF’s Office Agreements!).
Imanie Williams, She/Her
Member Services Coordinator Full-Time
Imanie is the Member Services Coordinator in CEF’s Chapel Hill office, stewarding all Orange Community Hub partnerships, resources, and service systems implemented to best serve CEF Members. In her 24 years of living, Imanie has sustained an immense amount of passion as it pertains to community curation. During her time at Delaware State University, she assumed many student leadership roles, and also became the founder of the service initiative, “#EveryBodyEats”. She has spent time as a case manager, providing direct support services to community members in Durham, NC. Imanie believes that the emancipation of one’s community begins with the sovereignty of one’s self. Thus this became the impetus for her passion, which would later translate to her purpose; She is here to serve others. Imanie knew that the first step of overcoming hardship was to obtain a growth mindset. Therefore, it was then that she vowed to seek refuge in her education, experiences, and exposure forever, for she knew that it was her greatest chance of justice to her people. In her free time, Imanie enjoys spending time with her partner and loved ones, cuddles with her fur babies, good music, and even better food!
Tyler Haugle, He/Him
Advocate Program Coordinator Full-Time
Tyler supports the Advocate program in our Chapel Hill office where he oversees recruitment, training, and ongoing support for our volunteer Advocates. He also provides training and assistance for various Chapel Hill student leadership teams, such as the Advocate Training Team, the Outreach Team, and our Member-Advocate Coordination (MAC) Team. Tyler works closely with these teams to best support Members and Advocates in their work together and ensure our Advocates receive top-quality training and deliver top-quality support. His favorite part of the job has been learning from the wisdom of Members who are willing to share their stories with him. He’s thankful to be a part of this incredibly creative, resourceful, and kind community of Members, Staff, and Advocates. In his free time, he likes to walk in nature, spend time with loved ones, cook, dissect the music theory behind pop songs, and watch (maybe too much) YouTube.
Sydney Pender, She/Her
Staff Support Part-Time
Sydney engages with Members, staff, and Advocates at the Chapel Hill office as part-time Staff Support. She also ensures new Members have a smooth and welcoming transition into our organization by serving as a New Member Orientation Intake Specialist. Prior to entering this role, Sydney had experience at the Chapel Hill office as a volunteer Advocate and full-time summer intern. During her time outside of the office, she enjoys playing with her four-legged son (named Buck), listening to music, indulging in the virtual world of TikTok, trying new foods around the Triangle, and spending quality time with loved ones. She finds joy in the world around her and is known for her contagious laugh!
Kristin Henry, They/Them/Theirs
MSW Intern Part-Time
Kristin is the UNC Master of Social Work intern in Chapel Hill, supporting volunteer Advocates and Members during office hours, engaging with various CEF projects, and collaborating on teaching the Tools for Financial Coaching & Economic Justice social work class. They have recently worked as a coordinator with Communities in Partnership on food access and community health teams, as well as volunteered with the R.N. Harris Elementary PTA and Partnership Effort to Advance Children’s Health. Previously, they planned and coordinated national campaigns for documentary films on social and environmental issues. Kristin has two children and enjoys spending time on trails and in the water.
Development & Finance Team
Steven Horton, He/Him
Bookkeeper & Administrative Assistant for Development & Finance Full-Time
Steven was recruited to help out with bookkeeping after a short stint as an Advocate. What he loves most about CEF is the belief that is the foundation of the Member-Advocate relationship: that everyone is creative, resourceful, and whole. Steven has a background in sustainable agriculture and food access. He is passionate about growing the personal and financial freedom of people who are presently or have historically been denied that freedom. In his spare time he enjoys travel, surf fishing, cooking and eating, political and legal podcasts/discussions, and playing video games. He currently lives in Carrboro with his wife, Robin, and daughter, Ada.