Donna Pygott

Executive Director

Donna Pygott brings more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in executive leadership, fiscal management, and operational strategy. Ms. Pygott is a strengths-based leader with extensive knowledge in balancing programs with a sound and sustainable infrastructure. Her success comes from her ability to unify staff, volunteers, teams, and board members around a common goal: to make a difference in people’s lives. Prior to accepting the Executive Director position at North Raleigh Ministries, Ms. Pygott served as Vice President/CFO for Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina where she oversaw all aspects of operations as well as program development, grants and contracts, resource development. Ms. Pygott holds an accounting degree, which she applies to organization budgeting and fiscal management to ensure viable service delivery. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and two dogs, entertains friends, volunteers, and enjoys traveling.


Eleonore MacLean

Crisis Center Manager

Eleonore volunteered at North Raleigh Ministries in the Crisis Center and Food Pantry for several years prior to joining the NRM Staff. She loves working with the neighbors and keeping things organized and clean. Eleonore moved to Raleigh, NC from California in 1984 and is married with one daughter and two granddaughters. She attends St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Her favorite Scripture is: "Whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31.

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Jenny Kearney

Operations Manager

Jennifer has a diverse professional background which provides her with a variety of skills that support her role as operations manager. Her earlier experience includes software tester, small business owner, communications consultant, and website developer. In 2014, she discovered a passion for nonprofits, joining Triangle Aphasia Project Unlimited as office manager. Jenny loves blending her experience and skill set with her innate desire to create order from chaos to benefit her community.

Jenny holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from  University of Mary Washington. She loves spending time with family & friends, doing anything outdoors, or reading a good book. Jenny lives in Raleigh with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs.

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Michael Olesen

Thrift Shoppe Manager

Michael Olesen is a retail manager by trade and most recently worked for Lowes Home Improvement as a department manager. He also worked in management at other large retail stores such as Home Depot and World Market where he established his abilities to develop retail operations for efficiency and profitability. After leaving his 7-year career as a store manager and committee member for Goodwill of Central Arizona, Michael moved to Raleigh to be closer to family. In addition to retail management, Michael is a regular outdoors-man who enjoys camping, mountain bike riding and other outdoor sports. Most recently, helped to open and develop the TROSA thrift store in Durham, N.C. Currently, he resides in Cary with his daughters, Margot and Maryanne.

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Kara Gravinese

Volunteer & Ministry Services Manager

Kara Gravinese is a non-profit professional with over ten years of experience in faith-based organizations working towards effective poverty alleviation. She is passionate about transforming local and global communities through developing leaders and growing programs. Most recently Kara worked for The Sheepfold, a Christian domestic violence shelter managing intake and donor relations. She previously led ministries in the inner-city, Mexico and Haiti for Mariners Church in Orange County, California. She attends Church on Morgan with her husband and likes exploring the local Raleigh food scene, hiking and enjoying life with her dog.

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Zach Palmer

Thrift Shoppe Manager

Zach is originally from Asheville, NC but grew up in Raleigh. He started volunteering at North Raleigh Ministries in 2014 and currently serves as a Thrift Shoppe Manager. Zach attends NC State University where he is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and working on cars. Zach loves working with people and serving the community.

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