North Raleigh Ministries

9650 Strickland Road, Suite 161
Raleigh NC 27615
Phone: (919)844-6676

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North Raleigh Ministries Staff 

Donna Pygott, Ministry 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. Ms. Pygott’s reward lies in the successes that magnify the mission and produce long-term results.

Prior to accepting the Ministry 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 and more. She previously served in assistant and executive director roles for various social services, child welfare and crime victim services organizations.

Ms. Pygott holds an accounting degree, which she applies to organization budgeting and fiscal management to ensure viable service delivery. In her free time, Ms. Pygott enjoys spending time with her family and two little dogs, entertains friends, volunteers, and enjoys traveling.

Eleonore MacLean, Crisis Center Manager


Eleonore has volunteered at North Raleigh Ministries in our Crisis Center & Food Pantry for several years. She loves working with the neighbors and keeping thing organized and clean.  Eleonore moved to NC from California over 28 years ago and is married with one daughter and 2 granddaughters.  She attends St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and her favorite Scripture is: "Whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31.


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 big 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 outdoorsman who enjoys camping, mountain bike riding and other outdoor sports.  He recently participated in the opening and development of the TROSA thrift store in Durham, N.C.  He currently resides in Cary with his daughters, Margot and Maryanne, his partner Connie and her daughter, Amelia.

Kara Gravinese, Volunteer Coordinator

Kara Gravinese is a non-profit professional with over eight years of experience in faith-based organizations in 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, and 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.

North Raleigh Ministries Board of Directors

Karen Schley

Nell Wagner

Derek Sox

Charles Breeding 

Hollis Bruton 

Liz David

Chris Stanley