Staff and Consultants

Amber Smith, Executive Director
Activating Good since 2005

Amber has lived in North Carolina for the majority of her life and is currently a resident of Raleigh. Amber founded Activate Good in 2005 (then known as ME3) when she noticed that people seemed to want to get involved to help the community but were not sure how to get started, and that many causes could benefit from the help of more volunteers. Before Activate Good she volunteered with organizations such as Kiwanis, Hope for the Homeless, and Amnesty International. She completed a Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at N.C. State University where she also advised undergraduates in the Nonprofit Studies Minor. Amber hopes all individuals will see the potential they have to make a difference, and act to fulfill that potential.

Rose Thompson, Volunteer Programs Manager
Activating Good since 2013

Prior to moving to the Raleigh area in 2008 & to becoming a stay-at-home mom to her three amazing kids, Rose gained extensive work experience in the nonprofit world and was able to serve diverse populations. She directed programs for a Volunteer Center in Wisconsin, managed a New York state pregnancy prevention initiative which provides case management to at-risk youth, received her Family Development Credential from Cornell University, recruited and matched volunteer mentors & youth for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Georgia, and directed camps for the YMCA in Asheville, NC. Rose also taught Communications in Greenville, South Carolina after she earned her B.A. in Secondary Education English from Clemson University. She and her family are happy to have planted roots here and are active in the community. Since 2013 she has dedicated her combined work experience and talents to the role of Volunteer Programs Manager with Activate Good and enjoys connecting volunteers to serve the many worthy nonprofits and schools in need that Activate Good is partnered with.

Krystal Hare, Corporate Engagement Manager
Activating Good since 2016

Originally from Pennsylvania, Krystal earned her B.A. in Communications, and a Public and Professional Writing Certificate focusing on nonprofits and small business – both from the University of Pittsburgh. Growing up, she had ties to North Carolina, but finally made the move to the coast when she and her now-husband joined forces and moved to Swansboro (Onslow County) in 2012-13. Together with their growing fur-family, they moved to Raleigh in 2015, where Krystal serendipitously connected with Activate Good through the YNPN’s Triangle chapter and AmeriCorps. She joined the team at the end of her AmeriCorps contract in 2016, becoming Activate Good’s first Youth Programs Coordinator full-time. Through that position, she also worked closely with Activate Good’s Corporate Engagement, supporting the planning and day-of logistics for corporate projects and events. In November 2018, she officially transitioned into the new role of Corporate Engagement Manager. Other past professional experiences include marketing and public relations, journalism and publishing, and higher education administration. When not working, Krystal can be found hiking with her dog and husband, adventuring to a new place, reading with her cats (or otherwise learning something new), cooking, or tending to her 20 houseplants. She’s excited for what her future in Raleigh and at Activate Good has in store for her.

Emily McDaniel, Youth Programs Coordinator
Activating Good since 2017

Emily McDaniel is a graduate of North Carolina State University where she majored in Political Science with minors in Nonprofit Studies and Sociology. She is a lifelong resident of North Carolina where she grew up in Carthage, NC and later moved to Raleigh. In her spare time, she enjoys taking in the wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her canine sidekick, Boomer, and exploring old back roads snapping pictures of forgotten buildings. She loves spending time with family and friends and traveling whenever possible. Professionally, Emily has experience in volunteer management, fundraising, community outreach, and event planning. She first joined Activate Good in 2017 as an intern and later assisted with youth programs and fundraising. Currently, Emily is our Youth Coordinator and is focused on empowering the leaders of tomorrow to explore how kindness and volunteering can unite all people.

Natalie Chevalier, Operations Coordinator
Activating Good since 2017

Natalie grew up in Raleigh and lived in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains for several years while earning her BA in International Studies from UNC-Asheville and MPA from Western Carolina. She moved back to town in the summer of 2017 with one fantastic partner, two trouble-making cats, and probably “too many” books. Natalie has worked on projects with organizations dedicated to a wide range of causes, such as connecting marginalized communities to sustainable career pathways, building cyber education programs in Haiti and rural Guatemala, empowering young social entrepreneurs, and facilitating productive conversations about race. She’s excited to jump right into impactful projects with Activate Good! When not working, Natalie is likely to be cooking or crafting something inspired by Pinterest, rewatching The Office for the 300th time, or yelling at her cat to get off the counter.

Activate Good Board of Directors

Charlie Chrisawn, Chairman
Activating Good since 2009

Charlie Chrisawn has lived in Raleigh all his life. He is a graduate from Davidson College, where he was active in volunteering through his fraternity. He is currently employed by Health Decisions, a pharmaceutical research company in Chapel Hill. Charlie brings some fundraising experience to the Board, and has enjoyed both hands-on and administrative volunteer service in his past. Charlie likes the quote, “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.”

James Jolley, Vice Chairman
Activating Good since 2015

James grew up near Shelby, NC but has called Raleigh home since 2008. He is an attorney and is an associate at Smith Anderson in downtown Raleigh, where he works with the corporate, merger and acquisitions, and public companies groups. James attended UNC for undergrad and law school and also has a Masters in Education from Wake Forest University. Before attending UNC Law, James was a high school social studies teacher in Wake County, and helped pilot one of the first classes under what would become Activate Schools. During law school and as an attorney, James’s volunteer efforts have focused primarily on meeting unmet legal needs through his own pro bono work and in encouraging and supporting other attorneys as they do their part to help those who need legal assistance. James is excited to be part of the board of Activate Good and sees it as a means of encouraging, supporting, and celebrating the strong culture of volunteering in the Triangle.

Blake L. Michael, Treasurer
Activating Good since 2016

Blake has called Durham home since 2015, but first moved to the Triangle in 2004. A North Carolinian through and through, Blake hails from the small town of Lexington. Reared on a diet of barbecue and college basketball, he left home to earn his BS in Business Administration, and later MBA, from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Blake works in commercial real estate finance, and currently serves as a Senior Associate with Rialto Capital Management’s Raleigh office. Volunteerism was an integral component of Blake’s upbringing, working with organizations including Boy Scouts of America, Habitat for Humanity, and UNC’s Dance Marathon. He is eager to leverage his past experiences and the tireless dedication of the Activate Good team to maximize volunteering throughout the Triangle community.

Chirag Bhangale, Volunteer Community Outreach Chair, Wake County
Activating Good since 2016

Chirag was born and raised in Jalgaon, India and much of his family still lives there. He received his degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai and later his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Chirag moved to the Triangle area in 2013 and when he found Activate Good he instantly fell in love with the organization.  Inspired by his father, Chirag believes in this crazy idea that we must help others without expecting anything in return, so volunteering comes naturally to him. Through Activate Good, he has organized volunteering projects for a variety of causes to help nonprofits achieve common goals. During the summer of 2018, Chirag moved to Nova Scotia and since then he has been volunteering with Activate Good remotely to support their website.  In his free time he enjoys working out, reading about astronomy, and watching Star Trek.

Morgan Lang, Marketing Chair
Activating Good since 2018

Morgan was born and raised in the Triangle, and recently returned home in 2017 after a six year stint in Wilmington for college and work. Her passion for reintegrating with the Raleigh community through volunteerism led her to Activate Good, which connected her with nonprofits like Raleigh City Farm and Redress Raleigh, where she is currently the logistics committee chair. Morgan graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2014 with bachelors’ degrees in communication studies and French. She is the account services manager at Sweeney, a full-service marketing agency with offices in Cleveland, Wilmington and Raleigh. As one of Activate Good’s marketing co-chairs, Morgan is excited to put her experience in media relations to good use by continuing to generate awareness for the organization’s mission.

Bill Halvorsen, Fund Development Committee
Activating Good since 2018

Bill Halvorsen is a Solution Architect at Cisco, father of 3 daughters, and a world traveler. Raised in Northern California, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1989. He served 8 years and participated in several military operations around the globe. He has been at Cisco for 20 years and a resident of the Triangle for 22 years.
The Marine Corps was his first experience at volunteerism (sometimes not so much a volunteer as ordered!) but he experienced some of his greatest joys in helping and lifting up communities around the world. While his girls were growing up, Bill was a parent leader of a Wake County 4H club and the Wake County 4H Horse Council President for 2 years. The Wake County 4H horse program had over 16 clubs and 400 4H youth enrolled. Since his early career in the Marine Corps and through his professional career at Cisco, Bill has been a strong advocate of both volunteering as well as mentoring. When not traveling in support global customers, he helps with Activate Good’s fundraising efforts and community programs.

Richard Averitte, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

Richard is a North Carolina native with deep roots in Raleigh. He believes community service is essential and has partnered professionally and personally with a number of nonprofits, including Me Fine Foundation, A Note In The Pocket, A Place At The Table, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Women’s Center of Wake County, and more. Richard has volunteered with Activate Good for years and looks forward to applying his nonprofit board experience to the Activate Good board. Richard serves as Vice-President of Marketing for Twickenham Holdings, LLC, the Papa Murphy’s Pizza franchisee for the Raleigh, Wilmington, Knoxville, TN and Birmingham and Huntsville, AL areas. He currently resides in Raleigh with his wife Lisa and two children Lucy and Felix.

Kim Curry, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

Kim comes from a military background.  Her father was in the U.S Air Force, mother in the Royal Air Force and she eventually joined the Air Force herself for 4 years.  She has lived many places during her life.  She is currently a residential real estate agent at Integrity Realty Team.  When she is not working and assisting clients, she loves to travel and volunteer in the community.  Kim is excited to be a member of the Activate Good board as it gives her an opportunity to be involved and spread the word about Activate Good and all the amazing things they are doing in the community.

Sarah Kahn, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

Sarah is a rogue librarian turned UX designer/researcher. She’s built and led communities like Girl Develop It and Refresh the Triangle. She has over 10 years of experience working with users to create fun, easy to use software at companies like Intel and Deutsche Bank. She currently leads the Digital Experience team at Blue Acorn iCi. She has volunteered with Activate Good for the past few years and loves the organization.

Sara Riek, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

Sara has spent most of her life in North Carolina; she grew up in Charlotte, went to school at Elon University, and now resides in Durham. After college, Sara received her Master’s degree from Xavier University in Secondary Education. Sara’s day job is teaching Social Studies at The Expedition School in Hillsborough, but she finds as much time to volunteer in the local community as possible. In her spare time, Sara loves traveling, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

Helen Stefanidis, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

With a varied career that encompasses marketing, design, recruitment, strategic planning, and project management, utilizing both her business and art degrees, Helen has worked with corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutions in New York City, Washington, DC, Greece, and is now happy to add North Carolina to that list. As a recent transplant, Helen has quickly acclimated to life in the Triangle by getting involved in professional organizations and volunteer work. She has not only volunteered with Activate Good, but also with the North Carolina Museum of Art (where she is currently the manager of volunteer and community experience), Dress for Success, The North Carolina Arboretum, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Rotarians Against Hunger, and Raleigh March for Science. Helen is very excited to be integral part of Activate Good’s mission, future, and expansion.

Michael Del Tufo, Board Member
Activating Good

Michael was born and raised in Maryland. He graduated with a B.S. in Communications from Syracuse University. A few years after graduating, Michael moved to New York City to begin a 25 year career in the music business. He was an Account Executive at RCA Records, Warner Bros Records, Sony Music, and Universal Music. He has worked with many music artists that you have heard of and thousands you haven’t. While living in New York, Michael began to mentor and volunteer within the local community. He and his family moved to Raleigh in 2011 with the goal of giving more back to the community and making a difference in the nonprofit space. Since retiring in 2018, Michael has become directly involved with so many of the inspiring nonprofits in the Triangle area, including Band Together, A Place at the Table, SPCA, Art of Cool, Scrap Exchange, and Museum of Durham History. Through Activate Good, he will bring his expertise in fundraising, community development, and team building to support the entire nonprofit community in the Triangle area and beyond.

Hope Mcfarland, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

Hope lives her life according to the bible verse and philosophy of Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much is required”. Raised in Johnston County, Hope’s parents instilled the importance of sharing her gifts, talents, and time to serve others. As a former pageant queen she continues to use her platform “The Power of HOPE: Helping Ordinary People Everyday”, as a catalyst to drive her passion for benevolence and volunteerism. Hope has a robust track record of volunteer service with various nonprofits in the Triangle and Triad areas. She has volunteered with Activate Good in various capacities for the past 7 years. She has a true heart for service in her community. Hope is an active member of the Junior League of Raleigh serving as a Membership Development Committee leader and on the Government Relations and Public Affairs Committee. Residing in the Brier Creek area, Hope is a certified public speaker/facilitator and a private chef. Outside of her career and volunteer work Hope enjoys exploring new restaurants, travelling, spending time with family, entertaining in her home, church, creating new keto recipes, karaoke, and copious amounts of time shopping on Amazon.

Montica Talmadge, Board Member
Activating Good since 2019

Montica has called Raleigh, NC home since she and her family relocated here in July of 1994. She attended Millbrook High School where the community service bug hit her when she and the Women’s Basketball Team was paying a visit to the Ronald McDonald House during her senior year. Visiting with the families and the children there had a profound impact on her. She understood the joy that a small act of kindness could bring to the life of a stranger. Upon graduation, she began her collegiate career at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. She was attracted to the history of activism that A&T boasts and the expectation that the student body follow suit. Illness brought her back to NC State and while in student activities there, she participated in the then Annual Service Raleigh city-wide service day that was held each year. It was during that time that she decided that her calling was to be in the service of others. Professionally, Montica is a Regional Coordinator for the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network where she uses her skills in building relationships and communicating with Law Enforcement, District Attorneys, and Community Partners to support families and friends who have been affected by homicide. In her spare time, she spends time with her family and friends, she is a HUGE college football and basketball fan, and loves to cook and bake. She is active with St. Matthew Baptist Church and with her Order of the Eastern Star Chapter.


Thank you to all of our past and present Activate Good volunteers for all that you do.

  • Nicholas Turza, past Board Chairman, Activate Good
  • Darcie Smith, past Fund Development Board Member, Activate Good
  • Richard Bobholz, past Fund Development Board Member, Activate Good
  • Sam Itin, past Marketing Co-Chair, Activate Good
  • Michelle Pendergrass
  • Samantha Sharp
  • Victor Eduardo
  • Hao Luong
  • Cheryl Herrington
  • Jennifer Tse
  • Alexa Kelly
  • Virginia Bloise
  • Laura Moreschi
  • Susie Shi
  • Marissa Sheldon
  • Aubrey Hine
  • Jaycee Arnette
  • Crystal Agnew
  • Cyndy Yu-Robinson
  • Tom Zajkowski
  • Jen DeNeal
  • Keith Morris
  • Janelle Vadnais
  • Stacy Bromley
  • Margo Scott
  • Sandi Matthews
  • Marissa Bloomfield
  • Christin King
  • Tayler Rhoades
  • Megan Rodgers
  • Katherine Sipple
  • Corinne Wilder

And all of our amazing project leaders!

Open Board Positions!

Board Recruitment and Engagement Co-Chairs (Volunteer)
Board Treasurer (Volunteer)
Fund Development Board Members (Volunteer)