Rise Against Hunger Executive Leadership
Barry Mattson joined Rise Against Hunger at an important time as his expertise in non-profit operations and focus on global impact will be paramount to continuing the organization’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2 of achieving zero hunger. Barry has a strong commitment to serve in international hunger eradication. Barry worked to launch agriculture programs for people facing hunger in the southern highlands of Ethiopia. This experience impacted Barry’s personal commitment to end hunger immeasurably. In order to best support community members in Ethiopia, Barry lived and worked alongside them and learned the local languages.
Prior to joining Rise Against Hunger, Barry most recently served as Vice President, Regional Operations for The Mission Continues, where his responsibilities included leading a diverse staff and running operations for 56 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Additionally, he has over a decade of extensive experience in capacity building, international supply chain management, agribusiness, civic engagement, and donor stewardship. Barry also served combat deployments in both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army in Iraq.
Barry holds a BS in Biology from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in International Development and International Security Studies from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He lives with his family in Raleigh, NC.
Travis Huckaba joined Rise Against Hunger in 2013 and has been a committed and constant ally in the fight against the injustice of food insecurity. Throughout his tenure with Rise Against Hunger, Travis has worked to maximize the organization’s resources and build a financial foundation for operational success. As Chief Financial Officer, Travis ensures the continuation of the organization’s financial strength and brings people, financial processes and resources together to achieve the organization’s mission. With a strong passion for the vision of a world without hunger, Travis says he is inspired daily by his coworkers and the champions they work with every day. He’s been particularly driven by his visits with Rise Against Hunger’s partners ORPHANetwork in Nicaragua and Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus in Belize, where he had the opportunity to connect with the people in communities Rise Against Hunger serves.
Travis holds culinary and management degrees from Johnson and Wales University, and an MBA from University of Phoenix. He’s a longtime member of the Raleigh chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants, and is credentialed as a Certified Management Accountant and Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis. He is also a true North Carolina native, primarily born and raised in the greater Raleigh area. He lives with his wife, two daughters and dogs in Wake Forest. Travis loves spending his time away at the beach or camping, is an NC State fan and can often be found playing guitar, woodworking, enjoying live music or cooking.
Edna Ogwangi is the Chief Programs Officer for Rise Against Hunger. She leads Rise Against Hunger’s development around strategic efforts in advancing food security, humanitarian relief response and resilience pathways. Edna also spearheads initiatives pertaining to measuring effectiveness, impact and sustainability of all Rise Against Hunger programs globally.
Ogwangi is a native of Kenya has worked in the international development field for more than 25 years with experience in areas of economic development, food and nutrition security and non-profit management. Over the course of her career, Ogwangi has managed and/or supported several US Federal Government-United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Bill and Melinda Gates programs in more than 100 countries. In 2017, Ms. Ogwangi was featured in several U.S magazines including Upscale, People, Reader’s Digest and USA Today and Modern Woman Magazines as one of the Four Inspirational Modern Women.
In April, 2018, Edna was featured in the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper for her efforts to revitalize agriculture and food security in Haiti. She also received the award of “Exceptional Women of Excellence,” at the 2018 Annual Women Economic Forum, for her contribution to international development and humanitarian landscape, with special emphasis on empowerment, inclusiveness and inspiration among women and children. Her passion is to alleviate hunger, create food security spaces among underprivileged and vulnerable populations; and empower women to thrive in their communities. Edna holds a Bachelors in Agricultural Economics and a Masters in International Development and Administration from Andrew University, Michigan.
Rick Kearney has been with Rise Against Hunger since 2007. Bringing a background of banking, teaching, ministry and missions, Rick has applied his diverse skills and experiences in various roles within Rise Against Hunger. Beginning as a Community Engagement Manager in Eastern North Carolina, Rick launched Rise Against Hunger’s second meal packaging location and subsequently worked in logistics, distribution, operations and community engagement. Rick is currently the Chief Operating Officer, working with the organization’s supply chain, operations, process improvement and community engagement teams. Rick strongly believes that passion may draw a person to Rise Against Hunger, but purpose and fulfillment will sustain them. Rick graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration. Rick lives in Kinston, NC, with his wife, Susan, and son, Samuel.
Amy Lewis is a dynamic and results-oriented business professional with over 20 years of experience in human resources management, business operations and non-profit leadership. Working her way through college in the hospitality and retail industries, Amy gained operations and people management experience and ultimately migrated into her chosen field of human resource management. Since then, Amy has built a solid infrastructure of systems, processes, and programs for both non-profit and for-profit businesses where HR was broken or nonexistent. Amy has served as a strategic business partner using creative synergies to successfully lead and influence teams to achieve business results. A strategic thinker and excellent presenter with strong, proven problem-solving and project management skills, she has developed and enhanced HR programs and services across the spectrum of HR. Amy’s extensive financial management experience, full-cycle talent management, benefit plan design, compensation plan management, and technology system knowledge has made her an important contributor to the business’s success. Described as a natural leader who has an incredible ability to get things done, personable and passionate, Amy seeks out opportunities to improve business processes and systems.
Amy has an enormous passion for giving back to the community and has been actively involved in Raleigh-Wake Human Resource Management Association since 1997 serving over 10 years in a variety of leadership roles on the Board of Directors, including Chapter President. Amy has built membership and event management systems, strategic planning, designing and deploying website solutions and non-dues revenue generating programs and conferences. Amy was recognized for her extraordinary leadership with the Robert F McClain award in 2005 and was inducted into the NC HR Hall of Fame in 2016. Amy also enjoys time with family and friends, cooking, traveling, gardening and home improvement projects.
Along with a deep tenure at Rise Against Hunger, Jolynn Berk has nearly 30 years of marketing, advertising, brand, development and communications experience – across corporate, nonprofit and agency sectors. Throughout her career, she has a proven track record in building and leading teams to strategic, integrated solutions and consistently improved performance outcomes. Jolynn has led strategic campaign development, including total rebrand and product launches, for Fortune 500 companies, as well as the largest privately held company in the U.S.
At Rise Against Hunger, Jolynn oversees our Marketing & Communications portfolio and is responsible for developing, leading and executing marketing, communications and brand strategy to further our mission. Her primary contributions focus on further building our global brand proposition and driving contributed revenue through collaboration and support of our meal packaging business, donor fundraising and awareness initiatives. In addition to making a difference for those facing hunger around the world, Jolynn also has a passion for creating corporate and nonprofit partnerships – and developed the original strategy for Rise Against Hunger’s cause marketing model. A proud moment in her career was working alongside Kraft Heinz brand managers to engage a completely new audience of potential donors in the global hunger movement through a cause marketing campaign launched in Times Square.
Jolynn holds both a B.S. in Management and MBA from Friends University. She is a Certified Agency Account Manager, and has won professional awards from American Advertising Federation, Business Marketing Association Pro-Comm, Archive, Professional Pilot, Air Transport World and Hermes. A mom to three adult children, Jolynn empty nests with her husband George and Chloe the Yorkie in a Dallas burb.
Troy Robinson joined Rise Against Hunger as Chief Development Officer in May 2020. In his role, he oversees the formulation and implementation of Rise Against Hunger’s development strategy, manages the annual fundraising portfolio and engages individual, foundation and corporate supporters.
With over 25 years of senior-level experience in development within the non-profit sector, Troy has a rich background in building business strategies and leading initiatives with innovative approaches to establish profitable fundraising campaigns. He has extensive experience in donor relations, major gifts, fundraising activities and strategic planning. Prior to joining the Rise Against Hunger team, Troy most recently served as Chief Development Officer of the organization Camp Fire. He has also served in fundraising roles for Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Holy Family Foundation, Youth Villages Inc. and Playworks Inc. Troy has a passion for advocacy and action, developing a strong track record throughout his career of creating resources and building relationships at all levels of government, industry and society to increase awareness and inspire individual and collective action.
Troy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications from Kent State University. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has served on the boards of several organizations, including Holy Family Foundation, Kyle Wilson Scholarship Fund and Urban Impact.
Rise Against Hunger Board of Directors
As Real Estate Community Development Manager, Jessica heads Community Development strategy and execution for Google’s Real Estate Development team, specifically the Downtown San Jose Mixed-Use Project. She’s responsible for ensuring that the community’s voice, needs, and concerns are heard, addressed, and reflected in the design plans for the real estate project, which will include not only office space, but also housing, retail shops, open park spaces, and more.
Prior to this new role with Google, Jessica spent 8 years at Cisco Systems in several roles leading Diversity & Inclusion, Community Relations and employee volunteerism, and global philanthropy. Jessica also spent nearly a decade working with education-focused nonprofit organizations committed to closing the opportunity gap for low-income students and school communities. An AmeriCorps alum, she’s passionate about servant leadership and people-centered innovation. The daughter of a preacher and a teacher, it has always been her desire to serve and lead from a place of inclusion.
Jessica earned dual B.A. degrees in English and Spanish from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, a Master’s in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and an Executive Master in Policy Leadership from Georgetown University. Recently relocated from Washington D.C., Jessica is a Cali girl at heart and is coming home to her extended family who reside throughout the Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys traveling (24 countries and counting), hiking, live music, and volunteering on the boards of Rise Against Hunger, a global hunger-relief organization, and Adventure Girlz, a sports-leadership program for Black girls. Jessica lives in San Jose, CA with Lenox, a “giant” Yorkie.
Gregory Belt is the Founder & CEO of EverGrain, which produces healthy and sustainable ingredients from barley in a circular way. Prior to his current role, Greg led AB-InBev’s global sustainability program and the creation of their 2025 sustainability goals. Greg has over 20 years of experience in innovation and supply chain across large corporations and start-ups. Greg graduated from Allegheny College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. Greg currently resides in St. Louis with his wife Katherine and three children, Henry, Owen and Caroline.
Swati Patel is an Executive Director in Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services practice. As a member of this group, she serves as a trusted business advisor for her client C-suites. Swati has over 15 years of progressive business experience in assurance and business advisory services applying US& CDN GAAP. She spent two years in the company’s national practice on an internal initiative as the key lead and project manager. Swati has very strong delivery and project management capabilities along with her technical competencies.
Ravila Gupta has over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles, currently serving as the President and CEO of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development. Prior to CED, Ravila was with Umicore, USA for nine years, first as its Legal Counsel and then as its President, beginning in 2011. Ravila also worked as a process/environmental engineer at government agencies and companies that included Tyco Electronics and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. She began her career as an attorney at Ogletree Deakins, in Raleigh. A 26 year resident of North Carolina, Ravila is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serving on its Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, and for a year on its Executive Committee. In addition to serving on our board, she is also a board member of the Nature Conservancy (NC Chapter), the National Association of CEOs, and the Duke University School of Nursing. Ravila has worked closely with entrepreneurial founders in the healthcare sector, providing guidance, mentorship, and business advice. Ravila graduated from McGill University with a Bachelors and Masters in Chemical Engineering and earned her Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University.
Bart Norman is a partner at Smith Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina, and focuses his law practice on mergers and acquisitions and loan transactions for public and private companies and lenders. He has a BA from North Carolina State University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently is a member of Smith Anderson’s management committee and lawyer development committee, and is co-chair of the commercial team. Previously, he was on the board of directors of Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County, 1979), where he was also the board secretary and chair of the governance committee, he was a member of the board of directors of Staff of Hope, a nonprofit focused on water and education in East Africa, and he was an elder and finance committee chair at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. Bart and his wife, Cate, and their two sons, live in Cary, North Carolina, and currently attend White Memorial Presbyterian Church, where Cate is an associate pastor.
Imam Antepli completed his basic training and education in his native Turkey. From 1996-2003 he worked on a variety of faith-based humanitarian and relief projects in Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia with the Association of Social and Economic Solidarity with Pacific Countries. He is the founder and executive board member of the Association of College Muslim Chaplains (ACMC) and a board member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA). From 2003 to 2005 he served as the first Muslim chaplain at Wesleyan University. He then moved to Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, where he was the associate director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program & Interfaith Relations, as well as an adjunct faculty member.
He previously served as Duke University first Muslim chaplain from July 2008 to 2014. In his current work at Duke, Antepli engages students, faculty, and staff across and beyond campus through seminars, panels, and other avenues to provide a Muslim voice and perspective to the discussions of faith, spirituality, social justice and more. Imam Antepli also serves as a faculty member in the Duke Divinity School, teaching a variety of courses on Islam and Muslim cultures.
Jonathan Ireland is vice president and chief financial
officer – commercial at United. In this role, Jonathan works closely with the airline’s commercial and IT teams to provide financial planning and analytical support with a profit-driven focus while also overseeing United’s investor relations department.
Jonathan has deep financial and leadership experience. He most recently served as managing director of investor relations where he oversaw all of United’s financial results communications, and managed relationships with United’s investors, analysts and credit rating agencies. He has also held positions in financial analysis and corporate budgeting.
He joined United in 2008 as an analyst in financial planning. Before joining United, Jonathan was a credit manager based in Guadalajara, Mexico for Opportunity International, a microfinance non-profit.
Jonathan was named Best IR Professional in Institutional Investor magazine’s 2016 All-America Executive Team. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Augustana College and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He currently leads United’s MBA and undergrad campus recruiting for the financial planning and analysis organizations.
Amanda Young is the Vice President of Quality, Product Development and Consumer Affairs for Sazerac where she has the responsibility for delivering product innovations and assuring quality standards are achieved across major spirits brands. A Columbus, Ohio native, Amanda has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University. She has over 25 years of experience in R&D and Quality Assurance roles across the U.S. and internationally with Procter & Gamble, The Kraft Heinz Company and Sazerac. Amanda currently resides in Louisville, KY, with her husband Kane Doerfler, and their three children, Jake, Claire and Sam.
Ray Buchanan: A vision to end world hunger
In 1998, envisioning a world without hunger, Ray Buchanan — a United Methodist minister — founded Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now). After enlisting as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War, Ray Buchanan quickly recognized that accomplishing a mission required “commitment to something larger than yourself.” Over the past three decades, that principle has driven Ray’s mission to eradicate world hunger.
As a divinity graduate student at Duke University, Ray began working with the poor and hungry. He continued that work at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his master’s degree in divinity, and as a pastor at five rural United Methodist churches in Virginia. As a pastor, Ray joined the effort to assist Ethiopians who were suffering during the country’s 1973-75 famine.
Driving Ray’s hunger work is the recognition that “ending hunger is more than just feeding people.” So Rise Against Hunger “focuses its feeding programs in areas where we can see transformational development,” he says.
Ray embodies the ideal of a servant leader. And he understands that volunteers and organizations working together can build a global movement that will stimulate the political will to marshal the resources that are essential — and available — to eradicate hunger.
Rise Against Hunger has realized positive, annual growth mainly through expansion of the meal packaging program into new communities. Rise Against Hunger continues to further Ray’s legacy of commitment both to domestic and international crisis response including relief from famine, natural and manmade disasters and health epidemics.