50 women voting on how we spend $100,000

DFJ Executive Board


Cary is married to her biggest encourager Rob and Mom to Ashlin and Carver who attend Apex High School. Cary grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC and has lived most of her adult life in Raleigh. She’s a Clemson Tiger at heart where she attended early in college, but graduated from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. Cary’s faith and international mission experience working with women’s artisan co-ops in Central America and Africa inspired the birth of Designed For Joy. She's a serial entrepreneur and has founded small several businesses around creating community for women in the Raleigh area. Cary’s a big believer in encouraging women to pursue their passion.

A native New Yorker, Kristen is a city girl who is most comfortable among skyscrapers, concrete sidewalks, and lots of people. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, textiles is her love language. After working at Liz Claiborne for years, she moved to San Diego and ran logistics at Eagle Creek, a leading outdoor travel gear company. Her NC State alum husband Shawn convinced her to move back East and now Raleigh is her happily ever after. Proud parents to three kids; Jack & Stella who both attend High School at Wake Christian Academy and Eli who attends Vernon Malone High School. Adoption holds a special place in Kristen's heart, and they are blessed to have adopted one of their children from Kazakhstan. Serving women locally through Designed For Joy, as well as internationally through mission trips, gives Kristen the opportunity to be the church that Jesus calls us to be.  
Karen is originally from Pittsburgh, PA but has called Holly Springs, NC home for the past 25 years. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing and Decision Sciences from Miami University of Ohio. She also completed her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh. For 23 years, Karen held a variety of sales, marketing and leadership positions at Merck & Co. After leaving Merck to spend more time with her family, she shifted her energies to giving back to the community. Karen led the Family Association Board at Cardinal Gibbons High School for 2 years and has volunteered with several Raleigh based nonprofit organizations before discovering her true JOY at Designed For Joy! Karen also volunteers with the national Colorectal Cancer Alliance, an organization near & dear to her post her colon cancer diagnosis & treatment in 2020/2021. She enjoys spending time with her husband Brian, a small business owner in Apex, her two adult sons, Kevin and Craig, as well as their 14 year old dog Freddie. She values time with friends and planning new adventures. She loves traveling, especially to the beach and new places, as well as cooking, working out, playing Pickleball (a new to her sport) and the Carolina Hurricanes!

Angela has called the Triangle-area home for almost 30 years. She and her husband, Tim, live in Apex and have three children: Brandon, a first-year law student; Joshua, a student at Wake Tech; and Mia, a seventh-grader. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Angela worked in corporate and marketing communications at SAS for 11 years. As a stay-at-home mom, she became involved with several non-profits, including International Justice Mission (IJM) where she is currently the team leader for the IJM Raleigh Volunteer Team. Angela is passionate about advocating for those that society often overlooks - both internationally and right here in her community.

Sherika has called Raleigh, NC home for 12 years. She is a nurse by profession and by nature. She attended the University of South Florida where she studied nursing and public health. She has worked with various nonprofit organizations for over 10 years. Her passion is women’s and children’s health. Being of service is in her DNA. Advocating, educating and empowering are a few of the guideposts she lives by. Sherika enjoys her family, bike riding and sunshine (as a native Floridian).
Heather grew up in Michigan and spent most of her adult years working post grad school in Boston, MA. Her and her husband relocated down to NC 4 years ago and live in Holly Springs with their daughter Amelia. After graduating from Central Michigan University, Heather went on to secure her juris doctorate at New England Law and worked as an attorney in real estate, insurance defense, and M+A for private firms in the Greater Boston area. Realizing billable hours were not for her, she took an in-house position with American Tower (NYSE:AMT) which would lead to a 20 year career in telecommunications focused on legal operations, sales, innovation and strategy. Heather currently leads strategic efforts for Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI) and is responsible for growth, expansion and partnerships nationally. She also serves on a non-profit board in the wireless industry that is focused on advocacy and cultivating relationships between the wireless industry and the local communities they serve. Heather loves spending time outdoors with her family and their dog Miles and welcomes any opportunity to shop!
Rebecca S. Ayers, PhD Rebecca has enjoyed the peak of good living in Apex for the last 18 years. She moved to Apex with her husband Chris after finishing graduate school. In her day job, Rebecca serves as the HR Strategy Program Manager for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. HR Strategy provides federal agencies consulting services across a broad range of strategic human capital areas and OPM's software-as-a-service performance management system, USA Performance®. Rebecca has facilitated and worked with both public and nonprofit organizations to identify organizational goals, develop strategic plans, and implement performance management systems. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Raleigh after 10 years of active membership, serving in a variety of volunteer positions from team member to president. Rebecca and Chris have been active in Hope Community Church as small group leaders and through Global Hope India, leading short term mission trips to India. All her volunteer and nonprofit work center around helping women and children. For fun she enjoys running and playing soccer and traveling the world with her favorite travel partner, Chris.
Stacie is originally from Boone, North Carolina and has called Raleigh home since 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University with a double major; Philosophy/Religion and Sociology with a minor in business. While a student, Stacie had various leadership roles and has continued her passion for Appalachian, serving on various committees and currently on the Foundation Board. Stacie works for State Employees’ Credit Union, serving as Senior Executive Vice President – Chief Lending Officer. She has been active member of the JLR since 2013, serving in various roles including Treasurer and Executive Vice President. In addition, she currently serves on the board for StepUp Ministries. She enjoys traveling, reading, needlepointing, and spending time with friends.
Kim Robinson
Kim was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. In 1999 she took a leap of faith and moved to North Carolina, calling Holly Springs home, ever since. After high school, Kim went on to earn her license as an (RDA) Registered Dental Assistant and continues her career within the oral health industry today. After years of working within private dental practices, she has spent the past 10 years at Blue Cross NC where she is a Principal Program Manager. Over the years Kim has looked for ways to give back to the community. As a volunteer she has thrived at being a fundraiser, event planner, and overall champion for each cause she supports. In 2017 Kim traveled to Belize with The Vine Effect to support women in need. While the experience in Belize was beyond meaningful, Kim felt she was being led to give back locally. That mission trip led her to Designed for Joy. Kim's passion for DFJ shines through as she spreads the word about the artisans, the products they create and the JOY she finds in being a part of such an impactful organization. Kim and her husband Michael have an amazing, blended family with four kids. With children ranging from 13-30, they stay busy. When Kim is not riding along with her husband and their youngest at the golf course, she loves gardening (overall plant lover) and planning her next DFJ porch party! 
Paul Baccellieri
Paul is originally from Akron, OH but has called North Carolina home for most of the last 25 years. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance & Accounting. He also has an MBA in Finance from the University of Dayton. After 30 years in the Cable TV industry working for Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications in various Finance & Accounting leadership roles, Paul and his wife Nadine retired to Holly Springs, NC in 2019. Paul and Nadine have become very active with their new neighborhood and have been able to pursue their joint passion for travel, volunteering and family time. Paul enjoys playing golf and pickleball. He is also very involved with the Ohio State Alumni Club of the Triangle, which enables him to spend time with fellow Buckeye fans on most football Saturdays. Paul's favorite activity will always be spending time with Nadine and their two adult daughters, Emma and Olivia.
Barbara Augustin
Barbara is an executive with over 15 years of experience leading operations. She has led multiple international engagements in the Middle East and Africa with the UN and Oxfam International. Barbara's international experience is paired with business acumen gained while working in the private sector for financial firms like JP Morgan Chase and BKF Asset Management. She has also worked in academia for universities like New York University, Duhok University, and The New School. As the current Chief People & Operating Officer at TechBridge, a technology nonprofit, she leads human resource management, marketing, and communications, programs, finance, legal, and compliance. Barbara holds a Masters in Public Administration from New York University and Bachelors of Arts from Hobart & William Smith Colleges. She is trilingual, enjoys cycling, brewing beer and is an avid traveler, having visited over 30 countries. Barbara is a member of Elevation Durham and currently lives with her husband and two children in Durham, N.C.
Abigail Roush
Abigail has loved calling Raleigh home since 2016, moving here after completing her undergrad at Winthrop University (BAs in Mathematics and Economics). She has worked in Investor Relations advisory since 2016 and is currently supporting product development for IR professionals. Abigail has been a part of Designed For Joy since it began in 2017, serving as the first volunteer at workshops at Sir Walter Apartments. Since then, she has volunteered at vendor events across the Triangle and beyond, brought groups of her S&P Global colleagues to the Studio to work in production, and currently serves on our Fundraising Committee and as President of the founding Designed For Joy Giving Circle. Abigail also volunteers regularly with the SPCA of Wake County and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, and supports several of DFJ's partners. She loves playing tourist in Raleigh, checking out events and restaurants across the Triangle, and is an avid reader, thrifter, and indoor cycle enthusiast.