Food is Love Campaign

Our Team

Richard Armenia

Executive Director

Richard "Rich" Armenia is a compassionate advocate, dedicated to fighting world hunger and serving others. With extensive experience in leading and serving on projects in over ten different countries, he has gained invaluable knowledge and expertise in addressing this global issue. Growing up in upstate New York, Richard's strong sense of community and passion for making a difference led him to spend five years combating hunger with Rise Against Hunger. He has also contributed to waste reduction and sustainability efforts as a member of the advisory board for the Wipe Out Waste program, and worked directly with the homeless populations through Lighthouse Ministries in Western New York. In his spare time, Richard enjoys world travel, motorcycles and spending time with family and friends. You can contact him at [email protected].

Christine Thomasos

Communications Manager

Christine is an accomplished communications manager with over 15 years of experience in content marketing strategy and creation. With a talent for developing content across multiple channels, including digital, print, broadcast, and marketing platforms, she is a true expert in her field. Christine has an extensive skillset that includes roles such as a multimedia journalist, copywriter, copyeditor, video producer and editor, graphic designer, and web designer, making her a swiss-army knife of content specialists. Originally from New York, Christine is a Charlotte transplant who is passionate about using her gifts and experience to work alongside people doing great things in the Queen City. You can contact her at [email protected].

Katerina Bozhinova

Administrative Assistant

Katerina is an expert in relationship building, administration, and research in the social impact space. She has helped various nonprofits and small businesses with partnership development, research, content creation, and fundraising. She is passionate about reducing food waste and has written articles about sustainable food and agriculture for FoodTank. Katerina holds an MSc in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich, with a specialization in Environmental Policy and Agricultural Land-Use. In her free time, she can be found hiking, reading, spending time with her husband, dog, and cat, and thrift shopping. You can contact her at [email protected].

Board of Directors

Raj Merchant


Raj has lived in Charlotte since 2015 but has roots in the Carolinas (Greenville SC and Greensboro NC).  By day, Raj works as a Director at Grant Thornton. Raj’s interest in tackling food waste was born out of his experience as an EMBA student at UNC Chapel Hill, during which time he spent three months working on a consulting project for F4A ( F4A is a Luxembourg-based startup that has developed a technology solution to help supermarkets reduce food waste by applying dynamic pricing to expiring (but still safe to eat) food. As part of this project, Raj learned just how massive the food waste problem is, especially in the US.

Raj is passionate about supporting the Charlotte community and especially its nonprofit ecosystem. As a Partner at Social Venture Partners Charlotte, Raj has served on SVP’s Investment Committee, Revenue Diversification Committee, and SEED20 Steering Committee.  Raj is also SVP’s Lead Partner for its relationship/investment with Families Forward Charlotte. Raj recently joined the Board of Directors at HELPS Education Fund based in Raleigh. Finally, Raj actively volunteers with Apparo to provide technology and project management expertise to local nonprofits including The Independence Fund.

Raj holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He also completed Duke University’s Nonprofit Management Certificate.  Raj lives in the Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte with his wife, Leigh Ann, and their one year-old, Thomas.

Paul Reinfeld


Paul is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. Moved to the U.S in 1997 to pursue a career in Hospitality and has called Charlotte, NC his home since 2010. Paul has a degree in Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management from Johnson & Wales University. Prior to his current role as Director of Dining for Compass Group North America, Paul worked and oversaw a number of foodservice operations at renowned hotels, private restaurants and universities across Florida, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, South Carolina and North Carolina. Paul is married, has 2 boys, and a daily run is his favorite type of therapy.

Shelley Miller


Shelley is a CPA and worked 4 years in public accounting (audit), 9 years for LendingTree as Assistant Controller and 7 years part time for Peak 10 (now Flexential) as Manager of External Reporting then as a consultant. She has stayed home since 2015 doing some bookkeeping on the side for friends who own businesses and has also been Treasurer for both St Gabes PTO and Holy Trinity PTO (2019-2021).  She has 3 daughters – Lauren (17), Jordyn (14) and Madison (12).

Shelley is currently the bookkeeper for Feeding Charlotte and has worked diligently to keep our finances in order.

Betty Alexander


Betty was born and raised in Mecklenburg County and raised her two daughters in the greater Charlotte area. She also has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Betty worked at Presbyterian Hospital in environmental services and was a manager overseeing several departments, including child care. She started her own business doing commercial cleaning and currently cares for seniors in her community. She is an Elder at Faith Liberation Community Christian Church and oversees the hospitality program. Betty has a passion for making sure people’s basic needs are met, especially food and clothing.

Neil Bloomfield


Neil is a member of Moore & Van Allen PLLC where he co-heads the Financial Regulatory Advice and Response practice group.  He also serves as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law.  Neil believes in giving back to the community.  In addition to his work with Feeding Charlotte, he has performed pro bono and volunteer work in the areas of domestic violence, veterans’ rights, and housing.  He is married to Dr. Hima Maramreddy and they have two daughters.

Amy Dong

Amy has been volunteering for Feeding Charlotte since November 2019. She is originally from Long Island, New York and ventured to Middlebury College in Vermont to get a degree in Americans Studies with a Minor in American Art History.
From there, she went to Wall Street to work at Goldman Sachs. While at Goldman Sachs, she volunteered at a New York City public school as a reading mentor. This led her to pursue her next adventure: The Peace Corps in Bangladesh, where she taught English, mentored young women and traveled across Southeast Asia.
After her 2.5 year stint in the Peace Corps, she moved to Arlington, VA to complete a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at George Mason University. For the next 6 years, she taught ESL and 1st grade in Title 1 Schools.
She has been married to her husband Gabe since 2010. They welcomed their son Henry in 2011, their daughter Ella in 2013 and their dog Charlie in 2018. She has been a stay at home parent for the last 10 years and actively volunteers at her children’s schools.
She loves cooking, baking, organizing and crafting. Helping her community has driven her to continually look for ways to give back in ways that are impactful – Feeding Charlotte fits the bill!

Linda Rakvic

Linda, a Pittsburgh native, moved to the area 7 years ago, having lived in 4 states and Switzerland. Linda became aware of food waste and a lack of good nutrition practices having worked as a nutrition consultant for Area Agencies on Aging, Meals on Wheels, school nutrition programs and food pantries. She holds a BA in Foods/Nutrition.
A postgraduate certificate from the US Chamber of Commerce in organizational management lead to a rewarding career as Executive Director for Chambers of Commerce.
Another door opened, and the years of working with non-profits and Linda’s positions of Rotary club president, Assistant District Governor and currently Rotary District Community Chair lead to a passion to give back.
Linda’s spare time draws her back to her epicurean roots as a personal chef and culinary instructor.  

Taylor Houston

Taylor is the Program Manager for fellow Charlotte non-profit Promising Pages. Taylor spent most of his 20’s and early 30’s pursuing an academic career. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociology, with a focus on race, class, and gender inequalities and became a college professor in 2015. However, he soon realized that academia was not his true passion. His research for and time spent with non-profit organizations was what brought him the most joy. In light of this realization, Taylor and his family picked up and moved halfway across the country to Charlotte to pursue a non-profit career. What makes Taylor most excited about Feed Charlotte’s mission is the organization’s focus on addressing both short term needs (e.g. hunger) and long-term social problems (e.g. climate change). In his spare time, Taylor loves hanging out with his two kids and wife, cooking, listening to punk rock, and skateboarding.