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].

Suzanne D’Alonzo

Program Director

Suzanne D’Alonzo comes to Feeding Charlotte as a sincere community advocate. She has worked in a number of nonprofit animal sheltering organizations in DC, PA, TN, and NC over the past 2 decades. She was instrumental in developing Adopters Welcome while at The Humane Society of the United States. This approach for social change in companion animal adoptions shifted her focus from animal sheltering into community outreach and support. Suzanne initiated and expanded community support programs at each of the organizations she has served. Her work with pet food pantries in Reading and Lancaster, PA, and right here in Charlotte provided her with a strong foundation of knowledge for what works to connect people with what they need. She knows that offering truly accessible resources sets a community up for success. She’s a Clark University graduate, spends time cycling, gardening, and hiking with her family, and delights in working with her Charlotte neighbors to build a stronger community. You can contact her at [email protected].

Jordyn Scott

2024 Intern

Jordyn Scott brings a fervent dedication to civic engagement as she joins Feeding Charlotte as a summer intern. As a rising Junior at Davidson College, she is pursuing dual majors in Political Science and Africana Studies on the Pre-Law Track. Her passion for legal advocacy is matched by her commitment to advancing social justice, especially in addressing issues of race, gender, and class inequality.  Jordyn’s ultimate goal is to contribute to ending food insecurity, driven by her belief that everyone deserves a meal. When she returns home to New Jersey, she often dedicates her time to volunteering at Philabundance, the largest non-profit food bank serving the greater Philadelphia area. There, she collaborates with over 350 community partners to distribute food, reduce food waste, and increase access to nutritious food. Jordyn’s experiences inform her understanding of the complexities surrounding food insecurity and strengthen her desire to make a difference in her community. Through her internship at Feeding Charlotte, she aims to utilize her academic background and hands-on experience to meaningfully contribute to the mission of Feeding Charlotte. In her spare time, Jordyn enjoys soaking up the sun at the beach, cheering on all of Philadelphia’s sports teams, and spending time with her friends and family. 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 (https://f4a.com/). 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.

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.

Georg Benzinger


Georg is an award-winning chef whose impressive array of experience includes luxury hotels, executive dining for FORTUNE 500 companies as well as healthcare. In his current role he is the System Chef for Atrium Healthcare in Charlotte NC, Atrium-Navicent in Macon GA and Floyd in Rome GA. A talented innovator, he loves to create new food concepts and to develop his team.

Georg began his culinary career as Chef Tournant at the Harvard Club in New York City and as Banquet Chef at the city’s famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

His professional work also includes Chef Garde Manger of Peacock Alley Restaurant; Executive Chef of Panache Catering; District Executive Chef, TIAA-CREF; and Executive Chef at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, all in New York City.

Georg is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He keeps in shape through triathlon sports, skiing, and marathons. He gives back to his community by participating in poverty alleviation through food drives with his local parish and feeding the communities neediest residents at Inter-Faith Council for Social Service and most recently as a board member at Feeding Charlotte.

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!

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.

Mark Logan


Mark has worked in restaurants, bars, and events for 20 years, now working as a hospitality consultant to improve the guest experience at local fine-dining spots across the Carolinas.  Sustainability and equity are top values.

He is active in justice-oriented work relating to food security and inclusion. He studied acting in New York City and has close ties with the Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder at Caldwell Presbyterian. He loves to see theatre, rock ‘n roll concerts, eat any and all scrumptious food, and knows no stranger. 

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.  

Sam Sanders


Sam has grown up in the Charlotte community where he now lives with his wife and three young children.  He is a partner at RSM US LLP where he provides tax and advisory services to large and mid-sizzed businesses across multiple industries.  Sam has extensive experience helping business, organizations, and investors forecast, plan, and strive towards strategic objectives involving finance, accounting, and tax.  Sam currently serves on the finance committee for Feeding Charlotte and supports the organization as it maintains its finances and accounting records.  In his free time he enjoys, volunteering in the Charlotte community; the Blue Ridge Mountains; and coaching soccer for this three children.