CommunityWorx Staff Leadership

We believe communities built on equity and collaboration enable youth to reach their full potential.


Barbara Jessie-Black



Barbara is a “Military Brat” (once a “Brat” always a “Brat), who was born in Berlin, Germany, where she lived until age 16. She received her BBA from Augusta University in Augusta, GA, and received her MBA from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. Barbara is passionate about nonprofit work and became co-founder of a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to search for innovative ways to achieve socio-economic equalities in communities through holistic and entrepreneurship based education, to include education in “21st Century Jobs” technology and the STEM model. She is active in both the communities in which she lives and works by serving on several boards and volunteering her time to causes close to her heart, which include workforce and economic development; access to health care; issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as other issues in the social justice space. Barbara considers herself a “life-long student” of all things holistic and spiritual, with emphasis on how those concepts influence one’s activism. She is fluent in German, a yoga enthusiast, and includes in her spiritual practice daily meditation and annual silent retreats. Barbara has been a part of the team since 2004.  


Erik Valera

Chief Operating Officer


Erik has an extensive background providing capacity-building assistance with nonprofit and government organizations. He has the tools and expertise to strengthen youth-focused nonprofits. Erik is highly regarded as a trainer and coach in areas such as nonprofit management, community engagement, strategic planning and board development. He believes in paving a path for emerging leaders and developing equitable organizations. Erik earned a BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations and Organizational Communication from California State University, Los Angeles. Erik joined the team in August of 2019. 


Valecia Jones

VP of Operations


Valecia is a single mother of an amazing daughter and two beautiful grandchildren. As a native of Chapel Hill and a product of the Chapel Hill Carrboro City School district, she has been a part of the team since graduating from high school in 1981. With a passion for service and people, Valecia brings a wealth of knowledge, creativity and compassion to her work. 


Charles de Bose

VP of Assets and Infrastructure


Charles came to work with the organization after a nine-year career in the mini-storage industry, where he managed two local storage properties with combined annual revenues exceeding $1.8 million. Before that, he spent many years in printing and publishing. Charles earned a B.A. in Economics from UNC-Chapel Hill and has a Master’s in Information Science from N.C. Central University. He is an Army veteran whose hobbies include furniture repair and restoration. He also enjoys playing the guitar and piano. Charles has been a part of the team since 2013.


Heather Smith

Finance Manager


An avid “thrifter” who enjoys gardening, running and upcycling, Heather moved to the area from Illinois in 2006. Her prior retail management experience at two locally owned businesses, TWIG and The Red Hen, as well as her accounting experience has made her a wonderful addition to the team as the organization’s Finance Manager. Heather is looking forward to completing her degree in accounting at Durham Tech in spring of 2020 and has been a part of the team since the fall of 2018. 

CommunityWorx Board of Directors

John Perry

Board Chair
Fidelity Bank

Libbie Hough

Vice Board Chair
Orange County Public Library

Joel Levy

Joel I. Levy, CPA, MST, PFS, CGMA

Dawn Edgerton

Past Board Chair
Edgerton Data Consulting

Maureen Berner

Board Member
UNC Chapel Hill-School of Government

Richard Harrill

Board Member
UNC-Campus Y

Raul E. Herrera

Board Member
New American Funding

Kevin Hicks

Board Member
Triangle Bikeworks

Jaclyn Krohn

Board Member
Durham Technical Community College-Hillsborough Campus

David Morgan

Board Member
Triangle Real Estate Services, LLC

Carolyn Naseer

Board Member
My Change Agent

Robert “Bob” Saunders

Board Member
Brooks Pierce

CommunityWorx Managers

Tony Williams

Store Manager

Curtis Sutton

Receiving Lead

Virginia Davis

Processing Lead

Zaria Clark

Retail Lead

Grace Acciarito

Processing Lead

Karen Neville

Store Manager

Employment Opportunities

If you’re looking to change the world, we’re looking for employees with big ideas, bright minds and an eagerness to grow professionally and personally.