Mary Beth Loucks-Sorrell, Executive Director
Mary Beth Loucks-Sorrell is the Executive Director at YES! and brings a deep understanding of nonprofits and the important role they play in creating change in our communities. She has over 15 years of experience at the local, state and national levels in public policy, advocacy, anti-oppression training and facilitation; as well as capacity building and technical assistance to over 90 nonprofits, successful fundraising and outcomes development. Prior to consulting, Mary Beth served as the Capacity Building program officer for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. Her experience working first hand in a foundation applying an outcome framework, coupled with her consulting work with funders and networks of funders enables her to apply a unique and practical lens to the work at YES!.
Pam Diggs is the Director of Programs at Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) providing team management and development, and performance standards across all programs. Pam has more than 12 years of experience in public health policy, program development, and implementation. Her previous experience includes working in both state and local government to advance evidence-based tobacco control policies and lead youth and adults in creating healthier, safer, tobacco-free communities. Pam earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2003 and a Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior and Health Education from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health in 2007. She is passionate about equity and creating spaces that help assure conditions for optimal health and safety for all people. During her time at the NC Division of Public Health she led the Chronic Disease and Injury Section in establishing its Health Equity Community of Practice and developing standards of practice for equity across the organization. Pam is from Durham, NC and enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating at local spots in Durham and across North Carolina, and outdoor jogging.
David Dixon graduated from UNC-Charlotte in 2015 with degrees in History, Political Science and Africana Studies. He embraced such a variety of studies so that he could learn about his community and heritage in ways that aren’t commonly taught. Upon graduation he moved to Durham and began working with the North Carolina Democratic Party in Raleigh as their Compliance Associate. When he’s not at work, he is likely working with the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People serving as the Political Committee Vice Chair. He feels that his efforts there, in conjunction with the Durham County Democratic Party, will ultimately serve to uplift the Black community in Durham through building leaders and helping them engage in local politics. David lives his life by the hymn lyric “lifting as we climb”.
Emily Lockhart, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Emily Lockhart joined YES! in 2011 as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. Emily has more than 10 years of professional experience including fundraising, community relations and communications roles with corporate foundations and nonprofit organizations throughout North Carolina. She received her B.A. in Communications from North Carolina State University and has been active in volunteering and community improvement efforts in Raleigh ever since. She enjoys running, swimming, and traveling across North Carolina to visit family and friends.
Diana Manee-Buskirk, Program Coordinator, Real Food, Active Living Initiative
Diana Manee graduated in 2007 with her Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She worked previously as a Health and Wellness Trust Fund grantee out of Haywood County doing tobacco prevention work in six western counties in North Carolina. She is an active member in NCSOPHE and loves living in beautiful Western North Carolina with her family and her dogs Porter and Tucker.
Erica Marshall, Program Fellow, Real Food, Active Living Initiative
Erica Marshall graduated from Howard University’s School of Communications in 2015. Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Erica has served as a teen advocate at several local organizations that promote healthier living. She is passionate about comprehensive health education for young people. She previously served as a Facilitator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)-funded Collegiate Health Improvement Project and VillageHeartBEAT, a Health and wellness program for faith-based communities of color through Mecklenburg County’s Health Department. During her free time, she loves singing, Zumba, and spending time with her family.
Kaleia Martin, Program Coordinator, Environmental Justice
Kaleia Martin is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Master of Social Work degree. She has diverse experience working as a youth and peer mentor, a case manager for persons experiencing homelessness and as an organizational leader for a non-profit organization. Her passion lies in combatting issues around racial inequities and she firmly believes that the youth will be the ones who push everyone forward towards a more tolerant and just society. A Charlotte “transplant,” she loves spending time with loved ones, watching sports, and eating Chipotle.
Parrish Ravelli, Team Lead, Access to Health Care Initiative
Parrish Ravelli, a 2003 graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College, became involved in community development work in 2004 when serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Montana Prevention Resource Center. Following this, Parrish worked in community business as a buyer for Tidal Creek Cooperative Market. Since 2006, Parrish has been working in the field of youth empowerment in a variety of settings: tobacco use prevention, municipalities and youth councils, and most recently health care. Parrish co-authored papers such as “Youth Empowerment: The Theory and Its Implementation” and “School-Based Health Centers and the Intersection of Youth Empowerment and Health Care” and continues to work directly with youth staff at YES!.
Katie Spears Warner, Team Lead, Real Food, Active Living Initiative
Katie Spears Warner is a Co-Founder of Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!), and the Team Lead for the Real Food and Active Living initiative at YES!, that works to change policies, systems and environments that impact adolescent health, increase access to healthy food and active living, and decrease the childhood obesity epidemic. Katie has 11+ years of nonprofit experience with expertise in training development and implementation, consulting and grassroots advocacy, childhood obesity prevention and youth empowerment. Katie currently serves on the Executive Committee for the North Carolina Alliance for Health (NCAH), and co-chair of the NCAH’s Obesity Committee that works to impact state-level policy. Katie holds a B.A. in physical education and health/community health from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a M.A. in health education and promotion from East Carolina University. Katie is located in the Northern Virginia region where she is working to expand the reach and impact of Youth Empowered Solutions, spending time exploring the NOVA/D.C. area, hiking western VA, working out and checking out concerts!