Who We Are, Why We Care

The OAKS Initiative non-profit organization is made up of an executive director, board of directors, volunteers and partners.  This team of people and organizations share a passion for building and strengthening our community through equipping community members with skills to obtain new or better jobs.

Our Team

executive director

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Tim Epling

After 30 years in retail grocery management and real estate sales throughout the Southeast, Tim desired to contribute his experiences and skills to local community development and the local church. He’s found a home doing so in Fuquay-Varina, NC. Tim believes that by building partnerships among government, schools, businesses, non-profits and churches, a community can then maximize its full potential. Based on this, it’s his desire to be a catalyst for change and community transformation in the Quay and beyond. He’s married to his high school sweetheart and they have 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren.

 

Board Members

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Craig hagood

Craig serves as founder and president of the OAKS Initiative. Craig and his wife Kelly, based on a desire to make a difference for others who need grace and a second chance, started OAKS Initiative with a vision to impact their community for good. Craig has worked at House-Autry Mills in Four Oaks, NC since 2001 serving in various roles prior to assuming role of president and CEO in 2010. He serves on the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, The Welcome Mission Board, Board of Directors of North American Millers Association and Chairman’s Advisory Council of Grocery Manufacturers Association. Craig has an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Food Science and a Masters in Agribusiness from Kansas State University. Craig and Kelly have three adult children, two of whom are married, and two grandchildren.

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Kelly Hagood

As the co-founder of the OAKS Initiative, Kelly is passionate about grace and second chances. Her marriage to Craig is an example of the redemptive power of forgiveness and second chances (yes, there is a story there!). Kelly is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. After working 20 years in manufacturing and quality management, she felt called to step away from her job as an independent quality systems auditor and commit herself full time to volunteering in ministry and following God’s call to help others. In addition to her role with the OAKS Initiative, she also currently serves on staff at Connect Church in Fuquay-Varina. She also serves as Board Chairman for The Welcome Mission, a local nonprofit organization serving women in need of help. In addition to their three adult children and two grandchildren, Kelly and Craig also have two dogs, and five backyard chickens.

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Jack Adams

Jack Adams has over 40 years of Textile Manufacturing experience and currently serves as President of Manufacturing for the P&A Group, of which he was one of the original cofounders in 2006. In addition to his manufacturing responsibilities, Jack also heads up P&A's Foundation and leads a small church called The Gathering which meets at the plant site in Roxboro, NC. He serves on the boards of two non-profits and is an active member of the Kiwanis. Jack has a passion for helping the less privileged children of Person County and directs much of his foundation efforts for that cause. Jack and his high school sweetheart Bonnie have been married for 44 years; they have 3 children & 6 grandchildren who keep them very busy. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Elon College and received an MBA from Averett University.

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Boomer Brown

Boomer is a husband, dad, granddad, friend, God lover and people builder. His life, work, and ministry experiences have shaped his calling and he lives his calling every day in the workplace. Being an executive in businesses, educational organizations, non-profits, and ministries since 1982, Boomer has worked extensively in building organizations based on Christian values and guiding the implementation of these values by creating caring company cultures. The results are increased ROI and EROI (Eternal Return on Investment). He continues doing this today by inspiring business leaders. Boomer has a Ph.D. from Augsburg Seminary at St. Paul, MN, a M.Div.BL. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX and a B.A. in Religion, from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, NC

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Tyler Caroll

Tyler began his professional career in law enforcement, where he developed a passion for serving his city. Through this season, he was exposed first-hand to just how desperately communities, families, and individuals need help and hope. Convinced that God was opening a new door, Tyler left law enforcement to follow his passion for the local church. He now serves as the Discipleship Pastor at Journey Church in Raleigh. In this role, he is still is able to serve the city, but now the focus is seeing the Kingdom of God come on earth in the lives of the people of our city. Tyler resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, daughter, and their two dogs.

 
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Richard Grudzinski

Born in Kinston NC, Richard spent his later childhood in Atchison, Kansas - a town made famous by Amelia Earhart, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, and being one of the most haunted places in the United States. After high school Richard returned to NC and began working in the construction industry as a boiler maker, welder and iron worker. He is currently employed with the City of Raleigh in Engineering Inspection and has been there since 2005. As an active member of Connect Church, Richard and his wife Kimberly, enjoy serving in multiple areas. He teases about leading the “Uncompassionate Ministries” for the church, but it’s clear he is working to live as an example of a servant’s heart. Serving with Connect Church has led to his involvement with OAKS Initiative where he has led or supported all of the jobs skills trainings that have been offered to date.

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Carrie Gower

Carrie has over 20 years of experience as an IT application specialist, manager and director in the high tech and pharmaceutical industries where she champions the principles of servant leadership. A California native, Carrie, her husband Bryan and their two children relocated to Holly Springs, North Carolina in 2011. While in California, she and Bryan were founders and board members of Crosstown Coffeehouse and Community Center, a non-profit focused on serving and building community in Alameda, CA. Now passionate about making a positive impact on community here in Wake and Johnston counties, Carrie joined the board of the OAKS Initiative, serves on the board of Riverside Ranch based in Clayton and actively serves at her church in Cary.

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Leroy Reshard

Leroy worked for over 27 years in professional sales and business development with 3M Company.  Since retirement, his focus has been on sales training, consulting and sales coaching.  Leroy is an active community volunteer with the Rotary Club of Fuquay-Varina, currently serving as President. As a volunteer at Lincoln Heights Elementary School over the last several years, he helps under-performing students improve their behavior and academics in reading, math and communication skills.  Leroy is married with two adult daughters and two grandsons.


To find out more about our partnerships with other organizations in the greater Raleigh and southwest Wake County areas or to become a new partner with us click here