Kelly Thompson, Executive Director

Kelly Thompson

Kelly joined Family House in September of 2023. She brings with her over 15 years of experience leading nonprofit organizations in community engagement and strategic planning—including 10 years with Ronald McDonald House Charities in central Illinois. She received her master’s degree from the University of Illinois and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri. Kelly also has several years of experience managing volunteer programs, including directing a civic engagement center at a university. She has two children in a house divided - a son who attends UNC and a daughter at NC State University. Her partner Ron, and her golden retriever, Summer, are her faithful hiking companions at Umstead State Park. An avid Carolina Hurricanes fan, Kelly also enjoys volunteering and traveling.

You can reach Kelly at

Martha Aldridge, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Martha Aldridge

Martha joined Family House to lead the Development Office in 2017. She was born and raised in Chapel Hill and graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina State University. She spent the past ten years in wealth management as a financial advisor to individuals, families, and non-profits. Prior to that, Martha worked as a development director for a large non-profit in the Triangle. Martha lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys running and baking.

You can reach Martha at or 919.932.8003.

Claudette Whitted, Operations Manager

Claudette Whitted

Claudette first came to Family House in May of 2016, after working with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools for more than 16 years. She has lived in Chapel Hill for 20 years and counting. Claudette earned an AAS in Early Childhood Education from Wake Technical Community College. She has two children, Devin and Mikayla, and in her free time likes to watch movies, spend time with family and friends, and meet new people.

Connect with Claudette at or 919.932.8008.

Georgie Clemens, Director of Volunteer Services

Georgie Clemens

Georgie joined us in March 2020 as a Volunteer Services Manager. She grew up in New Braunfels, Texas and earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology from UT-Austin, later completing a second Bachelor’s in Education from Iowa State University. After working as a middle school teacher in California, she and her family moved to Chapel Hill where she served as Director of Youth Ministry at St. Thomas More Catholic Church for 20 years, working directly with teens and families. She then felt called to Family House to further her passion of working toward a greater good. Georgie and her husband Chris have five children and enjoy naps, movies, and Tar Heel sports!

Connect with Georgie at or 919.932.8009.

Kathy Yasui-Der, Guest Services Associate

Kathy Yasui-Der

Before coming to Family House, Kathy was an elementary school teacher in California, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Born and raised in southern California, she earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from UCLA and her master's degree in education from California State University at Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, reading, and traveling the world.

Connect with Kathy at or 919.932.8004.

John Piekielniak, Facilities Director

John Piekielniak

John has more than 20 years of experience in facilities maintenance and project management, and his contributions to Family House - indoor and out - contribute to the health, safety, and comfort of our guests each day. He attended Aiken Technical College and Augusta Technical Institute where he pursued coursework in HVAC/refrigeration and ornamental horticulture. John is a proud military veteran, having served in the Army National Guard as a forward communications operator. In his free time, he enjoys fishing and riding his motorcycle.  

Contact John at

Susan Anderson, Evening House Manager

Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson comes to us after a long history of management at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Susan managed large and small staffs at the bookstore, auxiliary services, and printing.  During her more than 30 years in Chapel Hill, Susan volunteered at the Interfaith Council managing and serving meals and serving on the board, and she actively volunteers at St. Thomas More Catholic Community.  Susan is a lifetime Tarheels fan and especially loves basketball. 

You can connect with Susan at

Neal Morris, Part-Time House Manager

Neal Morris

Neal joined Family House in July 2022. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After working for over a decade at UNC’s Center for Faculty Excellence, where he helped teachers make websites and other materials for their classes, Neal stayed home full-time to care for his two young children. He likes getting to know the guests at the Family House and to help them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. Neal also loves spending time with his family, reading, running, napping, and good conversation.

Rachel Derby, Weekend House Manager

Rachel Derby

Rachel joined us in November 2023. She earned her Bachelor of the Liberal Arts at Southern Virginia University, studying English and history specifically. She was born and raised in New York before moving to North Carolina right before Highschool. Since graduation, she has been studying neuroscience and linguistics by herself. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and spending time with her friends and family.

Mercedes Lester, Houskeeping Supervisor

Mercedes Lester

Mercedes was born and raised in El Salvador where she was a practicing Operating Room Nurse.  Prior to joining Family House she studied at Wake Tech and was a preschool and kindergarten teacher. She currently lives in Chapel Hill with her husband.  She loves to cook, shop, and spend time with her friends and family. In addition to keeping the House spotless, you can often find Mercedes lending an extra hand to our guests and acting as one of our go-to Spanish interpreters.

Lori Matteson, Marketing Associate

Lori Matteson

Lori Matteson joined SECU Family House in April 2022.  Growing up in Orlando, she headed to the University of Florida for her postsecondary education in Business and Marketing.  After 17 years of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development in the corporate world, she focused on family and volunteer work before beginning her second career in the nonprofit arena - most recently as a Mental Health Advocate and Marketing Communications Specialist with a Raleigh nonprofit. Lori loves the outdoors, reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and spending time with loved ones.

Lori can be reached at

Shelley Cobb, Finance Associate

Shelley Cobb

Shelley joined us in December 2021 as Finance Associate. She was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and earned a Finance degree from the University of Oregon. After working as an Executive Director for the Portland VA Research Foundation for the last 19 years, Shelley moved to follow her family and first grandchild to North Carolina. She lives in Hillsborough with her husband Ted, and overweight cat.  Shelley enjoys spending time with her daughter Ashley, and her son Zach. Shelley especially loves spending time with her granddaughter Ava. Shelley and Ted enjoy golfing and traveling.

Shelley can be reached at

Lauren Howard, Human Resources Manager

Lauren Howard

Lauren joined Family House as the HR Manager in June of 2023. Originally from Chicago, Lauren lived for several years in Denver, CO, where she worked as an employment attorney and HR manager of a local restaurant group. She finally escaped the cold and landed in beautiful Chatham County, NC, where she lives with her partner and their assortment of rescue pets. In her free time, Lauren enjoys cooking, gardening, DIY projects, and being outside.   

Liz Cheney, Annual Giving Manager

Liz Cheney

Liz joined Family house in June of 2022 as the Volunteer Services Assistant. She previously worked in Parent and Alumni Engagement for her alma Mater Connecticut College and for two co-educational boarding and day schools in Massachusetts. Liz is passionate about her work and is energized by the incredible people she meets managing volunteers. Born and raised in New England, Liz earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Connecticut College in 1992. She lives in Carrboro, NC with her husband Tim and dog Barkley. Liz enjoys walking on the beach, baking, exploring, watching basketball and spending as much time as possible with her adult children Izzy and Peter.

You can reach Liz at or 919.932.8092

Tim Forst, Assistant Facilities Manager

Tim Forst

Some might call Tim a true Renaissance man.  Teacher, Artist, and talented in building and repairing items, he graduated from Pitt”, ie University of Pittsburgh, teaching 1st and 4th graders for several years. After moving to Virginia, he worked for a manufacturing company in tech support and engineering for 15 years.  A self-taught builder of digital x-ray machines, he traveled all over the US, installing these machines in Indian Reservations. He has been fixing and building things since he was in high school. After moving to North Carolina in 2012, he tapped those skills to start his own construction company. Tim joined Family House in November of 2022. In his spare time, Time enjoys wood working, camping, gardening and hunting and fishing. 

Lee Ann Thomas, Development Coordinator

Lee Ann Thomas

Lee Ann joined Family House in April of 2023. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science in Human Nutrition and Foods and from the Physician Assistant Program at Wake Forest University Bowman Gray School of Medicine.  She spent the past nine years as the Executive Director of the Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation in Jacksonville, NC.  Lee Ann is married to her husband George and they have 3 grown daughters.  Lee Ann loves spending time outdoors gardening and hiking, spending time with her family, reading and volunteering in her community. 

Lee Ann can be reached at or 919.932.8005 

Hayley Hardwick, Development Assistant

Hayley Hardwick

Hayley joined the Family House in July 2023.  Originally from Austin, TX, she earned her Bachelor’s in Public Health at Texas A&M University.  Hayley considers herself a jack of all trades, having dabbled in jobs for a few different industries, but her favorite (thus far) was her role in resource development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area.  In 2020, she realized she’d had enough long, hot summers and moved north to find snow.  Hayley lives in Durham with her partner and pets and enjoys trying new restaurants, hiking, and reading. 

Joseph Solomon, Volunteer Services Assistant

Joseph Solomon

Joseph joined the Family House in October 2023. He was born and raised in North Carolina, and now lives in Chapel Hill while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Human Development and Family Sciences. Outside of school, Joseph enjoys exploring the world, hiking, stargazing and dabbles in photography.  

He can be reached at or 919.932.8010