Zack Wyatt – President/CEO

Zack Wyatt grew up in northern Virginia. His family were caretakers of a 300-acre, old dairy farm. His family had a large garden, pigs, horses, chickens, and he also worked on neighboring farms. After graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2003 with a degree in Business Administration, he worked in home mortgage lending and IT. Zack’s passion for bringing community together over food, his understanding of the importance of equitable food access, and his drive to improve local food systems led him to found Carolina Farm Trust in 2015. As the Executive Director of Carolina Farm Trust, Zack has produced two documentaries (The Farmer that Feeds Us series), and an annual music festival fundraiser called Carolina Jubilee. Zack lives in Cornelius with his wife and five children.

Nikki Hill Johnson – Director of Marketing

Nikki grew up in the suburbs of northern Virginia where she spent most of her time outside collecting bugs and frogs while playing soccer and rollerblading. She took her “social butterfly” skills to college where she majored in sociology and upon graduating worked in the Marketing Department of AOL for Broadband (remember that?!). It was there she experienced real boots-on-the-ground marketing from booths at the US Open to marketing at live concerts (and meeting Kenny Chesney!). After the birth of her first child, Nikki took her marketing knowledge to social media and grew her own personal brand along with managing many clients. After 11+ years of entrepreneurship while simultaneously raising babies Nikki decided to jump into the nonprofit world and join forces with Carolina Farm Trust to help grow their mission. She currently lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and four children.

Tonnelle Jordan – Event Manager

Tonnelle Jordan is an experienced event manager with more than a decade of transforming organizational visions into reality. Tonnelle specializes in experiential solutions that provide patrons and customers with memories that last a lifetime, while also delivering on impactful educational opportunities to enable the achievement of key outputs and outcomes. Tonnelle is a powerful force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and determined energy to inspire teams to work hard and succeed. In her free time, Tonnelle likes to travel, connect with family and friends, and enjoy live music.

Chloe Mandarino, MPH- Program Coordinator

Chloe Mandarino grew up in a small town in Southwest Michigan. When she graduated from Michigan State University (Go Green!), she and her Fiancé decided to pack up their puppy and move to Charlotte! She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and received her Master of Public Health in May 2022. During her time at UNCC, she learned about food insecurity in Charlotte. She decided her professional goal was to help combat the food deserts in Charlotte and bring groceries to the west side. After hearing about the project Carolina Farm Trust had going on, she jumped at the first job opportunity they had available!
Chloe loves to cook and has worked in kitchens and grocery stores for her entire career before moving into the Program Coordinator role at Carolina Farm Trust. She loves hiking with her fiancé and two dogs, going to local breweries, and eating through the Charlotte food scene.

The CFT Market Team

Chris Peake – General Manager

Chris Peake grew up on the west side of Charlotte where, as a 9-year-old boy, he cleaned the very same parking lot in which the distribution center is located. He later attended Harding High and earned a scholarship to Johnson C. Smith University where he marched in the band and then moved on to study Business Administration from UNCC where he met his now-wife. After experiencing a near-death experience he decided that the purpose of his life is to give back to the greater good. Chris’s passion for giving back to his community, his work with at-risk kids, and his leadership experience in the car sales business bring his partnership with Carolina Farm Trust as the General Manager of the distribution center full-circle. Chris is a father to four children and lives in Denver, NC with his wife of 24 years, Kim, and their 12-year-old daughter.

Naomi Knox – Chief Culinary Officer

Naomi has loved cooking as far back as she can remember. One of her fondest memories is living with her Great Grandmother in Michigan. Naomi attended the Art Institute of Charlotte and In 2014 she became the Executive Chef at St. Mark’s Soup Kitchen. In 2015 she started her own catering company insuring that local products were used, and her clients were well informed of the importance of using locally sourced ingredients and where to purchase them. 

Chef Namie believes that our youth are the future and instilling these values into them early is important. In her private time, she gives one on one lessons to youth at her church as well as the children of her family and friends. Helping to grow our food economy by teaching our youth basic gardening, taking them to farms in the area and introducing them to amazing chefs, while teaching them a trade that will live with them for life is just as important to her as wearing clothes.

Moving to Charlotte changed her life, and now she has an opportunity to, through Carolina Farm Trust, change the lives of others.