Meet our Core Team!
AMANDA ZULLO, FOUNDER + EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Amanda is the Founder and Executive Director of Pop Up Produce and a 2016 Emerging City Champions grant recipient winner. She was originally sponsored by 8 80 Cities and the Knight Foundation, whom initially seed funded the concept development of Pop Up Produce. A designer, community engager and food enthusiast, she has a passion for health and wellness, sustainable living and fresh food. Amanda earned her Masters in Urban Design with a Post-Masters Certificate in Real Estate Development, a Bachelor of Architecture, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Minor in Geography, all from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In both academic and professional realms, her focus has been to foster healthy communities through the built environment using design towards community activism. She has been involved in numerous local volunteer organizations, from educating the youth through various programs and work relating to community outreach.
DANIEL HEATON, DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT
After a recent round-the-world trip, Daniel has been reinvigorated and inspired to ensure that communities are acting sustainably and that everyone has a fair chance at healthy and tasty food. His Business degree from Virginia Tech and eight years experience as a Project Manager and Consultant allows him to make companies and organizations more efficient in their operations. For Pop Up Produce, he keeps the website tidy and enjoys assembling our Fresh Start Kits. When he’s not in the kitchen with his wife, Kimberly, or volunteering in the community, he’s planting something green, making compost, building something from scratch, or “peak-bagging” a mountain somewhere with no cell service.
GIANA SPEAR, SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Giana is currently a full time student at UNC Charlotte and is pursuing a degree in Marketing. She is very outgoing and loves giving back to her community, highlighted by her involvement in the Delta Zeta sorority as the Sisterhood Chair. Giana’s passion for giving back began at a young age. When Giana found out Pop Up Produce was looking for a social media coordinator, she knew it was perfect for her. She loved what Pop Up Produce is doing for the community and knew she wanted to be involved. During her free time, she is often volunteering. After she graduates with her Marketing degree, Giana is looking forward to continuing her career working with nonprofit organizations.
CHELSEA GRAHAM, EVENTS COORDINATOR
Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Chelsea moved to Charlotte three years ago working at Carolina’s HealthCare System in the pharmaceutical field. She is currently working towards obtaining her floral design certification, something she has been passionate about for quite some time. After being diagnosed with a gluten allergy a few years ago, Chelsea started a blog. Gluten-Free Chelsea is where she shares her gluten-free journey, spread awareness about food allergies as well as teaching others the importance of clean eating. She was introduced to Pop Up Produce at a gluten-free festival and knew right away that it was something that she wanted to be a part of.
KIMBERLY HEATON, FINANCIAL OPERATIONS
Kimberly has recently returned to Charlotte after spending a year and a half traveling abroad with her husband, Daniel. While traveling, she deepened a passion for building more sustainable systems in the U.S. and improving healthy food access and food education, which is what led her to Pop Up Produce. Kimberly enjoys being involved in the community and is active in many organizations focused on food, nutrition, waste reduction, and sustainable transportation. With a degree in Finance from Butler University and a background in FP&A and Treasury, she has joined the team to help manage the financial operations.
CELI MERCHANT, GRAPHICS DESIGNER
Celi has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and graduated in fall 2017 as a graphic designer from the Advertising & Graphic Design Program at Central Piedmont Community College. Her passion for making a positive impact has led to work in the nonprofit sector and various projects designed to improve people's lives. Celi's creative talent supports Pop Up Produce's various graphic and branding components.
CHELSEA WELLS, HORTICULTURE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Chelsea has a love for all living things especially plants. She is finishing a Bachelor of Science in biology at UNC Charlotte and would like to follow her passion for horticulture after graduation. She is an environmentalist who loves volunteering in her spare time and cycling. She feels that teaching young minds how to grow their own food and make healthy meal choices is a wonderful opportunity for her to help others and give back to the community.
Meet our Board of Directors!
ROBERT BITTEL, BOARD MEMBER
A founding member of the Board of Directors for Pop Up Produce; Robert has dedicated nearly a decade to leadership roles for nonprofits while maintaining a professional career in architecture and urban design. His work on numerous healthcare, sport, civic, urban infrastructure, and educational projects have lead him to passionately embrace a concept of “wellness” behind his practice of design and construction. Whether a building, a community, or a social cause; Robert’s approach to “wellness” is contextual, often focused locally, to offer collaborative solutions that examine issues holistically and creatively while illustrating the values, ambitions, and unique character of the people such a project will impact. Robert has received a Master of Urban Design from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, along with a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science from Kent State University. In his free time he is often found outdoors sustaining his inspiration for “wellness” through his bicycle, his running shoes, or the side of a mountain.
CRYSTAL THOMANN, BOARD MEMBER
Crystal Thomann earned her degree in English and Marketing from Roanoke College in Virginia, where she was born and raised. With her passion for education leading the way, Crystal spent over eight years at Central Piedmont Community College’s nonprofit conference center in various roles, including serving as their Executive Director. A heart for giving back and healthy living lead the now full-time mother of two to get involved with Pop Up Produce and eventually have the honor to serve on their board.
DEMETRIA COX, BOARD MEMBER
Demetria met Amanda on Instagram after she founded Pop Up Produce and has been deeply involved ever since. Demetria earned her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality & Tourism Administration from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Nutrition. Her passion is everything food and she loves educating people about the benefits of having a healthy relationship with their food from growing to consuming. She is originally from Charlotte, NC and has been involved in gardening since a child in her father's garden, who also taught her how to cook. She loves using veggies from her garden to make meals for her husband, Brandon and eight year old daughter, Desiraye.
ROBERT TOLLEY, BOARD MEMBER
Robert graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) currently working at one of the national banking institutions here in Charlotte. Having grown up in the greater-Charlotte area and living in the Queen City in his adult years, Robert has close ties to the community and is seeking to become more involved in enriching the lives of the people that live here. It took him well into adulthood to realize the benefits of wholesome, “real,” foods after living on a diet of processed/fast foods during his younger years. This has led to his passion for health and nutrition, which he discovered paired well with Pop-Up Produce’s mission. When not staring at a spreadsheet, Robert enjoys running, hiking, and exploring new places with his wife, Stephanie, and their dog, Darla.