Emilie Hart- Cape Fear Regional Director of Catholic Charities
910-251-8130 Ext. 2701
Emilie started with Catholic Charities in February 2015 and has dedicated her time here serving the Cape Fear Region. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. She has over 17 years of experience in the social work field in various settings such as schools, prisons, mental health facilities and refugee resettlement. Emilie lives in Wilmington with her husband and two kids and enjoys spending time outdoors.
Richelle O’Connor- Office Manager
910-251-8130 ext. 2700
Richelle is a North Carolina native and and she has lived on the coast for many years. She brings with her 2 Associate in Science Degrees and years of experience in coordinating and training Community Emergency Response Teams. Before coming to Catholic Charities, she spent over 20 years working as a firefighter and paramedic. After spending some time raising her children, she is excited to once again be involved in helping her community!
Karla Levy- Administrative Assistant
910-251-8130 extension 2707
Karla joined Catholic Charities in February 2022, after many years in the for-profit business arena. She is pleased to put her administrative and accounting experience to use as a member of the Cape Fear Regional Office team and is thrilled to be a part of the Healthy Opportunities Pilot Program. Karla considers this position to be her reward for all the previous jobs she has held. She takes joy in working with this group of thoughtful individuals in giving back to the community in a meaningful way. She shares her heart with 2 grown children (if children are ever really grown) and 2 grandchildren. As a resident of the Cape Fear area, she enjoys catching the sunrises and sunsets over our ocean waters, along with all the natural beauty and cultural events of our region. She takes special delight when she can share it with family and friends who visit.
Jennifer Watkins- Administrative Assistant
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Paper Science and Engineering from Miami University and an MBA from UNCW. After 11 years in a variety of manufacturing related roles, she took time off to raise and homeschool her two daughters. She enjoys serving the area she has called home for the past 26 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and watching her two daughters compete in their various sporting activities.
Sonia Royes- Disaster and Emergency Assistance Case Manager at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Burgaw
Sonia started with Catholic Charities on April 14, 2003 and developed and promoted many standing relationships with community partners and our community at large. Her thirty-five years combined experience as an educator, administrator, and a case manager has served the community well. She holds a bachelors in Elementary Education and a degree in Early Childhood Administration. Mother of four and grandmother to ten of the loveliest grandchildren, she loves spending time with God, Family, Friends, at the beach, and “my Duplin wine”.
Brian King- Construction Manager
Brian King has years of experience in the construction industry and even owned his own carpentry business before beginning work with the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church Disaster Recovery as Construction Manager assisting with repairs from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. Brian began work with Catholic Charities as a Construction Manager in January 2022, where he manages construction projects and supervises volunteers. In addition to his construction work, Brian has years of experience as a first responder and is currently the Asst. Chief with the Whiteville Rescue Unit.
Erin Mosher- Delivery and Warehouse Associate
Erin Mosher has been involved with Catholic Charities for many years in Asheville, NC, having served on the Board and in other volunteer positions. When the opportunity arose to get involved in the HOP program she recognized what a meaningful and impactful program it would become. She enjoys every moment working with the staff and volunteers at Catholic Charities and looks forward to being out in the community and making a difference in our region. She has lived in Wilmington for 2 years with her husband and are parishioners of St Therese in Wrightsville Beach. They have 4 adult children and when not spending time with them, she enjoys biking, hiking and golfing.
Vickie Sasser- Disaster Specialist
910-251-8130 Ext. 2706
Vickie Sasser is a Columbus County native who early in her career was a real estate broker and paralegal in Whiteville, North Carolina. Following Hurricane Florence, she saw the devastating impact on her community and began volunteering with local relief and recovery efforts. Vickie quickly found a passion for this work and accepted a full-time position with the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church as Site Director. Vickie brings years of collaborating with volunteer teams, partnering with groups for financial planning, and repairing homes to her role with Catholic Charities.
Shaidiah Hall – Intake Specialist
910-251-8130 ext. 2704
Having started working at a young age, Shaidiah has found it very rewarding to give back to others. Her strong work ethic and passion to make the community a safe and better place has encouraged her to work in a variety of areas assisting people of all backgrounds and walks of life. She strives to help breakdown any barriers one may have through kindness, love, and compassion. She joins Catholic Charities because she firmly believes in the the values and mission of helping our neighbors in need. In her free time, Shaidiah enjoys trying new foods, Karaoke, and traveling!
Lane Abernathy – Delivery and Warehouse Associate
910-251-8130 ext. 2705
Lane has over 30 years of experience in ministry and service in places such as India, Nepal, Russia, and South America. Lane enjoys fishing, playing golf, and has become an avid beach volleyball player since moving to Wilmington. He also loves to spend as much time as he can with his four children and seven grandchildren!
Paulina Cordova Vergara – Emergency Assistance Program Coordinator
910-251-8130 ext. 2702
Paulina was born in New York state but grew up a native of Wilmington, NC. She has an Associates of Paralegal Studies from Cape Fear Community College and has worked in Law as well as Health and Human Services. In her free time, Paulina enjoys spending time with family, listening to podcasts and traveling.
Jen Zurek – Immigration Assistant
Jen graduated from the Northern University of Barranquilla with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Jen is fluent in both Spanish and English and previously worked as a DOJ Accredited Representative for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown for 16 years. She is very familiar with the different immigration processes and the intricacies of immigration law. Outside of work, Jen enjoys cooking, gardening, and bike riding.