MDC adds operations and program staff

MDC is proud to introduce new members of the staff who have come on board recently.

Coretta Allen
Coretta Allen

Coretta Allen
Operations Manager

Coretta manages MDC’s headquarters at 307 W. Main St. in Durham and provides general administrative support. She manages leased office space and event space rental, event planning, information technology, and provides new-hire orientations and staff training.

With over 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant, she has a long history of providing support to executives, coordination of travel, maintaining documentation, and processing of paperwork.  Her previous experience includes administrative responsibilities at Volt Workforce Solutions as vice president for operations, RHA Behavioral Health in Burlington, N.C., Global Administrative Assistant at IBM in North Carolina, and administrative secretary at Duke University Medical Center in Children’s Primary Care.

Coretta has a passion for lifelong learning and helping others. She has volunteered as a youth counselor and mentor, at The Salvation Army Boys and Girls clubs, worked with displaced youth and youth activities at her church, and as an elderly caregiver.

Coretta has a B.S. in behavioral and social science from North Carolina Central University and an AA in business administration from  Vance-Granville (N.C.) Community College.

Jenna Barnes
Jenna Barnes

Jenna Barnes
Program Director

Jenna brings programmatic leadership to MDC in the area of early childhood. Her primary focus is leading MDC’s work on the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust’s Great Expectations initiative, which works to ensure that children in Forsyth County, NC, enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life. Jenna brings expertise in capacity building, implementation science, program development and delivery, and early childhood systems.

Prior to joining MDC, Jenna worked as an Implementation Specialist and Assistant Director of Operations at the Impact Center at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on a statewide implementation support initiative to scale the Triple P Positive Parenting Program system of interventions. Jenna also brings experience from her work at NC State University, where she supported the development and implementation of a teen parenting program; the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, where she provided programmatic and administrative oversight to Child Care and Development Fund quality initiatives; and Bluegrass.org, where she worked as an intensive treatment behavioral health clinician to support children and families in home and school settings.

Jenna holds a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She has also completed graduate coursework in Nonprofit Management at NC State University

Susan Noblitt

Susan Nobblitt
Administrative Assistant for Programs

Susan provides administrative support to project teams across MDC’s work in early childhood education, family economic security, community change, and strategic philanthropy. She manages databases and correspondence, develops presentations, and coordinates the logistics of major internal and external convenings.

Susan grew up and has lived most of her life in Durham, N.C. She studied public health and developed a passion for social justice with a focus on ending poverty to improve health outcomes and begin to mend the moral failings of our society. Susan is active in her community in several ways, including helping to organize voter registration in jails with a broader focus to bring about the abolition of incarceration. She also has helped to coordinate bus tours across North Carolina to lift up the issues faced by the 44 percent of people who are poor or low-income in North Carolina

Prior to coming to MDC she was with the American Sexual Health Association, where she supported several departments and managed a text line for teens to ask sexual health questions.

Susan has a B.S. in biochemistry from Elon University with a minor in public health. She relaxes by swimming in the Eno River, knitting, and binge-watching junk TV with friends and family.

Trina Stephens
Trina Stephens

Trina Stephens
Program Manger

Trina is MDC’s program manager providing local leadership and program support to the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust’s Great Expectations initiative, which works to ensure that children in Forsyth County, NC, enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life. In this work, Trina and other MDC Great Expectations team members will work closely with grantees of the Trust, key organizations supporting the early childhood system in the county, and other community leaders in implementing the Great Expectations strategy and emphasizing equity within the early childhood system.

As a native of Forsyth County, Trina is a dedicated and experienced leader with more than 25 years of successful practice in the areas of early childhood education and community engagement. She began her early childhood education career as a preschool teacher in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC. She continued her work in this area upon returning to Forsyth County. In 2000, Trina became a home visitor with the Parents as Teachers program. After many advancements within the organization, Trina’s last contribution was as program director for two place-based initiatives serving families with children ages birth to eight.

She is an executive member with The Forsyth Promise, which facilitates education-focused collaboration, community-wide planning, and action. The Promise provides a framework to help all community stakeholders work together toward the goal of improved educational outcomes for Forsyth County’s students from cradle to career.

She has dedicated her life to be the best teacher for her daughters, Kyla and Dasia, and to the community as an advocate for social justice.

Educational and Professional background: Sociology (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Center for Creative Leadership: Community Leadership Training, Wake Forest University Nonprofit Essentials Program, Asset-Based Community Trained, Training from Racial Equity Institute and Institute for Dismantling Racism

Certifications and Accreditations: Triple P Accreditation – Positive Parenting Program, Certified Doula (DONA), Childbirth Educator, Facilitator for the National Strengthening Families Program