Joe Williams - Founder and President
I love what we do at Agape North. We help people find ways to give back through the basic things they purchase every day. My favorite part of my job is telling our story to new people and seeing their reaction. They typically ask me things like, “You can really do this?” I am very proud of what we have accomplished, the people who have helped us get to where we are, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in Memphis and beyond! I love to spend time with my wife and three boys, walking the occasional nine holes of golf, reading great books, learning more about my faith, and snow skiing any chance I can.
Richard Bennett - Co-Founder
I have loved being a part of Agape North from the start. It has been a journey and I’m so proud of what the team has achieved! Agape North is truly unique from its setup, our people, and the difference we make in so many communities. My background in manufacturing, operations, and supply chain helps position us to not only grow but allow us to multiply the impact we have on clients’ and students’ lives. My wife Jessica and our two children inspire and support me so incredibly well.
Carly Warner - Vice President
Having been involved with Agape North when it started, I am so proud to be a part of what is has and is becoming. I love being part of a vision that is honestly changing the way we view giving and partnership, one that has the possibility of making a real and lasting impact. As VP, I am essentially responsible for keeping our ship afloat and progressing forward. I have a role in managing our team, creating communication plans, and developing big picture strategies. Outside of work, I’m always up for anything service-related, but I have a specific passion for home repair ministries and youth-oriented programs. I love all things home repair/renovation, choral music, dogs, and Memphis eats.
Jason Baker - Director of School Relations
My primary role here at Agape North is to coordinate and facilitate each of the school Giving Days. We run 100+ of these events each year, so I stay busy making sure these experiences are dynamic, fun, and honoring of the schools and students we serve. I really enjoy being a part of the urban education reform happening in Memphis and around the country. Urban education equality has been labeled “the cause of our generation” and I am happy to take up that mantle with so many others we support through our work. There are amazing things going on, and we get to connect our partners to that important work. Outside of the city of Memphis and Agape North, I have several other passions that help me thrive: my wife Claire and our pup Conley, volunteering in the Student Ministry at my church, riding my bike, and being a basketball junkie.
CaDarius Buckingham - Assoc. Director of School Relations
As the Assistant Director of School Relations at Agape North, I wish to expand the influence custom apparel has. In my previous roles working in Memphis' educational system, I partnered with Agape North to provide students, school staff and other members of the community with custom school paraphernalia which encouraged unity and re-established the already existing culture and pride. I have witnessed how schools play a major part in building and solidifying the identity of communities, and I’m excited to work with more schools and our partners to bolster school spirit. While I’m all for expanding Agape’s reach to new cities, I will always #Choose901 first! I love my city, its culture, and all the people that make Memphis what it is. Music and culture is life, and Memphis has a lot of both. It's my dream to see Memphis thrive off of those! Let's make it happen.
Elaine Savell – Director of Accounting
As the Director of Accounting, I manage our invoicing process and communicate with clients and vendors about payments. Working at Agape North allows me to use my organizational gifts within a company who is committed to giving back to both the community and the world, and for that I am very grateful. Besides working for Agape North, I am also a bookkeeper for a local Memphis counseling center and am the Director of Member Care for a ministry that trains pastors in under-resourced areas. As much as I love these jobs, though, my favorite role is being a wife and mother to three great kids.
Elizabeth Ling Hu - Graphic Designer
I am a graphic designer on the Creative Team at Agape North, where I create shirt designs, promotional media, and any graphics needed. Working here allows me to exercise my creative abilities and be a part of a company dedicated to giving back and empowering kids in the classroom. Outside of work, I am eager to grow as a designer and use my creative abilities to serve my community. I am very passionate about the growth going on in Memphis and I definitely have a heart for this city. My other interests include hand lettering, exploring the city, outdoor concerts, and hanging out with my husband and our three dogs!
Anna Birgen - Account Manager - Dallas, TX
I am the Account Manager for the great state of Texas but call DFW my home. What originally drew me to Agape North is that we give back to local communities. I think we all have a social responsibility to those around us and working here gives me a unique opportunity to give back every day. I try to spend my time finding meaningful solutions to problems that others face, and that's why Agape North holds such a special place in my heart. Outside of work, I tend to spend most of my time with my husband, family, and friends traveling all over the state/country to see each of them.
Paige Long - Account Manager - Jackson, MS
I am the Account Manager for our Mississippi partners. What drew me to Agape North was the ability to make a difference in the community with every piece of apparel purchased - it's so easy! I am a proud graduate of Mississippi State, and my husband and I have two teenage boys who keep us busy. I enjoy cooking, walking my crazy border collie, and all sports, but especially Mississippi State Baseball!
Frances Bullard - Embroidery Specialist
I run the embroidery machine. I have been an embroiderer for years, but I am excited to work in a space where I can own this side of our production. I feel so fulfilled working at Agape North because of what we stand for in supporting the important work of education. It is truly a pleasure to be a part of this awesome team. I am a mother of two and have two beautiful granddaughters. Outside of work, I spend most of my time with them.
The Agape North Story
Designed for you. Created for others.
Since its inception in 2010, the Agape North mission has remained focused on the phrase above, particularly the last two words – for others. The son of a pastor, founder Joe Williams was raised with a passion for service. He began his career in medical sales, and though he experienced steady success, he always felt that he should be doing more to partner with his own community. He struggled with the best way to give and tried various service opportunities, but nothing filled the void.
Then while volunteering with the youth at his church, something sparked. The youth were preparing for their summer mission trips, which included a t-shirt, as many youth-based activities do. “This got me thinking,” says Williams, “what if people could give back by buying something they would be buying anyway?”
Within a year, Agape North, a private-label clothing company was up and running – out of Williams’ garage. The thought was simple: buy something necessary, like clothing, and in-turn provide something necessary, like uniforms, to students in need. As he passed out the polos at Agape North’s first giving day, Williams realized that we were providing so much more than a shirt. The physical item holds a lot of weight, to be sure, but for many of these kids, receiving something new from someone they had never met meant knowing that people cared for them. It was then that Williams decided that the process shouldn’t just be about giving – it should be about building relationships.
As it stands today, Agape North is a custom clothing company with a giving model built in. “Many of our clients want to give back and partner with our community, but they just don’t know how,” states Williams. “Agape North makes it easy for them to give and make an impact. We invite them to be a part of the giving process, meet the students, and plug into the community.” Involving our clients in the giving process has proven key and in some cases has led to deeper partnerships between our clients and the schools they support through Agape North.
To date, Agape North has grown into a team of 14 staff, more than 350 clients, 150 partner schools, and over 100,000 donated shirts.