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.
Sam Taras - Vice President
What I love most about Agape North is the ability to share WHO we are and what we do. I consider it a privilege to be part of a missionally driven organization who equips others who have ‘custom’ apparel needs to give back to those who might not be able to afford apparel. Growing up in a family owned restaurant business, I have always enjoyed creating the best experience possible through building lasting relationships while striving to meet the needs of others. Outside of work, my true passion is being husband and father to four children and growing in my faith. I also enjoy golf, traveling, and going to concerts with my wife, Sheley.
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 80+ 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.
Carly Warner - Director of Operations
My role at Agape North encompasses all things operations, so everything from ordering products to streamlining processes to employee relations to making strategic plans for the business. I was involved with Agape North when it began and am so proud of what it’s become. 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. I’m always up for anything service-related, but I have a passion for home repair ministries and youth-oriented programs. I recently moved back to the Memphis area, so when I’m not at work you can find me renovating my house in Cooper-Young, enjoying the outdoors with my mutt, Penny, or exploring the city.
Austin Cantrell - Operations Associate
As an Operations Associate, my role is to process the orders and help out in the office where it is needed. I am stoked to be working with a team that has a vision to better its community while providing high-quality service. Kids have always been a passion of mine and it is such a joy to serve students by providing them with awesome shirts. My wife and I are new to Memphis and currently participating in the Emerging Leaders Program through Downline, but outside of that you can find us exploring the city, making friends and trying out new places to eat.
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.
Aaron Tucker - Graphic Designer
I’m a part of the awesome Creative Team at Agape North, serving as a graphic designer. I do anything from the art on the shirts, to photography, to marketing pieces. There is always music in my head and you will find me dancing often. My favorite part of working at Agape North is being able to design and serve the community at the same time. As I grow as a designer, I am passionate about learning how design and community development work together on larger scales to bring people together and communicate a story. My dad’s favorite saying is “Tell your story,” and that is something that has always been ingrained in me. Outside of work I’m all about the craft coffee culture, being adventurous, and driving manual cars.
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!
Wesleigh Wright - Account Manager
I am thrilled to be a part of the Agape North team because I absolutely love the way we get the chance to take something seemingly simple (like a t-shirt, hat, or polo), and turn it into something that actively changes kids' lives. Although I'm a relatively new Memphian, my husband and I couldn't love this city more! You can usually find me curled up with a book (or several), listening to a podcast, taking photos, serving at my church, out and about with a new friend, or hanging out with my husband and our Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Zuri.
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.
Dedra Anderson - Account Manager - Memphis, TN
I am an Account Manager for the Memphis area, so I spend my days working with businesses, churches and schools who need custom apparel items. When they partner with us, their apparel items become so much more because they are able to make a difference in the lives of local students. My favorite part of working on this team is accompanying our partners on their Giving Day experience. There is nothing like watching a child light up while holding a new shirt and interacting with the people who made it happen. Outside of work, I enjoy watching my daughter play volleyball at Samford University, visiting my son at Mississippi State University, and going on long walks.
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!
Moses Kute - Delivery Specialist
My role at Agape North is making sure to deliver uniforms and apparel to the schools and customers. As we all know, education is the key to success, and I am very proud to be a part of this company that supports education in our children. I was born in Juba in South Sudan, and I fled the war in Sudan and went to Kenya where I lived in a refugee camp. I came here as a refugee, and after meeting the criteria, I became a citizen of this great country. Since coming to Memphis, I have worked continuously. I am a father and a husband. On my day off, I’ll be with my family and on Sunday I will be at church. I am so grateful to be a part of the Agape North team. It’s a small company, but it does great things for the city of Memphis.
Frances Bullard - Embroidery and DTG Print Specialist
I run both the embroidery and print machines. I have been an embroiderer for years, but I am excited to learn a new side of 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.