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Founded in 1997, Community Culinary School of Charlotte began its mission in a single-room of an unfinished warehouse with just two students. CCSC’s dedication to serving the Charlotte community has grown into a legacy that spans over 20 years. Since our founding, that single office space has expanded into six offices, a conference room, and a fully-equipped classroom to serve our 20-student classes. We continue to provide workforce development training and job placement assistance in the food service industry for adults who face barriers to long-term successful employment.

Our Staff


Ron Ahlert
Executive Director

Chef Ron began his career in the food industry at the age of sixteen as an apprentice in a country club. He went on to receive formal training at The New York Restaurant School. Chef Ron honed his skills in the kitchen of some of New York City and Paris’ finest restaurants. After years as an Executive Chef for a large food corporation in North Carolina, he began looking for a new challenge and found it at the Community Culinary School of Charlotte. Chef Ron spent six years as the teaching chef before being named the Executive Director in 2006.

Alvin Howard
Culinary Instructor

Chef Alvin came to the School in 2012 as a volunteer and in 2015, joined our staff as a Chef Instructor. Chef Alvin has always enjoyed helping youth, whether at CCSC or at the Central Church of God, where he preps meals. He started his culinary training at Central Piedmont Community College. He applied his training at restaurants such as Morais and Rustique, cooking classical French cuisine. Prior to joining CCSC, Alvin launched his own catering business - Grassroots Catering, and was part owner of Southern Comfort Barbeque and Soul, he currently serves as a member of the Piedmont Culinary Guild as well. As a Chef Instructor, Alvin is fulfilled when he sees “the light come on for students” as they progress through their training and get excited knowing they can do it!

Sharon Watkins
Culinary Instructor In-Training / alumna

Sharon was born and raised in Charlotte. She has a banking background, but baking has always been her dream. When COVID happened, and she was laid off from banking, she was determined to go back to baking and make it work. With over 20 years of baking experience, it’s where her heart is. Sharon graduated from Class 66 in November 2020 and has been working with CCSC ever since. She became a Culinary Instructor in training in 2022. She enjoys teaching the students and is always happy to talk about the School and share its mission to potential students.

Bonnie O'Rourke

Bonnie has been the Bookkeeper at CCSC since 2001, she also assists with grant writing and development activities. Bonnie holds a BA in marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Originally from New Jersey, she has lived in Charlotte in 1997 and is proud to be a part of CCSC, helping folks change their lives and live their dream. Outside of the School, Bonnie is passionate about helping animals live better lives. As a volunteer dog trainer for the New Leash on Life Program, she coordinated temporary placement of rescue dogs with prisoners in Gaston County Jail, and coached them through the training process to prepare the dogs for adoption. Bonnie also volunteers for Coalition to Unchain Dogs - building fences for dogs that lived outside on chains and transporting dogs to and from their spay/neuter appointments. She currently volunteers with Humane Society delivering hay in the winter and tarps in the summer to dogs that live outside.

Anne Lambert
Director of Development

Anne is an experienced fundraising and non-profit professional with more than 25 years as a Director of Development and grant writer for non-profit and arts and culture organizations. She recently joined CCSC, where she is responsible for the organization’s relationship with individual, corporate and foundation donors. She supports reporting and tracking for county and state contracts. Anne has worked with several regional organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Outside of the School, Anne is active in Charlotte’s theater scene as an actor, director and producer.

Pam Worley
Student Counselor

Pam is the Student Counselor at CCSC as well as a native of Charlotte. She is a certified and licensed clinician in the substance use disorder field and graduated from Gardner-Webb University with both a Bachelor of Science in Human Services and a Master of Business Administration; she completed her Master of Science in Addiction Counseling from Grand Canyon University. She is passionate about helping individuals who experience life challenges and believes people can and do improve when presented with a supportive environment to talk, learn and grow. Pam is grateful for her experiences and supervision from some of the most seasoned organizations in the community. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Patricia Cornwell novels and spending quality time with family and friends.

Senico Bennett
Café Manager / Alumnus

Senico’s first job was at a family restaurant in Candor, NC. Then, he attended Montgomery County Community College, while working for a local foundry. After a hard turn in life, Senico moved to Charlotte to attend a residential recovery program. It is there that he met Chef Ron and learned about Community Culinary School of Charlotte. Senico graduated from Class 53 in 2016, and has been working at CCSC ever since. He enjoys serving guests in our Café and for Catering events. He loves working at CCSC because our mission is meaningful, supporting people who seek to improve their life circumstances. Senico appreciates the opportunities he has received from CCSC.

Jeannie Pierce
Marketing Coordinator

Jeannie is part of CCSC’s Marketing and Development Team. She manages social media and marketing for the School and supports the Development Team with data management and by designing graphic and print materials. She also helps with grant writing and engaging our external audience. A Charlotte native, she graduated from Clemson University with a degree in English and Journalism. Prior to CCSC, she worked for AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. She came to CCSC as a volunteer through Share Charlotte and joined the staff in 2018. When not at CCSC, she keeps busy raising her two sons with her husband.

Chantail Garrison
Administrative Assistant

Chantail is originally from Virginia and moved to Charlotte with her three kids in 2019. She graduated from Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, VA and later became a Certified Nursing Assistant and Medical Technician. Before moving to Charlotte, she was working at Brookdale Senior Living in Virginia. Chantail has been working at CCSC since 2019. As the Administrative Assistant, Chantail assists every department with various administrative tasks.