Founder and Executive Director

Robert Pettus is a graduate of NC State University with degrees in Biological Sciences and Botany.  In addition to work history in pharmaceutical chemical information and genetic research he has a sincere interest in educating and empowering families affected by cancer.  BeLovedNC was created to honor Robert's sister Julie who passed away in 2014 from colon and lung cancer. 


Director of Culinary Medicine

Natalie Taft, MS, RDN, LDN, CCMS is a licensed and registered dietitian nutritionist with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and over 15 years experience in public health and clinical nutrition.  She has served in non profit leadership roles and managed grant funded, outcome based educational interventions and research.  Natalie is a skilled, compassionate counselor and educator with expertise in motivational interviewing, an evidence based practice for promoting behavior change.  Natalie is also experienced in working directly with diverse populations and meeting the needs of families with limited resources.

Advisory Team

Patricia Wilkes, MS, RD, LDN

"Pat" is a Registered Clinical Dietitian with the Oncology Group at Duke Cancer Institute with over 20 years of experience providing care to outpatient, acute and long term care patients.  She will serve as a liaison between Duke Cancer Institute and BeLovedNC assisting us in identifying patients finishing chemotherapy that are interested in empowering themselves through education and nutrition.

Justin Kelley, RN, MSN

Justin has been an active nurse since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2004.  His areas of expertise include Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, Palliative Care, and Hospice Care.  He received his Master’s degree from New York University in in 2013 for Nursing Informatics to help growing hospitals keep up with their desire to have the latest technological solutions.  As a nurse he has experienced the benefits of healthy lifestyles firsthand.  Nutritional support for all individuals is desperately needed and has unfortunately been placed on the shelf to make way for cheaper and faster options.  With the help of BeLovedNC, Justin looks forward to helping patients achieve a true desire to make better nutritional decisions inside the hospital and at home.