Our Full-Time Staff

Meet the team that keeps ESP running smoothly, so we can serve our participants year-round! 

Kalon Carpenter

Coordinator of Recreational Programs

Kalon Carpenter is a graduate of Georgia Southern University. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and a Certified Child Life Specialist. Kalon has previously worked at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge Georgia and was an intern at the National Ability Center in Utah. Although she is new to the ESP team Kalon couldn’t be happier to be part of the family. Kalon will be responsible for overseeing all the volunteers as well as all the activities and programs of ESP including 360 year-round programs, family camps, summer camp, and special event programs. In her spare time Kalon loves spending time outdoors being active, reading, baking, and working on DIY projects or anything crafty.

Jake Sapp

Coordinator of Program Operations 

Jake Sapp has made his way back to ESP after spending his first year following graduation spent in South Carolina. Jake is excited to be home while continuing to grow with the organization that was so pivotal in shaping the person he is. Jake will work closely with staff, families, volunteers, and the community to ensure programs run smoothly! In his free time, Jake enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and his dog Goose.

Gina Elliott

Director of Operations

Gina is excited to join the ESP team as the Director of Operations. She previously served as bookkeeper for ESP and has more than a decade of experience in accounting and management with a degree in Business Management & Accounting from Gwinnett Tech. Gina knows firsthand the effect that ESP has on the children and families we serve. She is the proud mother of an ESP participant, Clete, and camp counselor, Tyler. Her family fully supports ESP and the valuable services it provides. Gina and her family are also the caretakers of Camp Hooray.

Jennifer Lancaster

Coordinator of Special Events

Jennifer has 22 years experience in the non-profit community with the Metro Atlanta YMCA  with involvement in summer camp, board development, fundraising and special events. A desire to serve her community closer to home pulled her to explore opportunities in and around Oconee County. Becoming a part of the ESP family has been a dream come true. As the Coordinator of Special Events, Jennifer will work with the ESP team on the Big 3 events throughout the year. Additionally, she will be implementing the new Corporate Partnership Program to help encourage our many ESP sponsors to become year-round partners in our events and programs. Jennifer, her husband Bo and their daughter Emma live in Bishop and enjoy spending time outside, camping, flying and traveling. Email jennifer@extraspecialpeople.com

Ashley Hilmer

Coordinator of Development

Ashley is an Orlando, Florida native who graduated from Florida State University and made her way to Athens to complete her Master of Public Administration degree at the University of Georgia. Ashley began as the Development Intern for ESP and fell in love with all this community had to offer and the joy it brought her each day. Ashley will oversee various philanthropic projects at ESP, including the ESP Fan Club, and continue to help strengthen the support our community provides to our families. Ashley loves corny jokes, traveling, quality time with friends, adorable animals, and putting a positive spin on everything she can!

Katarina Christmann

Coordinator of Communications

Katarina studied Advertising and Art History at the University of Georgia graduating in May 2015. Katarina began as a Public Relations and Special Events Intern at ESP. The fast pace and variety of the work at ESP are what drew her to the position, but the kids are what kept her here. She now works on ESP’s design, marketing, email, and social media. Katarina is from St. Simons Island. When she’s not spending time at ESP, Katarina loves baking, reading, hiking, and cuddling with her cats Clementine & Gus. Katarina loves being a part of the ESP family and putting her own touch on things! Email katarina@extraspecialpeople.com

Tommy Valentine

Volunteer & Americorps Coordinator

Tommy was raised in Athens, Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Public Administration at the University of Georgia. As Volunteer & AmeriCorps Coordinator for ESP, he will draw on over 15 years of management and youth development experience to oversee the cultivation, recruitment, engagement, and training of our support team. When not at work, Tommy enjoys working on community advocacy work for his hometown, pursuing his Ph.D. at UGA, spending time with his wife Laura, and spoiling their two dogs, Lady and Louie.

Shellie Sullivan

Administrative Assistant

Shellie brings over 25 years of administrative experience from the Corporate and Retail World. Looking for a more serving direction in this next phase of her life as an empty-nester, she is so excited to be a part of the ESP Family. Shellie and her husband Greg live in downtown Athens and are huge supporters of several UGA Sports including football, basketball, and baseball. 

Have specific questions for us? Reach out and we will get back to you! 

Volunteering

volunteer@extraspecialpeople.com

Camp

camp@extraspecialpeople.com

Special Events or Corporate Sponsorships

jennifer@extraspecialpeople.com

Communications and Marketing

katarina@extraspecialpeople.com

Donations and ESP Fan Club

ashley@extraspecialpeople.com