Denise Bayles

Executive Director

For more than 16 years, Denise Bayles has been a nonprofit executive for local, regional, and national organizations. During her career, she has been fiercely dedicated to changing the lives of others by finding much-needed funding to support crucial programming for non-profit organizations such as Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Starlight Children's Hospital, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, CureSearch for Children's Cancer along with several others. Denise brings an expertise in developing innovative strategic plans to achieve both revenue and program growth and brand awareness.

Originally from Indianapolis, Denise received a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and is also a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). After graduating, Denise moved to Los Angeles where she began her career. In 2020, Denise moved from Los Angeles to Nashville and lives in Leiper's Fork with her pack of dogs. Denise is thrilled to be part of the GiGi's family and honored to support GiGi's participants and families in the Greater Nashville area.


Emma Fleet

Operations Coordinator

Emma grew up in Franklin, TN and graduated from Tennessee Tech with a communications degree.  She moved away from the middle Tennessee area for a year but quickly realized the Nashville area was where her and her husband, Nash, were supposed to live. Emma has found herself drawn towards working in the nonprofit world where she can give back to the community that she lives in, and has experience in teaching, youth development, and office management. She heard about GiGi’s Playhouse through a mutual friend of the playhouse and their CrossFit partnership. Outside of the playhouse, Emma and her husband like to explore the outdoors with their dog, Josi, travel, and attend Nashville Predators and Nashville SC games. Emma is so excited to be a part of the GiGi’s family!


Tracie Michelson

Volunteer Coordinator

Tracie grew up in Hollywood, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Her career in the special education field began with working with children on the Autism Spectrum. After living in Boston for a few years, she decided to return to Florida to be closer to her family. Continuing with her love of working with students with disabilities, Tracie pursued her Master of Science degree in Varying Exceptionalities at Nova Southeastern University while working as a classroom special educator for many years. In 2007, her family moved to Tennessee for a better environment to raise children. Tracie has since been homeschooling her three children. Zachary has graduated high school and is pursuing a professional ballet career and Austin has graduated college and is pursuing a career in film making. Her daughter, Mackenzie, is 9 years old and happens to have that extra chromosome we all love! GiGi’s Playhouse became a source of community for their family and is why Tracie is so excited to be a part of the GiGi’s family! She is very excited to be working with the volunteers to continue the vision of enriching and fun programming that GiGi’s is known for.


Emily Sheridan

Programs Coordintaor

Emily grew up in Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Special Education. After teaching an elementary life skills program in Urbana for 3 years, Emily felt she needed more training to better serve individuals with intense support needs. She moved to Nashville where she earned her Master’s degree in Severe and Multiple Disabilities from Vanderbilt University. After applying all her newfound knowledge and skills to a middle school functional skills program, she is excited to take a step out of the classroom and into the nonprofit world. Emily brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. She hopes to bring creative, new ideas to GiGi’s Nashville to enhance the already amazing impact the programs have. In her free time, she loves to play games with friends, work in the garden with her partner, and explore new restaurants. Emily is so grateful for the opportunity to join the GiGi’s family!


Emily Allison

Development & Operations Assistant

Emily grew up in Franklin, TN and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Psychology and Child & Family Studies. After college, she taught at Montessori schools in the Nashville area for several years and received her master's degree in education from Xavier University before moving into the non-profit world. In her free time, Emily likes to do Pilates, try new restaurants around Nashville, and hang out with her two cats. Emily is so excited to join the GiGi’s Playhouse team and work hard to foster acceptance for all!