Staff

Carter

Carter Abel

Executive Director

Carter joined the staff at GiGi’s in the summer of 2019 as the organization’s first Executive Director. An Arkansas native, he focused his undergraduate and graduate studies at Belmont and Lipscomb on nonprofit business and fundraising with the intention of helping nonprofit organizations become more sustainable and effective in fulfilling their missions. Before joining GiGi’s, he served in a variety of consulting and staff roles in nonprofits for over a decade. He and his wife Carly are the proud parents of Lila and Micah, who has Down syndrome, and the impact of GiGi’s programming on him as a parent participant drives him to want to provide more of those same opportunities to families across middle Tennessee.

Emma

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!

Amy

Amy Hirt

Tutoring Coordinator

Amy joined the team as our Tutoring Coordinator after spending several years volunteering at GiGi’s and a longtime involvement in the local disability community. She is a Nashville native and a proud University of Tennessee, Knoxville graduate, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in special education. She taught in Metro Nashville Public Schools for five years—in a resource classroom as well as typical second grade classroom to start an inclusive program. After having her three children, she spent twelve years as an Early Interventionist with the Tennessee Early Intervention System. She is thrilled to be working with the tutoring programs to continue the growth of GiGi's Playhouse Nashville's mission.

Carlie

Carlie Long

Programs Coordinator

Carlie joined our team as the Program Coordinator in August 2019 shortly after graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she received a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation and specialized in working with individuals with disabilities. Throughout graduate school, Carlie worked as the co-director of Camp Koinonia, a residential camp for individuals with disabilities. This experience led her to look for jobs back in her hometown of Nashville, TN where she could plan therapeutic activities for individuals with special needs. She is so thankful to have found the perfect fit for her at GiGi's Playhouse! Her goal is to continue growing our programs at GiGi's, and to ensure meaningful programs for our participants and a positive environment for anyone who walks through our doors.