The Heart of our Mission:

OUR PEOPLE

The specialized care we provide is only possible because we have a competent, knowledgeable team of child care specialists, administrators, board members, and volunteers. We are proud to have a staff that is not only skilled, but passionate about working with children with disabilities.

Our Child Care Specialists

Our child care specialists are trained in seizure management, feeding techniques, lifting and transferring, medication administration, g-tube feeding, and more. In addition to their trainings, they strive to ensure that Respite Care is a welcoming, accepting place where kids feel at home.

Our Team

Sonya Bicknell
Kitchen Manager
I started working at Respite Care in May of 2023. I cook and serve meals. I plan and budget the snacks and meals everyone can eat. I also make sure there are food options for the kids who have allergies.  I graduated highschool with my Associate degree. I graduated University of Northern Colorado in December of 2021 with a degree in Elementary Education and behavioral science. I have taught second grade and was a paraprofessional. I have my Zumba Certification. In my free time I enjoy Zumba, dancing, skiing, hiking, walking, biking and drawing. Outside of Respite Care, you can find me at Sam's Club and out in the community.
Cool Fact: I am a triplet.
Kaitlin Bjork
Development Director

Kaitlin joined the Respite Care team in November of 2021. She oversees all fund development and relationship building activities in the community. She also manages the Development Team and the planning and execution of all fundraising and donor events to support Respite Care’s work to embrace extraordinary kids and their families. Kaitlin is very passionate about Respite Care’s mission and being a part of the positive impact it has in our community. Kaitlin is a Fort Collins native and has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Colorado State University. When not at Respite Care, Kaitlin loves to spend time with her husband and two girls doing anything outdoors including golfing, running, hiking, and mountain biking.

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Quincy Bowles
Early Childhood Program Coordinator
Quincy has worked at Respite Care since April 2016. She worked as the Program Coordinator for our School Age Program for five years until she transitioned to our Early Childhood Program Coordinator role in October 2021! She loves following the lead of our wonderful kiddos in play! Her programming highlights fun ways to work on developmental goals through story times, movement, sensory, culture, and practical life exploration and learning. Quincy is passionate about her work; seeing kiddos make friendships and meet their goals in fun ways is one of the best aspects of her role. Quincy has her Early Childhood Teacher Certification from Front Range Community College and is currently studying Communication Science Disorders at the University of Northern Colorado with plans to apply to UNC's Speech-Language Pathology graduate program. Outside of Respite Care, you might find Quincy at an art museum or exploring a hiking trail!
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Kristi Briles
Executive Director
Kristi has been at Respite Care since April of 2022. As the Executive Director, with the support of the Respite Care team, Kristi is responsible for the overall operation of Respite Care. This includes guiding the Program team in providing an interactive, stimulating, and safe environment for the children we serve and respite to their families. Additionally, she oversees the Development team, as they continue to enhance relationships with current and future donors and raise the necessary funds to maintain and grow the services Respite Care offers. Prior to this position, she worked in the Thompson School District for ten years as a special education administrator. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Kansas State University, her Masters in Educational Leadership from Argosy University, and her Special Education Director’s License from the University of Northern Colorado. Kristi has lived in Loveland since 2000 and raised 3 children. Adam, her oldest son, graduated from Colorado State University (CSU). Her daughter Emma attends the University of Wyoming, and Erik, her youngest, is at CSU. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, golfing, gardening, cooking, swing dancing, and spending time with friends and family. 
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Natalia Calhoun
Program Director
Natalia began as a Child Care Specialist in 2009, was promoted to Child Care Coordinator in 2010, and in 2013 became the Program Director! She oversees everything relating to Respite Care's Child Care Programs. Natalia loves working with incredible children and their families, and working closely with our Child Care Specialist and Administrative teams. Because Respite Care, Inc. provides such a unique and important service, she also LOVES making connections with folks who can be involved in some way--whether that be a child who will enjoy our programs, a relieved parent, or a new volunteer! Natalia has a master's degree in Business Administration and a bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, with minors in English and Architecture. She is Director qualified, has her Early Childhood Teacher qualification, as well as her Infant Nursery Supervisor qualification. She has earned her Society for Human Resource Management-Certified Professional credential. Natalia enjoys hiking, quilting, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She started working at Respite Care as a Child Care Specialist when she moved to Colorado in 2009 and was blown away that such an incredible community resource existed. She dreams of starting a similar program in her hometown in Louisiana!
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Emma Grimm
Early Childhood Program Assistant

Emma first started working at Respite Care as a Child Care Intern in May of 2022. After her internship, she joined the team as a Child Care Specialist! Since becoming a Child Care Specialist, she has worked with the Pebbles, the Cobblestones and the Boulders, getting to know each child's individual needs and building great rapport with all of our families. Emma joined the Weekend Lead team in October of 2022 and has thrived in this leadership role! Emma is now our Early Childhood Program Assistant and is loving working with our infants and toddlers! Outside of Respite Care, Emma enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, reading and doing art! 

Tabitha Johnson
Operations Manager

Tabitha has been working at Respite Care since the summer of 2021. She grew up in Fort Collins and is a CSU alumni. Tabitha also holds her Professional Human Resource certification. She is passionate about positively engaging with the community and working with underrepresented populations. Tabitha works on payroll, billing, HR compliance, and oversees our facility needs as well as assists our Executive Director with whatever she may need. Tabitha's favorite thing about working at Respite is seeing our kids walk through the doors to a place they feel at home in. She loves to see them laughing, playing, and developing friendships. Tabitha feels that Respite is really a magical place that attracts some of the best people in our community!

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Abbi Lockner
Development Manager

Abbi has been at Respite Care since August of 2017. She works on the development team managing fundraising events and community outreach. She organizes our two major fundraisers annually (the Holiday Ball and the Luncheon) and leads community tours, as well as provides assistance to the development director as needed. Abbi enjoys learning about fundraising, and she loves that she gets to come to work every day with a wonderful team who are all passionate about Respite Care and our mission. Abbi has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Northern Colorado. Prior to working at Respite Care, Abbi taught in early childhood classrooms for about four years. When not at Respite Care, Abbi loves to travel and spend time with her growing family.

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Amanda May
Marketing & Communications Manager

Amanda joined the Respite Care team in 2015 as a Child Care Specialist after spending a year leading a music sing along group with the Boulders. She then joined the administrative team in 2018 as our Volunteer Manager and transitioned to Marketing & Communications Manager in January of 2023! She is working on her Masters Degree in Marketing with a Specialization in Brand Communications in the Digital Era through the University of Colorado Denver and anticipates graduating in December of 2023. She loves hanging out with the kiddos at Respite Care and enjoys taking photos of their adventures for Respite Care's website and social media! Amanda loves spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, camping, and photographing the beautiful wildlife of Colorado.

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Sarah Meumann
Office & Billing Coordinator

Sarah started as a childcare specialist at Respite Care in the Fall of 2020. She graduated from CSU with a degree in English Education and a minor in Ethnic Studies in the Spring of 2023. After many years of working at Respite, she developed a passion for working with the children and families of our extraordinary community. She joined our Program team in 2024 as our Office and Billing Coordinator! Sarah’s favorite part about working at Respite Care has been seeing kiddos make new memories through programs such as Wilderness Camp and Day Camp all while providing necessary respite for their family members. In her free time, Sarah enjoys all things outdoors, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

Lauren Musick
School Age & Teen Program Coordinator

Lauren has worked at Respite Care since August of 2015. She plans fun and skill-building activities everyday for our school-age kiddos & teenagers who attend after school and in the summer. She also helps staff members understand this age group and their unique needs and personalities! Lauren loves making the kids laugh and helping them come up with their own ideas, goals, or dreams. These help Lauren plan the activities to do next. Lauren has her master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University, as well as additional training in behavior management and animal assisted activities. Outside of Respite Care, Lauren likes sewing, running, climbing, writing, and dog walking. In addition to School-Age & Teen Program Coordinator role, she also holds the honorary titles of, "Field Trip Queen" and "Archduke of Obstacle Courses."

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Maddy Neubauer
Child Care Manager

Maddy has worked at Respite Care since May 2015. She was the coordinator for our Early Childhood program for several years, planning activities and working with families to create individualized goals. In the fall of 2021, she transitioned to our Child Care Manager role! She loves seeing the children and teens meet their goals and building relationships with them and their families. Maddy has her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, both from University of Northern Colorado. She currently holds her Early Childhood Teacher Certification and Large Child Care Center Director's license. Outside of Respite Care, Maddy has taught Kindergarten, Third Grade, and Fourth Grade. Her favorite things to do outside of work are attending country music concerts, going fishing with her husband, and trying out new breweries with her sister!

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Jen Peppler
Weld Community Outreach Coordinator

Jen joined the Respite Care team in February of 2024.  She grew up in Fort Collins and has since moved to Weld County with her husband and four children.  She works on the Development Team building community relationships within Weld County and spreading the word about the great work we are doing there.  She loves being a part of a team of people who are passionate about helping others and give so selflessly of themselves for the greater cause.  Before coming to Respite Care she worked as a Medical Assistant for 12 years caring for patients and assisting in administrative duties.  She also started her own non-toxic beauty business in January 2021 and successfully sells online, at farmers markets and in various local shops and boutiques. Jen has a huge heart to serve and help where she is needed.  She has a strong desire for personal growth and development while also striving for excellence.  When not working you may find Jen running her kids around to various events and games, at church functions or at a local Farmers Market.

Chris Rivera
Kitchen Assistant & Cook

Chris started at Respite Care as our Kitchen Manager and Cook in June of 2009. In his role he helps prep and serve meals as well as keeps our kitchen and dining room sparkling clean!

Hannah Straubing
Program Administrator
Hannah joined the Respite Care team in May of 2019 as a childcare specialist after hearing about what a special place Respite was in the community. Hannah fell in love with the kids and community as a childcare specialist and held this role for about 3.5 years, and then joined the administrative team in January of 2023 as the Program Administrator! Hannah oversees all of our volunteer program, Day Camp program, and gets to plan fun programming activities for our kiddos and families. She could not imagine her life without Respite Care and the community that makes this place so magical! Hannah studied for a few years at Colorado State University, and is now working on her Early Childhood Teaching license through Front Range Community College. Outside of Respite Care, Hannah enjoys baking, paddle boarding, reading, and spending time with family and friends!
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Marissa Turner
Staff Manager

Marissa has been working at Respite Care since March of 2019. She volunteered at Respite Care for a couple months before deciding she wanted to become a Child Care Specialist! She was excited to transition into her new role on the Administrative team as the Staff Manager in 2021 after serving as the Office Manager for a few months. As the Staff Manager, Marissa oversees the Child Care Specialist team, Kitchen team, internship program and our other program leadership. She also plans monthly events for the team and works with other members of the program team on HR and licensing compliance. Marissa's favorite part about working at Respite Care is being able to come to work everyday and see the kiddos work towards their goals, explore their creativity and form new connections! Marissa graduated from Colorado State University in May of 2020, with her Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She has also earned her SHRM-CP certification. Outside of Respite Care, Marissa loves to go hiking, paddle boarding, snowboarding and enjoys reading whenever she can!

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Richard Whaley
House Manager

Richard started at Respite Care as our House Manager in August of 2022. He helps us to keep our house in tip top shape by doing our housekeeping tasks as well as facility maintenance!

Lani Wood
Scheduling Coordinator

Lani started at Respite Care as a volunteer in 2014 and then became a Child Care Specialist in May of 2018. As a Child Care Specialist she held the leadership positions of Group Lead, Weekend Lead, and then Early Childhood Program Assistant. In September of 2022 she stepped into the Scheduling Coordinator role and handles all kiddo and staff scheduling. Lani holds her Early Childhood Teaching Certificate as well as her Infant and Nursey Supervisor Certificate. Outside of Respite CareLani enjoys nannying, spending time with friends and family, and playing soccer! 

Our Board of Directors