Tommy Rhodes is the Executive Director and founder of Barefoot Republic Camp. You can read more of his bio in the ‘Our History’ page.
Jake Smith joined the team in February of 2017. As the Director of Development, Jake is passionate about connecting donors to the many financial needs and opportunities we have in helping fulfill the mission of Barefoot Republic. Our desire is to build long-lasting relationships with individuals, churches, foundations, corporations who share in our same passion.
Jake grew up in Hendersonville, TN and is a life-long Tennesseean. After graduating from The University of Tennessee, Jake spent time working for the University of Tennessee Athletic Department in Knoxville. Desiring to be back closer to Nashville, Jake returned home where he felt called into working with non-profits who are having a life-long impact on the lives of those they serve. Jake has spent the last five years working as Director of Development for Blood:Water Mission, an organization who is provides clean water and HIV/AIDS care in Africa.
After have the privilege of meeting Tommy a few years ago, Jake came away with a deep appreciation for the unique and powerful impact that Barefoot Republic was having in the lives of kids. When given the opportunity, Jake was eager to join in this powerful mission and help continue to build upon the incredible success and history that Barefoot Republic has enjoyed.
Jake is married to Caroline and they currently have one son, Boone. Living in the Sylvan Park area of Nashville, they can most likely be found chasing Boone or their labrador retriever, Mister, around the greenway. Jake and Caroline attend The Village Chapel in Nashville.
After meeting Tommy who shared the Barefoot Republic Camp vision, Aucretia Carey felt a divine call and connection to be a part of the ministry of Barefoot Republic. Excited to join the Barefoot family, Aucretia came onboard in December of 2016 to serve as the Business Office Manager. As the Business Office Manager, she works with Barefoot to assist the team in managing and implementing the Barefoot vision, as well as, working on Human Resource and other Financial initiatives.
Aucretia has an extensive background working in the ministry and with other non-profit organizations. She formerly served as an Executive Administrator and Director of Finance, serving multiple churches domestically and globally providing ministry resources and programming to a diverse audience. Additionally, she was responsible for ministry event planning & development, budgeting, facilitating and staff oversight to execute ministry service options, inclusive of national conferences, leadership training platforms, as well as, local ministry facilities located in California, Kentucky and Indiana.
Aucretia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Memphis, as well as, a Master’s Degree in Accounting & Finance from AIU. She is an accomplished senior accounting & financial professional with over fifteen years’ experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, and non-profit and government agencies. Her responsibilities include working with clients in all levels of finance and accounting facets in both corporate and public accounting environments. She continues to serve as CEO of Consulting by Carey, specializing in providing Administrative, Financial & Business Consulting needs to business owners and other non-profit organizations.
Aucretia is happy to be a part of the amazing Barefoot team and looks forward to utilizing her God-given talents and abilities to help impact the lives of youth through the Barefoot vision.
Olivia Ramsey joined our staff in March of 2012 as our Executive Administrator. Before joining the Barefoot staff, she spent the last ten years in various ministry experiences. After moving to Tennessee, she held administrative and leadership roles at ZJAM Youth Ministries and worked with Dawson McAllister Ministries. She joined an intensive internship focusing on discipleship and pastoral training with her church, New Song Christian Fellowship, and served as a part of their youth leadership team for a little over 10 years.
Her role at Barefoot combines many experiences and gifts the Lord has given to her. She loves getting to be a part of the Barefoot family and seeing how God is using the ministry to change lives. In 2015, she became the Marketing & Communications Director, overseeing and producing all of the digital and print materials for the organization. She enjoys creating the graphics and merchandise which are worn by Barefoot campers and families. In August of 2017, she transitioned back to Executive Administrator while continuing to help with Barefoot’s social media pages and graphics. She continues to be inspired by all God is doing in and through the lives of those Barefoot interacts with.
Candace Clippard was born in Nashville, TN, and has been involved with Barefoot since 2005, starting as a counselor and soccer coach the summer after graduating from Brentwood Academy. In 2010, she began working on staff with Barefoot as the Program Director, planning and leading programming activities during the summer and school year as well as building partnerships with local organizations and recruiting campers and staff for the summer. Previously she was Barefoot’s Development Director, where she focused on donor development, and planning and coordinating the 5K 4 MLK and Run Barefoot. She recently moved into the position of Residential Camp Director, helping to oversee our residential camp while maintaining her other summer camp recruiting responsibilities.
Candace has spent a lot of time investing in the youth of Nashville. She currently volunteers with the junior high and high school youth at Immanuel Nashville. She also taught PreK-6th grade Physical Education at The Covenant School from 2012-2014 and coached Varsity girls soccer at Brentwood Academy from 2010-2012. Her deepest love is Barefoot and she is honored to get to serve Christ and the many students/families in her role here.
Cali Bolinger joined the Barefoot Republic Staff as Day Camp Director in September 2014. Cali has always had a special heart for the younger ages, as she nannied for Tommy Rhodes’ children when they were young. She spent several years connecting with this age group by making a name for herself in the music industry, touring with Christian and Radio Disney artists such as Jump Five, Drew Sealy and Brandon Heath.
Serving as a Young Life Leader, Cali witnessed God’s incredible heart for His children through the camping ministry. “Through camp, I have seen walls break down and wounds overflow with healing. I am honored to share life with the children, parents and staff at Barefoot Republic.” When she is not focused on camp, Cali enjoys precious time with her handsome husband Will and sweet daughters, Ari and Eisley. On a Friday night, her home is busting at the seems with dance parties, baby dolls and laughter.
Lauren is thrilled to join the full time staff at Barefoot Republic Camp as Assistant Day Camp Director, having started in May of 2016. Lauren’s love for Barefoot and serving children and their families began in the summer of 2015 when she served as Republic Leader and photography intern with our Day Camps. Her favorite part of camp is, “seeing kids having absolutely no worries, being completely vulnerable, and unapologetically themselves.” Her heart is drawn to the younger students at Barefoot, and her nurturing demeanor is a perfect fit for the Day Camp age group.
Lauren is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, with her degree in Advertising, concentration in Design, and a minor in sales. She has many skills that will serve Barefoot well. Her role during the off-season is to plan and prepare for the upcoming summer, assist with camper and staff recruiting, and assist the team with year-round programming and retreats. During the summer, she is a face many of you and your children will come to know well!
Lauren is a creative at heart and loves photography and graphic design, cooking, and investing in the relationships God has placed in her life!
Thomas Rose has been involved with Barefoot Republic Camps for over 9 years assisting with Elements of Programming, Coordinating with Worship Leaders. He is also leads a band called The Rose Factor. Previously Thomas also worked as an Outreach Facilitator at Rocketown and a FCA Coordinator at Charleston Southern University.
Thomas and Dita have three children Jrew, Jazzlyn & Stella Joy. They are originally from Charleston, SC and moved to Nashville in 2003 to be a part of the ministry community in Nashville, TN. “I believe worship is more than a song. I believe it is living a life of undying love and gratitude that’s pleasing and acceptable to the Father. It is about us being a people willing to love one another with the same intensity that God loves us.”
Charlie Payne joined our staff in November of 2016 as our overnight camp and retreat center Operations Director. Before joining the Barefoot staff, he spent the early part of his career as a helping professional in the mental health care field serving as a case manager for children and their families. Charlie has previously served in philanthropic positions at the University of Kentucky and has worked with his family who is involved in several different foundations and non-profit organizations.
Charlie lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky with his wife Jennifer. They were high school sweethearts and have been together for 10 years. Charlie and Jennifer decided to get hitched in June 2015. While they do not have kids just yet, they do have Siberian husky named Tucky.
Charlie’s role at Barefoot includes the organization and facilitation of retreats at the overnight camp located in Fountain Run, KY. Charlie hopes to combine his love for philanthropy and working with children to help Barefoot carry out its ministry and change the lives of people who get to experience Barefoot.
Rhonda Sanspree joined the staff in May 2012 as the Head Chef for overnight camp. Since then her duties has expanded to Food Service Director. Rhonda believes she has worked her whole life to get to this wonderful job at Barefoot. She started working at a young age and hasn’t stopped yet. She has worked as an inventory clerk, sales clerk, civil service, pharmacy tech, bookkeeper, electrician and currently also owns Sew Fine Quilts in Scottsville, KY. She also cooks for White Plains Baptist Church for their Wednesday Services. Rhonda believes God prepared her for service at Barefoot Republic by all the other job experiences she has had in life. She really likes watching the campers enjoy the food she has prepared for them and interacting with many who attend retreats throughout the year.
She has been married to her husband Michael for 25 years and they have three children, Brandon, Amanda and Christina. She is also grandmother to Nickolas and Katielyn and you can’t forget her miniature pinschers, Bitsy and Spottie Dottie.
Dewayne joined the staff of Barefoot Republic in March 2012 as Facility Director at our Kentucky campus until April of 2014. He recently joined the staff again after working a couple of years in the landscaping business. At camp he helps oversee the groundskeeping, facility maintenance and making sure everything is presentable to our campers, families and retreat guests. You can also find him helping lead paintball, zipline or helping out at horseback.
Growing up in Kentucky, Dewayne learned many skills from jobs he held. He worked for his Grandfather’s auto repair shop and a landscaping company where he eventually became a crew foreman-being responsible for all the employees and their quality of work. He also had spent time in the construction field being a general laborer for a commercial electrical company. All of these experiences fit together to give him the skills he has used while working at Barefoot.
Dewayne feels like God has placed him at Barefoot, and at Barefoot is where he truly has found his calling in life. He appreciates the vision Tommy has followed, and wants to be a part of it to see the dreams become a reality. He is truly excited to see what God’s plans are for him, and what He has in store for him with all those he comes in contact with.
Buddy(a.k.a – Fluffy) joined our staff at the Kentucky campus in June 2016. Buddy found his way to Barefoot and was immediately took the role of Hospitality Director. Buddy’s job is to greet each group and to keep the spirits high of our staff, guests, and campers. Buddy has never met a stranger! His other duties include keeping an eye on our KY campus. He spends his weekdays working out our horses and keeping them in line. On the weekends and during retreats Buddy likes to entertain our retreat guests.
Buddy came to camp with some serious health difficulties and injuries. We are unsure of what Buddy’s life consisted of before being on Barefoot’s campus. Our staff was immediately attached to Buddy’s calm and fun loving personality. Tommy decided to make Barefoot a permanent home for Buddy. Buddy is now well taken care of. He is thought to be born in 2013. Buddy is German Shepherd mix.
Aly is so excited to be a part of the Barefoot team and see all that God has in store for camp both in California and Kentucky. While growing up in Green Bay, WI she volunteered and worked at a YMCA camp as a counselor and later the office manager for a total of five summers. After moving to Southern California for school she began working with youth throughout south central LA with Young Life and California School Project. This volunteering along with her work with her church, Fellowship Monrovia, cultivated her great love for the pursuit of unity in the body of Christ. Additionally she loves sharing the gospel with youth and caring for them in their journey of faith and thinks that camps provide an incredible environment for both of these.
Now a senior at Biola University studying Marketing Management, she is overjoyed to get to combine her passion for camp, youth, diversity and business as the Program Coordinator for Barefoot Republic: California.
To facilitate Christ-centered relationships between individuals from diverse racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds through an equally diverse platform of artistic, athletic and team-building programs. To reflect God’s pursuit of His children through interests and passions, interpersonal relationships, and equipping students with tools for exploring and discovering God’s presence in their lives.