We are proud that, over the years, Growing Room has made a real difference in the lives of many families. Our roots are deep in the community. That is evidenced by the many aspects of community service our company and its leaders and employees provide. Parents can also rest assured that decisions are made locally, and we are available to listen to concerns and suggestions.
Meet the Growing Room Leadership
Sheree Mitchell, Founder
Sheree is a graduate of Columbus State University. She has over 14 years experience as a professional registered nurse with a concentration in pediatrics. Sheree founded Growing Room Inc. in 1988 in response to a need in the Columbus, Georgia area for personalized and quality early childhood education and care. She began with one local school and continued from there, adding additional local schools. As parents across the country repeatedly requested for Growing Room schools in their areas, Sheree founded Growing Room Franchise System, Inc. She felt this would allow her to continue her mission of providing quality early childhood education and care across the country. She has always believed it is important to treat children with respect and to provide them with an enriching environment with nurturing teachers and a planned, developmentally-appropriate curriculum for all ages, beginning in infancy.
Sheree was named the National Small Business Person of Year, as well as the Georgia Small Business Person of the Year in 2004 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She was honored with the Thomas Y. Whitley Award by Columbus State University and the Concharty Council of Girl Scouts named her a Woman of Achievement in 2004. In 2000, she earned the honor of being named Women in Business Advocate of the Year in Georgia and in the Southeast.
Pat Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, Growing Room Franchising System, Inc.
Pat and his wife Sheree started this company in 1988 from the ground up, opening their first school in 1989. He continued his career in construction management for many years while helping Sheree with the business on nights and weekends. He has over 20 years experience in project management. Pat attended Troy State University where he received his B.A. in Business Administration. He has acted in many roles over the years, and began working at Growing Room full time in 2001. Prior to his role as CEO of Growing Room Franchising Systems, Inc., he was the Chief Financial Officer for Growing Room Inc. Pat views Growing Room as his and Sheree’s finest achievement of a lifetime and it continues to grow as they positively impact the lives of children, families, and employees.
Brittany Haines, CFE, Chief Executive Officer, Growing Room Inc.
Brittany was born and raised in Columbus, GA. She and her husband Brad live there with their three children, ages 20, 15, and 15. Brittany has been with Growing Room since 2001. She is intimately involved in the daily operations of Growing Room. Brittany has a passion for children and believes in a strong foundation for their educational success. She believes that children learn best when there is a strong partnership between home and school and therefore it is important to her that Growing Room promotes a wonderful family atmosphere.
Brittany graduated with a B.A. in Communication from Columbus State University. She earned her Certificate in Franchise Management from Georgetown University. She is also a graduate of Leadership Columbus and a Certified Franchise Executive. She possesses her real estate license, national administrator credentials, and is a certified early childhood outdoor play inspector and a certified supervisor for outdoor environments. Brittany is active in her community and believes in giving back. She currently serves on the Georgia Child Care Association Board of Directors, the American Cancer Society Leadership Council, the Muscogee County Relay for Life Event Leadership Team, the Bark for Life Committee, and the Education and Training Advisory Committee at Central High School. Brittany has been recognized as one of Columbus and The Valley’s 2017 Rising Stars. She is a member of the Junior League of Columbus, the Georgia Childcare Association, and the Society of Supervisors. She has served in the Miss America Organization, the DECAL Faith Based Advisory Committee, Georgia Childcare Association Advisory Committee and the Hands on Columbus Board.
Brad Haines, CFE, Chief Operating Officer, Growing Room Franchising System, Inc. Senior Vice President, Growing Room Inc.
Brad began his time with Growing Room as one of the first students of the original Growing Room. In 1998, he started his career with the company as a School Age teacher. He attended Columbus State University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He earned his Certificate in Franchise Management from Georgetown University. He is also a graduate of Leadership Columbus and a Certified Franchise Executive. Brad has literally worked in almost every role in our company.
Married and father of 3, Brad has always been a family man. He coached all 3 of his children in little league baseball and then coached several years of youth football. Now, you will find him at the middle school games on the side lines as part of the chain crew where his daughter (cheerleader) and youngest son (football player) are playing. His passion for working with children carries over to his career with the company. The way he has always looked at hiring employees was a pretty simple concept. “Would I want this person teaching/caring for my children?” If it’s not good enough for his children, it’s not Growing Room.
Jennifer Carpenter, Vice President of Early Childhood Education, Growing Room Franchising System, Inc.
Jennifer Jarrell Carpenter is Vice President of Early Childhood Education for Growing Room Child Development Centers. Jennifer has been employed by the Growing Room Child Development Center since June of 2001. She graduated from Troy State University, with honors, with a degree in Elementary Education K-5. She earned a Master’s degree from The University of Phoenix, graduating with honors, in Curriculum and Instruction.
Jennifer is responsible for writing and overseeing curriculum for all preschool classes. She strives to provide the best education possible for the children and to make the curriculum interesting and suitable for all children to achieve success in their work and learning. Jennifer believes that all children deserve to have a safe educational environment where they can learn and grow in. Jennifer lives in Butler, Georgia, with her husband, Keith, and daughter Anna Beth.
Kim Mills, Quality Assurance and Franchise Support Coordinator, Growing Room Franchising System, Inc.
Kim grew up in Columbus, Georgia and has over twenty-three years experience in the early childhood education field. After completing high school and earning a scholarship to CVCC, she completed two years there and enrolled at Columbus Technical college where she earned an Early Childhood and Development certificate. She ultimately transferred to the University of Phoenix, where she earned her Bachelors of Science and Education. Kim started her career at the Original Growing Room when she was a 17 year old, young mother and a part-time para pro for a K3 class. She knew early on that she wanted to focus on a career that allowed her to invest her time and efforts in educating children. Kim saw an opportunity for growth within the company and decided to further her career and become a K3 Lead teacher for Growing Room Too when it opened. While at Growing Too in the K3 room, Kim continued to pursue her goals and teaching dreams. While in pursuit of her goals Kim managed to meet her husband, Jason, got married, and was blessed to become a step mother and a new mom for the second time. Kim continued to grow within the company and has held the position of Assistant Director, Senior Director, and Executive Director. During Kim’s experience at Growing Room, she has managed a church partnership, corporate centers, and locally owned centers. Kim spent eight years working in corporate childcare prior to returning to Growing Room.
In the end, looking back, Kim says she could have never imagined that she would be where she is at this point in her life. A wife, with four sons, a step daughter, one fur baby and a successful career woman, doing what she set out to do when she was just 17 years old.
Rebecca McKinney, Franchise Training and Professional Development Coordinator, Growing Room Franchising System, Inc.
Rebecca moved to Columbus, Georgia at the age of 10 and refers to Columbus as her hometown. She attended Auburn University and transferred to Columbus State University at the end of her Sophomore year to assist in taking care of her mother. As an afternoon job, she started her childcare journey being an Assistant Teacher at a local childcare center which laid the foundation for her love and passion to work with children. Rebecca wanted to further her career path and accepted the K3 Lead Teacher position with Growing Room. It did not take long for Growing Room to see Rebecca had leaderships qualities and promoted her to Night Owl Supervisor. From there, Rebecca moved up to Assistant Director, then Senior Director/Franchise Instructor. Franchisees shadowed Rebecca at her Growing Room Center while she trained them on the day to day operations. Rebecca would also travel to the franchise locations and spend time before and after their opening day. This was exciting to see children and adults from other areas experience The Growing Room Way.
In 2009, Rebecca took some time away from Growing Room to focus on growing her family with her husband Tate. With the help of an amazing medical team, four years later Rebecca and Tate welcomed their beautiful twins Ryder and Harper. She wanted to spend extra time with them so she worked part time as a leasing agent at Woodruff Property Management Company. Rebecca quickly grew in leadership roles with WPMC and moved onto Senior Leasing, Assistant Manager, and then Property Manager. She also served as a board member on the Columbus Apartment Association. Rebecca loved to help other’s find their dream home, but knew she missed working with children and being a part of the Growing Room Family. In 2017, Rebecca returned home to Growing Room as the Franchise Training and Professional Development Coordinator. Rebecca loves everything Growing Room and is excited every day to teach the Growing Room Way.