About Us

The Grant Park Parents Network (GPPN)’s mission is to to cultivate and foster relationships among families residing within Neighborhood Planning Unit W and adjacent neighborhoods. We sponsor events for children of all ages and offer opportunities for parents to become involved in the community through improving education, creating neighborhood resources, and partnering with other community organizations.The GPPN has a board of nine volunteers. We continually need volunteers to help on the planning and implementation committees. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the president at president@grantparkparents.org.

GPPN Board

Kristen Silton

Kristen Silton – President

president@grantparkparents.org

Kristen is originally from Nashville, TN and has lived in Ormewood Park for five years along with her husband, Jordan, kids, Benji (5), Evie Ruth (3) and Jonah (9 months), and dog, Lola. Kristen attended Emory University and holds degrees in Theater Studies and Mathematics. She is the Marketing and Development Director at Actor’s Express. When not working or child-wrangling, Kristen enjoys exploring the neighborhood, trying new restaurants, and taking advantage of Atlanta’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

Melanie Calhoun – Vice President

vicepresident@grantparkparents.org

Melanie is originally from Pittsburgh, PA but fell in love with Atlanta after moving here for work back in 2007. Her stay ended after five years when her career moved her to Northern California. Melanie met her husband, Bryan, an Atlanta native, in Oakland where they started their family. Bryan and Melanie welcomed their son, Maxwell in 2016 and as the family expanded, they decided to return to Atlanta before the arrival of their daughter, Melia in 2018. Bryan’s deep roots in Grant Park make Maxwell and Melia the fourth generation of Calhouns to live in their house on Kendrick. Melanie has been active in the GPPN activities and is excited to be the Vice President. She holds a BS of Business Administration and an MBA from Florida A&M University. She is currently working as a diversity and inclusion consultant and loves cooking and traveling in her spare time.

Gwen Link – Secretary

secretary@grantparkparents.org

Gwen has been in Atlanta for over 10 years, 5 of those in Grant Park with her husband, Stefan. Together they have 2 kids, Alexandra (3) and Maxwell (6 weeks), a dog, Roxy, and cat named Waffles. Gwen was born in India and grew up there and in SC when her family moved to the US. She moved to GA to pursue her Masters degree at UGA. Gwen and her family love the Grant Park neighborhood and take advantage of walking around the park and going to the zoo as much as possible.

Alyssa Hallick

Alyssa Hallick – Treasurer

treasurer@grantparkparents.org

Alyssa has lived in Grant Park since marrying her husband Stephen in 2013. Their daughter, Mila, was born in 2015 and the whole family quickly got involved with the Naked Mole Rats playgroup and other GPPN activities and Alyssa was on the GPPN Events Committee during 2017. She holds a BS in Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee and is a CPA. After working in public accounting for 12 years, she now works part time for Elekta, Inc. as their tax leader. In her rare free time, Alyssa enjoys travel, photography, and reading.

Chaice Garner – Community Outreach Chair

community@grantparkparents.org

Chaice is thrilled to join the GPPN board after living in Grant Park for the last 9 years. Growing up in Atlanta and as a Georgia Tech graduate, the Grant Park neighborhood has always been a special place to her, and she’s excited to continue to make it a special place for others.  Chaice and husband, Tom, have a son West (5), twin daughters Albie and Rennie (2), and dog Frankie (who doubles as a nanny and twin toy).  Chaice feels pretty lucky to get to take the kids to the zoo and park and loves walking to Six Feet Under for the occasional date night. Chaice enjoys sports, creating art in all forms, cooking, reading and a great glass of wine.

Meredith Bier – Marketing Chair

marketing@grantparkparents.org

Meredith and her husband, Brandon moved into an Ormewood Park fixer upper in 2008. They spent the next seven years DIY their home and starting a family. They now have two children, Liam and Avery (ages 4 and 9 months). Meredith discovered the Parents Network after joining the Budgies playgroup and later became a member of the Events Committee. Meredith graduated from Georgia College where she played soccer and obtained a degree in Mass Communications. She loves trying new restaurants in the neighborhood, running, and spending as much time as possible at the lake during the summer.

Christina Patrick – Playgroup Chair

playgroups@grantparkparents.org

Christina grew up in Madison, AL and has lived in Atlanta for 14 years, 6 of those years being in Grant Park where she resides with her husband, John (JP), her sweet daughter, Lilyana (2), and their 2 crazy yorkies, Bubba and Koby. Christina attended the University of South Carolina for undergraduate and graduate school and holds an B.A. in Psychology and a M.A./Ed.S in Counseling. She is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Luxury Collection focusing on Intown Atlanta.  In her spare time, she’s a practicing yogi, foodie and wine lover and loves exploring Atlanta’s many neighborhoods and enjoying the experiences and culture our city has to offer.

Erin Drakeford – Music in the Meadow Chair

edrakeford@grantparkparents.org

Erin and her husband Jason moved back to Grant Park in 2014 with their first daughter Penny after a 5 year stay in NYC. They very happily found the Budgies Playgroup and so many amazing changes to the neighborhood! They added another girl Margot to the family in 2016. Erin graduated from UGA with a Painting+Drawing degree and currently works as a hairstylist in Grant Park. When not chasing babies and getting neighbors styled up, she enjoys crafting, sewing, painting, yoga and watching dark comedies. She is excited to get more involved with the community on the 2019 GPPN board member.

Andrea Jayaraman – At-Large Member

ajayaraman@grantparkparents.org

Andrea and her husband, Siva, moved to Grant Park in 2014. Since then her family has grown to include Aadi (2), Layla (6 months) and dog, Etta. She first became involved with GPPN through the Llama playgroup and is now supporting GPPN as an At-Large Member. Andrea attended Georgia State University and Georgia Southern and holds degrees in Early Childhood Education and Instructional Technology. Taking time at home to raise her two kids, you’ll often see her taking advantage of Atlanta’s attractions like Zoo Atlanta, Fernbank and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Andrea enjoys planning family trips, fishing with her dad, and a great bottle of wine with friends.

Valerie Calhoun – At-Large Member

vcalhoun@grantparkparents.org

Valerie grew up in Jonesboro, GA, went to The University of Georgia in Athens for her Bachelor’s degree, and then moved to Atlanta (Boulevard Heights) six years ago. (She spent a few years traveling and completing her Master’s degree in International Business in there somewhere.) Valerie and her husband, Sean, have two boys: Finn (almost 4) and Duke (almost 2), as well as two dogs. Valerie works as a Recruiter for an agency in Buckhead and as a Mom for the two small dictators who live with her. She also runs FIT4MOM Grant Park-East Atlanta and dreams of one day sleeping again.