Meet The Owners
We’re mostly family. It’s complicated, it works, and we can’t wait to meet you!
Ginni: Head Chef
Ginni Taylor - Is our Gifted Chef and prepares the fabulous meals at Mulberry Gap. She has strong motherly instincts to feed and watch over our guests after raising two children of her own and adopting 5 others. Ginni grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to banking and real estate, she ran a B&B at a ski resort in Vermont.
Diane Kepley - Grew up moving around the northeast, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, traveled a bit in Europe, the continental United States and Alaska and worked as Certified Property Manager. Eventually moving to Vero Beach, FL with her husband, Steve, who is an optometrist and owner of Tropical Eye Associates, she served as his office manager for 20+ years while raising three children; Jason, Kate and Rachel. She has a soft heart for animals, especially the homeless and wounded and has raised a myriad of birds, turtles, snakes, squirrels, dogs, cats and pigs…
Andrew: The Last American Man, Jack of all Trades & Lumbersexual
Andrew Gates - Holds certifications as a Firefighter and EMT-I. He began practicing the art of Seibukon karate at the age of 7 and obtained his 2nd degree black belt at the age of 17. He was fortunate to travel extensively while competing at an international level. Since retiring from karate, he has become an avid mountain biker and bikepacker. Along with Andrew’s medical training, he is known for his ability to problem solve, fix things and get the job done. He is responsible for most of the renovations onsite and is talented in many areas.
Kate: Marketing Director & Events Coordinator
Kate Gates – Andrew & Kate met in high school while living in Vero Beach, FL and married at Mulberry Gap in November 2013. She graduated from Florida State University in 2011. Between 2010-2011, she studied and worked in Florence, Italy and traveled throughout Europe. Upon arriving back in the states she moved to Chattanooga, TN where she worked as a raft guide on the Ocoee River and studied to become a Registered Yoga Teacher. Upon their engagement, she moved to Mulberry Gap as another family member who owns and operates Mulberry Gap day to day. Together, Andrew & Kate enjoy challenging themselves and adventuring with their dog Brewski; including cross-country road trips and bikepacking across the United States and abroad. She has an eye and passion for photography in her downtime.
Meet the Crew
Brian: Groundskeeper & Kitchen Assistant
Brian Woods - Military veteran of 15-years with extensive land navigation and survival skills. Brian started mountain biking only a little over a year ago to become healthier and spend more time in nature. He is passionate about helping others and enjoys learning new things every day.
Kathryn Palmer: Office Manager
Palmer is an audacious collector of experiences, constantly looking for new wildernesses to tame.
Her life and career have often focused on training animals, people, and animal-like people. In Florida, Palmer raised two lizard-catching daughters, who have now passed their skills on to the next generation of offspring and fur-babies. She is very proud of her successful daughters and adventurous grandkids. She also taught the public about fascinating creatures, such as the binturongs at the Palm Beach Zoo. But whether she was training park rangers for the Florida DEP, employees for American Red Cross, or crew members at Andretti (AIKG), her philosophy is always the same: help others, do no harm and learn daily.
She loves meeting new people and hosting trivia Meet Ups. Palmer is most at home while surrounded by nature. An avid camper and hiker, Palmer is now using her "same boots, different trail" attitude to master the mountain biking lifestyle at Mulberry Gap.
You can find Palmer and her partner-in-crime Parker walking around the grounds or behind the desk at the front office. Parker will either look like an adorable chug (Chihuahua + Pug) or a snoring pile of blankets, depending on his mood.
Meet Our Guides
Chris: Local Tour Guide & Bikepacker
Chris Gray - pulled out his old 26" Peugeot in the summer of 2014, having let it sit for 20 years, in order to lose weight for his brother-in-law's wedding. After dropping 60 lbs, and months of riding he was hooked again and bought his first modern hardtail. Since then his love for biking and trail running has continued to grow, especially towards endurance events like the Snake Creek TT, Death March Revival, and Fool's Gold. Bike packing in particular has become a very focused passion for Chris, leading him to complete the Cohutta Cat as well as the Huracan 300 for two years in a row. Having earned top 10 finishes in both events, Chris now has his sights set on the 2018 Trans North Georgia Adventure. Chris loves helping people learn to ride, have a great time in the woods on a bike, and become more confident in themselves. He is also certified as a PMBIA instructor.
Dave: Tour Guide
David Lack - As far as Dave can look back, he's spent his entire life on and around bikes. In 1979 at age 16, he started working at a bike shop in Lake Wales, Florida. His parents bought the bike shop and eventually opened a second location in Winter Haven. After Dave's parents retired in 1997, Dave owned and operated The Bike Shop of Winter Haven, meeting many locals and travelers in Central Florida. Dave ran the shop until 2013 when he sold it and relocated to North Georgia, bringing his multitude of bike knowledge and mechanic experience to Ellijay. He now works part time at Cartecay Bike Shop as well as guiding for us. Dave has been taking mountain bike trips to the North Georgia mountains for over 25 years and knows our local trails as well as we do. He's frequently seen on our local trails with his ultimate trail dog Lucy Lou.
Loretta: Local Tour Guide
Loretta Simpson - A retired City of Miami Firefighter/paramedic. She moved to North Georgia when her husband took a job at an Atlanta hospital. She has been a competitive cyclist off and on since her time at the Fire Department where she entered the firefighter olympics. Thirty years, 2 children and a few broken bones later, she's still crazy about the bike. Loretta discovered mountain biking at the age of 38 and took up racing upon moving to Georgia. As a Cat 1 racer she has competed and trained on most of the trails and gravel in North GA and the Southeast. Highlights of her racing career include an age group Masters national championship in cross country, topping the podium at the Snake Creek TT, Cohutta 65, Bump and Grind and podium finishes at Fools Gold 50 as well as the buckle at the Leadville 100.
Loretta no longer "trains" and only competes occasionally but loves to keep her fitness up and ride with other cyclist in the community. She hopes to share her experience with others through guiding and working with High School mountain bikers such as the NICA league (National Interscholastic Cycling League) and is also a PMBIA certified instructor.