Team

Meet Our Team

We Nurture the Genius & Unleash the Goofball

At Romp n’ Roll, our team strives to create a fun, friendly, and creative atmosphere to help your child grow and learn. Much thought goes into the planning and execution of each and every class and activity at our kids gyms, so that you and your child feel comfortable and inspired when you join us. Like you, we want to see each child become the very best version of themselves, and we seek to provide the socialization and positive play-based interactions vital to reaching each milestone and building a strong learning foundation. At Romp n’ Roll, we encourage children and parents alike to have fun, learn more, and make friends. Read on to learn more about our teammates.

Experience our kids gym for yourself by calling (804) 625-4118 and scheduling a free introductory class!​​​​​​

Our Team

  • Michael Barnett

    Co-Founder & CEO

    Michael’s first job came at the age of 13 when he was hired to butter toast on Saturday mornings at a busy diner near his home in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He was subsequently fired from that job because he was unable to butter the toast without ensuring that the butter was spread evenly to all four corners of the bread. This early interaction with management led him to realize he was destined to be an entrepreneur (and gluten-free). After receiving a degree in Marketing Communications from Juniata College, Michael embarked on a career developing marketing campaigns for brands such as Microsoft, Ford, and General Mills. He ran promotion divisions for CBS and Clear Channel Communications in New York City and co-founded a marketing agency, which he helped grow to $18 million in revenue in just three years. One day, he had the good fortune to meet Babz. They got married, had two kids, and the next thing he knew he was running an international kids franchise. In addition to leading the Romp n’ Roll management team, Michael is an active member of the International Franchise Association, the Virginia Council of CEOs, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children and serves on the Board of Directors for Connor’s Heroes. Away from the office, Michael is into long-distance running, cooking delicious (and occasionally healthy) food, cheering on his kids in various activities, and attending cocktail parties where the conversation often leads to his appearance with Babz on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.”

  • Babz Barnett

    President & Co-Founder

    Babz wants to live in a world filled with healthier food, fitness rather than fighting, more spontaneous dance parties, and a new epidemic of people “paying it forward.” And, of course, a world where every child can Romp n’ Roll! A proud “Jersey Girl,” Babz received a degree in Technology from Montclair State College in Montclair, New Jersey, a college coincidentally known for its education program. If only she knew then that one day she would lead a growing international education franchise! However, the plethora of positions she has held through the years has prepared her well. Babz enjoyed her early career working in Environmental Engineering. However, after hearing countless friends ask her why she was not in sales, she decided to go for it. She started a second career as an Executive Recruiter and was so successful that she elevated to the rank of Vice President, relocating to New York City to lead the firm’s first office there. Eventually, she recruited herself out of that position into one at a cutting edge company called America Online (AOL) to join its New York City sales team, a position she enjoyed up until the birth of her son, Zachary. Daughter Emma soon joined the family, and Babz took being a stay-at-home mom very seriously. She spent her days checking out every activity in town for the kids. Conversations with Michael over the dinner table that often started with “If I owned a business like that, I would…” led to the formation of the Romp n’ Roll business plan. Away from the office, Babz can be found searching for the latest motivational quote, training for her next marathon, or playing board games with the kids. She is at the gym most mornings before the sun comes up, which can be overwhelming to her family when she bounds back into the house full of energy (usually singing), telling them to get up and make the most of their day.

  • Trish Gibbs

    Director of Marketing

    Trish brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and strategy development to her role at Romp n’ Roll. She oversees Romp n’ Roll’s marketing programs and channels, spearheading initiatives to meet its strategic goals and strengthen the brand. Prior to Romp n’ Roll, Trish created and executed the marketing strategy for companies including Capital One, Snagajob, Shoe Carnival, and OccasionGenius. A graduate of James Madison University with a business degree in Marketing, Trish started her career in sports marketing, and thrives on collaboration and teamwork. She is energized by the fast-paced, fun, and dynamic environment at Romp n’ Roll. Away from the office, Trish loves fitness, spending time with her family at the beach, and playing and watching sports. Trish is on the board of Boaz & Ruth and volunteers her time to mentor young marketing professionals.

  • Allison Giovenco

    Director of Sales and Franchise Support

    Allison’s favorite place in the world is Romp n’ Roll (how could it not be?). Her degree in Education has inspired her passion for the play-based learning model that Romp n’ Roll’s curriculum provides. Having been with the company since 2008, she became General Manager of Romp n’ Roll Harrisburg in 2011. During her 6-year tenure as General Manager, Allison led a turnaround in which sales consistently increased 15% every year, ultimately, more than doubling revenue. Allison’s experience as a dynamic leader, a creative problem-solver, and inventive trainer led her to accept the position of Director of Sales and Franchise Support with Romp n’ Roll in 2018. During her down time, Allison loves going on adventures with her husband, Daniel. Allison’s downtime is never slow. She is always treasure hunting at antique and record stores, camping on a river, dancing to live music, and finding the best photo opportunities nearby.

  • Rachel Stender

    Director of Franchise Development

    Rachel is passionate about people and instrumental in guiding them to a realization of their dreams of business ownership. A degree in Journalism and Advertising at UW Madison led to her career start in the buying offices of Target Corp. and then Gap, Inc. She thrived on growing a business, creating solutions, and developing new initiatives and strategies for ongoing opportunities. Rachel initially realized how important the fit between a franchisor and franchisee is to mutual long term success when she was a franchise consultant with FranChoice. Her enthusiasm for developing a strong franchise brand has equated to success in working with multiple companies in the franchise industry, awarding over 250 franchises. Rachel understands the value Romp n’ Roll brings to a child’s life each day, having a busy toddler of her own at home. Her family and friends are important fixtures in her life and she loves to be active and fit. You can also find her cooking and baking in the kitchen.

  • Eve Paletta-Weaver

    Director of Operations

    Eve Paletta-Weaver is Romp n’ Roll’s Director of Operations, where she brings extensive experience in process and operations management as well as a passion for leadership and creativity. She has an undergraduate degree in Art Education from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. During her college years, Eve studied abroad in Australia, exploring the country, the Great Barrier Reef, and other incredible landmarks. She leveraged that experience as she went into the field of education, working as a teaching assistant. After working in the school system, Eve decided to take on the world of business where she could use her creativity while satisfying her passion for analytics. She gained valuable experience serving in a variety of roles from Account Manager to Director of Operations. Eve enjoys spending time with her daughter, Jasmine, while participating with the Girls Scouts. As a Girl Scout Leader, she is able to find new and creative ways to allow each girl to have fun while learning all of the amazing things that they can do to have a positive impact on the world around them.

  • Courtney Headley

    Administrative Assistant

    Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader! Courtney started cheering for her hometown little league football team when she was a young girl and continued her cheering career through college at James Madison University. At Romp n’ Roll, Courtney’s responsibilities include managing inventory and supplies, communicating with franchisees, tracking and reporting on sales, and managing the Romp n’ Roll charitable giving programs. Courtney and her husband Kin have two children and zero pets (on purpose!). Courtney prefers dogs like Rompy and Duke Dog (JMU’s mascot). During her free time, Courtney can be found creating scrapbooks, which usually focus on her family and their fun and exciting escapades. Courtney and her daughter enjoy attending pageants where they have met 21 Miss Americas and countless Miss Virginias!

  • Janelle Sands

    Marketing Coordinator

    Janelle attended Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio and graduated with a degree in Marketing and Finance. After working in marketing in the financial industry for more than nine years, she and her husband welcomed a precious baby boy, Logan, and life was never the same! After becoming smitten with her son, she decided it was time for a career change where she could reach out to other young families. Luckily, she found Romp n’ Roll and it soon became the perfect fit for her career and for keeping her son entertained while reaching new developmental milestones. As the Marketing Coordinator, Janelle manages campaign and strategy execution for the corporate and franchise locations. She also designs Romp n’ Roll’s marketing collateral materials and uses her passion and marketing experience to connect more families to the amazing benefits of Romp n’ Roll! When not working or spending time chasing her ball-loving toddler, you will find Janelle cooking, exploring herbs and oils, and soaking up the sun!

The Kids Gym that Parents
& Kids Both Love!

Why Romp n' Roll?

  • Welcoming Atmosphere Our bright, whimsical facilities were thoughtfully crafted to stimulate and engage little ones while keeping them safe. An abundance of colorful vinyl foam in the design makes things comfortable and easy to clean. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers have a blast on our age-appropriate gym equipment.

  • Social Interaction Little ones can socialize with other children and learn valuable life skills from each other. Our play gym caters to kids between the ages of 3 months and 6 years and our classes sort them into age-specific groups, giving them the peer-to-peer interaction that’s so vital to their growth.

  • Growth & Development Our play-based curriculum developed from extensive research and our own experiences. Our developmentally appropriate art, music, and movement classes and activities build physical and cognitive skills during these important formative years—but all kids know is that they’re having fun!

  • Parent-Child Connection Based on our research, we discovered that little ones progress most effectively when they’re in the presence of parents and loved ones who express excitement and pride for their achievements. Our classes are parent-friendly, so they can take part in positive, shared fun with their child.

What Your Neighbors are Saying:

  • "Romp n' Roll is the perfect place for small children to develop, skill build, learn, and grow." - The Sparrow Family
  • "Overall, the atmosphere is fun, safe & welcoming!" - L.S.
  • "My child had a great time!" - C.S.
  • "The instructors were wonderful!!" - L.H.