Exceptional Getaways

Making Lifelong Memories for Individuals with Exceptional Needs

Tim - Executive Director

Tim finds happiness in seeing joy in others.  He has worked in various roles human services for more than 15 years, including social worker, youth counselor, and case manager.  He has experience working with children, adults, and families as a unit.  Tim is a graduate of Vincennes University and Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor's degree in Business and certificates in Organizational Leadership and Management Training.  He launched this business to enrich the lives of individuals through travel opportunities.  He wants to make sure each trip brings the traveler’s memories that will last a lifetime.

Michelle - Program Director

Michelle has proudly been working with individuals with developmental disabilities for the past 25 years.  She is a behavior consultant and owns a behavior consulting company.  She has dedicated her livelihood to ensuring the happiness of the individuals in her profession.  Traveling is an area that she greatly enjoys and felt it was important to share this love with individuals with special needs.  She graduated from IU and has a masters from Ball State.  As program director, she is charge of the fun.  Michelle wants to ensure that each trip is an Exceptional Getaway with Exceptional fun!

Feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions about Exceptional Getaways or have interest in becoming a travel companion.

Michelle Cell: 812-327-7336

Tim Cell: 812-606-2783




Julia - Lead Travel Companion

My name is Julia and I have worked along side people with special needs for 15 years.  I am happy to have been able to add Exceptional Getaways into my life.  I absolutely love getting people out to see and learn new things.  From overnight camping trips to a week in Tennessee, these trips will have lasting memories for travelers and their families that get to hear their stories upon return.  Getting to know and spend time with our travelers has been a wonderfully fun experience I look forward to each trip, every new person and the ones that return.  

Sarah - Lead Travel Companion

Hello world!  My name is Sarah.  I am 24 years old and live in Bloomington, Indiana.  In addition to Exceptional Getaways I am a student at Ball State University, studying ABA.  I also work as a Direct Support Professional for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In my  free time I enjoys hiking, running, and crafts.  I have an Australian Sheppard named Zeus and a ferret named Athena.  I LOVE animals and feel that all life is precious.  I am happy to be part of something as beautiful as Exceptional Getaways and am very excited about the upcoming trips.  I hope to see you all on our next adventure!

Kristen - Lead Travel Companion

Hallo (yes hallo ;) ) friends!! My name is Kristen (aka Krish) and if I could find one word to describe my life’s perspective, it would be the Hawaiin word Mahalo. Mahalo is an expression of deep gratitude for the world around you even the littlest gestures of goodness. It is a gratitude that bubbles deep from within the depths of ones heart. I believe all time and all life is a God given gift and is incredibly precious. I am honored and grateful to be a part of this group of exceptional people through Exceptional Getaways. It is a privilege that brings me great joy.
A little extra about me…I love warm weather (and being outdoors), the beach AND the mountains. Animals are the coolest - birds are my fav bc they are so whimsical and free. I am die hard over healthy food AND Olive Garden tiramisu. I think all people have a beauty and creativity innately in them in their own unique ways given by our Creator. Mine is not singing but I love to do it anyway 😂
One of my favorite quotes from the show Cobra Kai —> “Put good out into the world and good will come back to you.”
Cindy Payne - Lead Travel Companion

HI! My name is Cindy. I have a Bachelors Degree in Elementary education and taught kindergarten for 10 years. I also have a nail technician license.  I left my previous job of working with people with Developmental Disabilities of 15 years to spend more time with my kids and family.
I am very fortunate to be asked to join the Exceptional Getaways team. A wonderful group of people who go above and beyond to help our travelers make wonderful memories. I love meeting new people and helping make their dreams come true. I enjoy watching people experience things for the first time and the smiles on their faces are priceless.  
Zac - Travel Companion / IT Director

I love being part of Exceptional Getaways.  I enjoy putting a smile on the face of all our travelers and helping to make dreams come true.  I work as the IT Director as well as Travel Companion and hope to use whatever talents I can to continue making lifelong memories for all our travelers.

I am currently a student at Ivy Tech and am pursuing a career in ABA.  I also work as a Direct Service Professional for Individuals with special needs, and enjoy helping them learn new skills and improving their quality of life however I can.
Stephanie - Travel Companion

Hello all.  I'm Stephanie.  I was born and raised in Owen/Monroe County Communities.  I enjoy working with people as it has helped me learn many things about myself  I have experience working with children and adults with disabilities.  While in high school I helped create and organize Patriot Pals, while working in the moderate/severe classroom.  The program is still running today with the help of Mrs French and the helpful hands of the students at Owen Valley High School.  Exceptional Getaways is such an amazing organization to work for as it brings joy to everyone we meet.  The memories we make are lifelong and full of happiness and joy.  During my down time I work at my family's business located in Nashville, Indiana.  I enjoy doing photography with my aunt as well as spending time with my friends, family and pup Chloe May.  I look forward to meeting our new friends on future trips and I am excited to see friends returning from previous trips. 
Val - Travel Companion / Tour Leader

Working for Exceptional Getaways has brought me great joy!  I love seeing people smile and the joy they have on vacation.  Knowing that some folks are experiencing vacation for the first time and we are making a dream become reality brings me great pleasure.  I enjoy the friendships that I make with the travelers.  I especially love that while making lifelong memories, I am able to help individuals see their value and importance in the world.

I studied Law Enforcement and Special Education and have a degree from DePaul University.  I have worked in Social Services for over 20 years and enjoy these opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.  These experiences enrich my life just as much and I get tremendous joy from every trip. 

Exceptional Getaways has given me an opportunity to see happiness in others and I love being part of making their dreams come true.  

Michael - Travel Companion / Transportation Director

I find immense satisfaction in helping individuals become active, independent members of the community.  Seeing the eager smiles at the beginning of the getaways and the fulfilled, albeit tired, smiles at the end makes it all worthwhile.  We leave for trips as strangers, but return as the closest of friends and cannot wait to see each other again.

I graduated from The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship in Bloomington, Indiana and studied Homeland Security at Ivy Tech.  After working as a Firefighter/EMT, I realized that I was not content with my career choice.  One trip with Exceptional Getaways and I was hooked.  I had no previous experience with our travelers, but seeing the pure joy and the way we work together made me realize that it is less of a community and more an an extended family.

In addition to Exceptional Getaways, I work as a Direct Service Professional for Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  My background in public safety has been a great asset to me on trips and my knowledge of risk management has assisted in making the trips run more smoothly.  I would like to go back to school and major in a field that would allow me to become a larger part of our travelers lives.