About

Biographies

Elohee’s Founders

 

Eve Cook – Executive Director

While professionally trained in Biomedical Science, Eve shifted careers due to the peace and healing she found with nature.  Eve, her husband, and her parents dreamed of creating a place like Elohee —a container where people can retreat and find community in a nurturing and safe way–while Eve faced ongoing cancer treatments.  Eve envisioned a place where the land becomes a partner with facilitators, guests, and staff for personal growth and healing. She believes being still and listening to nature can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.  Eve truly enjoys engaging with retreat facilitators and participants in person while they are at Elohee. Eve also loves reading, traveling, expressing herself through her artwork, and the time spent with her husband and furry companions.

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Michael Cook – Facilities Manager

Michael has always been one to work with his hands and through the years has found that he is most comfortable when surrounded by nature.  A background of two decades in manufacturing and industrial maintenance has provided him with the skills to manage the infrastructure needs of the center.  Michael loves that Elohee provides him the opportunity to get his hands dirty and stay connected with nature. Over the past few years, guests have given him the nickname “That Guy” as he pops up and handles most any need and situation.

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Augustin Bralley – Chief Information Officer

Augustin (Augie) is the Chief Information Officer at Elohee and has been the go-to for IT support since “Elohee was just an idea floating around.” It’s been one of Augustin’s highest honors to work with his family to build this special place. But it is actually the second family business that he helped build. After graduating from UGA with a degree in Computer Science, Augustin worked in IT, web development, marketing, and SEO at Metametrix. As the son of the founders, he also participated at the Director level and helped drive many strategic initiatives for six years prior to the implementation of Elohee. When Augustin is not supporting Elohee, you can find him at Scribd – a subscription book and audiobook service – where he is currently the Engineering Manager for SEO. Fun Fact: Augustin and his wife met at Burning Man. They now live in Florida with their Pug named Bug. (Bug adores daddy!)

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James & Carolyn Bralley –

Advisors & Board Members

James and Carolyn Bralley serve on the Elohee Board of Directors. They were instrumental in the creation of Elohee and serve it today in advisory and supportive roles.

In the early 1980s, shortly after James received his PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Florida, they started a clinical laboratory business specializing in functional laboratory testing. After nearly 30 years, they sold the laboratory and retired to the Georgia mountains where they purchased the land on which Elohee sits today.

James and Carolyn were students at the University of Illinois where they met through their involvement in Transcendental Meditation. Over the decades, meditation, yoga and retreats have been a big part of their lives together. They often took their young children on camping trips to the Georgia mountains and fell in love with the forests there. With its focus on healing, nature immersion, retreat, meditation, yoga and service, Elohee was a natural progression for their retirement years.

James goes by his nickname Andy. You will notice Andy’s woodworking hobby throughout Elohee in headboards, night tables, benches, gong stand, etc. (Carolyn assisting). He can also be seen on his riding mower, maintaining the expansive yards on Bald Mountain and at the Bamboo Cottage. Carolyn helps with accounting, gift shop, etc. Many of you have met them as they shuttle you up and down the mountain, delighted to share this beautiful space with you!

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Elohee Family

Coordination Gurus

 

Sandy Osieja – Administrative Coordinator

Sandy joined the Elohee family in February of 2016 when she realized it was time to find a position in which she found meaning and had the good fortune to witness the first retreat held on Bald Mountain.   Her reaching out to Elohee was a step in her path towards fulfillment, both professionally and personally.  The Elohee family welcomed Sandy into the fold with graciousness and kindness. Sandy’s previous work experience includes a life-affirming year working in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and administrative positions at a number of law and business offices in New York, Florida, California, and Georgia.  Working at a retreat center not only made Sandy a happier person, but also provided her with the inspiration to go from being a casual yoga practitioner to a certified yoga teacher.  Aside from her administrative contributions, Sandy also serves as Elohee’s Final Proof Editor. Sandy loves yoga, traveling, hiking, reading, and her cat and dog companions!  Fun Fact: Sandy had the good fortune to witness the first retreat on Bald Mountain.

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Micki Wisenbaker – Retreat Coordinator

Micki Wisenbaker, before joining the Elohee family as the Retreat Coordinator in 2021, attended a retreat in October 2019 and fell in love with the property; it’s views, calming energy, and devoted owners and staff. She recalls thinking, “Wow, this would be an awesome place to work!” Ready for a career change, Micki recently closed her business, Meridian Massage & Skin Care. She has been a Massage Therapist, Esthetician, and Reflexologist for 20 years. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science, she used her education and intuition to promote health, wellness, and transformation to her devoted clients. Her integrative approach of practicing the healing arts combined relaxation with results-oriented techniques. She trusts that when vital self-care practices are aligned with awareness of the mind/body connection, powerful healing occurs. Micki uses this philosophy and experience combined with Elohee’s mission to provide a retreat environment to support self-discovery, healing and awakening to assist in creating amazing retreat experiences. When not working, she enjoys cooking, photography (mostly of her food creations), and spending time with her husband and three cats. Fun fact: As a seasoned aromatherapist, she hand-crafted a line of Alchemy Aromatherapy Mists now sold in Elohee’s Gift Shoppe.

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Ulrike Ackerman – Retreat Vision Coordinator

Ulrike fell in love with Elohee when she first visited Bald Mountain 10 years ago.  A longtime retreat participant, she joined the Elohee Family as Retreat Vision Coordinator in April 2021. After working for many years in the software industry, Ulrike changed careers in 2017  opening Soups & Sides, a small community food business, offering market fresh prepared vegetables and soups.  Equipped with a love for food and an Associate Degree from the Culinary Arts School in Munich, Germany, Ulrike is the designated chef for many family gatherings. Her recipes are mainly from her home country Germany, but having lived in and traveled to many countries, she often includes international foods and cuisines. Spending many childhood summers in the Bavarian countryside, Ulrike’s lifelong dream to own a small farm was fulfilled in 2019.  After living for many years in suburban Atlanta, Ulrike and her husband Michael, a native Atlantan, built their dream farm and moved to Madison, GA with their cat Sydney.  Ultimately, she hopes they’ll adopt a couple of dogs and add chickens, goats and a donkey to complete their homestead. Although Ulrike appreciates the peace and quiet in the country, she enjoys having visitors on the farm, especially her grown children and step-children.

Fun fact: A meditator for several decades, Ulrike creates unique meditation malas exclusively for the Elohee Gift Shoppe.

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Kitchen Creatives

 

Renee Nelms – Chef/Kitchen Manager

Renee Nelms began her journey with Elohee in June 2019.  She knows fate and a higher power brought her to Elohee.  Renee has worked in the  food service industry most of her life and loves feeding people.  She is particularly inspired by discovering new recipes that fall in line with Elohee’s seasonally inspired menus.  Renee has raised 4 boys, has 3 daughters-in-law, and 2 grandsons whom she loves spending time with.

 

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