About Us

Who is GT Independence?

Built by a family, for families.

Our company has roots like any other. We started from one family’s question: Why?

The Carmichael family looked at traditional care facilities for their son (and brother). They came away with questions: Why can’t people with disabilities live the lives they choose? Why can’t they stay in their own homes and communities?

This question turned into an idea. And this idea became a mission. The mission grew, branching out into a company—GT Independence—that serves tens of thousands of people across the United States.

Run by people with disabilities. For people with disabilities.

Today, GT is filled with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We work together to serve the people in our communities.

We are what is called a financial management service (FMS) company. Every day, we help to manage the paperwork and the details that let people self-direct their care and support. But we don’t stop there. At GT, our goal is for every person to have the choice to self-direct.

We are advocates—for you, and for all of us.

Why We Exist

To help people live a life of their choosing regardless of age or ability.

At GT’s Core

We have a set of beliefs that guide everything we do. They remind us of who we serve and why. We are excited about these values and share them every day. Above all, we value our ability to serve and support people in their community.

  • Self-Determination

    Everyone should have a choice in how they live their lives. And everyone should be free to decide who provides their care and support.

  • Integrity

    We take our responsibilities seriously. We do what we say we will do. And we always try to do the right thing.

  • Community

    Having friends and being with people we trust is good for us. It helps individuals of any age or ability feel safe and happy.

  • Professionalism

    We aim high in everything we do. We always work together to find ways to get better, to be flexible, and to be there for the people we serve.

  • Respect

    Everyone should be heard. We listen carefully and give our full attention to any problems or concerns.

  • Excellence

    We are always searching for better ways to do our work. We think about how we do things now and how we can make changes to keep improving.


Holly Carmichael

Chief Executive Officer

Holly leads a team that helps more than 22,000 people self-direct their long-term service and support.

As a professional social worker, Holly has more than 15 years of experience in human services. This role helped her understand how self-determination can help people who need long-term service and support. Holly also understands some of the struggles GT participants and caregivers face every day. She experiences them with her daughter, Maggie, who was born with a rare congenital disease, PMM2-CDG.

In response, Holly created Maggie’s Pearl and helped develop a single-patient investigational new drug, now authorized by the FDA for compassionate use. This allows Maggie to be the first person in the world to trial a potential treatment for PMM2-CDG. As an advocate for Maggie, Holly works to make sure of inclusion, accessibility, and equal treatment for all.

Holly is co-host of the Disability Garrison Podcast. She is married to Dan Carmichael, brother of John Carmichael.

D. Pearl Barnett

Chief Operating Officer

D. Pearl Barnett, MPA, joined GT Independence in 2024 as Chief Operating Officer. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of State Services at ADvancing States (formerly NASUAD), where she specialized in long-term services and supports (LTSS) and served as an operational expert on home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver issues. She also provided technical assistance and consulting to state agencies, focusing primarily on access, coordination, service delivery, quality management, and policy associated with LTSS. In 2019 through 2020, Pearl served on the National Quality Forum’s Committee on Person-Centered Planning and Practices, where she worked with other LTSS experts to come to consensus on how to define and measure person-centered planning for HCBS. Prior to joining ADvancing States, Ms. Barnett dedicated nine years to Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services, serving as Administrator for the ADvantage 1915(c) HCBS Medicaid Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Personal Care Programs.

Ms. Barnett’s passion for person-centered practices, self-determination, and continuous improvement is evident through her personal training and research in these areas. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma Aging Advocacy Leadership Academy, where she implemented training programs in person-centered service planning and delivery, program evaluation, and LTSS options for older adults and persons with disabilities in Oklahoma. She is a sought-after speaker nationwide, as her work has improved the quality and accessibility of LTSS for individuals in need.

Megan Owen

Chief Compliance Officer

Since 2021, Megan has served as the Chief Operating Officer of GT. In this position, she has developed long-range objectives, plans, and programs for GT’s markets and business areas. She established policies that seek to improve customer relations. Also, she used information technology resources to continually improve operations.

Megan joined GT in 2011. She has worked her way up and now leads a team of nearly 600 employees. Megan and her staff manage more than 150 self-direction programs funded by Medicaid. They work with programs in all the states where GT operates. Her team reviews eligibility, processes claims, and tracks utilization. She is tireless when it comes to complying with contracts and programs, solving operational challenges for GT’s partners, and removing barriers for people who self-direct.

Jeremy Gump

Chief Administrative Officer

Jeremy leads many departments at GT. These include accounting, finance, compliance, quality, facilities, legal, learning & development, and human resources. He also has significant experience in regulatory issues, financial reporting, and compliance.

Jeremy has an extensive background in healthcare and law. He started his career at Ernst & Young, where he helped large academic medical centers acquire and integrate new interests. He also served as the VP of HR & Administrative Services for Mercedes Benz. There, he created great workplaces throughout North and South America.

He is the President of the Sturgis Hospital Board and the interim-Chief Executive Officer of the hospital.

Kate Gauthier

Chief Financial Officer

Kate leads the financial planning and forecasting processes of GT. This includes overseeing the preparation and analysis of financial statements. She also ensures GT complies with financial regulations and accounting standards. When the company reviews potential new contracts, she conducts risk analysises. She also leads the payroll tax and accounts receivable teams.

Kate is a Certified Public Accountant who joined GT in 2018. Before working at GT, Kate spent several years in public accounting. There, she specialized in corporate, pass-through and individual income tax, payroll tax, and financial accounting.

Patrick Hoelscher

Chief Information Officer

Patrick thrives on connecting his passion for technology with his mission to serve others.

Patrick has expanded and optimized GT’s technology and systems to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction. In 2021, Patrick led the company to achieve HITRUST Certification. The recognition is the healthcare industry’s gold standard for security and data protection.

John Carmichael


John focuses on new growth opportunities and expanding strategic partnerships for GT. He previously served as the CEO of GT Independence before taking on his current role in 2021. John has spent his 17-year career empowering people with disabilities. He wants to see people be more self-sufficient and part of their communities, no matter their ability or age.

John co-founded GT Independence with his family in 2004. He is a national expert on self-directed services, and he’s passionate about serving his community. He drives economic development discussions and growth in his hometown of Sturgis, Michigan.

John is brother to Dan Carmichael, who is married to Holly Carmichael.

A Commitment to Quality

Blue and red digital health awards logo

Golden and blue CARF accredited logo
HITRUST log in red and black

Certification includes the GT Portal and the GT Caregiver app, hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The certification also include GT’s FMS systems located in the Sturgis headquarters.

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