Lisa Callaghan, Site Coordinator
Lisa was a founding Board member and former Board President at the Tinley Park Playhouse, and now holds the position of Site Coordinator. She is also the aunt of a participant which is how her connection to GiGi's began. She is honored to now be in the Playhouse on a daily basis, seeing the success of participants and programs. She is a wonderful support for our families and hopes to see more join us every year. In addition, she is excited to see more recognition from local businesses and community members who are intrigued to support our mission “to change the way the world views Down syndrome.”
Ashley Veitkus, Programs and Volunteer Coordinator
Ashley joined us with eight years of vocational rehabilitation services experience. She worked with individuals of varying disabilities to help improve their life and employment skills. Working as a Job Coach, Career Counselor, Transition Coach and Project SEARCH Instructor teaching employment skills to individuals who have disabilities helped lead Ashley to become our Programs and Volunteer Coordinator. In addition to managing programs, Ashley leads GiGi Prep, teaching our participants essential life skills and employment skills. Ashley also oversees the recruitment and training of Playhouse volunteers. She helps our participants, volunteers, and families and is a firm believer in our tag line to "Educate, Inspire and Believe."
Diana Harmon, Speech Language Pathologist
Diana Harmon is a speech-language pathologist with 30 years of experience. She graduated with a Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence and Illinois State License. Diana homeschooled her children including her daughter who has Down Syndrome. Homeschooling allowed Diana to hone her skills in assessing and treating the speech, language, and cognitive struggles frequently seen in people with Down Syndrome. Diana has been trained in several treatment strategies including: Talk Tools, Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, Oro-facial Deep Tissue Release, and PROMPT.
Diane Husar, Founder
After 13 years of teaching in the Chicago Public Schools, Diane left the classroom when her son Luke was born to bring a GiGi's Playhouse to the south suburbs of Chicago. With a team of incredibly committed volunteers, GiGi's opened their doors in Oak Forest in 2013 and moved to Tinley Park in 2015. Her mantra is, "It takes a village," and she has never-ending gratitude for the community of individuals, businesses and foundations that believe in the mission and vision of GiGi's Playhouse.
Dr. Brian DuMais, Board Member (President)
Brian DuMais became President of GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park in January of 2017. He is a local pediatrician with an office in Orland Park. Dr. DuMais grew up in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood and currently resides in Mokena with his wife, Leigh and their four children, including “Little Brian” who has Down syndrome. Brian and Leigh have been involved with the Tinley Park Playhouse since before it originally opened in Oak Forest. They knew from the beginning that GiGi’s would be a part of their lives forever. Brian’s goal as President is to develop the Tinley Park Playhouse into a sustainable model for generations of families to come.
Chris Kimble, Board Member (Treasurer)
Chris joined the Tinley Park team after a year of watching his daughter Ivy (now four years old), enjoy several of the programming opportunities. In addition to Ivy, Chris and his wife Kristin have three other daughters - Lyla (9), Ruby (8), and Violet (10 months) who have also benefited as non-participants from the programs offered at GiGi's. Chris is a CPA and works in hospital finance. Kristin also served on the Board for GiGi's Playhouse Tinley Park for 3+ years as the fundraising chair.
Tom Olofsson, Board Member (Secretary)
Tom Olofsson is an attorney based in Chicago. His practice is limited to Estate Planning including Wills, Trusts, Special Needs, and Medicaid Planning. Tom has been in practice for 26 years. He is married to Susan. They have three adult children and four grandchildren. He became involved with Special Needs planning after being invited to a parents day at a local non-profit in 1996. He became involved with GiGi’s after being invited to an open house in 2016.
Kelli Elzer, Board Member (Special Events)
Kelli grew up in Seneca, IL but has been a resident of Tinley Park since 2007. Kelli graduated from Trinity Christian College and is a registered nurse at Advocate Children’s Hospital. She started volunteering at GiGi’s in 2014, at the 2 and Under program. It didn’t take long for her to branch out to other programs after realizing how amazing GiGi’s is! She became a part of the Board in 2016 and took on the task of planning all of special events. When not spending time at GiGi’s, Kelli enjoys visiting her nieces in Alabama, going to concerts, spending time with friends and going to the gym. Kelli is honored to be a part of the Board and she is excited to see what the future has in store for GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park.
Nancy Mines, Board Member (Fundraising)
Nancy is a Senior Account Director for brand strategy & design firm ColorJar. Nancy has 15+ years leading design, brand strategy, and innovation initiatives for companies such as Ocean Spray, Nestlé, and Abbott Nutrition. She has deep expertise in Agile and Design Thinking processes, transforming brands and businesses in service of growth. Nancy attended Columbia College Chicago, where she earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. She then earned her MBA from Roosevelt University. Nancy joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park Board in December 2019. Nancy’s brother-in-law, Tommy Mines, has Down syndrome and has attended Park Lawn for 47 years.
Traci Rzeszutko, Board Member (Outreach)
Traci first came to GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park when her daughter Abby was 8 weeks old. She lives in Joliet with her husband, Ed and daughter Abby, who is now four years old. Traci works as a pediatric physical therapist in Early Intervention and school based services. She is excited to see the growth of the Playhouse over the years and looks forward to continued growth and expansion of services to support families in the south suburbs.
Laura Savant, Board Member
Laura has been an integral part of the Playhouse since our doors opened in 2013. Her nephew “Mayor Matt” has been her driving force. In addition to being a Board Member, Laura is a volunteer leader of our Adult Cooking Club and she plans to be even more involved with adult programming in the future. She currently works in transfusion services at a local hospital.
Rich Facko, Board Member
Rich Facko has been involved with GiGi's Tinley Park since his youngest daughter Annie was born. His wife Cassie and older children Lexie, Rich, and Marie, also frequent the Playhouse. The relationships formed at GiGi's have been a very important part of each of their lives. Rich grew up in Palos Heights and is a pediatric dentist in Palos Heights, where he currently lives.