GiGi’s National Leadership Conference 2021

The GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis Team had jam-packed, well-spent five days with staff, volunteers and supporters from around the GiGi’s Playhouse Network at the National Leadership Conference in the Chicago-area . Coming together and sharing ideas with 257 attendees, 85 speakers, 78 sessions, 77 countries, 61 locations, 5 days, all with 1 voice – changing the way the world views Down syndrome and global acceptance for ALL! Inspiration to help our  Playhouse evolve, learn from each other, and celebrate together! Annapolis was recognized as a Center of Excellence for Programs and Standard of Execution Strong for our Financial Health. Our word for 2021 was: AdaptABLE and 2022 is: UnstoppABLE!

Team Annapolis with the First Family of GiGi’s Playhouse and Claire, National IT Director.

Read some reflections from Team Annapolis…







“It was so inspiring to be in a room with so many people who want to change the world. I think a lot of us having been feeling burn out and exhaustion with the pandemic. While this weekend was jammed packed with amazing programming and networking, it renewed my soul and spirits with so much hope and love. I loved getting to meet new friends from across our GiGi’s Playhouse network and see what makes each playhouse unique. I’m excited to come back to Annapolis with new ideas and inspiration for our unstoppable year ahead.”

Sarah Brown, President

“The conference felt like a family reunion! Everyone there was very nice and welcoming. So many ideas and new methods to implement within our Playhouse! And how could I forget, it was great to actually see Nancy and The GiGi in person for the first time!” 

Andre Glenn, Operations Assistant



“Being able to attend National Conference with the Annapolis team was absolutely amazing. After being asked to become a Co-Founder of the National GenerationG Youth Board and working alongside Erin, Nate, and Matt from Cleveland virtually for so many months, finally meeting in person and seeing our presentation come to fruition was the best feeling. Walking around and talking to like-minded individuals who are also passionate about making a difference in the lives of our participants and even ourselves was such a cool experience. Every moment of conference was inspiring and smile inducing, and I will never forget this trip that’s for sure.”

Katie Lewis, Youth Board President


“I love catching up with my friends from the other Playhouses and the National GiGi’s Inc. Team who I work with year round. We have a lot in common as well as a lot to learn from each attendee. It’s always awesome hearing the creative ideas from each Playhouse and the goals for 2022, all in support of participants and their families. This year I had the honor to present in two sessions, “Launching the Amina Grace Speech & Language Program” and “Accounting & Bookkeeping Success Strategies” which was a great opportunity to share with other Playhouses. It was a privilege to meet Maura Cullen and Munwar Ali, Amina Grace’s parents, the founders of the Amina Grace Speech Program, who were recognized with the Generation G Award for the huge impact of the Speech program.

Judy Co, Site Director


“I am so energized after attending my first GiGi’s Leadership Conference! As a new Board member, it was important for me to learn more about the organization and bring insights back to the Annapolis Playhouse. What surprised me was that I learned much more than how to run a successful Playhouse; I learned about the power of bringing passionate people together to effect change. I met many of the 300+ volunteers, staff and Board members in attendance, and I was beyond impressed with their stories of perseverance during a pandemic. I absorbed all that terrific energy and helpful advice, and I’m bringing it back to Annapolis so we can start planning for a fantastic 2022.”

Stacie Hansen, Board Member



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