Emily Mondschein (Executive Director)
Emily Mondschein is the proud mother of two boys, Samuel and Paul. Her youngest son, Paul, was born with Down syndrome. She has a master’s degree in education and has spent much of her professional career as an educator. Emily is the co-founder of two not-for-profits that serve individuals with Down syndrome and is a member and leader on multiple councils, both locally and nationally, that support individuals with disabilities. Emily is passionate about inclusion and ensuring that individuals with Down syndrome are treated with equality and respect in all areas of society.
Julia Diebel (Programs Coordinator)
Julia focuses on the development, delivery, and continuous improvement of our program slate – both group-based and 1on1 tutoring. She also develops long-term strategies for programs, including initiatives such as 1on1 Math Tutoring, GiGi Prep, GiGi U, GiGi Professional, and bringing a Hugs n’ Mugs Coffee Shop to the Playhouse.
Alexander Maccallini (Operations Coordinator)
Alex is a Master of Urban Planning student at University at Buffalo with a focus on community planning, which he hopes he can use to help communities like ours grow and thrive. He brings both personal and professional experience supporting individuals with disabilities. As operations coordinator, Alex is passionate about ensuring a positive, welcoming, and engaging experience for individuals and families with Down syndrome to foster respect, equality, and inclusion inside the Playhouse and beyond.
Board of Directors
Will Mondschein (President)
A successful thought leader and entrepreneur in the digital space, Will is the Managing Director of FiveOut, a digital design and marketing agency with $40M in annual revenue. He has more than 24 years strategic, technical, operational, sales, marketing, and fiscal management experience with some of the country's most recognizable brands. Will is the father of two children, one who has Down syndrome.
Rev. Dr. Gregory Hall (Vice President)
Gregory Hall has been a Presbyterian Pastor for 39 years. He has served Clarence Presbyterian since 2001. He has been a long-time Rotarian and served on several town task forces.
Jennifer Zolnowski (Secretary)
Jennifer has 20+ years’ experience in the non-profit world, serving both as employee and volunteer. She worked for Parent Network of WNY for 10 years and at Aspire for three, with positions including parent educator, marketing coordinator and administrative assistant. Jen served as Co-President of the Down Syndrome Parent Group (DSPG) for five years and was a member of the Board of Directors for Danceability for two. Her husband David and she have been married for 24 years and have two children: Patrick who is 23 years old and has Down syndrome and Laura who is 19 years old.
Diane Tiveron (Treasurer)
Diane is the Managing Partner at HoganWillig Law Firm and their Corporate & Business Law Chair. Her duties include counseling not-for-profit organizations on nonprofit law and governance & obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status and 501(c) classifications. Diane has served on various boards for area NFP’s including the presidency of Amherst Meals on Wheels.
Board Members at Large
Debbie Gardiner - Debbie is a retired occupational therapist who worked for the Clarence School District the Occupational Therapy supervisor. Before moving to NY State, she was employed at Children’s Hospital at Stanford, CA and at a school for children with learning disabilities in Bethesda, MD. She has worked with children of various ages and diagnoses.
Martha Lamparelli - Martha has a master’s degree in Special Education from Buffalo State College. She retired after 31 years with the Buffalo Public Schools serving as a Special Education Teacher, Coordinator for Agency Students, and CSE Coordinator. She has served on several boards throughout the WNY, community most recently with Connectlife, VIA (Olmsted Center for Sight) and St. Mark School Board. Martha is a lifelong resident of Buffalo.
Connie Stives - Connie has served as a board member and Treasurer of the Williamsville School District SEPTSA Board and for Bornhava, a non-profit school for children birth to age 5 with disabilities, where she also served as President of the board for one year. Connie spent six years on the Board of Directors of Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives where she served as President for one year and Vice President of Programming for three. Connie also served as Board President and member for the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce. Connie and her husband Tim have three sons; the youngest, Jacob, is 19 and has Down syndrome.
Michelle Trenchard - Michelle is a Registered Nurse and has worked in the medical field for 25 years. She is currently a Health Center Manager specializing in Occupational Health at Moog Inc. She resides in Orchard Park, NY and is a mom to 2 beautiful children, her youngest born with Down Syndrome. She serves on the board for two local not for profits that aim to support individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. Throughout her career Michelle has always been passionate about patient advocacy and now strives to support and advocate for the Down Syndrome community.