Peter Sedlak – President
Pete grew up in the Cleveland area and attended Holy Name High School and Cleveland State University. He has held mid-level and senior management positions throughout his career, most currently as Vice-President of Marketing and Purchasing for The Sherwin-Williams Co. before retiring in 2013. Pete is a former Board member, Development Chair for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland.
Pete’s youngest brother-in-law, Brian Kilbane, has been an active supporter and advocate for GiGi's since the Cleveland location was announced. It has been an absolute delight to watch Brian embrace and support GiGi’s Playhouse and what it has to offer to the individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Pete has always been a strong proponent of volunteerism and could no longer sit on the sideline without assisting Brian with this endeavor. His past board experience, in combination with strategic planning skills, will add value to GiGi's Playhouse Cleveland. It has already had an impact on Northeastern Ohio and the next five years will be exciting as we build its brand and serve a larger client base! Pete and his wife, Peggy, live in Solon and have two adult daughters, Jennifer and Erin.
Megan Lodge – Board member (President 2014-2017)
Megan is thrilled to be a member of the GiGi’s team! Megan grew up on the west side of Cleveland and now resides in Avon with her husband Greg and three boys, Ryan, Cooper and Brendan. Her oldest, Ryan, shocked everyone when he was born in 2004 with Down syndrome, and he continues to surprise them daily with his zest for life. Megan works for PNC as a Project Manager in Corporate and Institutional Banking and utilizes her communication and project management skills to help lead the GiGi’s team. Megan first learned about GiGi’s years ago through a family friend from Chicago, and has dreamed of a GiGi’s Playhouse in Cleveland since then, and is so happy to be a part of making that dream come true.
Suzy Sylvester – Vice President
Suzy lives in Rocky River with her husband, Bruce McAuliffe, and their three children. Her oldest son, Colin, has Down syndrome. Suzy is an attorney with Thompson Hine LLP. Suzy and Bruce look forward to having a place that offers programs focused on supporting Colin’s academic and social growth, that creates opportunities for all families to share experiences and that encourages the community at large to realize the amazing abilities of all individuals, especially those with Down syndrome.
Amy Barker – Secretary
Amy Barker resides in Akron with her two children Madeleine and Harrison. Her son Harrison has Down syndrome. Amy has worked in sales for the last 18 years. She is currently employed by Grainger Corporation as a Business Development Manager. She hopes to share her leadership, strategic planning and business acumen with GiGi’s Playhouse. Amy is very passionate about awareness and educating the community about Down syndrome. She looks forward to working with the community and being part of GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland.
Constance Cusma – Treasurer
Connie Cusma lives in Fairview Park with her husband and three children, Lexi, Tony and Gus. Tony, her middle child, has Down syndrome. Connie has worked in accounting for 23 years. For the past 16 years she has worked at The Cleveland Clinic in Corporate Accounting as a Financial Analyst. Connie is looking forward to the Treasurer’s role and is excited to share her expertise in accounting and finance. Connie has pioneered her way through the educational process with Tony and is excited to see what opportunities are in store for him.
Christine (Tina) Hericks – Board Member - Education Liaison
Tina is an Educator with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. She attended The Ohio State University, Kent State University, as well as Cleveland State University. Christine has a permanent license for the State of Ohio in all areas of Special Education. She holds a Principal License for the State of Ohio in Elementary, Middle School, and High School. She has 35 years of experience in the Special Education Field. She was the Department Chairperson for Special Education at Glenville High School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for 20 years and most recently retired as the Principal of Louis Agassiz School, Pre K to 8th grade.
Christine has served on the State Board of Ohio Council for Exceptional Children for 35 years and has held the positions of President and is currently the Past President. She has served on several State of Ohio committees for the Office of Exceptional Children of the Ohio Department of Education, which include the Policies and Procedures Committee and the Committee that created the IEP which is currently used for children with special needs.
Jeanne Mullin – Board Member
Jeanne Mullin is a partner/shareholder with the Cleveland based law firm of Reminger Co., L.P.A. where her practice is focused mainly on the defense of medical and professional negligence cases. She serves as co-chair of the firm's Medical Malpractice Group and is a member of the Management Group. She also is a past leader of Reminger's Women's Initiative.
Jeanne and her husband, Dave Gray, are the parents of five young children. Their third son, Nicholas, has Down syndrome. For years, Jeanne served her community as a Member of the board of the PM Foundation Inc., dba Urban Community School, a non-profit organization devoted to providing a quality, faith-based education to children in the near west side of Cleveland who would not otherwise have access to it. In 2015, she decided to change her philanthropic focus, and joined GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland where she hopes to further the mission of educating and inspiring the community, and helping individuals who have Down syndrome achieve and realize their potential.
Claire Holzheimer - Literacy Coordinator
Claire works at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in pediatric healthy policy research. She has recently received her Masters in Business Administration and also has her Bachelors degree in English. Claire has been volunteering at GiGi's since it opened as an assist volunteer for Playhouse Pals. She is excited to move forward, using her skills and background to coordinate the successful literacy tutoring program!
Casey Brown - Math Coordinator
Casey recently graduated with her degree in psychology and is currently pursuing further education in occupational therapy. She has been a math instructor for several years for elementary through college students. She loves the enthusiasm and mission of GiGi’s Playhouse and has been the Lead volunteer for the Leaps & Bounds program for the past year. Casey is looking forward to utilizing her experience and skills to launch and grow the math program!
Brian Kilbane – Honorary Board Member - Self Advocate
Brian is a proud 1991 Graduate from Garfield Heights High School where he earned a varsity letter in golf and was varsity manager in both football and basketball. Brian has worked in the supermarket industry for 24 years and has been with Giant Eagle Supermarkets for the past 15 years.
Brian is clearly one of Cleveland’s most ardent sports fans and has unwavering loyalty to the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians as well as Cleveland State and his beloved Buckeyes.
Brian is the youngest of 8 and is the favorite uncle and great uncle of the ever-expanding Kilbane clan. Brian lives with his mother Betty in North Royalton, Ohio and when he is not working he enjoys playing golf and attending as many Cleveland sporting events as he can. When Brian was asked to be the Honorary Chairman to GiGi’s Inaugural Gala, Brian quickly responded, “Yes, I will do anything to help the kids.”
Lizz Maxwell – Site Coordinator
Lizz is excited to be a part of such a fantastic team and community! She joined GiGi's Playhouse Cleveland in 2016 with over 12 years of alternative education experience and leadership. She carries a deep passion to serve and advocate for this incredible community. You will find her at the Playhouse or out in the Northeast Ohio communities bringing awareness through speaking engagements and collaborations. Her mission is to educate and inspire, while our participants believe in achieving their goals! Lizz resides in Lakewood with her husband, Nick, their son, Aidan, and their daughter, Adelean.
Emily Monteleone – Board Member
Emily has a background in healthcare leadership and a passion for helping others. She has managed and built high-performing teams and is excited to use those skills as she assists with the development of the Board as well as supporting and managing the Site Coordinator role. Bringing GiGi’s Playhouse to Cleveland is something Emily has been thrilled to be a part of and she looks forward to supporting the Down syndrome community.
Dawn Shivey – Program Coordinator
Dawn lives in Avon Lake with her husband, Mike. They are blessed with four children: Faith, Isaac, Nathan and their “bonus baby” Will. Will was born with Down syndrome in 2013 and has led the Shivey family on an amazing journey ever since.
Dawn taught Middle School Language Arts and Math for ten years. She currently is enrolled at BGSU earning her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a focus on Secondary Transition. Her goal is to be sure GiGi University opens in Cleveland! She currently is excited to share her passion for GiGi’s Playhouse as their Program Coordinator.
Kim Fennell - Volunteer Coordinator
Kim works at a geriatric psychiatric hospital and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She joins GiGi’s Playhouse with several years of volunteer experience in the special needs community, including monthly outings with the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Kim organizes our volunteers for programs, events and outings. She loves that GiGi’s is a place for growth and empowerment and she is excited to be a part of launching the new programs in 2017!