We are Stronger Together!

All 350 staff and volunteers with Nancy and GiGi Gianni

WOW! What a week filled with inspiration and lots of learning! The GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit team attended GiGi’s Playhouse National Leadership Conference earlier this month. It was a productive week that allowed our team to learn and collaborate with other playhouses across the network. We are truly #strongertogether!

The conference was held at The Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, in Illinois. Over 350 playhouse staff and volunteers came together for strategy, training, and inspiration. 60 GiGi’s Playhouse locations were represented, 91 breakout sessions were offered to attendees, 67 speakers gave their insight and tools to help locations take their playhouse to the next level, 2 countries were in attendance and we all came together with 1 voice. Our team left feeling inspired and motivated to plan for 2020.

Kaitlyn and her new friends from the Chicago and Indianapolis Playhouses.

Having started as the Detroit Site Coordinator this past June, this was my first visit to GiGi’s corporate for training and the National Conference. I loved getting to connect with other site coordinators and staff from across the network. I was able to develop relationships with others who share my same job title which has been amazing for me. I am excited for all the new things coming to our playhouse in 2020. Leadership conference gave me ideas of where I want our playhouse to be in 2, 5 and 10 years! It is only going up from here! I am already counting down the days until next year’s conference! Can’t wait to see all my new friends again!

LaTonya Morgan, a Detroit Playhouse Board Member, attended her first conference this year as well. LaTonya shared, “First I’ll tell you my disappointment-that I couldn’t attend all days!! I really enjoyed how energetic and connected the leadership is. I liked that the self-advocates were involved in announcing the speakers. I enjoyed the visit to the Hoffman Estates Playhouse. It was great to see the physical facility and the great usage of space and the offerings we can shoot for developing over time here in Detroit. I also enjoyed talking with people across the country who were like-minded in their advocacy for our individuals with Down syndrome and the positive spirit of the event, overall.”

And Board Member Amy Tyrrell was like a sponge in all the sessions she attended. She emailed and texted ideas, pictures of slides and insights to several Board Members.

Part of the GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit team that attended conference. From left to right- Jen Giroux, Amy Gorguze da Silva, Colleen Holmes, Amy Tyrrell, Kaitlyn Wojciechowski, Dave Kocab, Lisa Kocab and PJ Kocab

The Detroit team is excited to implement the things we learned and are already counting down the days until next years National Leadership Conference. If you’d like to learn more about getting involved with GiGi’s Playhouse, whether it’s supporting our grant and fundraising team, helping with events or community outreach or volunteering for any of our programs, sign up to become a volunteer. If you already are volunteering, but want to help out with a specific need, email detroit@gigisplayhouse.org and we’ll get you plugged in!


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