Nancy Gianni is the Chief Belief Officer and founder of GiGi's Playhouse, as well as a published author and public speaker. Nancy serves as the visionary leader behind GiGi's Playhouse's launch and dramatic growth; and perhaps in her most important role, being GiGi's mom. Nancy is also the loving the mother of Franco, Romy and Bella.
GiGi's birth ignited an unstoppable force of miracles, hope, and unconditional love that is now changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every day. What began as a mother's vision to change perceptions, and to maximize her daughter's success, has evolved into a global movement of acceptance for ALL! Nancy joined the Executive Board in 2010.
Bret Bowerman is co-founder and Partner of Harbour Point Capital, a private investment firm focused on backing innovative healthcare services companies. His current and prior board oversight responsibilities include: Agiliti Health, Insight Telepsych, Aligned Modern Health, National Surgical Healthcare, Oak Street Health and Jenny Craig.
Bret has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from Washington and Lee University.
Bret lives in Larchmont, NY, with his wife and four children, one of whom is thriving with an extra chromosome. He joined the Executive Board of GiGi’s Playhouse in 2017. In addition, his disability advocacy efforts have included a Board Director role at the National Down Syndrome Congress (former), Trustee of the NDSC Foundation (current), and various speaking engagements and published articles related to inclusionary practices.
Tim is the Director of Global Strategic Accounts for PMC Group, a private chemical company focused in the polymer industry. He is also the Founder/President of F3 Cycling, a cycling component company. Tim is the founder of a Chicago-based cycling team and is a lifelong athlete. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a business focus from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.
Tim joined the Executive Board of GiGi’s Playhouse in late 2017. Tim and his wife, Kim, started volunteering at GiGi’s in 2014. Tim and Kim live in Deer Park, IL, and have 2 daughters – Alex, a junior at the University of Kentucky, and Olivia, a senior at Barrington High School. After volunteering and as a long-time friend of the Gianni family, Tim recognized GiGi’s Playhouse is a critically important organization in the world of Down syndrome and the charity's goal of changing the way people view it was inspiring to him. Tim has no personal connection to Down syndrome, however, feels that GiGi’s Playhouse is changing things in a very positive way and wanted help.
Troy Cowdrey is a Real Estate Owner/Operator of multiple rental properties. Troy previously was an Independent Foreign Currency Trader at CME. He was also previously a Board of Director member at Biltmore CC.
Troy attended the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and received his BBA with an Accounting Major. Troy joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2012.
Troy is a longtime family friend of the Gianni Family.
Adam Earl is currently a Vice President of Client Services for NCA (National Care Advisors). Adam started his career in healthcare information technology and operations consulting. Prior to joining NCA, he was a Principal at Cumberland Consulting Group working with several nationally recognized health systems to implement and optimize IT and operational systems.
Adam attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts. He then earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Adam joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2019.
Adam’s family owns NCA, a nurse case management and consulting firm which focuses on serving individuals with special needs. Since joining the family business, he has dedicated his career to ensuring his clients and their families maximize care and quality of life.
John Miroballi is an Executive Sales Leader at Microsoft and leads the Consulting Sales activities in the USA supporting the largest Health & Life Sciences customers. John has been in the Technology industry for 30 years starting his career at Motorola, Inc., and then Cisco Systems, Inc. John began his career in Finance & Accounting roles serving 18 years in various financial and financial controllership capacities prior to moving into general management and sales leadership roles.
John is a Global executive having traveled extensively in a professional capacity. John has managed teams globally deployed across China, India, Mexico, and Europe. John received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Eastern Illinois University, and his MBA with an International Business concentration from the University of Miami. John has a niece that thrives with Down syndrome due to the loving commitment of her family and her own personal growth, and is the inspiration to volunteer on GiGi’s Executive Board. John joined the Executive Board in early 2020.
Farzin Sharyari is a graduate of the first GiGiU class in 2017. He currently is working as a GiGi Professional and at Ortho Arch Company. Farzin is mastering his office skills while consistently setting new goals!
While born with an extra chromosome, Farzin does not let any obstacles hold him back from achieving his dreams. Farzin has a passion and true gift for writing his own books and songs and is looking forward to recording in a studio in the near future.
Farzin lives in Hoffman Estates with his family. He is truly a valuable asset to the Executive Board. Farzin joined the Executive Board in 2019.
John Simone is the Managing Director of Insurance Solutions for Voya Investment Management. John has over 25 years of institutional asset management experience from previous positions at J.P. Morgan, Lyra Capital (Capital Z portfolio company) and Wells Fargo (formally First Union/Wachovia). John has been a Board Member of Rutgers University's Center for Innovation since 2017.
John attended Rutgers University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. He then received his MBA from Fordham University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. John joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2019.
John has no personal connection with Down syndrome. His goal is to help change how the world looks at people with disabilities.
Anthony Sindt has worked at Seasonal Concepts Inc as the Owner/President/CEO since 1999. Outside of his role at Seasonal Concepts, Anthony spends his time working at his family farm in Iowa. He is also the owner of vacation rentals in Southwest Michigan.
Anthony attended Iowa State University and joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2010.
Anthony’s son was born with Down syndrome in 2009. Like Nancy Gianni, he promised his son he will help make his life better. Joining the GiGi’s family has been something that not only helped Troy’s son, but the whole family. They are ready to take on the world!
Anne Stern develops market strategy for high-growth organizations that use data, analytics, and technology to help improve healthcare. She currently leads product marketing at Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), and previously held marketing leadership roles at Press Ganey, the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, and SPSS.
Anne received her BS from the University of Wisconsin, and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in late 2020.
Anne has a passion for innovation that creates positive experiences and the mission to achieve acceptance for all.
Janet Viane currently works as the Chief Strategy Officer of Red Caffeine. Previously she worked as the Chief Operating Officer at Symbria, Chief Executive Officer at Evoke Productions, and the Vice President of Marketing and Digital Operations at Sears Holdings. Janet previously was on the Board of Director sfor Scot Forge, on the Northern Illinois University Board and the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate Board.
Janet received both her BS and MBA from Northern Illinois University. Janet also attended the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where she earned a Minor in International Economics. Janet joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2019.
Janet's personal connection with Down syndrome began early in life when her mother cared for a child with Down syndrome and continued later in life when a member of her family was born with Down syndrome.
Kevin Wever currently works as a Managing Director for CBW Consulting, LLC. Previously he was the COO for Athena Financial Services and was a Partner at Gravitas Printing Holding Company. Kevin is currently the President of Crabtree Trails HOA and the Secretary of the Barrington High School Soccer Program.
Kevin attended Lindenwood College where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Kevin joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2012.
Kevin is a longtime family friend of the Gianni Family.
Michael Wohlwend is currently a Managing Principal for Alpine Supply Chain Solutions. Previously he worked at SAP, a software company. Michael is currently on the Executive Board for WERC (Warehouse Educational and Research Counsel).
Michael has a bachelor's degree in Logistics. Michael joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board in 2012.
Michael has no personal connection with Down syndrome, but his goal is to help the adults who graduated GiGi University get jobs and be successful in life.
Paul Gianni, President Emeritus
Paul Gianni is the co-founder of GiGi’s Playhouse. Paul is currently the President of GNN Solutions, Inc., a commercial construction company. Paul previously worked as an independent futures trader and broker at CME Group. Paul is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Paul attended DePaul University and received a bachelor's degree in liberal arts. Paul was the former GiGi’s Playhouse Executive Board president for five years and has been a member since the board’s inception.
Paul is the loving husband of Chief Belief Officer Nancy Gianni, and dedicated father to Franco, Romy, Bella and “The GiGi.”