Heather Lorenzen, Executive Director
Heather joined GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo in September 2018 with years of advocacy and leadership experience. Heather believes that everyone has an ability and there are no limits to achieve success with the support of their family, education, and our community. She brings experience in working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with transition age students and adults in seeking meaningful employment within our community. Heather’s heart beats to see a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted and embraced in their families, schools, and our community!
Heather lives in Fargo, North Dakota with her husband Jordan and daughter Mia.
Allison Fulton, Operations Manager
Allison comes to GiGi’s with a passion for cultivating welcoming communities, where dreams become reality, and there is a love of learning and trying new things. After years of leadership experience in the nonprofit world, she’s eager to connect with the Playhouse community as we grow and help each other achieve our “best of all” moments. She loves seeing the spark in individuals when they learn something new or achieve something that once seemed impossible.
Allison lives in Fargo with her husband and three children, where they love to garden, create art, cook, and go for bike rides.
Morgan Aubol, Program Coordinator
Morgan experienced the impact of GiGi's Playhouse while she was an elementary special education teacher. GiGi's inspired her to give it her all and think outside the box to better serve her students. She has a passion for helping others become the best version of themselves. As the Program Coordinator, Morgan is excited to advocate for individuals with Down syndrome and their families, as together we are creating a more kind and accepting world.
Morgan lives in Fargo with her husband Dan. She enjoys creating new recipes in the kitchen and traveling.
Lauren Rickers, Playhouse Assistant
GiGi’s Playhouse holds a special place in Lauren’s heart. Lauren started as an active volunteer, transitioned into GiGi’s first intern, and is currently the Playhouse Assistant. Lauren has gained such a passion for GiGi’s mission in creating a more kind and accepting world. Lauren has seen the amazing impact that GiGi’s has made on so many individuals with Down syndrome and their families. She is so excited to inspire GiGi’s families and advocate for acceptance.
Lauren is currently living in Fargo and attending the University of Mary for Occupational Therapy.
GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo Board of Managers
Andrea Hensrud, President
Andrea first heard about GiGi’s when the Center opened in the Red River Valley. Growing up with an older brother who has Down syndrome, she was immediately hooked on the purposeful programs offered and was the program lead for “Little Finders, Big Plans.” As an occupational therapist in the community, and as a sibling of a current participant, Andrea wanted to get involved in an active role. Because of her personal and professional background, she values the importance of promoting education to our families about the importance of development through the lifespan, and the importance of the development within a family.
Andrea is also a health and life coach. She loves to empower those around her to be their best selves, including the best of all moments at GiGi's. She lives outside of Fargo with her husband Mark, their two children and her dog, Kona. She loves cooking, being active and the outdoors!
Kellie Hamre, Past President
Kellie has been with GiGi’s Playhouse in Fargo since the origination of the Fargo location in 2015. She has had many roles within the organization, with the most recent being a focus on board development, leadership, and fundraising by serving as the President of the Board of Managers from 2018 – 2022. She has led the Playhouse through various stages of growth, development and recovery, helping make it one of the top performing Playhouses in the network. Her passion to advocate for individuals with Down syndrome started when her family was blessed with Bryn, her daughter with Down syndrome. Kellie believes all persons, regardless of medical diagnosis, should have every opportunity available to reach their highest potential and strives to ensure that GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo makes that happen.
Kellie and her husband Brandon have three children and live in Oxbow, ND. She is employed by NDSU as an educator in the field of Interior Design.
Kyle Voltin, Treasurer
Kyle is originally from the Twin Cities area and moved to Fargo in 2017. He has been a mentor, coach, and teammate through Special Olympics to his younger brother, Brett, who has Down syndrome. Kyle was impacted by GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo after attending Fargo’s first gala in 2018. Since then, Kyle has served on GiGi’s Walk and Fest planning committee and other special events. In his free time, he is a Minnesota sports fan and plays competitive baseball in the summer.
Kyle lives in Fargo, North Dakota with his wife and two children. Kyle is the Director of Sales for Wanido. He is also the founder of Xtra Apparel, a clothing line for individuals with Down syndrome.
Kristin Nelsen, Secretary
When Birk was born, Kristin remembered feeling like she was on this journey alone and had so many fears of the unknown. She discovered GiGi’s Playhouse online when she was looking for information about Down syndrome. She told her husband that this was her dream, to help bring GiGi’s Playhouse to our community. Kristin was the founding President for two years and continues to serve as a general board member. GiGi’s Playhouse is a place that will bring families together and find the support they need to help their child become the best that they can be!
Kristin graduated from Concordia College Moorhead with majors in Elementary Ed, Social Work, and Child Development and has her Master’s in Education. Kristin is married to Matt and has four kids, Madeline, Birk, Kane and Caroline and lives in Moorhead, MN.
Jordan Schroeer, Board Member
From day one, Jordan was taught the lessons of love and acceptance for all people. His oldest sister is a shining example of what can happen when people with Down syndrome are given the support to succeed at home and in the community. GiGi’s has always been on his mind, but the Playhouse’s mission became more of a passion when he volunteered as a literacy tutor at the Playhouse.
When he is not anchoring the morning news at Valley News Live, Jordan can be found tending the flowers and plants at his Moorhead home or causing a ruckus with his immediate family in Perham, Minnesota.
Trisha, Stibbe, Board Member
Trisha has been learning, growing, and advocating for special needs since 2010 - when she gave birth to twin boys at 28 weeks. They thrust her into the world of special needs parenting, and she credits them with her growth as a mother and human. When her daughter, Claire, was born with Down syndrome in 2015 she was devastated. That devastation quickly evaporated, and Trisha assumed her role of a “Special Needs Mom x2” with joy and pride. There is magic in that extra chromosome, and it has been an absolute privilege watching Claire learn and grow with the help of GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo.
Trisha and her husband Adam have 4 children. She is a stay-at-home-mom and spends most of her “free time” advocating for special needs and inclusion, substitute teaching, going to various and plentiful doctor appointments, volunteering for BIO Girls, and meeting her caffeine limit by 9:00 am every day. She deals with her crazy life best with sarcasm and has found a creative outlet through her blog.
As we continue to our increase our impact in Fargo, we need to increase our team! We would love to have you as a part of our board or committees! Email email@example.com and let’s talk about how you can get in involved!