Our Team

Heather-Lorenzen

Heather Lorenzen, Executive Director

hlorenzen@gigisplayhouse.org

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.

Schweigert-Shelby

Shelby Schweigert, Operations Manager

sschweigert@gigisplayhouse.org

Shelby excitedly joined GiGi's Playhouse Fargo after learning of the positive impact the Playhouse creates throughout the community. Shelby has a passion for building connections with participants and families as they work to grow and achieve their goals. Shelby is dedicated to advocating for a world of acceptance and kindness for all individuals. Aside from her operations experience, she brings knowledge from her background in social work, human resources, and time as a behavior therapist.

Shelby lives in West Fargo with her husband Andrew, their two sons Cashton and Cameron, and dog, Wrigley.

morgan

Morgan Aubol, Program Coordinator

maubol@gigisplayhouse.org

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.

GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo Board of Managers

Andrea-Hensrud

Andrea Hensrud, President

ahensrud@gigisplayhouse.org

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

Kellie Hamre, Past President

khamre@gigisplayhouse.org 

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 Smartt Interior Construction.

Kate-Draxten---DSC00362

Kate Draxten, Treasurer

kdraxten@gigisplayhouse.org

Kate has spent many years volunteering for adults and children with special needs, having a passion from a young age to encourage all individuals to embrace who they are. Kate believes to her core that the best things happen when people follow their passions, and work to make the world better by challenging the status quo.

Kate has been working for Gate City Bank since 2020, following her passion for marketing. She is a graduate from Minnesota State University Moorhead with an undergraduate degree in Mass Communications. Kate enjoys spending any free time with her family, which includes her husband and four crazy (but wonderful) children – and a needy dog!

Kristin-Nelsen

Kristin Nelsen, Secretary

knelsen@gigisplayhouse.org

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. 

SannesDrew

Drew Sannes, Board Member

dsannes@gigisplayhouse.org

Drew has been an advocate for GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo since opening in 2015, volunteering with the Teen and Adult programs throughout her college years. Upon learning about GiGi’s Playhouse, she immediately had a soft spot in her heart for its mission, thanks to a close friendship throughout her childhood and teenage years with a classmate who has Down syndrome. Drew has a strong passion and love for those with special needs, wanting to help provide opportunities for every individual to become their best self.

Drew has been working for Light Consulting since 2020, following her time playing professional basketball in Germany. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration. In whatever she is doing, Drew strives to live out her core values of authenticity, mindfulness, meaningful relationships, faith, and service.

Kyle-Voltin

Kyle Voltin, Board Member

kvoltin@gigisplayhouse.org

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.

Trisha-Stibbe

Trisha Stibbe, Board Member

tstibbe@gigisplayhouse.org

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.

You!

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  fargo@gigisplayhouse.org  and let’s talk about how you can get in involved!