Pam Garrett, Programs & Volunteer Coordinator
Pam relocated to Fort Myers in June 2018 from Kaiserslautern, Germany. She retired with 33 years of service in the Department of defense Dependents School System (DODDS) teaching the children of our military service members serving overseas. She has vast experience working with students with special needs and their families. Pam is excited and very happy to be a part of the GiGi's Playhouse family.
Brandi Calvert, Operations Manager
Brandi was born and raised in a small town in Kansas and moved to Fort Myers in 2019. Brandi values a good work ethic, a positive attitude, honesty, inclusivity, and respect. She does her best to lead with these values. Her attention to detail and love for being organized combined with a natural desire to help those around her helps to keep our organization moving forward.
Brandi began volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse as a literacy tutor in the summer of 2021. She instantly loved being in the Playhouse with its welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff and dedicated volunteers. These staff members and volunteers made themselves available to help her be the best tutor she could be. She worked with two students that summer and thus began her love for working with people with Down syndrome! Though she was teaching them skills, she felt she was also learning a great deal from them. The experience left her feeling rewarded so when a job opportunity became available, she was eager to become a part of the GiGi’s Playhouse staff. Having spent the last 10+ years as a licensed massage therapist, Brandi understands the value of leading with compassion. Our participants and family members deserve to live a life where they are not only accepted for who they are, but also have many opportunities to develop social, academic, and life skills without the burden of cost. Being able to provide support to our awesome participants and their families on a more regular basis has left Brandi feeling truly grateful for this amazing opportunity
Board of Directors
Samantha Nunez, President
Originally from Indiana, Samantha now lives in Fort Myers, FL with her husband, Sergio, and their two children. Her oldest child, Sofia, has Down Syndrome which was discovered after she was born. Since then, Samantha and Sergio have fought for more awareness and services for the Down syndrome community. Samantha graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Marketing & Entrepreneurship. She moved to Florida soon after graduation and met her husband. They own Storia Marble & Granite where Samantha mainly focuses on day to day operations, cabinet, and countertop design. Samantha has been with GiGi's Playhouse of Fort Myers since the beginning, and is excited and honored to be a part of the organization. She strongly believes that GiGi's Playhouse is changing the world one diagnosis at time and that what makes us different makes us beautiful.
Dr. Lindsay Schwandner, Secretary
Lindsay was born and raised in Wisconsin and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with her husband and 4 daughters. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and completed her pediatrics residency at the University of South Florida. She is a pediatrician with Lee Physician Group Pediatrics and cares for children with Down Syndrome and other special needs. She is excited to bring GiGi’s Playhouse to the children and families of Southwest Florida and provide programs and support to help them reach their greatest potential.
Yolanda Nunez, Treasurer
Heather Snapp, Board Member
Heather Snapp, originally from Illinois, her husband Paul and their three children have lived in Fort Myers since 2012. Their daughter, Maya, has Down syndrome. Heather’s interest in increasing services, awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome led her to GiGi’s Playhouse. Heather works as a librarian at Florida Gulf Coast University. Previously, she worked as a high school teacher, editor, and event coordinator for a non-profit. She is excited about all GiGi’s Playhouse will bring to families in Southwest Florida.
Jennifer Anthony, Board Member
Jennifer Anthony MSN, Ed., BSN, RN has been a nurse for 23 years and is currently working to complete her Ph.D. Jennifer began her nursing career as a surgical nurse and over the years has expanded into many other specialties such as psychiatry, neuro and stroke units, home health, mental/developmental delay, and nursing education.
Jennifer spent her entire life in Pennsylvania until relocating to Cape Coral in 2012 to take on a full-time nursing education position. Jennifer and her husband Steven are the proud parents of 5 children ranging in ages 16 to 24 as well as their two fur babies Trixie and Molly. They enjoy boating, paddle boarding, and beach combing.
Jenifer’s knowledge in nursing, education, and leadership brings a unique perspective e to GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Myers. She is looking forward to working with GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Myers to become the best we can be. She is passionate about working within the Down syndrome community and brings many new and exciting ideas to help us achieve that goal.
Randy Headrick, Board Member
I am a retired federal executive with 40 years of experience in managing teams in the work environment and ensuring projects are developed and managed efficiently and within budget. I have an extensive background in organizational and personnel management designed to complete required tasks and projects on time and within budget limits while ensuring all team members are supported and mentored so they can perform at their highest level in support of all organizational goals.
Since my marriage in 1999 to my wife Wendy, I started regular interaction with her brother Barry who has Down syndrome. By 2015 I was designated Co-Guardian for Barry. I currently provide daily support to Barry and help Wendy as we experience the various personal and health issues that arise for older individuals with differing abilities. I joined the Board to continue supporting my family and the Down syndrome community.
Synthia Fairman, Board Member
Synthia Fairman is Co-Owner of Doublemint Sitting. Doublemint Sitting is the number one referral-based babysitting and pet sitting service across the state of Florida that was established back in 2016. They provide services to all families but specialized in assisting adults and children with specials needs along with children in foster care.
After working at a foster home in 2013 she realized her love for nonprofits and helping the community. She began volunteering within the special needs community in 2016 and was introduced to the idea of GiGi’s Playhouse shortly after. Synthia knew right away she had to become part of this organization and joined GiGi’s board in early 2020.
Synthia has always been passionate about helping others and is excited to extend the awareness and outreach for GiGi's Playhouse throughout the SWFL area. In her free time, you can find Synthia volunteering, traveling, working out and spending time with her friends & family.