GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne Names New Executive Director

The GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne Board of Directors recently named Mandy Drakeford as its new executive director. Drakeford, a nonprofit leader with more than a decade of experience in fundraising, marketing, public relations, and digital communications, will manage and direct GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne’s operations, fundraising strategy, marketing campaigns and community outreach.

“Mandy’s professional background, coupled with her passion for transforming lives through philanthropy, is critical to our mission at GiGi’s Playhouse as we strive to reach more individuals and families with Down syndrome,” said Doug Atkinson, Board President of GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne. “Since our opening in 2016, we have grown to serve more than 300 families, and we are confident Mandy will continue this momentum.”

Prior to joining GiGi’s Playhouse, Drakeford held an executive leadership position with SCAN, Inc., serving as Chief Philanthropy Officer. She also served on the senior team at the Levine Museum of the New South and held marketing positions with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and the University of Cincinnati Foundation. Drakeford has also worked as an adjunct instructor for the University of Cincinnati and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

“It is an honor to be selected for this leadership role with such an essential nonprofit here in our community. I look forward to working with the board, staff, and partners to help change lives through our free purposeful programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families,” Drakeford said. “With our community’s support, we can transform the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of children and adults with Down syndrome in Fort Wayne and beyond.”

Drakeford graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Cincinnati, where she earned her a B.A. in Communication, M.A. in Communication and a Public Relations certificate. She also maintains her Accreditation of Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Drakeford is a participant of the 2020 Leadership Fort Wayne class through Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. and is a member of YLNI.

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