Holly Tonak first joined GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne as the Executive Director from 2015-2020. She was instrumental in developing and implementing all the processes, procedures, and programs. After welcoming identical twin girls in 2021, Holly came back to GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne in May 2022. As a former special education teacher, Holly loves seeing individuals of all ages and stages thriving with the purposeful programs that GiGi’s offers at no charge. She looks forward to seeing the Playhouse and the hundreds of families we serve grow and become a beacon of hope and celebration for all.
When Holly is not at the Playhouse, she can be found spending time with her fiancé, bonus son (who happens to be rocking that extra chromosome), and two daughters. She enjoys frequenting the amazing local restaurants, going to the Farmer’s Markets, and shopping local.
Doug Atkinson, President
Doug and his wife, Cindy, live just north of Fort Wayne in Fremont, Indiana. After a career in sales and marketing, Doug recently retired. As the proud grandfather of 3 year old Charlotte, he realized that the best way to provide as many opportunities as possible for Charlotte was to be a part of bringing GiGi’s Playhouse to Northeast Indiana. Doug and Cindy have six children and four grandchildren, with Charlotte being the oldest. Originally from Wisconsin, Doug is experiencing the Midwestern community spirit and generosity in Fort Wayne with their outpouring of support for GiGi’s Playhouse.
Jennifer Mihuk, Vice President
Jennifer lives in Ft Wayne, Indiana with her daughter, Lydia. Jennifer is a Registered Nurse and works at Lutheran Hospital Emergency Department and also is employed by EPIC Home Health and provides Pediatric skilled nursing to patients in their home.
Jennifer first learned about GiGi's Playhouse when she met Nancy Gianni at a National Down Syndrome Convention about 10 years ago. Jennifer remembers thinking, how amazing GiGi’s Playhouse sounded and wanted the same for Lydia and other individuals with Down syndrome and their families in Ft Wayne. When she heard there was talk about a GiGi's Playhouse coming to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Jennifer was more than willing to help make this dream come true!
GiGi's Playhouse is a place for Lydia and others with Down syndrome to learn and achieve their goals, have fun, meet friends and impact their community. GiGi's Fort Wayne is also a place for parents to learn from one another and support one another. GiGi's Playhouse Fort Wayne is going to be a Place where dreams are made and achieved. I am so honored to be a part of this magical place and look forward to seeing all that happens at GiGi's Playhouse Ft Wayne!
Jason Rice, Treasurer
A Fort Wayne native, Jason attended Ball State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in corporate finance. After Ball State he joined the Tippmann Group, where he was responsible for managing the financial performance of large capital projects, both internal and external. Jason joined Ambassador Enterprises in August of 2015, serving as a senior financial analyst on the Treasury and Finance team. Jason is an active parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Fort Wayne.
An avid Notre Dame fan, Jason enjoys spending the summer months at Coldwater Lake with his family playing Euchre, soccer, and golf.
Lorri Meyer, Secretary
Lorri graduated from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Education and was a substitute teacher in the Northwest Allen County school district for many years while raising her two children. She has served on various Boards and committees and, being a breast cancer survivor, organized golf tournaments to raise money for Breast Cancer research. Lorri was honored to chair the first annual GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne gala in May, 2015, and will chair the “i have a voice” gala in April, 2016. Lorri has been involved with GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne from inception after being drawn to the mission and looks forward to helping spread positive awareness about Down syndrome. When not volunteering her time to various non-profits, she enjoys jewelry making, babysitting her new grandson, and spending time at her family’s lake house with family and friends.
Cindy Atkinson, Events and Fundraising Coordinator
When Cindy’s precious granddaughter, Charlotte was born with Down syndrome, she made a vow to her that she would make her life as amazing as she could. Cindy and her husband, Doug, learned about GiGi’s Playhouse and knew they wanted one in Charlotte’s town. Cindy has a background in non-profit management, fundraising, sales, and interior design. Cindy and Doug had just retired and had the drive, the passion and the time to devote to opening GiGi’s Playhouse in Fort Wayne. They gathered the board filled with parents, grandparents and friends. Eleven short months later GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne opened. Cindy has never been prouder to bring this to Charlotte’s life and all the others with Down syndrome. God has blessed Cindy and Doug in so many ways, they have a community that will embrace GiGi’s Playhouse. To all the generous individuals, corporations and foundations who believe in GiGi’s Playhouse, thank you. Miracles will happen in Fort Wayne, IN.
Amy Guilliam, Member at Large
Amy was born in Defiance, Ohio and moved to Ft. Wayne with her husband Stan over 5 years ago. They have two children and 6 grandchildren. Jackson, Amy’s 4 year old grandson, was born with Down syndrome and has truly been a blessing to his entire family. Amy is excited to be involved with GiGi’s Playhouse and feels that Gigi’s Playhouse offers many programs and opportunities for those of all ages with Down syndrome in the Ft. Wayne community and is a great support system for their families. Amy enjoys golfing, reading, going to the beach and most of all spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Teya joined GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne in 2018 as the Genesis Health Bar Manager with over a decade of experience in restaurant and customer service management. Teya became involved with GiGi’s Playhouse when her son Tegan was born with Down syndrome in 2013, that is when her passion for changing the way the world views Down syndrome sprouted. Her goal at Genesis Health Bar is to inspire the Ambassadors with career development and customer service skills so they can go out into the community feeling confident and purposeful.
Teya resides in Huntertown with her two children.
Kim Jones, Programs and Volunteer Manager
Kim began her career in the field of Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities 20 years ago as a Direct Service Provider. In her 20 years of service in the Medicaid Waiver she has worked in a variety of settings and roles. From day one Kim completely fell in love with the individuals she has been honored to work with. Kim has worked direct care, managed several homes in residential as well as managed an adult day program and worked as a Case Manager. She has an extensive knowledge of the waiver system and has a Bachelor of Management from Grace College. Kim is a proud advocate and friend to all, but her heart truly is in working with individuals with different abilities. In whatever role she has played, Kim has always strived to be the very best and to provide the best care possible. Her life if fully immersed into the disability community including being on the Board of Directors for an ABA clinic in Angola, serving on the planning committee for Night to Shine at County Line Church of God and coach for Noble Co Special Olympics basketball. Working at GiGi’s Playhouse is a dream come true and she looks forward to being part of this incredible company and will work to empower, inspire, educate, and advocate.
Aside from her working life, Kim and her wife enjoy kayaking, hiking and being with friends and family. They live in Kendallville with two active dogs and a kitty.