Our Team

Joe-Catalano_City-web

Joe Catalano, BoardPresident 

Board Member, 2019-present 
Leadership & Team Committee Chair 
Jcatalano@gigisplayhouse.org 

Joe Catalano currently serves as the GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley President. He has been involved with GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley since 2014 and joined as a board member in 2019. Joe is married to Kristin and proud father to Audrey and Samantha. After receiving a pre-natal diagnosis for their daughter Samantha, their family quickly connected with the Down syndrome community at GiGi’s Playhouse.

Professionally, Joe is a risk management and insurance specialist with an insurance brokerage in Chicago. He also serves on the board of the Professional Liability Underwriters Society, a professional organization serving the insurance industry.

He is active volunteer in the Naperville community and coaches soccer with the Naperville Park District. In his free time, Joe enjoys running, playing golf and spending time with friends and family.

Andy

Andy Doyle, Treasurer

Board Member, 2019-present 
Leadership & Team Committee Chair 
Adoyle@gigisplayhouse.org

Andrew works as an attorney in the Fox Valley area running his own private practice. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with the family. Some activities the family enjoys are playing in the snow or ice skating on their homemade ice rink, swimming in the summers, or anything else his daughters suggest.

Andrew has always wanted to be part of the community and help to make a difference and was inspired to join the Down Syndrome community at GiGi's Playhouse Fox Valley because of his god daughter Samantha and lifelong friends. She has truly been in inspiration to so many and Andrew is so grateful to help out an organization that hits close to home.

 

Jana Gabrione, Secretary

Board Member, 2021-present
Jgabrione@gigisplayhouse.org

Jana became a Gigi's Playhouse Fox Valley board member in 2021. She and her family have been supporters of Gigi's Playhouse since 2009 when their younger son, Luke, was born. Luke has Down syndrome and has utilized a variety of the incredible programming that Gigi's has to offer. As a former educator with a Masters degree in elementary education, Jana is especially interested in the wide range of educational programs Gigi's provides to its participants. She is also a strong advocate for inclusion and has worked tirelessly to ensure inclusive opportunities for her son through his schooling and other extracurricular activities. Outside of her time with Gigi's Playhouse Fox Valley, Jana enjoys spending time with her husband and 4 children (Jackson, Luke, Olivia-Luke's twin, and Isabel), volunteering with her children's schools in Naperville D203 and attending her kids' many, many different activities. She is beyond thrilled to be on the Board of Managers to help spread awareness and promote acceptance throughout our wonderful community!

Emily R pic

Emily Rosenberg

Board Member, 2019-present 
Programs Committee Chair 
Erosenberg@gigisplayhouse.org

Emily Rosenberg has been involved with GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley for the past 5 years as a program leader for Dance @ GiGi’s and in 2019 she joined the Board of Managers.  Emily is a dance instructor at Steps Dance Center and a recent grad from North Central College.  In her free time Emily enjoys spending time with her son, Brady- especially at Disney!

Kathryn, GiGi's Playhouse Fox Valley Board Member

Kathryn Smith, Outreach Ambassador

Board Member 2010-present 
Fundraising & Outreach Committee Chair 

Kathryn has been on the Board of Managers at GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley since 2010.  She is the first individual with Down syndrome to serve on a board at any GiGi’s Playhouse. She was the secretary for 2 years and now serves as the Outreach Ambassador.  Kathryn lives in Aurora with her mom, Patty Smith, who also has served on the Board of Managers, and is now an Alderman in Aurora.  Kathryn graduated from high school and earned her certificate from the College of DuPage.  She works at the Aurora Public Library and is an ambassador for ComEd. Kathryn enjoys public speaking, spending time with her fiancé and family, and playing Bunco with friends in her free time.

Lauren, GiGi's Playhouse Fox Valley Board Member

Lauren Chiszar

Board Member, 2018-present 
Marketing Committee Chair 
Lchiszar@gigisplayhouse.org

Lauren has been involved with GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley since 2017. Lauren served as Site Coordinator prior to joining the board in 2018. She has loved her time at GiGi's, meeting new families, and participating in the Naperville Half Marathon. Lauren graduated from Loyola University with her Masters in Social Work in 2019 and now resides in Chicago. Lauren works as a Licensed Social Worker at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the intensive care unit. In her free time Lauren enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking and staying active!

Mike Thiel

Board Member, 2021-present
MThiel@gigisplayhouse.org

Bio coming soon!

Joel Ortega

Board Member, 2021-present
Jortega@gigisplayhouse.org

Bio coming soon!

JoshBinder

Josh Binder

Executive Director, 2020-present
jbinder@gigisplayhouse.org

Josh joined GiGi’s in the Fall of 2020. He brings with him 10+ years of nonprofit experience, with a focus on development, marketing, event planning and coaching. Most recently, he served as Director of Development at Community Unit School District 308 in Oswego and the Oswego Foundation for Educational Excellence. He also serves on the Special Olympic Illinois Strategic Planning Task Force committee. Binder holds a B.A. from St. Ambrose University and an M.A. from Ashford University
He and his wife Stacy are proud parents of Wesley, and Madisyn who rocks her extra chromosome every day!
“I can’t wait to do my part as a leader, advocate, teammate, and most importantly a father, to keep pushing the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse and Down syndrome awareness forward.

katie

Katie Vaughan

Site Coordinator, 2018-present 
kvaughan@gigisplayhouse.org

Katie joined GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley in the Spring of 2018.  She brings with her 15+ years of educational experience, including volunteering as literacy coordinator, and literacy tutor at GiGi’s.  Katie also is a Rotarian with the Naperville Rotary After Dark, has also volunteered on the PT3 committee at Brokaw Early Learning Center, and fostered many dogs through the Animal Rescue Foundation.  Vaughan holds a MAT from National Louis University and a BA from University of Illinois.

Katie and her husband, Mark, are proud parents of Zoe (who rocks an extra chromosome), and Aidan, as well as 3 dogs Piper, Pudge and Nugget.

“I am excited to be a part of an organization that celebrates individuals with Down syndrome.  I wouldn’t change my child for the world, but I will change the world for my child.  I look forward to changing the way the world views Down syndrome.”

Other Key Positions

Program Coordinator: open position
Volunteer Coordinator: open position
New Family Coordinator: open position
Literacy Coordinator: Sally Stearns
Math Coordinator: open position
Outreach Coordinator: open position

Program Leaders:

Bowling w/ NCHS: Steven Ondrus
Dance @ Steps: Emily Rosenberg
Destination Discovery: open position
Drama Troupe (Buddy Theater at A Special Place): Cheryl Butler
Fantastic Friends: Molly Bettencourt-Robin
Hispanic Playgroup: Mayfe Zurita
Kids Club: Cameron Synders
Little Aces: Alyssa Girgis
LMNOP: Theresa Versace
Playhouse Pals: Karen Larson
Super Sibs: Dr. Manfre
Teen Tastic: Tanya Jarvis and Jim Jarvis

Literacy Tutors:

Sue Catalano
Abby Eagan
Mereum Fernando
Amy Gerber
Devanshi Kothari
Sarah Skilton
Sally Stearns

Math Tutors:

Abigayle Buhay
Mereum Fernando
Vedika Garg
Devanshi Kothari
Shivanshi Shukla
Aradhana Singh

Interested in joining our board of managers?

Submit an email of interest with a Board of Managers application to foxvalley@gigisplayhouse.org.