Our Team

Joe, GiGi's Playhouse Fox Valley Board Member

Joe Catalano, Co-Vice President 

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

Joe Catalano 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.

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Andy Doyle, Co-Vice President

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.

Being still relatively new to GiGi’s Andrew is still learning all the amazing opportunities that GiGi’s Fox Valley makes available to the community.  Andrew so far has enjoyed helping out and getting to know the families that attend the Crawlers and Walkers program.

 

Charlie, GiGi's Playhouse Fox Valley Board Member

Charles Perrecone, Treasurer

Board Member 2017-present 
Financial Health Committee Chair 
Cperrecone@gigisplayhouse.org

Charles Perrecone lives in the Roscoe Village area of Chicago with his wife, Maeve. Charles has been involved with GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley since 2017. His initial involvement developed from a desire to give back to the community, but he did not know where. A friend and fellow board member, Bret Shannon, got him to come to an event, see the Playhouse, and talk to the board. Since then Charles has enjoyed being an active board member and trying to improve the Fox Valley Playhouse. Charles works as an insurance and surety consultant for Brown & Brown of Illinois, located in Lisle.

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.

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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!

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!

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.”

Kelly Streff, Program Coordinator

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Sharon Thompson, Volunteer Coordinator

Sharon became involved in GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley in 2021 to continue the mission to “educate. inspire. believe.”  Sharon has worked with children with Down syndrome for the past 25 years as a pediatric physical therapist throughout Chicagoland and Naperville.  She has also taught physical therapy students for the last 11 years in clinical labs at Midwestern University.
Sharon’s interest in our mission began in middle school with volunteering with a Special Olympics program at Marquette Park in Chicago.  She has lived in Naperville for the last nineteen years with her husband, Bill, and her two daughters, Lauren and Olivia, who are both students at Indiana University.

Sharon is involved with the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise and 100 Women Who Care Naperville.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the families and children who attend programs at GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley and providing support to build on their achievements and help the GiGi’s community through volunteer coordination.”

Other Key Positions

Site Coordinator: Katie Vaughan
Program Coordinator: Perla Bolivar
Volunteer Coordinator: Isabel Fernandez
New Family Coordinator: Mayfe Zurita
Literacy Coordinator: open position
Math Coordinator: open position
Outreach Coordinator: open position

Program Leaders (font in another color):

2 & Under: Alison Hoffman and Karen Larson
Bowling w/ NCHS: Steven Ondrus
Cooking Club: Veronica Rios
Dance @ Steps: Emily Rosenberg
Drama Troupe (Buddy Theater at A Special Place): Cheryl Butler
Fantastic Friends: AU students from Therapeutic Rec, instructor Kris Johnson
Hispanic Playgroup: Monica Archbold and Mayfe Zurita
Little Aces: Alyssa Girgis
LMNOP: Theresa Versace
Playhouse Pals: Kelly Streff
Super Sibs: Perla Bolivar & Isabel Fernandez
Teen Tastic: Tanya Jarvis

Literacy Tutors:

Amita Gowda
Devanshi Kothari
Amber Tinney
Sue Catalano
Rebekah Salazar
Mary Hoffman
Mary Claussen
Lori Reifsteck
Shreya Dudeja
Diya Sharma

Interested in joining our board of managers?

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