Our Team

Amy-McDonald

Amy McDonald, President

Amy is the mother of two bright, funny, adventurous boys who always keep things interesting!  She grew up in Kingwood, Texas and attended Texas A&M University where she earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering.  She has had an exciting career as an environmental consultant and is currently a Partner with an international consulting firm.  She and her husband Jason have always made it a point to go on adventures together.  Little did they know what an exciting and inspiring adventure was beginning when they received prenatal test results indicating that their youngest son had Down syndrome.  Amy is grateful for the amazing T21 community, especially GiGi’s Playhouse Houston!

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Amanda Kreshover, Past Board President

Amanda lives in Houston with her husband, Kyle, her children, Theodore and Margaux, and her golden retriever, Mr. Blue. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Amanda attended law school at the University of Minnesota. Tired of the cold, Amanda relocated to Texas where she now runs a solo law practice that focuses on Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship Law. Theodore, Amanda's feisty and adorable son, has Down syndrome, and started attending the GiGi's Playhouse in Sugar Land shortly after his birth. After one visit there, Amanda knew she had to help bring a GiGi's closer to home so that all of Theo's Houston area friends have a safe place to learn, grow, and practice their best of all!

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Jackie Furlow, Fundraising

Jackie Furlow is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She has a bachelor and master of arts in philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas.  Jackie now resides in Houston, Texas with her husband and one-year-old son, and works as a trial associate with Beck Redden LLP.  Jackie has always had a passion for serving her local community, and is honored to have become involved with GiGi’s Playhouse through her inspirational friend and colleague, Amanda Kreshover.

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Aubrey Honer, Communications/Marketing

Aubrey is a native Houstonian where she lives with her husband, Brad, and her daughter, Elliott. Aubrey earned a BA in Communications and Business from Texas A&M University and has spent majority of her career at Constellation Energy. Elliott has endless strength, cuddles, and curiosity - she also has Down Syndrome. Aubrey knew that she wanted to spend her time and energy making the world a more accepting place for Down Syndrome and for her Ellie. So she is proud to be on the team that opened and is quickly expanding GiGi’s Playhouse Houston!

Natalie Hinkley, GiGi's Playhouse Board Treasurer

Natalie Hinkley, Treasurer

Natalie lives in Houston with her husband Aaron and their cat, Irene.  She grew up in Katy, TX, and went on to attend the University of North Texas earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics.  Natalie has been working in accounting roles for going on 16 years and is currently working towards earning her CPA designation, while also managing the accounting department of a security company.  Natalie is very excited to further the mission of Gigi’s Playhouse and is so happy to be joining the Gigi’s community!

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Teresa Ferruzzo, Board Member

Teresa lives in Houston, TX with her husband Sal and their two children, Alayna and Nicholas. Alayna is 14 and has Coffin Lowry Syndrome. She is looking forward to having a fun and safe environment to get to know other teenagers. Teresa is a CPA and has worked in the public accounting industry for over 24 years. Teresa and her family are so excited to be a part of helping GiGi's Playhouse Houston grow.

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Nhung Nguyen, Community Outreach Liason

Nhung was born and raised in Shreveport, La. She moved to Houston, Texas shortly after receiving her BS in Industrial Engineering from Louisiana Tech.  She has worked as a Project Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry throughout her career. Her son, Jack, was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 at birth. He has taught her about patience, kindness, and the ability to love fiercely.  Jack is known for his awesome hugs at the playhouse. Not only does Nhung love the support through the programs provided by GiGi’s, but also the kindness and awareness they offer to the community.  She is excited to help spread awareness for Down Syndrome to others through GiGi’s Playhouse.

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Kristen Sweek, Volunteer Coordinator

Kristen lives in Houston with her husband Jeremy and their 5-month-old son Ben. After she earned her BA in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas, Kristen went on to earn her BFA in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Dallas.  Kristen is a licensed and registered Interior Designer and started working with GiGi’s Playhouse by designing the interior of the Houston location. Kristen was so inspired by the project and the Houston team that she did not want to stop at just the design.  She is excited to now be a part of GiGi’s Playhouse Houston and cannot wait to raise awareness and spread the message of acceptance throughout the community.
 

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Elizabeth Salinas, Operations Coordinator

Elizabeth earned her B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Louisiana State University. She has worked as a wellness coordinator, executive chef and private chef. Elizabeth is also our program leader for GiGi’s Kitchen and is simply amazing! We are SO excited and grateful to have her on board as a team member.

Elizabeth and her husband Alex spent the last few years living abroad and expanding their family. They have two girls, Lily and Rosaleigh. Rosaleigh has Down syndrome and has been the sunshine in the Salinas family since birth. Elizabeth is excited to share her skills and knowledge with GiGi’s Playhouse and looks forward to working within the community!