Kelly Antonson, Site Manager
Kelly has been our Site Manager since March 2020 and had been volunteering for GiGi’s since early 2018 in various roles. She has a background in Brand Marketing and has been using her experience to manage all aspects of the Playhouse.
Kelly does not have anyone in her family with Down syndrome but she knows and loves a lot of people that do! She learned about GiGi’s Playhouse through her daughter’s all-star cheerleading gym which has several athletes that also participate in GiGi’s programs!
She and her husband live in Cottage Grove, WI, and have two college-aged children.
Gayle Cox, Site Assistant
Gayle is a recently retired nurse from UW Hospital that spent some of her careers as an inpatient rehabilitation nurse and a medical/geriatric nurse. She was also a business consultant for a global consulting firm. She has 2 adult daughters and 1 adult grandson and between them, they rescue a lot of animals and she is an extreme knitter!
In retirement, Gayle found she wanted to find a way to get out in the community. She decided that volunteering would be a great way for her to use her vast skill set while filling her time in a meaningful way. As a nurse, she had the pleasure of caring for patients with Down syndrome and has always been comfortable with patients with different abilities. She was an inpatient rehabilitation nurse for a few years and a medical/geriatric nurse.
She has driven by GiGi’s Playhouse for years and chose to submit an interest form. She started volunteering for our Playhouse in June where she helped with our Field Day Event and then came regularly to help sanitize the Playhouse during our Summer Speech session.
Gayle chose to move into this key volunteer role because she is very impressed with our organization and the commitment the families make for their family members.
Judy Heil, Literacy Coordinator, SMART program leader
Judy Heil, a retired public school Speech/Language Pathologist, has been on the Program Committee since its inception at GiGi's Playhouse - Madison in 2016. She has been program leader for various GiGi's programs, including LMNOP, Leaps and Bounds, and the S.M.A.R.T. Adult program. Along with adult programming, her primary focus currently has been with the Literacy program as a tutor, tutor trainer, and more recently as Literacy Co-coordinator.
Outside of GiGi's Playhouse, Judy is active with Special Olympics, programs at her family church, and volunteer support at Edgerton Community Schools. Her family, friends and travels keep her "out of trouble" the rest of her waking hours.
Maya Greengus, Co-Leader Advocate Committee
Maya Greengus is an individual with Down syndrome who cares about accepting others as they are for their Down Syndrome. Maya decided to be a part of this advocacy program to help people find their voice & to be valued as they are as a human.
Sadler Bell, Co-Leader Advocate Committee
Sadler has been an advocate since he was a teenager. His parents were big advocates for him while he was growing up and what they did rubbed off on him! Sadler is part of two non-profit organization’s in the Madison area, GiGi’s Playhouse Madison and LOV Inc . Sadler stays very active in the Down syndrome community and he was even on a billboard for GiGi’s Playhouse in 2020.
Sadler is a huge Alabama football fan and says “Roll Tide!”
Jen Strauss, Advocate Committee
Jen is a wonderful self advocate. In addition to being part of the Madison Playhouse Self-Advocate Committee, she is a Lifetime Ambassador for the non-profit organization of Nothing Down that’s based in New Jersey. She spends her time by staying active in her community and also in the Down syndrome community. Originally from South Florida, she moved to Wisconsin to be closer to her sister in late 2016. She has done 2 Buddy Walks in South Florida prior to moving and did 2 Buddy Walks here in Wisconsin. She’s known for her inspirational video messages in the Down syndrome community that she shares on YouTube and Facebook in March and October.
Jen loves and enjoys music of all kinds but loves her heavy metal with the likes of Skillet, Disturbed and 5 Finger Death Punch and much more. She is also a huge WWE Fan. A lover of animals and is obsessed with her wolves and her cat, Abbie!
Abigail Kaiser- Advocate Committee
Abigail has been a disability advocate since she was five years old. She has had the pleasure of introducing Governor Tony Evers for a bill signing and has been recognized in the statehouse chamber during one of his speeches on public education.
Abigail has been involved with GiGi's Playhouse Madison since it’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. She has been both a participant and a volunteer.
When not in school or at work at one of her community based jobs, Abigail loves acting, going to concerts, swimming, and dancing.
Abigail is excited to be part of the GiGi’s Playhouse Madison Self-Advocate Committee as the next step in her advocacy career.