Suzanne Scott – Site Manager
Suzanne’s experience ranges from the corporate world of Nike to the civic service of the Orange County Registrar to the entrepreneurial endeavor of her floral business Little Petal. She has lived in Mission Viejo for twenty years where she and her husband have raised their two sons. She loves to travel, entertain, design, walk her dog, learn new things, and meet new people.
Suzanne’s involvement with GiGi’s Playhouse stems from a constant whisper of a “little something extra” that has driven her towards her proclivity to help others. She wants to contribute to the ripple effect in changing the way the world views Down syndrome.
To contact Suzanne directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Horner – Board President
After attending the Grand Opening of the Rochester, New York GiGi’s Playhouse, she knew in her heart that Orange County, CA would benefit from bringing GiGi’s Playhouse to the community. Her son Charlie is the third of her four children and he has Down syndrome. She learned the personal rewards one gets from volunteering during her high school days as a candy striper at Saddleback Hospital. Since those days, she has volunteered in many different ways for years, including National Charity League, Capistrano Unified School District Special Education Officer, PTA/Ability Awareness, Meals on Wheels, Religious Education leader etc. Professionally, she has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years; where she works out of her house and has great flexibility. It is time to spread the GiGi’s Playhouse message of acceptance for all and provide a "home" for this special community to grow, learn and bond! It is Kim’s dream for Orange County to see our Down syndrome community as the wonderful people that they are.
To contact Kim directly, please email email@example.com.
Katie Gresko - Board Vice President
Katie is a stay at home mom, and chaos coordinator of five children. She has four sons and one daughter. Her oldest son, Jack, has Down syndrome. He is the BEST surprise she has ever received! She relocated with her family to Orange County after living in the Chicago area for 15 years. Before children, she worked as an architect and interior designer in Chicago. Once settled here in Orange County, she really began to miss the GiGi's Playhouse they attended regularly as a family in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Walking into GiGi’s felt like home. It was a place she felt recharged after visiting. It was an environment where all of her children were welcome, not just her child with Down syndrome, and all of her children could run around and play. It was also the place that Jack received free literacy tutoring and where they met their very best friends. Katie is so excited and grateful to be a part of the GiGi’s Playhouse Board.
To contact Katie directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jo Martin - Board Treasurer
Jo is a former teacher and business owner. She is the grandparent of boy with Down syndrome and wants very much for him to have a place of his own. She is currently the Director of an Early Intervention Program in California for children in their first year of life.
To contact Jo directly, please email email@example.com.
Kristin Daniels - Board Secretary
Kristin is the proud mom of Rhett, her son who has Down syndrome. As her firstborn, he rocked her world in all the best ways! She is married to Nate and they also have two daughters. Kristin is the owner and creator of Celebration Events Co on Etsy, which allows her to use her graphic design degree while working at home. She feels truly honored to be a part of the GiGi's Playhouse Orange County Board and the Down syndrome community!
To contact Kristin directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beatriz Nieto - Events
Beatriz worked as a successful International Financial Controller for Formento de Contrucciones y Contratas in Madrid, Spain. In 2013 she put a hold on her professional career so she could dedicate her life to the support and development of her daughter Elisa, a beautiful girl with Down syndrome.
To contact Beatriz directly, please email email@example.com.
Kathy Davis - Community Outreach
Kathy was very inspired as a young child by the life of Helen Keller. While in elementary school, she volunteered to push the wheelchairs of the physical disabled students. This experience helped Kathy’s decision to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. GiGi’s Playhouse will give her a new opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities and special needs and their families once again. In the extensive time of being a Down syndrome parent, Kathy had not encountered a comprehensive program like GiGi’s Playhouse with such an incredible loving group of people who share a common goal; to maximize self-confidence and empower individuals with Down syndrome to achieve their greatest potential. Her daughter Erica is thrilled that she can learn new skills in math, reading, and work in the kitchen. She is also excited to make new friends.
To contact Kathy directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Jackson – Volunteer Coordinator
Michelle is a mom of three teenagers. She has taught elementary and preschool students and worked with her children’s schools over the years to support education and help to facilitate positive experiences for all students. She believes in giving all children opportunities for growth, and is excited to be a part of GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County and all it has to offer our community.
To contact Michelle directly, please email email@example.com.
Cara Giovani - New Family Coordinator
Cara currently stays home with her three daughters, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. She is a Cal State Fullerton graduate and was getting ready to start the teaching credential program, in the hopes of becoming a Social Studies teacher, when her youngest was born. Addison came into the world rocking her extra chromosome and changed all of her plans! While Cara hopes to one day go back to school, she is so grateful that she gets to stay home with her girls right now when they need her the most. GiGi’s Playhouse offers so many wonderful opportunities and she is so excited that Addison will get to grow up experiencing the love and community that come along with GiGi’s. Cara feels so fortunate to be able to work alongside this amazing team!
To contact Cara directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Coticchia - Board Member at large
Wendy is a mother of two daughters who grew up in Pittsburgh and has lived in Orange County for 20 years. Wendy has always had a passion for community service and has been forever inspired by her dear friend Charlie, who gives the best hugs. She joined GiGi’s to help bring a wonderful space to the community where everyone is welcomed and accepted. Wendy is a career in-house counsel who is currently a compliance officer for a technology reseller.
Kathleen Khoury - Board Member at large
Kathleen first heard of GiGi’s Playhouse when the Phoenix, AZ location opened in 2015 and encouraged her parents to take her sister Meghan, who has Down syndrome, to the Grand Opening. At first, Kathleen’s parents did not think GiGi's would have anything to offer Meghan, who was 30 years old at the time, as their perception was that most programs were for younger children. Boy were they wrong! Meghan was one of the first “graduates” of GiGi Prep and GiGi U, which are career training programs for adults with Down syndrome. She has also enjoyed continuing education programs in math skills and literacy, as well as the “fun” programs like music classes and GiGiFIT. She is now “interning” at the brand new GiGi’s Café, which is a perfect fit to complement her love of coffee. Kathleen joined the GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County Board so that she can help bring the gift of GiGi’s to Orange County.