Since retiring as an Account Executive at Clinque in 2014, I have dedicated my time to my grandchildren. My first granddaughter, Kaitlyn, is an active participant in GiGi's Playhouse. She has grown immensely since our Phoenix opening and looks forward to GiGi University as her next step toward working in our community.
It is a privilege to lead our board, to strengthen our programs for our families, and to continue to grow as we open GiGi U.
Jennifer Gage, Founder GiGi’s Playhouse Scottsdale/Phoenix
GiGi’s Playhouse has given me a platform to make the world a better place for my 20-year-old daughter Kaitlyn, who has Down syndrome. When she was born, there were little to no resources for parents to help navigate this diagnosis. GiGi’s offers a holistic approach to families; not just helping the person with Down syndrome, but their parents, siblings, extended family and so forth. GiGi’s Playhouse is making real-time impact on peoples lives right in our own community and I am excited to be on the front lines of a movement for acceptance, kindness and generosity.
Jason Weinmeister, Treasurer
Jason is the Director of Accounting at Kahala Brandsand and has spent the majority of his career in media finance and accounting, with stops at Fox Sports, iHeart Media, and CBS Radio. He has his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State, and is a CPA. Jason is father to three teenagers - Anja (16), Max (14), and Dieter (13), and he lives with his girlfriend Carly, who has two boys of her own.
Jennifer Marble, Board Secretary
I am a very proud mom of a daughter with Down syndrome and we have participated at Gigi's Playhouse Phoenix since opening day in 2014. I have worked as an office manager and paralegal for a well known Phoenix law firm for the last 17 years. After visiting my hometown of Chicago and going to the Hoffman Estates Gigi's Playhouse and seeing the full potential of Gigi's Playhouse and what it means for our community I couldn't wait to be more involved within the organization. My husband and I love spending time with our daughter at Gigi's Playhouse and cherish all of the friendships we have made as parents as well.
My passion for teaching has spanned over 38 years, encompassing every grade between preschool through college, with emphasis in special education and gifted education. A friend invited me to accompany her to one of the programs for her son at GiGi’s Playhouse. Within minutes, I knew I wanted to volunteer and become a part of GiGi’s family. I enjoy working with the kids and parents in the many of the programs as well as the Literacy and Math Program.
Sarah Kearney, VP of Partners & Community Outreach
Sarah Kearney is the Director of Tourism at the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau where she is responsible for managing the international leisure markets. She became involved with GiGi's Playhouse during a community service project effort with her Scottsdale Leadership team which then resulted in her falling in love with GiGi's and becoming a member of the GiGi's family by serving on the board. In her free time, she loves spending time outdoors with her family.
Robert Vance, VP Events
Robert Vance is the Managing Director of the Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Prior to joining the Well & Being, Mr. Vance was the Spa Director at Mii amor in Sedona, Arizona, Regional Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Operations for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, Spa & Fitness Director for the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Spa & Fitness Director at Golden Door Spa at the Naples Grande, and started his resort-spa career at the Golden Door Spa at the Boulders.
In addition to his career in Spa Leadership and Operations, Mr. Vance is heavily involved in the spa & hospitality community serving on the Board of Directors for the International Spa Association and Chair for multiple Committees, serving as a Board Member of the Arizona Spa Association, the Washington Spa Alliance and the Advisory Board for Florida Gulf Coast University’s School of Resort and Hospitality Management as well as an active member of the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Robert holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Pepperdine University and is an Arizona native a few times removed and was married to his long-time partner, Stuart Macaulay in December 2016 after five years together and has a fur-baby named Huckleberry.
Brett Schatzman, Honorary Board Member
I moved to Arizona from Chicago and I am happy I found GiGi’s Phoenix. I love all the fun programs where I can hang out with my friends. I am very excited for GiGi U, where once I complete the program, I can work at the GiGi Cafe....come in for a cup of coffee and say hi! I am very proud to be on the board of directors and help the Playhouse and GiGi U keep moving forward. Every day I try to give my Best of All!
Update Sarah Kearney's Bio -My life changed the first time I stepped into the Playhouse in 2015 when I instantly knew I wanted to be more involved and part of the GiGi’s family. As a result of a philanthropic project with my Scottsdale Leadership team, I was ecstatic to be asked to join the board of directors. Professionally, I am the Director of Membership at Experience Scottsdale, the official destination marketing organization for the City of Scottsdale. As the VP of Community Partnerships and Outreach for GiGi’s, I enjoy educating the community about GiGi’s Playhouse as well and building supportive relationships with our special needs organizations in the area. It has been an honor to be part of this team who strives for the best and makes dreams come true for our participants and families.
Sheri Kelly, Site Coordinator
Sheri Kelly has been involved with GiGi's Phoenix from the planning stages and continues today as one of the Site Coordinators lending support to the operations of the Playhouse. Her background is in accounting and spent over 14 years as Manager of Operations of a federal government TRIO Educational Program in San Francisco.
Cathy Judge, Site Coordinator
As a member of the initial Startup Committee for GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix, Cathy Judge took on the part-time role of Site Coordinator. Cathy has extensive operations management experience, which proved valuable to setup operations. Cathy is passionate about the success of the Playhouse. Her granddaughter, Kaitlyn Gage, participates in several programs. Cathy’s Daughter, Jennifer Gage, was an initial Founder and served as President. Cathy is grateful to serve many families in the Phoenix Area.
Ena Keric, Program Co-Coodinator
Ena has been with GiGi's Phoenix since it opened its doors in February 2014. Since moving from New York, volunteering at GiGi's has made Phoenix home for her and she loves spending time with our younger participants and their families. As Program Co-Coordinator, Ena oversees programming and planning of LMNOP, Busy Bodies, Leaps and Bounds, Little Sports, and Open Play.