GiGi's Playhouse Quad Cities Board of Managers & Staff
Pam Lynch - Site Director
Pam lives in New Windsor, IL with her husband Brian and they have two adult children serving in the military. Over the years she has been an active volunteer in her community and has served in a leadership role on multiple school related clubs and groups. With 10 years of experience in the nonprofit world and close to 20 years in early childhood related positions including special education she found herself with GiGi’s in May 2016. Pam oversees daily operations of the Playhouse including facilitating and processing fundraisers and donations, promotion of programming and awareness of Down syndrome within the community, and welcoming new families and visitors to the Playhouse. Pam sits on the Fundraising/Events, Outreach/Volunteer, Gala and Race Planning Committees.
You can reach Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-762-7529.
Ali Schnerre - Site Assistant
Ali was born and raised right here in the Quad Cities. She currently lives in East Moline, IL with family and their beagle, Mo.
Ali recently graduated from St. Ambrose University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She enjoys volunteering and helping others in the community. During her time at St. Ambrose she was involved in several clubs and organizations, including student council, biology club, and the environmental club. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling, reading, and staying active.
Ali is the Site Assistant and is responsible for a variety of tasks here at the Playhouse. Ali can be reached via email at email@example.com or 309-762-7529.
Board of Managers
Matt Sweeney - President
Matt Sweeney lives in Davenport, IA with his wife, Amy, and their three sons, Nile, Finn, and Lincoln. Matt is a 2006 graduate of The University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Marketing and is currently the Vice President of Inquirehire in Davenport, IA.
Matt and Amy first learned about GiGi’s Playhouse after their son Lincoln’s birth diagnosis of Down Syndrome in 2016. Matt and his family have found GiGi’s to be a huge support for them and have enjoyed getting to know many amazing families, staff members and volunteers. His family loves attending programs, especially LMNOP, and have enjoyed getting family and friends together for the 5K and Gala to support GiGi’s. Matt also sits on the Programs Committee.
Chad Johnson - Vice President
Chad Johnson is married to his wife Susanna and they have two children. He graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Business Management and is currently the President of Professional Building Services in Davenport, IA. After the birth of their daughter and learning of her diagnosis, his family got to experience firsthand the resources and wonderful staff and volunteers that make GiGi’s Quad Cities an asset to the community. His family was introduced to several welcoming GiGi’s families to bond with and share their children’s struggles and successes throughout the Down Syndrome journey. He says “GiGi’s has been a great resource to learn more about the diagnosis and the resources available to families like ours. My family sees the value in GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities and by participating on the Board and committees it allows us to assist in making GiGi’s an even better place for families like mine.” Chad also sits on the Outreach/Volunteer and Gala Planning Committees.
Nathan Bates - Treasurer
Nathan lives in Moline, IL with his wife Natalie, and their 7-year-old son Gavin. The Bates family has been involved with GiGi's Playhouse Quad Cities since the initial interest meeting in February of 2011. Nathan currently works at Vibrant Credit Union, where he is an Experience Manager at the Brady St location in Davenport. He enjoys singing and acting and has previously served on the board of directors at Quad City Music Guild, and served on committees for the Quad City Singers. He has been on the GiGi's QC board since October 2016, and he is currently on the Fundraising/Events and Race Planning committees. Gavin is the reason GiGi's is such a special place for the Bates family, and his accomplishments continue to amaze their family. The family loves how GiGi's is always there to help Gavin raise the bar for what his personal "Best of All" will be.
Jennifer Parsons – Secretary
Jenn Parsons is a Speech Language Pathologist who has worked in the schools and early intervention in Illinois and Iowa in her 10-year career. She spent three and a half years as the Program Manager and SLP for the Amina Grace 1:1 Speech and Language Program for GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities. She has sat on the GiGi’s Playhouse National Educational Excellence Committee, the GiGi’s Playhouse National Speech and Language Committee and is the chair of the GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities Programs Committee. In 2017, she received the National GiGi’s Playhouse GenerationG award. She loves the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse to change the way the world views Down syndrome, as she has a nephew named Logan, who rocks the extra chromosome. She wants to help GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities continue to show the world the “Best of All” of participants, families and volunteers through national campaigns, programming and events.
Briana Barclay, MD - Board Member
Briana Barclay, MD lives in Bettendorf with her husband, Marty, and three boys, Tripp, Finn, and Sage. She is an ob/gyn physician and has been practicing at Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists, "The Group" in Davenport for 11 years. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family, travel, enjoy the outdoors, and cheer for the Hawkeyes! She has been on the GiGi's board since 2012. One of Briana's goals as a board member is to educate and inform other health care providers in the Quad Cities and beyond, so that when a family finds out that their child has Down syndrome, it is a positive experience leaving them with hope and support, along with information about GiGi's. She serves on the outreach/volunteer committee.
Brett Seitz - Board Member
Brett lives in Bettendorf with his wife, Jodi, daughter Everlee and two step kids, Madilynn and Maddox. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Finance. Brett has been employed at Ascentra Credit Union for over 19 years, currently as AVP Loan Operations. The Seitz family became involved with Gigi’s after the birth of their daughter Everlee who is a daily source of inspiration. Everlee has participated in the speech program and always enjoys her visits to Gigi’s. Their family has had wonderful experiences participating in the annual Superhero Walk as well as the Gala.
Paula Lund – Board Member
Paula Lund moved to America two years ago and now lives in Le Claire, Iowa, with her husband Kurt. Paula is originally from Australia and has a 22-year-old son, Joshua, who is thriving with Down Syndrome. Joshua is a huge Spider-Man fan and is a fabulous young man. Paula volunteered at GiGi’s Playhouse when she arrived in the Quad Cities and believes that GiGi’s Playhouse is an incredible resource for individuals and families, to help development, growth and social interaction. She became a board member in early 2019. She also serves on the Gala committee and was recognized as the volunteer of the year at the 2017 Gala. Paula works in Geneseo in the Accounting field and shares her experiences with GiGi’s Playhouse and her son Joshua, with her greater community to advocate on behalf of all individuals with Down Syndrome, and GiGi’s Playhouse.
Tim Gulbranson - Past President
Tim moved to the Quad Cities in 2015 and became involved with GiGi's Playhouse Quad Cities shortly thereafter. Tim's younger brother, Patrick, has Down Syndrome and is heavily involved at the Des Moines GiGi's Playhouse location (Patrick especially enjoys Fantastic Friends). Prior to moving to Davenport, Tim attended law school in Des Moines, and prior to that served in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years as an Intelligence Officer, serving in Texas, Guam, Alaska, Iraq, and the Philippines. Tim currently lives in Davenport with his wife, Jaclyn (also pictured) and their dog, Lily. Tim also sits on the Fundraising/Events, and Programs Committees.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Garlock - Self Advocate
John Garlock has been on GiGi’s Board of Managers since the Quad Cities location opened in 2010. He loves to attend Fantastic Friday Friends when he’s not working. He works at Hy-Vee, a regional grocery store, and just started his 9th year there! John avidly follows the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Bulls, and the Green Bay Packers. He enjoys cooking, playing games, listening to his music, playing on his PS3, playing games on his computer, riding his bike, playing with neighborhood kids, and doting on his nieces and nephew. He plays Challenger League Baseball and bowls on a Special Needs league during the winter. He’s very involved in his church and is such an inspiration to all.
Kate Holsen - Self Advocate
My name is Kate Holsen. I am 32 years old. I have lived here in Moline my whole life. My journey towards being on the board at GiGi’s Playhouse began being involved in the Buddy Walk.
While I was in the Elmhurst College Life Skills Program, Jenni VonTobel, who was employed at GiGi’s Playhouse in a neighboring Chicago city, recommended that I join the board at GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities.
I have Down syndrome and I speak for others who have Down syndrome. GiGi’s Playhouse empowers me to help others the way they have helped me. One of my biggest accomplishments has been to sing the national anthem for all the walks these past eight years. I love going to Fantastic Friends and visiting with my GiGI’s Playhouse friends.