GiGi's Playhouse Quad Cities Board of Managers & Staff 

Pam-Lynch

Pam Lynch, Site Director

Pam lives in New Windsor, IL with her husband Brian and they have two adult children and one grandson. Over the years she has been an active volunteer in her community and has served in a leadership role in 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 plynch@gigisplayhouse.org or (309) 762-7529.

Ann-Cobb

Ann Cobb, SLP and Education Coordinator

Ann is a lifelong Quad Citi-ian, and lives in Moline, IL with her husband Ken, two dogs, and has a son in college. She has been our Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) since January 2020 and has since taken on more duties. Specifically she is coordinating the 1-on-1 tutoring and education based programming in addition to her individual and group speech therapy. Ann has served as an SLP in the school system for over 15 years and recently was the director of education/preschool principal for her church. In her free time, Ann likes to read, crochet, and tell bad jokes.

You can reach Ann at acobb@gigisplayhouse.org or (309) 762-7529.

annak

Anna Kronenberger, Program and Volunteer Coordinator

Anna and her husband Paul live in Bettendorf, IA. They have three children: two in college and one recent graduate living at home. Anna joins the team at GiGi’s after spending several years as a paraeducator for the Pleasant Valley Community School District. Over the years, Anna has volunteered for many school groups, taught yoga, and even had a brief stint as a radio show host for WVIK. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and community theatre.

You can reach Anna at akronenberger@gigisplayhouse.org or (309) 762-7529.

Board of Managers

Chad 2022

Chad Johnson, Board President

cjohnson@gigisplayhouse.org

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.

Kathy-K

Kathy Kuhnen, Secretary

Hello! My name is Kathy Kuhnen. I grew up in Erie, IL, attended Eastern Illinois University, and received my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  I spent 33 of my 35 years teaching Remedial Reading in the Erie School District.  After teaching reading for a year, I realized I had a passion for learning more about how children learn to read and obtained my Master’s Degree from Western Illinois University.  To help me even more, I received my Reading Recovery training which is an early intervention program to help low-achieving first graders learn to read.  I also taught both reading and math intervention classes at the middle school level during my last four years of teaching and retired with 35 years of teaching in May 2017.

When my great niece, Zoey, was born with Down Syndrome in March of 2013, I saw how much support her family received. I had seen the sign off John Deere road and I began to learn what GiGi’s Playhouse was all about.  Zoey and her parents’ involvement at GiGi’s piqued my interest and I began to tutor during the summers.  Over the years, I have volunteered as a Literacy Coordinator, organized a Family Fun Night, worked the JDC concessions, helped prepare baskets for the gala and the walk, in addition to other volunteer hours.

My husband, Don, and I live in Erie and have two grown sons.  Rhett is 28 and lives in Baroda, Michigan.  Koby is 25 and lives in Erie.  In my spare time, I work part-time at our local library and I enjoy reading, golfing, and volunteering at Gigi’s Playhouse.

As you can tell, I’m already involved with helping the children at GiGi’s Playhouse reach their potential in the area of Literacy.  I feel I would be able to use my educational background and my years of serving on our town council to be an asset to the board.  I am ready to join the Board of Managers at GiGi’s so that I can further understand the entire GiGi’s organization and ensure that our families continue to have the opportunities, support, and love from the Quad Cities Playhouse.

Kim Nimrick, GiGi's Playhouse Quad Cities Board Member

Kim Nimrick, Treasurer

Kim lives in Rock Island, IL with her husband and four children. She is the RN Manger of the Birthcenter at Genesis Medical Center. In her spare time she can be found at wrestling meets, baseball diamonds, horse arenas or just hanging with her family. She has recently joined the board after seeing the important work GiGi’s Playhouse is doing for children with Down syndrome.  Kim’s niece Amelia rocks the extra chromosome. Watching her sister and brother-in-law navigate through the knowledge of her diagnosis was life changing.  GiGi’s playhouse provides a place to educate, celebrate and empower individuals with Down syndrome and the families who love them.

jenny

Jenny Juehring, Board Member

Jenny lives in Bettendorf, IA with her husband, Daniel, and their dog, Buddy, and two cats, Kevin and Rosie.  Jenny was born and raised nearby in Muscatine, IA, and has recently returned to the Quad Cities after living in Sioux City, IA and St. Louis, MO.  She is currently an associate attorney at Lane & Waterman LLP.  In her free time, Jenny enjoys watching hockey, walking her dog, cooking, and reading.  Jenny joined the board because she wanted to make a positive impact on her community and support her family members and community members with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. 

Nathan-Kessler

Nathan Kessler, Board Member

Nathan Kessler lives in Eldridge, Iowa with his wife, Adrien, and three school-aged children, Carson, Hannah, and Olivia.  He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Agri-Business Management and currently serves as Vice President of Commercial Banking with Quad City Bank & Trust.  Nathan is an passionate sports fan and enjoys watching the Cubs, Bears, and Hawkeyes.  Along with spending time with his family, he also enjoys snow skiing and considers himself an amateur bourbon connoisseur.  Nathan and Adrien have been avid supporters of GiGi’s Playhouse in the past by attending the annual Gala, the Superhero Walk, Trivia Nights and other events supporting GiGi’s. By having the opportunity to join the Board, Nathan is excited to continue the tradition of GiGi’s of acceptance for all and hopes to bring additional awareness about the impact that this organization has on our community.

anna

Anna Carmichael, Board Member

Anna Carmichael and her family have been coming to GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities since  right after it opened in 2011. Anna has served on the Program Committee for a few years and is  always willing to help during programming when in attendance. In 2021, she decided she’d like  to become more involved by joining the board. Anna is the mother of 3 beautiful young ladies  Sarah, Emily, and Abby and married to the love of her life Ron. They reside in the rural  Galva/Kewanee area.

Abbey-2

Abbey Pocklington, Board Member

Abbey lives in Silvis, IL with her husband and their two kitties. She graduated from St. Ambrose University with degrees in Multimedia Journalism, Radio & TV, and Strategic Communication. She is the Corporate Services and Internal Communications Manager at Vibrant Credit Union. In her free time, you can find her crafting, spending time with family, and enjoying the outdoors. Abbey joined the board because she has a passion for helping others, wants to have a positive impact on her community, and wants to help support GiGi's and its mission!

Tara

Tara Wilson, Board Member

My name is Tara Wilson. I was born in Muscatine IA but have spent most of my adult life living in the Quad Cities. I have been married to my best friend, Justin, for over fifteen years. Together, we have raised three beautiful daughters. Two of which have since grown and moved out and into the world as adults themselves. Our youngest daughter, Vada, still blesses us daily in our home, while living a life as if she is an only child! She is quite a fun character!

I am a paraprofessional at a local elementary school and an Assistant Special Olympics Coach for both of our local Junior High schools. In my free time, I like to crochet and catch up on reading. However, most of my time is all about Vada and I feel like that is just how it should be at this stage in my life. I am known more as "Vada's Mom" than I am as "Tara", which I find endearing. I like keeping Vada busy and doing things out in our community. In return, it keeps me busy as well. Together, Vada and I have many adventures and get to do many fun things, but we also get to grow and learn together while making memories, which is the best way to live life in my opinion!

GiGi's Playhouse has always been an important place to myself and my family. We have been a part of the playhouse in one way or another since opening day! I feel honored that I have been able to provide a place like this for Vada to attend but also for my older daughters to grow up attending as well. The Playhouse has provided SO much for our family and our community, it only seemed right to continue to give back in any way that I was able to. I look forward to this next step, being on the board, and I hope that I can continue to make a positive impact on such an amazing place! Tara is also serving on the Family & Community Committee.

Tara

Meribeth Johnson, Board Member

I was born in the Quad Cities, and I raised my four kids in the Sherrard, IL area. I’ve been a travel advisor for over 25 years.  I have 9 grandkids with number 10 arriving in the summer of 2024. My grandson, Henry, was born with Down syndrome. Not knowing anything about Down syndrome I wanted to educate myself and thought the best way to do this was to give my time, so I became a volunteer. I was honored to receive the Volunteer of the Year award at the 2022 gala. Volunteering has been one of the most rewarding things I have done. It led me to join the Gala planning committee and now the Board.

Emi

Emi Lynch, Board Member

Emi lives in Moline, IL with her husband John and their dog Tate. She graduated from Western Illinois University with degree in Organizational Communication. Emi currently works at CBI Bank & Trust as their Regional HR Officer for the QC and Wisconsin state-line areas. In her free time you will find her watching any crime fighting show you can think of, DIY-ing furniture or anything really, crafting, reading, organizing, or simply spending time with family and friends. While at Western Illinois University, Emi’s sorority philanthropic partners were Specialist Olympics and Girls on the Run. She was on the committee for Westerns Spread the Word to End the Word. Emi joined the board to support the community and spread positivity and inclusiveness to everyone in it. She is passionate about others feeling loved and welcomed in all places. She wanted to help support the mission and community at GiGis Playhouse!

kate

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.

michael

Michael, Self Advocate

Michael lives in Moline, IL with his parents Chris & Tim. Michael loves to volunteer at GiGi’s but he also loves NASCAR! He loves watching it, talking about it with his brother Dillon and really anyone that shows an interest in it. Michael is an active participant in many GiGi’s programs (GiGiFIT, GiGi’s Kitchen, Fantastic Friends, and more) and took the step to become a Self-Advocate board member in early 2022. He enjoys giving tours of the Playhouse to visitors, volunteering during community events, and taking care of the garden planter.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a board member, please contact the Playhouse for information and an application at (309) 762-7529 or quadcities@gigisplayhouse.org