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.
Ann Cobb, Program Coordinator
Ann is a lifelong Quad Citi-ian, and lives in Moline, IL with her husband Ken, and has a son in high school. She has been our Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) since January 2020 and added Program Coordinator in July of 2021. 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. Ann oversees our purposeful programming for all ages helping in coordinating the volunteers, materials, scheduling, and implementation that is involved in making our Playhouse a place for all. In her free time, Ann likes to read, crochet, and tell bad jokes.
You can reach Ann at email@example.com or (309) 762-7529.
Board of Managers
Chad Johnson, Board 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.
Brett Seitz, Treasurer
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.
Kim Nimrick, Secretary
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 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.
Kathy Kuhnen, Board Member
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.
Kevin Carlson, Board Member
Kevin Carlson lives in Davenport with his wife Kelly and two children. He is the Director of Compliance and Title IX Coordinator for St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Kevin graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Political Science and from St. Ambrose with his Masters of Organizational Leadership. Kevin came to GiGi’s because he believes in inclusion and elevating all voices. "I've seen some of the great people being served by GiGi’s and I hope I can contribute in some small way. GiGi’s is helping make the Quad Cities a more inclusive and interesting place to live".
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 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.
Kitty McSparin, Board Member
Kitty McSparin lives in Davenport, IA with her husband Devin and two daughters, Gabriella and Lena. She is an account manager at MidAmerican Energy Services. In her spare time, she likes to spend time outside camping, fishing, swimming, and going on walks with her family. She has recently joined the board after finding out about GiGi's Playhouse. Her 'why' is to help support GiGi's and its mission to change how the world views a Down syndrome diagnosis.
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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org