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 email@example.com or (309) 762-7529.
Hello all! My name is Haylee Myers, and I am ecstatic to become a part of the GiGi’s team! I was born and raised right here in the Quad Cities. I still reside in Moline with my dog Lily, and two cats Buddha and Pickles. Surprisingly, they all love to go on long walks with me. Yes, my cats have their very own stroller! When we’re not taking our family walks, I enjoy hiking locally and within the great midwest with my family and friends. I have always known I wanted to work with young exceptional children, so I attended Illinois State University. There is where I received my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a Special Education letter of approval. I have taught preschool in a Preschool For All setting for the past 3 years. While working hands-on with a variety of different learners, I was really able to see the need to advocate for the inclusion of all children. GiGi’s overall mission truly resonated with my personal and educational beliefs, making it the perfect fit for me! I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn more through GiGi’s Playhouse, and to become more involved within my own community.
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.
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.
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.
Brian Girskis, Board Member
Brian was born in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from the Wayne State University School of Business. He resides in Bettendorf, IA and has been married to his wife, Linda since 1977.
Linda and Brian have three married sons and have 10 grand children that all live locally.
Brian is the founder of Suburban Construction, Inc. Currently, he is still involved in the property management field.
Brian wanted to serve the organization of GiGi’s Playhouse because he feels the organization does a wonderful job of serving and supporting the needs of individuals with Down syndrome and their families too!
Kim Nimrick, Board Member
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.
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.