Belinda Orsborn, Program Director
Belinda Orsborn comes to GiGi’s as a born and raised Sugar Land resident. She is a graduate from Kempner HS and has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Sam Houston State University. She has been married to her husband since 2005 and has 3 children. Before staying home with them she taught in Alief ISD for 8 years. She had always wanted to go back to teaching and get her Special Education certification but was introduced to GiGi’s, immediately fell in love with it and jumped right in. She has a heart for those with special needs and is eager to work with all the families that come into the playhouse!
Dawn Schordock, Operations Director
Dawn Schordock joins our team as our Operations Director. She's a native Houstonian and after graduating from Memorial High School she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communication from Texas A&M University. Her most recent professional experience was with Candlelighters Houston where she was their Programs Director. She also spent several years with GC Services Houston where she grew from Regional Account Manager to Vice President of Marketing. Dawn is an active volunteer in the Fort Bend community and was a Founding Mother and Vice President of the Fort Bend Junior Service League. Dawn enjoys cooking, tennis and spending time with her daughter, Lauren, and son, Grant.
Sandra Eikel, Site Assistant
Sandra first became a part of the GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land team as a student intern from the University of Houston and immediately felt right at home. She joined GiGi’s full time in 2019 after graduating from U of H with high honors with a Bachelor of Science in Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. As a former swim coach and caregiver, Sandra has always had a passion for working with children. She has nine years of childcare experience with children of all ages and abilities. Sandra is excited to be a positive, consistent face for the Playhouse, helping participants, families, and the GiGi's community in any way she can! She has plans to return to graduate school in the future, but she has found a home at GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land.
Alison Gratz, CCC/SLP
Alison lives in Sugar Land with her husband, Andrew, and their three children, Seth, Anna, and Sara. Alison received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, and her Master of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2000. Alison has experience working in the public school system and the private clinic setting. She loves to spend time with her family and dogs, travel, scrapbook, watch baseball, and volunteer at organizations that are close to her heart. Alison believes that every individual deserves the opportunity to communicate with the world around them. She is excited to be a part of the GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land family and can't wait to work with our families and lead our Amina Grace Speech & Language Program.
2020 Board of Directors
Sonia Storer, President
Sonia Storer, President, lives in Sugar Land, TX with her three kids: Cole, Isabella and Greyson. Sonia has worked in the banking industry for the last 23 years and has been with BBVA Compass for the last 20 years. In addition to her work with BBVA Compass volunteer program which focuses on financial literacy and various non-profit support, Sonia and her family love being part of helping GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land grow and are all active volunteers. Her son Cole was recognized as Junior volunteer of the year in 2017 with over 150 volunteer hours & Isabella served over 150 hours in 2019. Sonia believes GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land brings our community closer together through its outreach and positive programs
Codi Bouknight, Vice President
Codi Bouknight, Vice President, grew up in Sugar Land, TX and attended the University of Houston. She now resides in Richmond, TX with her husband, Mark, and their children Brooklyn and Brady. Upon learning of her son’s Down syndrome diagnosis, she decided to leave her career as a General Manager in the restaurant industry and focus on her family. She now works from home helping her husband manage their remodeling company, Gulf Coast Builders. Codi was introduced to GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land shortly after Brady’s birth in 2017. She immediately fell in love with the organization and began volunteering her time. She is also an active volunteer at her daughter’s school and is involved in leadership at her church. Codi is passionate about changing misconceptions and creating opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome. She is honored for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors.
Lilly Ramirez, Treasurer
Lilly Ramirez, Treasurer, resides in Katy, TX with her husband, Eli. She is an alumna of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she double majored in Finance and Insurance & Risk Management. She has worked at SCP Health for 8 years, currently in Operational Finance. After discovering GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land, Lilly found an immediate connection with the Playhouse. She and her husband have volunteered for the past two years. Inspired by her Aunt, who had a Down syndrome diagnosis, she was drawn to Adult Programming and is a regular T.E.A.M. volunteer. Lilly is excited to join the board and find new ways to contribute to the community and opportunities that GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land provides to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
Mandy Cancino, Secretary
Mandy Cancino, Secretary, lives in Rosenberg, TX with her husband, Jason and two sons, Hunter (7) and Connor (5). They received Connor’s Down syndrome diagnosis at birth. Mandy first learned about GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land when she started attending the brainstorming meetings back in 2013. Mandy is a HBU alumni, she graduated with a double major in Christianity and Child Development. Since then, Mandy has worked as an Elementary Director for a church, leasing agent in Commercial Real Estate, and Business Development for The Art Institute of Houston. Shortly after Connor was born, she became a stay at home mom. She believes that her skill sets of connecting others together will make a big impact on getting the word out about the playhouse! In her spare time, she helps the Playhouse get donations for raffle baskets and silent auction items, loves spending time with her family and researching about health, wellness, and Down syndrome. Mandy is excited to be part of the bigger picture of GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land!
Paige Baird resides in Sugar Land, TX with her husband, Brant, and their three children, Blaine, Bailey and Parker. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University, Paige spent 13 years working as a classroom teacher. The last nine of which were spent teaching Life Skills at George Junior High School in Rosenberg, TX. Through this experience, she found her love and passion for working with children who have special needs. After pursuing a wonderful opportunity to stay home and spend more time with her three kids, she was surprised to find that something was missing. She wanted her contributions to extend beyond her home and family. Paige enjoys volunteering her time as a Victory volunteer for the American Cancer Society and GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land. Paige loves that GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land has provided her with a purpose that will allow her to continue her passion for educating and tutoring children with Down syndrome.
Amanda Hudson lives in Sugar Land with her husband, Wes. She has served on several other boards in Fort Bend, is a graduate of the Class of 2013 Fort Bend Leadership for Non-Profits and is a YIP Advocate and Scholarship Underwriter. Amanda and her family have been active Parishioners at St. Laurence Catholic Church in Sugar Land, TX for 5 years and previously at Sacred Heart in Richmond, TX for 29 years. Amanda worked in public education for 17 years and her educational background is in Special Education. She is an active volunteer and enjoys sharing GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land’s free educational and therapeutic programs for all individuals with Down syndrome and their families -- especially her granddaughter Sadie!
Amber McDonald is originally from Florida, she now lives in Needville, TX with her husband Travis McDonald and her two beautiful daughters, Kaleigh and Avery. Avery, the youngest one, was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. Amber has always been passionate about helping others and wanted to be a special education teacher. Her path lead her in another direction and she now helps others prepare for the unexpected as an Independent Insurance Agent, with more than 15 years’ experience and helps her husband run his company, KATA. She is so excited about what GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land brings to the community, those with Down syndrome and their families. Amber is a graduate of the Central Fort Bend Leadership Class and enjoys volunteering as a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Committee Member and as an Ambassador with Central Fort Bend Chamber.
Kristi Ross lives in Sugar Land, TX with her husband, David and three children (Abigail, Andrew, and Grace). Her youngest child, Grace, has Down syndrome and is a heart warrior, having had 6 open heart surgeries to date. Kristi has worked as a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep for the past 16 years, enjoys being a member of the Sanctuary Fellowship and an elder’s wife, volunteering at Triumph Over Kid Cancer, being an active member of the Down syndrome community, enjoys watching Abby play competitive soccer, Andrew ride horses and Grace ride horses and cheer on her cheerleading team, laughing really hard, dancing, and creating memories with her family and friends. GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land has been a dream of Kristi's since she first found out about Grace's diagnosis in utero. Kristi is most excited about all the ways that GiGi's Playhouse Sugar Land helps children and adults with Down syndrome be all that God created them to be.
Lynne Spiwak has been a volunteer with GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land for almost three years as the Lead Volunteer for our T.E.A.M. program (Teaching, Exercise, Activity & Movement) . Lynne lives in Sugar Land, TX with her husband Aaron. Lynne is very proud of their two young adult daughters who are wonderful and successful. Lynne graduated from Indiana University with a major in Psychology and Sociology. She graduated from Oakland University with a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. Lynne has worked in a wide range of human/social service capacities for the past 33 years with a passion for children and adults with special needs. Lynne is the Regional Director for Child Welfare Services at DePelchin Children’s Center and loves seeing children achieve permanence.
Shawn Tracey lives in Pearland, Texas with his wife, Tracy, and their two daughters Sailor and Sloan. Shawn and Tracy were Ohio natives and expats in the oil & gas industry before receiving Sailor’s Down syndrome diagnosis and deciding to move to Texas for the educational and medical resources for Sailor. Shawn is a licensed attorney with approximately 20 years of experience including more than 13 years with Marathon Oil Company in various business and legal leadership roles. Shawn has significant executive and board level experience and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Marathon’s international subsidiary. Shawn is inspired every day by his daughter, Sailor, and is passionate about sharing her journey and dispelling misconceptions about those with Down syndrome.
Paul Halpin, lives in Rosenberg with his wife Jo, both originally from the UK. They moved to the US in 1999 for a 2 year assignment in New Jersey and came to Houston in 2003 after the 2 year assignment was extended. Paul semi-retired at the end of 2018 from Accenture, where he was a Principal Director in their energy practice. Paul’s work and desire to explore different places and cultures have taken him to 114 countries, and there are a few still on the bucket list. Paul has a number of degrees, including an MBA in International Business and Strategy, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
Paul has worked with several nonprofit organizations in the Houston area, and became interested in GiGi’s Playhouse when fellow board member, Mandy Cancino, and her husband, Jason, and their boys, Hunter and Connor, moved in next door in 2018.