Our Team


Teash Johnson, Site Manager

Teash Johnson was born and raised in Upstate New York. She has a background in orientation, family engagement and event planning. She holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communication from The University of Tampa. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the National Communication Association. In her spare time, Teash enjoys spending time with her daughter and going on nature trails.


SerToria "Tori" Windon-Johnson, Program Coordinator

SerToria is a master trained educator. Her background is in Exceptionality Education, ranging from Down syndrome to giftedness. She holds a Masters in SpEd Learning Disabilities and Emotional Behavior Disturbances. She has taught for ten years and mentored for six years. When she is not helping children and their families, she enjoys being a wife and mother. She collects and creates in 1/6th scale miniature. SerToria is also a member of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. She currently sits on several planning committees and is the Chapter Advisor for the newly established Alpha Upsilon Colony at Florida International University in Miami, FL.

Literacy Coordinator: Evelyn Mazur, emazur@gigisplayhouse.org
Math Coordinator - Yan Ping Qi, yqi@gigisplayhouse.org
Volunteer Coordinator: SerToria Windon-Johnson
Outreach Committee Chair: Amanda Bucalo, abucalo@gigisplayhouse.org
Outreach Committee Co-Chair: Diana Bernal-Silva, dbernalsilva@gigisplayhouse.org

Participant Outreach Committee

Nick Altieri
Lindsey Danner
Nick Defurio
Thalia Arbelaez
Tristan Snapp
Mary Frances Smith
David Hogaboom

Sam Piazza
David Scott
Valerie Smith
Kaleb Dees
Danielle Ciaravino
Johnathan Goepper

GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa Board of Directors


Michael Sullivan, President


Michael Sullivan is a manager at ICI Homes, a custom home builder in Florida. He joined the home-building industry after a long career in education and educational leadership. Michael’s formal education includes a Master’s in Education Leadership from Manhattan College, a Master’s of Divinity in Theology from Saint Joseph Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. John’s University. Michael and his family are members of St. Timothy Catholic Church. Michael first learned of GiGi’s Playhouse when he received the prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis for his daughter, Sophia. Since then Michael and his wife, Suzanne, have enjoyed attending programs at GiGi’s playhouse with Sophia. He has experienced the way the programs at GiGi’s have affected her development and is grateful that we have this resource in Tampa. Michael is committed to raising awareness of GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa so generations of individuals with Down syndrome can benefit from its services.


Robin Tourlakis, Secretary

Robin Tourlakis is excited to join the GiGi’s Board. Robin earned a BSBA from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, as well as her MHA from UNC-Charlotte, North Carolina and a nonprofit certificate from Duke University. Robin grew up in Southwest Florida and after completing her education in 2003 returned to Florida. Robin learned of GiGi’s Playhouse when her best friend’s daughter, Sophia, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Robin’s experience has been as a Supported Living and Employment Coach for people with I/DD and advocating as a waiver support coordinator. For the last 14 years, Robin has worked with a quality assurance organization in Florida to assure quality Medicaid Waiver services. Robin was drawn to GiGi’s due to their core values of acceptance and inclusion and how the Playhouse was structured to include outreach and advocacy. In her free time she spends time with her husband and son.


Joyce Hicks, Treasurer

Joyce is a seasoned professional with over two decades of finance and operational experience within the Banking industry focused on delivering accurate and timely results. Joyce recently retired from Bank of America after nearly 25 years of service. She is a North Carolina native and earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Summa Cum Laude) from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University - “Aggie Pride”. She has a servant leadership style and approach, with an innate ability to establish rapport and influence across organizations and diverse teams. Joyce’s personal mission and Purpose is to make every day count while being a beacon of light and bringing a bit of sunshine to each day.

Joyce discovered GiGi’s Playhouse when searching for volunteer opportunities in the Tampa Bay area. GiGi’s Playhouse is an attractive option because its mission is aligned with the fundamental principle Joyce believes: “Community makes the journey of life much more fulfilling as God did not create us to do life alone”. At GiGi’s Playhouse, they are committed to empowering families; and families are what makeup communities.

Joyce is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and in her free time enjoys spending quality time with her husband Sammy and their four daughters; outdoor activities; traveling; and family gatherings.


Nick Altieri, Board Member

Nick has been a participant of GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa since it opened in 2018 and was also a member of the start-up team. Nick enjoys helping with the Fantastic Friends program and being with his friends. He is also a member of the Participant Outreach Committee and regularly advocates for individuals with Down syndrome while spreading the word about GiGi’s Playhouse. He is currently employed at the Julianne M. Holt Hillsborough County Public Defender Office and has been for almost 10 years. He also works part-time at Clean Juice. Nick’s goal is to help families who have children with disabilities including Down syndrome. He would like to be a mentor, example, and a role model for the younger generation and especially children with disabilities and Down syndrome.


Michael Bucalo, Board Member


Michael Bucalo is a Merrit Island native who has called Tampa home for nearly 15 years. He attended the University of Florida and Santa Fe College earning a degree in Construction Management. Currently a partner and Vice President of Friedrich Watkins Tampa, he has been involved in the design and build of many Bay Area staple projects at The Straz, USF, University of Tampa, The Florida Aquarium, Amalie Arena, Zoo Tampa and Busch Gardens.

Michael is an avid hockey player and fan. He has a passion for volunteer work and advocating, and is a member of the University Of Tampa Board Of Counselors and a founding chair person with the American Cancer Society Associate Board of Ambassadors. Michael discovered GiGi’s Playhouse while researching programs for his newborn son Mason who has Down syndrome and immediately reached out to get involved in the playhouse.

He resides in Wesley Chapel with his wife, sons Mason and Merrit and two dogs.


Christos Nicolaou, Board Member

Christos possesses 40+ years of diversified experience in business process improvements, strategic planning, operational excellence, and project management within the Aerospace and Defense industry. During his career, he was recognized as an unwavering change agent, a dedicated educator and a passionate mentor. He earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of South Florida and has been a Professor of Practice at USF’s College of Engineering since 2006. Christos and his wife Deloris are members of Saint John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa where he served as the President of the Parish Council and as a Board member of its Elementary School.

His 4-year old grandson Lukas has Down syndrome and, at an infant age, had to undergo a surgery to correct a heart defect associated with DS. Lukas loves coming to GiGi’s Playhouse!

“Lukas is our true inspiration! It is my honor and pleasure to serve on the Board of Managers.” – Christos


Sam Piazza, Board Member

Sam has been a participant of GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa since its inception in 2018 and was a member of the start-up team. Currently, he is an active member of the playhouse’s Participant Outreach Committee. He is an employee of PDQ and has worked there for more than nine years and is also a volunteer safety officer at Grace Family Church. Sam had a documentary film created about him called “Because of Sam”. He is a twenty-time Karate Medalist, two-time Trophy Champion, completed eleven belts and is a First-Degree Black Belt. Sam has received two commendations from Tampa City Council and Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, received the Model Citizen of Hillsborough County Award given by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, is a former Five Time Campaign Manager of Best Buddies International and received Champion of the Year.

Sam loves spreading the mission and the word about GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa and enjoys helping families with disabilities including Down syndrome. Sam’s goal is to be a role model for the younger generation of children that also have disabilities and Down syndrome.