Greetings from the GiGi's Playhouse - Twin Cities Board of Directors!

We are pleased about your interest in GiGi's Twin Cities, where we offer a wide range of educational, therapeutic, skill-building, and social programs for people of all ages with Down syndrome and their families - for FREE. We are proud of the strong community we have built and we encourage your involvement. There are many opportunities to join committees, volunteer, and participate, and we welcome your input. Please contact our Operations Director, John Ward (jward@gigisplayhouse.org) for all Playhouse related questions and our Executive Director, Tim Hawley (thawley@gigisplayhouse.org) for board-related questions or comments.

GiGi's Playhouse - Twin Cities Board of Directors

Fran Fabrizio, GiGi's Playhouse Twin Cities Board Member

Fran Fabrizio, President

Fran Fabrizio is the IT Director for the Institute of Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota, and has spent much of his career in higher education IT. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, respectively.

Fran and his wife Katie live in Edina with their 9-year-old son, whose extra chromosome brought them through GiGi's Playhouse Twin Cities' doors on the day it opened! After attending many programs over the years with their son, Fran joined the board in 2017 and has served as president since 2018.

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Mandy Swedell, President Elect

Mandy is a licensed Special Education teacher. She holds a bachelor's degree in Archaeological Studies from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and earned graduate certificates in Special Education: Developmental Disabilities, Standards of Effective Practice For Teachers, and Theory and Practice In Special Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in Special Education through Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Mandy lives in Lakeland with her husband and four children. Her youngest daughter, Harper, was born in 2018 with Down syndrome. Mandy has been active in the Twin Cities Down syndrome community, including as a literacy tutor for GiGi's at our Hudson satellite.

Deb Corhouse, GiGi's Playhouse Twin Cities Board Member

Deb Corhouse, Vice President

Deb Corhouse has been a staff attorney at Education Minnesota working with educators for over twenty years.  She has a degree in Elementary Education from Concordia College in Moorhead and a law degree from the University of Minnesota.  She is a certified Labor and Employment Specialist and a graduate of the Lawyers Impacting Nonprofit Communities (LINC) program.  Her daughter Sophia was born with Down syndrome in 2007, and along with their other daughter Zoe, her family has been attending programs and events at GiGi’s Playhouse since it opened. She is happy to have an opportunity to give back to the founding families and pay it forward to all of the new families.

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Tim Trujillo, Vice President Elect

Tim Trujillo is Chief Compliance Officer and Deputy General Counsel, Optum. Tim provides oversight and strategic direction for Optum’s compliance programs, collaborating with leaders from across the organization to ensure that the business has processes in place to meet state and federal compliance requirements.

Tim previously served as Chief International Compliance Officer at UnitedHealth Group.  In this capacity, Tim oversaw and coordinated international compliance functions and activities across UnitedHealth Group companies.

Tim also previously served as Vice President, Risk Adjustment and Quality Operations of Optum, leading operations in connection with risk adjustment, quality and HEDIS services. In this capacity, he managed a team of over 2,000 onshore and offshore resources with a budget of over $250 M.

Prior to this role, Tim served as General Counsel for the international, pharmaceutical and medical device services and payer divisions of OptumInsight, leading teams that were responsible for legal matters relating to transactional, regulatory, compliance, privacy, litigation management and dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions and integration of acquired companies. This work included serving as the General Counsel for Optum’s global pharmaceutical and medical device services company with operations in more than 50 countries. This work also included acting as the primary in house counsel in connection with over 15 U.S. and international acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures.

Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group in 2004, Tim was an attorney with the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre & Benson, specializing in various aspects of complex mergers and acquisitions, corporate, securities and antitrust filings. He also clerked for the Honorable Ronald E. Longstaff, U.S. District Court Judge for Southern District of Iowa.

Tim earned his B.A., with distinction (top 20% in overall class and top 20% in each major), in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University and his J.D., with high distinction and the Order of the Coif, from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Jason Pass, GiGi's Playhouse Twin Cities Board Member

Jason Pass, Treasurer

Jason Pass is a Finance executive with over 15 years of professional experience leading organizations and providing consulting services in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Jason holds multiple degrees including a BBA degree in Accounting as well as a Masters of Accountancy  degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a MBA from the Carlson School of Management – University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Jason was introduced to GiGi’s through family friends who are active with the Playhouse through program offerings for their son with Down syndrome. Jason joined the Board of Directors in 2019.

Kelly Fermoyle, GiGi's Playhouse Twin Cities Board Member

Kelly Fermoyle, Secretary

Kelly is an attorney at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, focused on intellectual property litigation.  Kelly has a J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, an M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Penn State, and a B.A. from St. John’s University.  Kelly joined the GiGi’s board in January 2020.  Before that, Kelly was a camp counselor at Down Syndrome Camp in northern Minnesota, coached Special Olympics, and helped start a 5k to fundraise for Down Syndrome Camp.

Tara Ferguson, GiGi's Playhouse Twin Cities Board Member

Tara Ferguson

Tara Ferguson is the owner of Applied Sales and Installation Services, Inc. a manufacturer's rep agency for refrigeration equipment. She also co-founded a home care agency, Serene Surroundings, LLC. that provides home care services for adults in the twin cities community. She has worked for 15+ years in the human service field and began her GiGi's journey with the Hudson satellite team. She currently serves as the programs and literacy coordinator.

Tara joined the Board in July 2020 as an advocate for continued programing in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota. Using her Master's degree in Elementary Education from UW-River Falls, she hopes to bring new and innovative programming to GiGi's Playhouse. Tara graduated from St. Mary's University of Minnesota with a Master's in Health and Human Service Administration. She is currently working on her Nursing Home Administrative License. Tara and her husband Dane live in River Falls with their two kids, Ames and Camille. They enjoy weekends at the cabin, traveling, fishing, camping, and spending time with friends and family.

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Maren Weaver

Maren Weaver is currently a Product Manager at UnitedHealthcare, focused on product strategy for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Previously, she worked on mergers and acquisitions across both UnitedHealthcare and Optum.

Maren lives in Minneapolis and has three brothers, including an older brother with Down syndrome. Prior to joining the GiGi's Twin Cities Board, she enjoyed coaching and volunteering for Special Olympics.

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Al Saffert

Al graduated from St. John's University with a degree in Business Management and has an MBA from St. Thomas University. He and his wife Anne live in Golden Valley with their three kids. Their family's connection to Gigi's started when the TC Playhouse opened, and they've benefited greatly from the programming and camaraderie of the community. Their daughter Brenna has particularly enjoyed programs with a focus on developing her independence. Al's excited to lend a voice to the organization's continued evolution.

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David Oehler

David has over a dozen years of marketing experience in the consumer packaged goods retail industries. He currently works as a Marketing Director at Target, where he leads marketing initiatives across several categories. He’s also spent time at General Mills and PepsiCo, managing brands and partnering with key retailers. David has a BS and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the Board in 2021, and was introduced to GiGi’s through family friends who have a daughter with Down syndrome.

SarahWarbuck

Sarah Warbuck

Sarah is the Owner and CEO of Warbuck Consulting, providing marketing strategy and digital advertising consulting services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She is a Luther College graduate with bachelor's degrees in Business Management and Psychology and also completed Mini-MBA coursework at the University of St. Thomas in Nonprofit Management. She had the opportunity earlier in her career to work in the nonprofit world partnering with local county government agencies and families on pilot programs working collaboratively to create unique, supported living housing solutions to help adults with Down syndrome to live independently. This is how she first discovered GiGi's Playhouse in 2014 and has been volunteering ever since, currently helping out as the Math Tutoring Program Coordinator and now also as a Board Member!

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Matt McDonald

Matt McDonald is a medical technology sales leader with Medtronic. He earned a data-and-technology-driven MBA from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Matt and his wife Ashley are graduates of St. Olaf College and currently live in Minnetonka. He will bring diverse experience to our board, helping GiGi’s Playhouse Twin Cities to achieve our mission.
Matt’s passion to increase accessibility to GiGi’s Playhouse support network stems from his daughter, Macy Rae. Macy has Down syndrome and is a proud daughter, sister to Margot, cousin to many, and grandchild. She brings an incredible smile and unbelievable will to try. The McDonald family wants to show the community the same support they have received.