Gwyneth Meeks, Co-President
Gwyn is an executive coach, facilitator and consultant who has worked with executives and leadership teams to support strategic planning, team development and leadership effectiveness. She spent the majority of her career in the media and entertainment industry as the VP of Organizational Effectiveness for Viacom and Executive Director of Talent Development at NBCUniversal. She also served as the VP of Human Resources at New York & Company, a women’s wear-to-work retailer.
Gwyn received her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College and Master of Science in Organizational Development (MSOD) from Pepperdine University.
Outside of her professional life, Gwyn has been an activist and volunteer for a variety of organizations. In 2006, She participated in the AIDS Lifecycle, riding her bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles. She lives in Peekskill, New York with her wife Gloria, their daughter, Angelina, and two dogs, Sadie and Rocco. They regularly attend the “Busy Bodies” playgroup and are grateful for the GiGi’s community.
Jennifer Cook, Co-President
Jennifer received her BS in Education from Concordia College. She resides in Tuckahoe and works at a commodity brokerage in White Plains. Jennifer became involved in GiGi's when her friend enlisted her to join the Grand Opening Committee in 2014. Since then she has been an avid volunteer most notably serving as the co-chair of the 2016 & 2017 "I have a Voice" galas. She loves spending time at GiGi's and seeing the great strides participants are making as a result of the wonderful programs GiGi's is providing.
Laura Dolan, Treasurer
Laura lives in Nanuet, NY with her husband, Stephen, and their 3-year-old son, Edward, who has Down syndrome. She is currently a part-time bookkeeper with a strong background in Business Management. Primarily, though, she is a full-time mom, advocate, friend, therapist, cheerleader, etc., to Edward.
Laura heard of GiGi's Playhouse for the first time back in the fall of 2014 from a flyer for the First Annual Inspirational Walk/Run/Kid's Dash. After a quick Google search to find out what the Playhouse was all about, Laura was hooked! She was drawn to the prospect of having somewhere to meet other families of children with Down syndrome, to gain much needed knowledge and support.
Laura is truly inspired by all the good work GiGi's Playhouse does for the community by sending out a positive, inspiring message about individuals with Down syndrome. Laura wants to continue to help spread the word that people with Down syndrome are more alike than they are different.
Laura also believes that all individuals with Down syndrome, their families, therapists, teachers, peers and community should "dream big" and reach for the stars! Laura hopes that through her participation as a board member, she can help to change the perceptions and expectations of people with Down syndrome!
Sharon Hart-Fanelli, Secretary
Sharon and her husband Steven have resided in Ardsley, NY and are the proud parents of Ryan, 13 and Emily, 11. With a passion for community service and advocacy for her daughter, Sharon has been on the Board of GiGi’s Playhouse NYC for the past six years and was recently appointed as a Board Member of GiGi’s Playhouse Westchester. In addition to Sharon’s support for GiGi’s Playhouse, she serves on the Board of Directors for Literacy Volunteers of the Tarrytowns at Warner Library, she volunteers with Our Lady of Perpetual Help teaching religious education and was appointed to the Village of Ardsley’s Architect Review Board. Sharon is an Account Director for Cushman & Wakefield.
Eden Anker, Board Member
Eden became involved with GiGi’s, in 2017, when she saw a posting on Facebook seeking literacy tutors. Since then, she has worked with numerous children (17 students for literacy and 9 for math), joined the Education Committee, been a consistent volunteer for GiGiFIT Teen, and helped to pilot the math-tutoring program, which she now leads.
Eden lives in Dobbs Ferry with her husband, dog, and at times her three grown daughters. She has a B.A. from Colby College and a M.P.A from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Eden has been active in the education of children her whole life as a swim teacher, waterfront director, camp counselor, mother, P.T.A volunteer and more.
Prior to her time at GiGi’s, Eden was very active with the Friends of the Dobbs Ferry Library, as both Treasurer and head of the annual used book sale. Her other interests include taking her dog Pippi to agility classes, knitting and all sorts of water sports. Eden loves her work at GiGi’s, especially moments where she sees her students accomplish something new, such as making a pattern with math manipulatives, sounding out a word, or reading a book.
MaryBeth Schulze, Board Member
MaryBeth lives in Yonkers, NY with her husband Chris, and their 18-year-old daughter, Samantha, who has Down syndrome and is an active participant at GiGi’s Playhouse. MaryBeth is a Production Specialist for a textbook creator and designer and has extensive experience in desktop publishing. MaryBeth is a graduate of Lehman College, CUNY, in The Bronx.
MaryBeth and her family have always been involved in Down Syndrome based activities and programs since the arrival of Samantha. The family is a dedicated supporter and participant of the Playhouse as well as The Miracle League of Westchester, working to spread the idea of inclusion.
MaryBeth and her husband are very proud of their daughter Samantha's accomplishments and firmly believe that participating in GiGi’s Playhouse is vital in the overall happiness and maturation of their daughter.
Terrence Moduthagam, Board Member
Terrence Moduthagam is an advertising executive with experience in applying data and technology to assist brands globally achieve efficiency and relevancy with their advertising budgets. He has experience in building teams, establishing and executing strategic goals and smart application of advertising technology to achieve results.
At Amazon, Terrence is developing Strategic Partnerships on the East coast and in Europe overseeing growth of technology demand partners integrated into Amazon's technology to help advertisers and publishers. He has a depth of knowledge in marketing, emerging technology and product strategy with additional experience in business development over the past 18 years.
He completed his bachelors at University of Illinois in Economics and studied technology strategy at University of Chicago's Booth
School of Business. Terrence resides in Connecticut with his wife of 6 years and his two beautiful daughters, Leela and Anya. In addition to spending time with his kids, he enjoys playing tennis and travel.
Tracy Smith, Executive Director
Tracy is an experienced school teacher from England who, for the majority of her 15+ years in teaching, has focused on working with Deaf children and those with special educational needs.
Qualified at post-grad level in Deaf-Ed, she loved to use British Sign Language at every opportunity when back in the UK, so learning ASL is high up on her to-do list over here.
Tracy, hubby and their two children, decided to move to America in 2012 , where they lived in Brooklyn for a short spell before moving and settling down in Ardsley.
She first discovered GiGi’s in December 2015 when her daughters Girl Guide troop were invited to host a holiday party at the Playhouse. Initially, she was interested in Literacy tutoring, but pretty soon caught the volunteering bug full-on.
Debbie Young, Site Coordinator
Wife of 40 years to Jeff and Mother to 19 year old son Aaron. Current owner of a Spanish water dog Zeus and Bombay cat Ace.
Vocational and volunteer experience has run the gamut from business owner, job placement professional, case manager for adults with special needs, occupational therapist serving patients in the hospital and nursing home settings, animal therapy volunteer and activist, junior league board member, Alzheimer's Association volunteer and literacy tutor and coordinator for GiGi's Playhouse Westchester.
One day, while driving through Ardsley, NY. GiGi's colorful happy sign caught my eye and I knew immediately that I wanted to find out what GiGi's Playhouse was all about. After going to their website, I knew this was an organization I wanted to get to know and become a part of. Soon, I moved into the literacy coordinator role while continuing to tutor.
I am delighted to now put on a new hat as the new Site Coordinator continuing the mission of Acceptance and changing how the world views Down syndrome.I also hope to find the time to continue volunteering.
Kelly Moravec - Board Member
Kelly is originally from Minnesota and has worn many hats over her lifetime. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, which led her to become an Actuarial Analyst for six years. However, after moving to New York, she was ready to begin her lifelong dream of having and raising children. Kelly now has two wonderful kids, Alex and Sophie.
Alex is currently a senior at Purdue University studying mechanical engineering and Sophie is a sophomore at the University of Florida, studying biology. Kelly also has a Golden Retriever named Riley who she absolutely loves.
As her kids were growing, Kelly taught exercise classes and lost 45 pounds at Weight Watchers, where she became a leader and Territory Manager. She later moved into the fitness industry, becoming the Director of Sales at Healthy Fit in Mamaroneck and eventually decided to go off on her own. She started a personal training business, "Workout with Kelly" and currently trains people of all ages and abilities.
Kelly has so much love to give and needed a place to share it. Once her kids became more independent, she found GiGi’s Playhouse and realized that working with people that have Down syndrome was exactly what she was looking for. She had found her people! She became a Leader of GiGi Fit Teen, Co-Leader of Teen Tastic, and a tutor for math and literacy. Since COVID, Kelly has been running virtual sessions twice a week to keep the teens connected. She leads a conversation in virtual Teen Tastic by asking the kids thought provoking questions. In virtual GiGi Fit, she has added a meditation section at the end of every workout. (It is clear that we can all benefit from some relaxation during this strange time.) She is absolutely blown away and thrilled by the dedication and drive that the teens have shown in their quest to become healthy and fit!