Katie Wood is a Financial Consultant at The Pinnacle Planning Group, LLC (PPGLLC). PPGLLC is a made up of a multi-disciplinary team that offers their collective experience and dedication towards problem solving solutions for businesses and individuals. Katie started with PPGLLC in 2007 and has filled a myriad of roles including: Advising, Business Development and Internal Planning Analysis.
Katie serves as the President on the Board of Directors for The National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS). Previous to this, she served three years as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors. Katie married her husband, Dan, in 2015. They enjoy traveling the world while experiencing and learning about different cultures. She is an avid SCUBA diver and enjoys diving both locally, throughout the Midwest and overseas.
My name is Rachel Giagnorio and I am 25 years old. I live in Rolling Meadows, IL with my parents and my two brothers. They may be taller than me but I am the oldest! Right now I am working three part time jobs. I work at Homegoods, JCPenneys, and I am a teacher assistant intern at Holy Family Catholic Academy in the Teaching Together program. I also have a very active social life as I am in two BUNCO groups, and I am in several Special Recreation social groups. I love to dance, sing and go to my Zumba class and hang out with my girlfriends. I also help out at my aunt’s deli and make blankets for the Linus project when I have extra time on my hands!
My family has been involved with the National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS) since I was born. Immediately after I was born and the doctors discovered I had Down Syndrome, someone from NADS contacted me and gave me the name of a wonderful couple who had a young child with Down Syndrome. This couple became our support parents and they were extremely helpful at this time in our lives. Shortly after Rachel was born we went to our first NADS conference which was held every other year in Chicago. We always looked forward to this conference as it provided us with a great deal of valuable information to help guide us along the way. As Rachel was growing up we always relied on NADS and all of the wonderful people we met through the organization to answer questions and help us make decisions regarding her health, care and education. We always looked forward to getting their newsletter because we knew we would learn something new each month. Some of our best friends we met through NADS. It is a lifesaver to feel that you are not alone in this journey.
As Rachel became a teen and young adult we also founds NADS very helpful. We started taking her to the Adult Down Syndrome Center for her yearly physicals and check-ups as the doctors there specialize in adults with Down Syndrome. She also became involved in the Fashion Show, the Bowl-a-thon and even became a public speaker and self- advocate for NADS. These opportunities have given her such confidence and helped her to become the lovely young woman that she is today. We are still involved with NADS and I am sure we always will be.
Entrepreneur by birth, designer by trade and powerhouse event producer by experience, Johnna is passionate about music, movie-making, marketing and helping others reach their full potential – especially fundraising for worthy charities through her creative productions. A national director for Redmoon theater to the stages of the world’s largest festivals, from welding her own fire effects, to live spectacle theater in Chicago and the sets of LA, Johnna is an experiential designer who is here to creatively build the foundation and new relationships to help the gala initiative grow and create one unforgettable evening. Her favorite part of producing is connecting people to help them build their dreams and share their talents. When not producing, you can find her making movies (up for three awards at the Madrid International Film festival), traveling, rescuing animals, recycling and eating pizza in her adopted hometown of her favorite city – Chicago.
As Johnna’s creative partner in crime, Bill Goff is the mastermind of creative entertainment and production. He’s tirelessly stepped up to bring a new era of never before seen fun to the NADS gala. From custom designs, props and performances, William is the co- producer of our inaugural gala’s dreams. His passion and drive will make this one unforgettable evening. From designs on napkins to fiery new prototypes, Bill is bringing the gala experience alive in 2017.
His skill sets include Improv, fire breathing, fire sword combat, and actor. William has been acting and performing since he was 6 in “Kiddin’ around”. Graduating with a BA in Theater from Baldwin Wallace he as gone on to be a part of many productions. From being Orlando in As You Like It, to Prince John in Robin Hood. William was also a part of Redmoon’s spectacle fundraising productions of the Devils Cabaret and the Chicago Fire Festival of 2015.
Jonathan Mayo is thrilled to be a part of the Host Committee. He has a theatre background and a passion for producing events and shows. Jonathan is the Advancement Coordinator at Oral Health America where he straddles both the Communications Department and the Development Department, working both on marketing and fundraising. Jonathan also loves volunteering and serves as the Volunteer & Advocacy Chair for The Night Ministry.
Anthony Richard Meadors Jr. is a 20-year Hospitality Director, and a Graphic Designer/Filmographer. He specializes in social marketing and visual design, plus has previous experience in charity fundraising with Circle K as their Vice President of Recruitment in Towson, Maryland. His passion to serve has led him to partner with NADS to bring hope and comfort to the young people affected by down syndrome and their families.
INFORMATION COMING SOON!
Ingrid McClung-Salyer is a social media professional who works along with non profit sectors to help raise awareness to the public of their cause, mission, and events.
Ingrid enjoys helping others, and believes in connecting people together to create a better world through social media. She is excited to be working on this wonderful project to raise awareness for the National Association for Down Syndrome Anti Gala.
Deb Kelley is a creative services specialist, owner of The WriteOne Creative Services, a full-service graphic design, web design, copywriting, and photography agency since 2005. A reporter for Creative Loafing, Broadway World and Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles Magazine, Deb has been a publicity writer for over two decades. She is also the founder/producer of Life Amplified, an annual award-winning variety showcase and fundraiser for local nonprofits.
Deb believes strongly in giving back and is excited to be able to help promote the innovative one-of-a-kind fundraising event for such a special organization.
Nicole graduated with the highest academic distinction from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She currently works as an outside client relations and business development consultant with a major payroll company. Previous to this she was a special events manager at Wildfire (LEYE Restaurant).
Nicole’s passion for helping others led her to working with NADS. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cheering on the Blackhawks and enjoying everything wonderful Chicago has to offer.
Dan Wood works at The Pinnacle Planning Group with small businesses, families, and individuals helping to secure their financial futures by developing, implementing, and monitoring personalized wealth accumulation, protection, and distribution strategies. Dan is also the assistant Varsity Ice Hockey Coach at Adlai Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, his alma mater. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Dan was introduced to NADS through his wife, Katie. He enjoys volunteering at all of the NADS’ events and selling NADS merchandise. Dan thought joining the gala committee would be a great way to further his involvement and impact with NADS.