FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Down Syndrome Society Announces New Board Members and Executive Committee
Washington D.C. (October 24, 2023) – At its Annual Meeting on September 24, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) elected seven new members to its Board of Directors. The Board also named a new executive Committee including Carlo Frappolli as Chairman, Tom Warner as Vice-Chairman, John Short as Treasurer, Janet Eissenstat as Secretary, Candace Whiting as Deputy Secretary and the first Executive Committee member with Down syndrome, Misty Holmes as Audit Chair, and Betsy Goodwin, founder of the organization. Chairman Frappolli previously served as Vice-Chair and Treasurer and supported the organization on a variety of committees. He worked as an executive with JP Morgan Chase for more than 22 years and has a brother, Joe, who is 60 years old and has Down syndrome.
“I am honored to continue supporting NDSS in this new role,” stated newly elected Chairman Carlo Frappolli. “NDSS has built a legacy of doing tremendous work for individuals with Down syndrome like my brother Joe. I look forward to building upon that work with new and returning board members.”
The new board members will continue advancing the organization’s three-year strategic plan, which began in January 2023. With the new additions, the NDSS Board has expanded its geographic reach with board members from 14 states who bring a wide range of professional skills and personal experiences.
Courtney Gaines is a model, actor, and NDSS DS-Ambassador. She advocated for the passage of “Courtney’s Law,” a Down syndrome information bill that bears her name, in Oklahoma and was the recipient of the 2023 NDSS DS-Ambassador of the Year Award.
Joe Joyce serves as the Chief of Staff of Keystone Insurers Group, Inc. (KIG), the fourth largest privately held independent insurance agency group in the United States and has previously served as Board Chair of the Autism Society of America. He has a 26-year-old son with Down syndrome and a 23-year-old son with autism.
Schunda Murphy has a background in education and deaf education and currently serves as an Assistant Special Education Director in Arkansas. She previously served as a Board Member of Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas. Her daughter, Taylor, has Down syndrome.
Kerry Sette is the VP, Head of Consumer Insights & Research at Voya Financial. Based in New York City, she brings with her more than 20 years of experience leading marketing, insights and strategy for many of the world’s largest brands and advertising agencies. Her son, John, has Down syndrome.
Marjorie Shavers is the Director of the School of Special Education, Leadership, and Professional Studies and is the Interim Associate Dean in the College of Education at Missouri State University. Marjorie has over six years of leadership experience as well as a background in mental health and diversity outreach efforts. She is the parent of a child with Down syndrome.
Ciara Siegel is the founder of CJC, a brand and marketing strategy firm aimed at helping small businesses and start-ups get to the next level of growth. She previously worked at Saatchi & Saatchi for nearly 10 years where she held various leadership roles in Account Management and New Business including running the award-winning NDSS Law Syndrome and C21 campaigns.
Victoria Tremonti is involved in her local Down syndrome association, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida, organizing key fundraising and advocacy initiatives. Victoria has been involved with NDSS through the Tremonti Sings Sinatra project as well as the SMILE with Stella Tremonti Down Syndrome Clinic in Orlando, Florida, the first lifespan Down syndrome program in the Southeast United States. The clinic is named after Victoria’s daughter, Stella, who has Down syndrome.
“I am excited to work with the new and continuing members of the NDSS Board of Directors and Executive Committee to drive our strategic plan and advance our new mission in the coming year,” said NDSS President and CEO Kandi Pickard. “The knowledge and passion of these volunteers will have an incredible impact on the Down syndrome community.”
The newly elected board will meet quarterly beginning in December 2023.
Founded in 1979, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) empowers individuals with Down syndrome and their families by driving policy change, providing resources, engaging with local communities, and shifting public perceptions. NDSS engages grassroots advocates at the federal, state, and local levels and creates resources to support individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and caregivers across the lifespan on topics including education, employment, health and wellness, and aging. NDSS founded the National Buddy Walk® Program in 1995 and hosts community engagement events throughout the country including the New York City Buddy Walk® and Times Square Video, the NDSS Adult Summit, and the Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference. Visit www.ndss.org to learn more.