Our Staff

Anca Elena Call
PR and Communications Consultant

Anca Elena Call is the PR and Communications Consultant at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Anca is responsible for Global’s awareness outreach to the general public.

Read more about Anca Elena Call.

Martha Cronen
Director of Events & Development

Martha Cronen is the Director of Events and Development for Global and is responsible for raising crucial funds to support research, medical care, education and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome.

Read more about Martha Cronen.

Bryn Gelaro

Bryn Gelaro
Director of Adult Initiatives and Special Projects

Bryn Gelaro, a social worker with a passion for behavioral health of adults with Down syndrome, was a consultant for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation from 2015 to 2017 before Director of of Adult Initiatives and Special Projects.  Her work includes furthering Global’s adult care initiatives, including serving as an executive committee member and co-author of the Adult Medical Health Care Guideline update and supporting Global’s efforts to open a World Class Medical Clinic for adults with Down syndrome.

Read more about Bryn Gelaro.

Jessica Haddix

Jessica Haddix
Assistant Event Planner

Jessica Haddix joins Global’s Events Team to coordinate special events serving people with Down syndrome, including I ♥ You Dance Parties, World Down Syndrome Day Celebration, Webinar Series, and the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show. Jessica reports to Martha Cronen, Director of Events & Development, and assists in vetting and launching new Global events.

Read more about Jessica Haddix.

Chelsea HedrickChelsea Hedrick
Health & Wellness Programs Senior Coordinator

Chelsea Hedrick is the Health and Wellness Senior Coordinator for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Global’s health and wellness programs, which serve children and adults with Down syndrome, include the Dare to Play Football Camp with Ed McCaffrey, Global’s Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Camp, the Dare to Play Soccer Camp with Regis University and the Colorado Rapids, the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Dance Class with the Colorado Ballet, and the Global Down Syndrome Educational Series.

Read more about Chelsea Hedrick.

Jennifer Hendrick
Chief Development Officer

As Chief Development Officer for Global Down Syndrome Foundation Jennifer Hendrick will guide the development team in a long-term strategy to generate new revenue through major gifts allowing Global to further its mission of improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy.

Read more about Jennifer Hendrick.

Jill “Kat” Loewen

Kat is an intern for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. She joined Global in 2011 and is responsible for assisting with programs and office administration.

Read more about Jill “Kat” Loewen.

Cait McGrathMcGrath
Gift Coordinator

As Gift Coordinator, Cait maintains the integrity of all data inputs/outputs of Global Down Syndrome’s Raiser’s Edge database by utilizing and communicating best practice protocols for data entry, data extraction and reporting. Cait works with all donations, registrations, and acknowledgements.

Read more about Cait McGrath.

Dennis E. McGuire, LCSW, Ph.D.McGuire
Senior Consultant, Adult Initiatives

Dennis McGuire, LCSW, Ph.D. is Global’s Senior Consultant specializing in adult initiatives. In this role he facilitates the best possible programs and services for teens and adults with Down syndrome. This includes the development of a world class multidisciplinary clinic serving this population and co-facilitating the Adult Medical Care Guidelines initiative. 

Read more about Dennis McGuire.

Melanie RufienMelanie
Coordination Consultant 

Melanie Rufien is the Coordination Consultant for the Health & Wellness Team.  She provides supports to our Senior Coordinator, Chelsea, with our 8 Health & Wellness Programs.

Read more about Melanie Rufien.

Julie Smithheadshot-thumbnail
Manager of Marketing & Design

As Manager of Marketing and Design, Julie assists with all design and marketing aspects of Global’s work including content management for the Down Syndrome World™ magazine.

Read more about Julie Smith

Ashley Twining Sparhawk
Executive Assistant & Grants Coordinator

Ashley Sparhawk is the Executive Assistant to Michelle Sie Whitten and Global’s Grants Coordinator. She is responsible for assisting with multiple tasks and multi-faceted projects, including but not limited to calendar and time management, overseeing event and conference logistics, and assisting with Global’s membership program. Ashley also manages Global’s two grantmaking programs for local Down syndrome organizations, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation Educational Grants and the Self-Advocate Employment Initiative Grants.

Read more about Ashley Sparhawk.

Nicole TschetterNicole Tschetter
Communications Coordinator

As the communications coordinator Nicole Tschetter is responsible for raising awareness for Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s research, medical care, education, and advocacy through all forms of media.

Read more about Nicole Tschetter.

Richard WaysdorfWaysdorf
Legal Consultant

Richard is responsible for providing legal counsel to the Foundation, negotiating and drafting agreements, and advising on a wide range of legal and policy issues.  He oversees outside counsel in specialties including government relations, intellectual property, biomedical research, and not-for-profit operations.

Read more about Richard Waysdorf.

Michelle Sie WhittenMichelle Sie Whitten
President and CEO

Michelle Sie Whitten is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (Global). Global is dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through Research, Medical Care, Education, and Advocacy.

Read more about Michelle Sie Whitten.