|Christina Reaves is a mother of an 8-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. They moved to North Carolina 6 years ago. She chose to get involved with the TDSN because in the early years of her daughter’s journey she missed out on vital connections with the Down syndrome community. It is her passion and mission to make sure that every baby born into the world with Down syndrome receives a joyous welcome. She has been employed with the Triangle Down Syndrome Network for almost 3 years and has been the Executive Director for the past 8 months.
As the leader of the Triangle Down Syndrome Network (TDSN) team, Christina brings her knowledge of Down syndrome, business management, fundraising and program development skills to the organization. She previously was the director of family programs for the Department of Defense. Her passion for working in the Down syndrome community shows in everything that she does.
Christina has previously served on other Boards for local civic groups, town councils, military family readiness, and school boards. Her most recent board experience was where she served as the Secretary of the Archer Lodge Community Center in Clayton, NC.
Christina and her husband Willie reside in Clayton, NC with their 3 children and 2 Great Danes. She loves to travel, camp, attend sporting events and go white water rafting. If she’s not working you can find her headed out of town on an adventure.
|Hi! I am Mahala Turner and I am very happy to be here with you serving our community. I am especially interested in supporting new families because I was considered a “new family” not very long ago. TDSN stepped in and supported our family during the birth and diagnosis of our 3rd child, Beau. It would bring me great joy to return this service to other families.
I am a former special education teacher (12 years) and I would be honored to also support families through the education and IEP processes. I believe that my personal story and passion as well as my professional experience will help me to serve many families through TDSN.
I am originally from Alabama. My family recently returned to North Carolina from Maryland where we lived for 15 months. We quickly realized that North Carolina is home and we plan to be here for many years to come.
I believe my position is an important responsibility and investment within our community. I have both my bachelors and master’s degrees in special education form “the friendliest campus in the South”, Jacksonville State University. I also hold a certification in school psychometry which is administering and interpreting educational assessments. My family and I enjoy spending time outdoors any way that we can. We enjoy exploring new places together and creating adventures. I enjoy reading and cooking, and I almost never turn down the rare opportunity for a glorious nap!
|Stephanie was introduced to the Down Syndrome community when her youngest daughter, Hannah, was born and diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Stephanie and her husband found that information and access to resources was difficult to find in their area. As she discovered resources and made new connections, she was determined to share that information with other families that found themselves in the same situation.
She is passionate about providing families an opportunity to connect with others that may be a benefit to them. She understands the fear and discouragement that comes with a lack of information, and wants to alleviate that burden for as many families as she can. She is thankful that through her position with the NCDSA, she is not only able to provide connections, but also resources and support.
Stephanie has a B. A. in Elementary Education from Southeastern F.W.B. College in Wendell, NC. As a Pastor’s wife, she is very active in her church and the various activities there. She also teaches part-time at the school where her two oldest children attend. She enjoys spending time with family and the occasional trip to the beach.
|Donna Beckmann’s journey in the world of Down syndrome began with the birth of her son in 2000. Donna was introduced to the TDSN while a patient at Duke University Medical Center. The Beckmanns were quickly embraced by members of the TDSN and Donna found that her passion advocating for her son transformed into a passion of advocating for individuals with Down syndrome and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Donna grew up in an altruistic home where her parents led by the example of helping others. She has always involved herself in organizations that she or her family has participated in or belonged to, taking an active role advancing the agenda of these organizations while lending a hand in their operations. In addition to her volunteer work throughout the years with TDSN, she worked as the Volunteer Parent Advocate at the Duke Down Syndrome Clinic. Donna has built relationships across the greater Down syndrome community on the local, state, and national levels. She was the driving force behind the creation of Down syndrome specific webpages for the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, working with legislators and bureaucrats. She prefers to work behind the scenes, collaborating to bring services to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
Beginning in 2019, the position of Advocacy and Outreach Director expands on the projects Donna has already initiated at the TDSN. Down Syndrome Advocacy Day and the North Carolina Down Syndrome Conference are two major events that will continue to grow along with further outreach to agencies that provide direct services to the Down syndrome community as well as bringing resources to parents, caregivers, and individuals with Down syndrome. Donna’s statewide network will allow for greater collaboration among the disability community.
Donna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She completed the certificate program North Carolina Partners in Policymaking in 2011. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she was a UNC Carolina Institute on Developmental Disabilities LEND Fellow. If she is not floating in a tidal pool on Cape Lookout, she can be found hiking or backpacking. She is proud to say she has hiked from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro…not at the same time, not even in the same decade.
Board of Directors
|As a devoted Grandmother to 9-year old Kasey Treadway, who was born with Down syndrome in 2009, Lana has been an active TDSN Board Member and Volunteer. Lana will become President and Board Chair of TDSN in January of 2019. She has served on numerous committees within the organization and chaired the annual TDSN Buddy Walk for three years. As a retired business owner, Lana believes that her years of experience have uniquely positioned her to transition into a leadership role at TDSN as it continues to grow and develop new programs for the Down syndrome community. Lana will work closely with each board member, using their strengths and talents, to build alliances and strategic networks within the community.
As Founder and CEO of Exhibit Resources, Lana has more than 35 years of experience in the trade show and event industry. Her company worked with major corporations to provide branded environments including custom trade show exhibits, modular and portable display systems and corporate interiors. After successfully selling her company in 2015, she accepted consulting roles with The Special Event Company and Enterprising Women Magazine. With both organizations her role was to create new business connections and further develop strategic networks.
During Lana’s business career, she was a member of the Women President’s Organization, Women Business Enterprise Council and the NC Chapter President of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Lana is also a past winner of Women in Business, Fast Fifty and Pinnacle Business Awards.
Outside of consulting, Lana is active in the community by sponsoring events for Dress for Success, the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Women’s Center of Wake County. She enjoys spending time in her quilt studio, traveling and attending family activities with her husband and seven grandchildren.
|The Vice President position is currently vacant.|
|Bruce Sickel is a suburban Philadelphia native who has recently moved to Raleigh and is anxious to put his professional background in finance to work for a great mission like the Down Syndrome Network.
Mr. Sickel is an experienced Chief Financial Officer who followed a passion for improving healthcare into a recent position as Treasurer of a Blue Cross company. In addition to the usual treasurer functions, Mr. Sickel worked on various wellness initiatives and early stage ventures focused on improving health and people’s lives.
Currently Mr. Sickel is a Director at ABTV a business & financial advisory firm. He has previously served on Boards of Directors of public companies and civic organizations.
He and his wife Nancy are graduates of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. They have two grown children who also live in Raleigh. Bruce is an avid golfer and sports fan in his spare time.
|As a seasoned healthcare professional with experience in private/non-profit sectors, as well as hospital and multisite settings, I have been exposed to a variety of healthcare challenges facing individuals and families. My specialty areas include Mental Health, Substance Abuse, services for Developmentally Disabled (MH/SA/DD) and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
When I began my healthcare career over 20 ago three things were evident to me. (1) Integrity would be the foundation upon which my success was built; (2) my outlook, commitment, and ambitions as a healthcare professional must form an integrated whole and (3) I must have a strong sense of self.
The book of Titus, Chapter 2 verse 7 reads, “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching”. This is one of the things that drives and motivates me. It’s how I give back and that is the primary reason for my interest in the Triangle Down Syndrome Network Board of Directors.
As a healthcare professional with over 20 years of successful leadership and operations experience, she has great insight into the non-profit, for profit, hospital and multi-site clinic settings.
Robin is currently the Vice President of Operations – Outpatient Services for Monarch. She serves as an Officer on the Families Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FAFASD), Board of Directors, a Board member of Mental Health America of Eastern Carolina and volunteers for the Wake County Board of Elections.
Robin holds a BA in Biology from Adelphi University and a Master’s in Public Administration with a Healthcare concentration from Long Island University, CW Post. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her husband of 29 years, her son and 2 four legged feline sons. Reading, Shopping and travel are additional favorite pastimes. Last but not least faithful service to her church home.
|Doug Campbell has served as a tireless advocate for health-related and human rights causes in the international development sector for the past 20 years. His work in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, managing the operations and financial aspects of US Agency for International Development (USAID) projects to identify and counter the spread of emerging global pandemics, and fostering an exchange of ideas between stakeholder groups in these efforts, will make him a skilled and compassionate ally for the needs and rights of citizens living with Down’s Syndrome and their families here in the Triangle.
As a member of the Board of Directors for the Triangle Down’s Syndrome Network (TDSN), Mr. Campbell will help to identify sources of potential funding for its activities. As a seasoned non-profit fundraiser, Doug knows how to tap in to various corporate and foundational support for charitable activities to widen the Network’s reach and get its name on the ‘top of mind’ of philanthropic sources. As an implementer of fundraising and other charitable activities in a broad range of environments, Doug will be useful in advising on the operational and financial aspects of TDSN as called upon.
Doug has previously served on the Boards of other organizations such as the USAID/ SAVE the Children’s NGO Sustainability Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, The New Monterey Condominium Association in Washington, DC, and DC’s Different Drummers community musical organization in Washington, DC.
Mr. Campbell holds a BA in Political Science/Finance from the University of Southern Maine (Portland, ME) and an MA in International Affairs from The American University (Washington, DC). He is fluent in Spanish and Russian. In his spare time Doug is an avid singer and saxophonist, and also likes to cycle and kayak.
|Linda Leake is a multi-faceted, results-driven leader with a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others. In her first career as a speech-language pathologist she worked in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, Head Start programs and a rehabilitation center, to improve the communication capabilities of individuals with disabilities. She eventually opened her own private practice in NC and VA with four total office locations. Linda sold her business to venture capitalists, stayed on for two years and learned how to grow organizations.
Linda takes a vision and makes it a reality through sound strategic and organizational development. She intuitively sees the opportunities in an organization, brings concepts and people together into a collaborative whole, helps others stretch their thinking, and drives the financial business advantage. She is known for her ability to tackle tough problems and bring them to a successful conclusion. Linda doesn’t react, she acts. She looks forward to using these skills to assist in growing TDSN.
As President of EUC, LLC, more commonly known as execUchange, she transforms the way organizations do business. Founded by Linda in 1990, the firm’s clients experience increased profits, improved organizational development and heightened personnel performance all while having fun and implementing changes. She has achieved results in 300+ organizations including companies in healthcare, non-profit, service, telecommunications and manufacturing.
As an active member of her community, Linda practices servant leadership and has served on the Board of Directors of 20+, local, state and national professional and civic organizations. A few of the Boards that she has served on include: The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (8 years), The National Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and The NC Entrepreneurial Development Board.
Linda obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University and her Master’s Degree from Wayne State University, with post-graduate courses in organizational development marketing, sales, fundraising, grant writing, change management, strategic planning, public speaking and mediation. She makes time for singing in the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, playing the piano and having fun with friends and her four-legged child, Sassy.
|Aysha C. Lonich’s goal is to ensure all students with Down syndrome have access to appropriate and individualized education by training teachers, parents, and staff on assessment and evidence-based interventions.
Having worked for PaTTAN’s Autism Initiative ABA Supports Program as an Educational Consultant for three years, she is highly knowledgeable of special education systems within public and private school settings. She has six years of experience working directly with children and teens diagnosed with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Her specialty areas include training and technical assistance, classroom organization, Verbal Behavior, Functional Behavior Assessments, Vocal Shaping, Social Skills, and the use of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Aysha is currently serving on the Special Education Board of Directors to support the efforts of the Triangle Down Syndrome Network (TDSN). She also works as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and enjoys teaching language and functional skills to children and teens.
Aysha has a B.A. in Psychology from West Virginia University and a M.Ed. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Pittsburgh. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new recipes, running, and hiking with her husband and German shepherd.
|Kristen O’Connell is the proud mom of two boys, Aidan (11) and Quinn (4), the oldest of whom has Down syndrome. As Aidan has grown, Kristen has grown right along with him – recognizing the joys this extra chromosome has brought our family yet realizing the additional challenges the Down syndrome population faces as they navigate their own path in life. Kristen has been and continues to be a fierce advocate for her son and his peers in the Down syndrome community.
As a member of the Board of Directors for the Triangle Down Syndrome Network (TDSN), Kristen will offer the perspective of parent advocate. Kristen’s background in project management will also be beneficial in streamlining processes and practices. She has strong ties with several TDSN families and she wants to create a stronger bond between us and the community at large.
Having previously served on the TDSN Board and as Chair of the Buddy Walk Committee, Kristen brings vast experience to the role of today’s Board member. Her vision of TDSN mirrors that of the new and exciting direction the organization has taken.
Kristen has studied at the SI Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, received her Paralegal Degree through SUNY Morrisville NY, and received her Associates Degree from Durham Technical Community College. In her spare time, Kristen loves to read, cook, play golf, volunteer at her sons’ schools, and enjoy time with her family.
|Brad has been married to his wife Lori, for more than 28 years. The Lee’s have six children. Kaydan, their fifth child who is now six years old, was born with Down syndrome. Brad currently serves as the Command Chaplain for the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. He is also a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, as well as a certified Executive Life Coach.
Brad’s passion is to help families and marriages adapt and thrive in the special needs world.