DSIA was founded in 2004 by three families seeking greater access to support, information, and services in our community. Since then, we’ve grown as a dedicated non-profit organization serving Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Solano and Sutter counties.
We envision a community where people with Down syndrome are empowered, respected as individuals, and accepted as valued participants in neighborhood schools, community activities, and the business world.
After experiencing the educational, social, and support benefits offered by other Down syndrome advocacy groups around the country, the Bermudes, Prieto, and Linn families – each having a young child with Down syndrome – formed the Down Syndrome Information Alliance. Together, with Sally Dominguez (whose granddaughter has Down syndrome) and Nicole Besoyan (whose daughter has Down syndrome), these families served as the founding Board of Directors. DSIA became affiliated with the National Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society and began providing community services in late 2004. By mid-2005, DSIA had connected with local hospitals and became the local source of information for medical professionals and parents. In our first year, DSIA distributed 150 parent guides!
DSIA now provides regular educational symposia, resources, support, activities, and myriad programs for the Down syndrome community. Learn more about our programs and services, and how to become a member!
Meet the Board of Directors
Rosalinda Gray, President
Rosalinda and her husband Anthony have three children, Isabella, Dorian, who was born with Down syndrome, and Drevan. Rosalinda was given a 2 out of 3 chance during her 16th week of pregnancy that Dorian would have Down syndrome. Dorian was officially diagnosed at 1 week of age. Rosalinda is currently at home with the children after leaving her job with Yolo County and the Yolo County Crisis Nursery. Rosalinda has worked as a teachers aid as well, working with many children who have Autism, Down syndrome and other diagnosis. Rosalinda is currently volunteering in classrooms, continuing her education and loving life. Send an email to Rosalinda.
Geralynn Moore, Vice-President
Geralynn and her husband Melvin have four daughters. Carolynn is the second daughter and has Down Syndrome. Carolynn was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at 2 days old. They really didn’t know much about what that diagnosis meant except for the stereo-typical ideals that are associated with having Down Syndrome. They heard about DSIA and began researching Carolynn’s diagnosis. DSIA offered education, resources and planned family events. Having events tailored to the new community they were now a part of was important to them as some people don’t understand the challenges that come along with having a child with special needs. They attended their first event, the 2012 Step Up For Down Syndrome walk. Ever since then they were hooked and Geralynn got involved with searching for sponsors and donations. Send an email to Geralynn.
Trevor Stapleton, Treasurer
Trevor Stapleton joined the DSIA Board in 2008 and also serves as the organization’s Treasurer. Trevor and his wife, Julie, are the proud parents of 2 boys, Riley and Joseph (Ds). Beginning with Joseph’s pre-natal diagnosis, Trevor and his family have and continue to experience the challenges facing a young child with Down syndrome. As a result, Trevor is very passionate about DSIA’s programs, experiencing firsthand the support and hope DSIA brings to the Down syndrome community. When not spending time with his family or serving DSIA, Trevor is a partner with Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney, LLP, one of Sacramento’s oldest and most respected law firms, serving the Sacramento Valley region since 1922. Send an email to Trevor.
Nancy and her husband Alastair live in Rocklin with their three children. They began gathering information about Down syndrome when they found out their daughter, MacKenzie, was carrying an extra 21st chromosome before she was born. They realized from the beginning that their daughter would and could do anything and everything everyone else does, and it is that attitude that has pushed them and their daughter to not let anything hold her back. Nancy works for Placer County, is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, loves driving her son all over Northern California to watch him play soccer, and enjoys relaxing with her family. Send an email to Nancy.
Anonda Risse is a mother of 5. Her 4th child, a son, born in January 2015, was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. After the diagnosis, not having any previous experiences with anyone having Down syndrome, she researched and educated herself and her family on what it means to have Down syndrome and luckily came across the DSIA organization. The first event she attended, at 8 months pregnant, was such an impact on her life and her future life she decided that she needed to get more involved. So she joined the DSIA as a board member to help other families make those life-altering connections. She has a background in human resources and sales and is looking forward to bringing these experiences to the board. Anonda resides in Carmichael with her partner, Carlos Ventura and 2 other children still living at home. Send Anonda an email.
Elise Vondrak is the oldest of her three siblings. Her brother, Garitt who is 34 years old was born with Down Syndrome. Her family is very close and she has been instrumental in the success and inclusion of his upbringing. Garitt lives in Sonoma County with his parents and was the second student in the county to graduate high school in full inclusion. He was also the first person in the state of CA with an intellectual disability to play varsity high school football and he won Homecoming King in 2002. Garitt has cycled the Pacific Coast Highway twice with the Best Buddy Program; over 400 miles with the Gallo Team. As an adult, Garitt has been employed by the same employer for 17 years and helps coach football at the local high school. He continues to be successful and well known in his community as an adult. Elise can contribute her perspective as a sibling and how it has impacted her life and career path. She is has worked for Sacramento County for 16 years and also has experience as a paralegal. Her experience with her Brother gives her the compassion she needs to help the people she serves in her career and in the community. Send an email to Elise.
Consuelo and her husband Richard live in South Sacramento. They have two daughters, Maricela age 8 and Aliyah age 4. Aliyah was diagnosed prenatally with Translocation Down syndrome in the summer of 2010. Consuelo and her husband were referred to the DSIA by their genetic counselor. The DSIA was able to provide them with much needed support and encouragement. DSIA also helped them meet more families going through the same thing which was incredibly helpful. Consuelo was so touched by the warm welcome into the Down syndrome community that she decided to become a Parent Mentor for the DSIA in 2012. She now enjoys meeting new families of newborns and infants born with that something extra. Send an email to Consuelo.
Heather Scott, Program Coordinator
In 2001 Heather had her first child, Gabby, who was born with Down syndrome. In 2004, along with two other families, Heather found DSIA. She has been active ever since, serving as Vice President, Executive Director, President and currently serving as DSIA’s Program Coordinator. Heather previously worked for Sacramento County as a Deputy Sheriff. Now, along with DSIA, Heather works at the Sacramento County Office of Education Infant Development Program as an Infant Educator. Heather is also a committee member of The National Scientific Advisory Committee for the MIND Institute, California Government Affairs Committee and a member of the Denver Down Syndrome Clinic Task Force Group. Together, she and her husband Andrew have 6 children. Send an email to Heather.
Want to Serve the Down Syndrome Community?
DSIA is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the Board. We are currently seeking members with the following interests, expertise, and skills:
- Self-advocate (must be 18 years or older)
- Grant writing
- Health care professional
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Past DSIA Presidents and Executive Directors
Lisa Lindsey, Ph.D. (2010-2012)
Dana Garel (2009-2010)
Samantha Smith (2008-2009)
Heather Green (2004-2008)
Elaine Linn (2008-2009)