Meet the Team

Our team of volunteer board members are here to serve you and your family.  Contact us any time to learn more about our programs, available resources, general information about Down syndrome, volunteering, joining our board, or whatever else is on your heart. Welcome to our community!

 
 
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Bryan Baker, President

Bryan is the President of the GSDSS as well as a proud father of a son with Down Syndrome and a Congenital Heart Defect. Bryan is dedicated to community awareness and the advancement of individuals with Down syndrome. He enjoys speaking on behalf of the group to businesses and non-profits to increase opportunities and advocacy in our area and nationwide. 

 
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Gracie Williams, Vice President

Our Vice President, Gracie, has been a devoted Speech Pathologist for 52+ years, and has used her expertise in her field to create the GSDSS Buddy Talk summer program. She's passionate about helping individuals with DS and their parents to improve their communication skills. Gracie has an adult son with DS and she volunteers with many local non-profits that assist the special needs community. 

 
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Sandra Maldonado Collier, Secretary & Buddy Walk Event Coordinator

Sandra, our Secretary, is also the pioneer of the GSDSS Buddy Walk. She strives to raise community awareness and increased the local Buddy Walk from 50 participants to over 500 participants in just 5 years. Even with four growing sons, one with DS, she continuously strives to increase community and business involvement. 

Questions or inquiries related to the Buddy Walk may be sent to Sandra for a direct response:  grandstandbuddywalk@yahoo.com

 
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Dowanna Whitfield, Treasurer

GSDSS Treasurer, Dowanna, has worked many years with special needs children in Horry County Schools as a para-professional. Mother to a son with DS, she also works hard as a volunteer and assures the financials of the non-profit are in order.

 
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Jeremy Williams, Advocate

Jeremy is a successful adult with DS and self-advocate locally and nationally. He is actively employed at the same job for over 20 years. He has traveled all over the world, competed in the Special Olympics, and lived on his own in years past. He's created a powerful and inspiring presentation of the story of his life, performs with the CCU Inclusive Theatre Company, and raises money each year to supply local libraries with positive and informative books about DS. He is the son of Gracie Williams.  

 
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Tony Zito, Volunteer EXECUTIVE

Tony is our volunteer executive and coordinator. He has a plethora of experience in helping people.  After graduating from Ohio State University with a dual degree in Education and History, he went on to become a Registered Nurse assisting an orthopedic surgeon for over 23 years.  From there he went on to help design orthopedic and contracture braces.  Today he works part time for Restorative Care of America where he serves as a regional manager, supervising two representatives and developing new products.  Additionally, he volunteers for the disaster part of the American Red Cross in Myrtle Beach, and serves as a Board Member of the Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society.  If you want to volunteer with GSDSS, he is the guy who can help you.

He is also proud to mention his wife of over 47 years who he met on campus of Ohio State University!  They have four daughters, and 6 grandchildren.

 

board Members:

Tisha Baker, Tom Scaruzzi, Colin Whitfield