top of page

DSDN Board

We are thankful for the ongoing efforts of our Board of Directors in governing and providing strategic direction to DSDN:


Kathleen Seitz
Kathleen is the Chief Global Development Officer at JDRF. With over 25 years of development experience, she has worked with a cross-section of nonprofits. She has significant expertise in volunteer management, fundraising staff recruitment and training, and strategic fundraising planning.  Kathleen has served as the DSDN Board President since November 2022. She and her husband reside in Chicago with their two children. Her son, Henri, has Down syndrome. 

Vice President

Patricia Nesbitt

Patricia is a nonprofit professional with over 15 years experience in the nonprofit sector. She has spent the last 10 years in nonprofit program management. She is currently working as a Grants Analyst for the city of Clarksville. Patricia lives in Clarksville, TN with her husband and two children. Her son, Jax, has Down syndrome and sparked her passion for the work of DSDN.


Taryn Lagonigro

Taryn is a business consultant and the author of Ups, Downs and Silver Linings and Dear Mama: Stories of an Extra Lucky Life. Taryn is the co-owner of Iris Yoga, a yoga studio in New Jersey, and Extra Lucky Moms, an advocacy brand in the disability community. Taryn’s writings have been featured in several national publications and she has frequently been a guest on podcasts and television shows for topics relating to yoga, Down syndrome and parenting a child with a disability. In addition to holding the role of Secretary, Taryn also leads the DSDN Technology CommitteeTaryn is a wife and mom to four daughters, the youngest of whom was born with Down syndrome in March 2020.


Julia Kaufman

Julia works at Morris-Verdonk Accounting as a CFO. She provides contract accounting services at a CFO level to clients primarily in the non-profit sector. A few career highlights prior to joining Morris-Verdonk include working in Big Four accounting at KPMG as well as managing the Accounting Department for a large church in Southern California.  Julia and her husband live in Washington State and have three children. Her son, Benji, rocks an extra chromosome.  

General Board Members

Jenny Di Benedetto

Jenny is the Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at the Lockwood Group. She is a founding Board member of DSDN and has served on the Board of Directors and within the DSDN Operations team in a multitude of ways over the last 9+ years. Jenny resides in New Jersey with her family. Her son, Luca, has Down syndrome.

Jennifer Dingman

As an entrepreneurial digitial communications leader, Jennifer brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the DSDN Board. She is currently the Head of Digital Communications at Approach Marketing, where she is responsible for leading a team of digital experts across social media, paid media, and influencer marketing. Jennifer lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two young daughters. Her youngest daughter, Millie, rocks an extra chromosome. 

Dr. Cassandra Drake

Dr. Drake is an Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at California State University, Stanislaus. Within her work as an educator, she seeks to advocate against racism, sexism, classism, ableism, nationalism, homophobia, xenophobia and religious discrimination. When not teaching future teachers,  she is an educational researcher with research interests based on educators addressing the social/academic advancement and learner rights of K–12 public school students from ethnically, culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse communities. Dr. Drake is also momma to a little boy with Down syndrome who was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Her family is binational, bicultural and bilingual.

Ben Hughes

Ben has 13+ years of customer experience leadership across a variety of industries and currently works as a Customer Experience Team Leader for General Motors. As a proud father to Elliott (7), who has Down syndrome, Ben is closely connected and passionate about the mission and goals of DSDN, using his own experiences and professional background to help further that mission. He also serves as a Rockin' Dad Retreat Director and sits on the DSDN technology committee. Ben currently lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. 

Tony Nowicki

Tony is a New Product Introduction Project Manager at 3M. He brings over 12 years experience in project management, research and development, and manufacturing to the DSDN Board. He has received a 3M Circle of Technical Excellence and Innovation award, is a Certified Scrum Product Owner and Certified Scrum Advanced Scrum Master, and has been awarded 2 patents from the USPTO. Tony resides in Woodbury, MN with his wife and two children. His youngest son, Philip, also rocks an extra chromosome. 

Michael Pascual

Michael has over 24 years of experience working for various government agencies in Southern California in finance, budgeting, risk management, accounting, human resources and procurement and contracting. Currently, Michael is the Vice President of Administrative Services with the Los Angeles Community College District/East Los Angeles College. Michael's connection to DSDN is through his niece and goddaughter who has Down Syndrome. He serves on the Governance & Nominating Committee.

Anthony Sisneros

Anthony is the Assistant Controller for MSU Denver Foundation, where he provides oversight of the fiscal health of the Foundation, information technology, operations, and risk management. He is an avid advocate for public education and breaking barriers for people with (dis)abilities. Anthony and his wife reside in Westminster, CO with their three children. Anthony is also a Rockin' Dad to Abram. He serves on the Finance Committee for DSDN. 

bottom of page