About NDSC

Self-Advocate Council

What is the Self-Advocate Council (SAC)?

The Self-Advocate Council (SAC) was formed in 2006 and is comprised of current and former NDSC board members. All were elected to the NDSC Board of Directors by their peers. Members are active nationally and locally and are eager to work with other self-advocates.

Members of the SAC:

  • Participate in quarterly conference calls
  • Work to expand the Self-Advocate Book Project
  • Provide leadership during the Annual Convention with the Y&A Conference, Friendship Club, and Greeters Program
  • Advise the Youth & Adult Conference Team
  • Are self-advocate voices on issues of national and local discrimination

Meet the NDSC SAC Members

Pete Swayze Asplundh

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Christopher Bennett

Carrie Bergeron

Carrie Bergeron

Carrie Bergeron
Born in 1976
Lives in Fairport, New York
Served on the NDSC Board from 2000-2002

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Making a difference for the world of human beings with Down syndrome!

SAC Projects: Book Project

Other organizations that I am involved with: 21 Club of CNY and Gig Playhouse.3.

Daniel Chaplin

Daniel Chaplin

Daniel Chaplin
Born in 1990
Lives in Homewood, Alabama
Served on the NDSC Board from 2014-2017 Presently serving as board member elected by the general membership

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Helping and advocating for people with Down syndrome.

SAC Projects: Book project, helped carry and present

Other organizations that I am involved with: Down Syndrome Alabama (DSA)

Jennifer Cunningham

Jennifer Cunningham

Jennifer Cunningham
Born in 1976
Lives in Worthington, Ohio
Served on the NDSC Board of Directors around 1996

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board:  Learning about the NDSC, and helping and advocating for people with Down syndrome.

SAC Projects: Book project, keynote speaker, conference presentations, conference SAC table rep., Outreach summit speaker.

Other organizations that I am involved with: DSACO, State of Ohio STABLE Advisory Brd, Franklin Co Self Advocate Advisory Council

Austin Davenport

Chris Devlin

Chris Devlin

Chris Devlin
Born in 1967
Lives in Toms River, New Jersey
Served on the NDSC Board from 1998 – 2000

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: I did a presentation about having special needs. I liked spending time with the other board members. I made a lot of friends.

SAC Projects: Friendship quilt, book project, manning the SAC table, a greeter at the banquet.

Other organizations that I am involved with: Arc of Ocean, Community Connections, Self Advocacy Council of NJ

Maggie Kilgannon

Maggie Erickson

Margaret Catherine Kilgannon
Born in 1991
Lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota
Served on the NDSC Board from 2019 to present

Favorite thing about serving on the Board: Connecting with other board members, planning, and being elected by my peers so I can represent them.

SAC Projects: Book Project

Other organizations that I am involved with: Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota, Jack’s Baskets, ARC of Minnesota, Special Olympic of MN, Best Buddies

 

Jessica Green

Jessica Green

Jessica Lynn Green
Born in 1982
Lives in Fishers, Indiana
Served on the NDSC Board of Directors for 3 years

Favorite thing about serving on the Board: Forming friendships and making a difference for individuals with disabilities.

SAC Projects: Friendship Club, Self Advocate table Book Project

John T. Farley

John T. Farley

John T. Farley
Born in
Lives in Memphis, Tennessee
Served on the NDSC Board from 2012 – 2015

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Making new friends, participating in Board meetings, and greater opportunity to meet people from all over the U.S.

SAC Projects: Putting labels in books for the Book Project. Teaching Self Advocates in workshops.

Other organizations that I am involved with: Down Syndrome Association of Memphis: Get Down and Derby, Step Up Walk. State Advisory Board for Tennessee Employment and Community First.

Heather Hancock

Tracy Hile

Tracy Hile

Tracy Muzett Hile
Born in 1968
Lives in Murfreesboro, Arkansas
Served on the NDSC Board from 2003-2005

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Learning more about leadership, traveling, meeting so many new friends.

NDSC Projects: Book Project, workshop, SAO table. spotlight speaker, greeter.

Other organizations that I am involved with: Community organizations & Church Mission House

Laurie Hobson

Laurie Hobson

Laurie Hobson
Born in 1985
Lives in Germantown, Tennessee
Served on the NDSC Board from 2005 – 2007

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Meeting people, traveling, and eating out.

SAC Projects: Fund Raisers, Book Club – I called all my friends and asked them to make a donation, presenting at workshops, giving my presentation at the board meeting.

Other organizations that I am involved with: Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South, TN ARC (served on their board), West TN Family Solutions

Jazzy Holman

Christi Hockel Davenport

Christ and Austin Davenport

Christina Marie Hockel (Davenport)
Born in 1978
Lives in Dallas, Texas
Served on the NDSC Board from 2003-2006

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Being able to talk to new people about what it is like to be able to have Down syndrome.

SAC Projects: The Book Project, the SAC Table at the Conventions, Greeters at the Convention

Other organizations that I am involved with: The Townsend Institute at Concordia University in California, The Winshape Foundation Marriage Collective

Lee Jones

Katie Kremer

Katie Ruth Kremer
Born 1983
Lives in Las Vegas, Nevada

Served on the NDSC Board of Directors from 2017-2019

Favorite thing about serving on the Board: Being me

SAC Projects: Art Tiles

Other organizations that I am involved with: DSOSN

Meredith Martin

Meredith Martin
Born in 1982
Lives in Neligh, Nebraska
Served on the NDSC Board of Directors from 2006-2008

Favorite thing about serving on the Board: I enjoyed EVERYTHING about serving on the NDSC Board. I especially liked getting to know the people that make the NDSC work for families. I learned to understand all the effort it takes to make a difference in the lives of those of us with Down syndrome.

SAC Projects: The Book Project has been a special interest of mine. I also write thank you notes on behalf of the SAC when needed.

Patricia Moody

Kristin Nichols

Tony Piontek

Tony Piontek
Born in 1974
Lives in New Iberia, Louisiana
Served on the NDSC Board of Directors from 2011 – 2013

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: I was a VOICE for everyone didn’t have this gift of speaking for others.

SAC Projects: Book Project, Advocacy Training Boot Camp, Key Note Speaker, Improve workshops, Greeters Program, and SAC table.

Other organizations that I am involved with: I’m Down syndrome disability advocate/motivational speaker for our local DSAA organization.  Down Syndrome Association Acadiana.

Melissa Silverman

Melissa Silverman

Melissa Silverman
Born in 1982
Lives in Owings Mills, Maryland
Served on the NDSC Board from 2006-2009

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Advocating for all self-advocates.

SAC Projects: Book project

Other organizations that I am involved with: CDSPG (Chesapeake Down Syndrome Parent Group)

Jessie Smart

Mary Warm

Mary Warm

Mary Joanne Warm
Born in 1991
Lives in Kansas City, Missouri
Elected to serve on the NDSC Board from 2018 – 2021

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board:
Advocating for people with Down syndrome.

SAC Projects: I help the board members with the projects. I make videos about teaching people that Down syndrome people exist in this world.

Other organizations that I am involved with: I am involved in the Down Syndrome Guild. I go to activities and events.

 

Jeremy Williams

Jeremy Williams

Jeremy Williams
Born in 1973
Lives in N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Served on the NDSC Board from 2002-2004

Favorite thing about serving on the NDSC Board: Learning how the Board of Directors works, traveling to be at board meetings.

SAC Projects: Book project

Other organizations that I am involved with: BOD of Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society, Carolina 321 Club; People Moving UP