Board of Directors
Nicole Scott is a stay at home mom, a journalist , an Usborne book lady and an active member of her community. In December of 2007, Nicole graduated from Edinboro University with high honors in Print Journalism. She was a respected contributing writer for the Collegen newspaper for the University where she wrote anything from editorial pieces, to one-on-one with athletes, to event coverage. She furthered her writing career with the Times Express as a staff writer and with St. Bernadette Catholic Church as the creator and coeditor of the church quarterly newsletter.
In 2016, Skylar was born with Down syndrome and Nicole immediately became an active community member of the DSA of Pittsburgh. She attended the past four walks with a team, went to the zoo and to Idlewild. She continues to strive to build the community and have relationships with other families. Community support is a vital aspect of social and emotional health of families throughout this journey. Nicole spends most of her time with her husband Julius and 3 girls, Nya, Skylar and Ava in Monroeville, PA where she runs a very active moms group.
Joseph Bement is passionate about spreading education and understanding for the community, as well as his focus on connecting the community to help create employment, education, or recreational opportunities for those with special needs of all ages.
Prior to joining the board, Mr. Bement had founded, and eventually sold an environmental engineering company. In addition to this, Mr. Bement is an executive in an oil and gas company in the Pittsburgh area. Mr. Bement has also previously served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. During his time with the marines, Joseph learned how to inspire marines with diverse backgrounds. He is a parent of a son with Down syndrome and resides with his family in the South Hills.
Megan Loftis is the Owner and Attorney at the Loftis Law Firm. She has been working in the area of Estate Planning, Trusts, Special Needs Planning and Estate Administration for 10 years and has managed her own practice for the last 3 years. She worked for an Attorney for 5 years who focused in these areas before acquiring his practice upon his retirement. While her office is located in the Beechview neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh, Attorney Loftis’ practice includes most of Western Pennsylvania.
Attorney Loftis holds two bachelor’s degrees from Washington and Jefferson College in Political Science and Business Administration. Additionally, Attorney Loftis pursued her law degree from Duquesne University. She has been involved with many volunteer organizations in the past including Special Olympics, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), and Mentor to college students at her Alma Mater. She has been helping families with special needs for the last 6 years to navigate the difficult decisions in planning for their family’s future. She currently resides in West View with her boyfriend, Patrick. They enjoy traveling, golfing, and spending time with friends and family.
Tracy Sheasley has been a retail industry professional for over 30 years. For the past 15 of those years, Tracy has been with American Eagle Outfitters. In her current role as Merchandise Planning Manager, Tracy leads a team that is responsible for developing and executing financial strategies for sales, margin and inventory for the intimates and swim business lines for American Eagle’s “Aerie” brand.
In her personal life, Tracy has a passion for volunteering and giving back to the community. She volunteers with Wesley Family Services and she has been a member of the Transitional Services, Inc. Board of Directors since 2019. Tracy resides in Cranberry Township with her husband, Aaron.
Amy lives in Jefferson Hills with her husband, Jess; her 21- year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, who happens to have Down syndrome; and her 17-year-old son, Evan, who happens to have autism.
Amy is an attorney with over 25 years of legal experience and many years of experience advocating for her children and others with disabilities. Having previously served on the Board when the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh was known as the Down Syndrome Group of Western Pennsylvania, Amy’s motivation to again join the Board is to share her professional and personal experience and skills to support others along this journey.
Carey Cardwell is an athletic trainer with Allegheny Health Network since 2001. She graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with my Master's degree in Sports Medicine. As a parent of a five-year-old with Down syndrome, Carey shares that this community has provides so much support to her and her family that she wanted to fine a way to give back. Her son Rhys is the reason she serves and she is eager to help support Rhys and all individuals with Down Syndrome lead a healthy fulfilling life.
Carey resides with her husband Eric and two sons Ryker (age 11) and Rhys (age 5) in the North Hills. She loves spending time with her family most of all. They enjoy going to the zoo, Kennywood, hiking & listening to a variety of music together. She is also passionate about exercise & try to cycle or weight lift before work.
Greg grew up outside of Allentown, PA and has an older sister, Lauren, who has Down Syndrome. Throughout high school and into college he volunteered a lot of his time to work with individuals with intellectual disabilities. He participated as a lead counselor for Camp PALS, was the club president of his High School’s Best Buddies and even volunteered with the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center working to start a sibling group.
Greg has since graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors in Architecture and a minor in Environmental Studies and has come to make Pittsburgh his home. He currently works as a licensed architect at GBBN. He has recently served as the Chair for the Young Architects Forum of AIA Pittsburgh and is excited to bring all of the skills from that position to his role on the DSAP board. His current interactions with the DSAP community has been nothing but smiles, joy, and excitement and he looks to continue that energy and bring his past experiences to grow and support the DSAP community.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Gilbert
Betsy Gilbert is a speech-language pathologist and the owner and director of Therapy Works LLC. Betsy developed Therapy Works due to her dedication to providing quality speech and occupational therapy services to both children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Betsy has a passion for working with children and adults with Down Syndrome. She has been a featured speaker at the National Down Syndrome Congress.
Betsy holds a Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Betsy resides in Peters Township with her husband, Scott, and daughter Caris. When not working, Betsy enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and hiking.
Mindi Hilborn is a certified athletic trainer with over 10 years of providing medical services to youth through collegiate athletes at various levels of competition throughout the country, including Special Olympics and the Pittsburgh Marathon. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Health Science at Chatham University teaching within the Master of Athletic Training Program. Mindi holds a Doctor of Athletic Training from Temple University, a MA in Kinesiology and Health Studies from Southeastern Louisiana, and a BS in Athletic Training from California University.
She has previously been involved with DSAP as a member of the executive planning committee for the Buddy Walk and volunteered at several other events. Recently, she served on the California University of PA Alumni Association Board of Directors where she was a member of the student engagement and young alumni, student recruitment, and alumni events and chapter development committees. A Pittsburgh native, she currently resides in Jefferson Hills with her husband Ben, their son, Keagan and daughter, Mikayla.
Whitney Menarcheck, LPC, is the Clinical Applications Director and Business Development Executive at Behaivior. As a licensed professional counselor, Whitney has worked across multiple levels of care with a focus on substance use and grief before transitioning to a role improving healthcare systems' response to public health needs. Whitney has experience with program development, management, strategy, and quality improvement. Her personal vision is to facilitate others' success.
Whitney and her wife, Amanda, live in Lawrenceville with their two rescue German Shepherds, CC and Abby. They all enjoy going for walks and bike rides.
Chloe Page is originally from New York and has focused on leading business operations across a variety of industries. After graduating from Barnard College, she spent 8 years working abroad in Germany, the United Kingdom and China.
Chloe enjoys living in the city of Pittsburgh, and found the DSAP community through her lovely nephew Theo. Chloe enjoys yoga, hikes with her dog Leo and cooking with husband Ben.
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Looking for passionate leaders
Interested in learning more about becoming a future board member, reach out to Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administrative Program Coordinator
Masha Zaldonis, BA
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Meredith Peterson, MA
Meredith became the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh (DSAP) in April 2020 as the first paid employee of this growing volunteer-led organization. Prior to her transition to DSAP, Meredith was the program coordinator at the Down Syndrome Center of Western PA, which is a specialized medical clinic seeing the entire lifespan of individuals with Down syndrome. She also has 10+ years of human resource management experience. Meredith graduated from Messiah College with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Liberty University. Meredith and her husband Mike, have two teenagers. Her oldest, Macee has Down syndrome and ignites her passion to serve this community and make the world a more accepting space. Click here to contact Meredith.