Kathy Ciano-McGee, Board President
Kathy Ciano-McGee RN, BSN founded a home health agency in 2000 for her own disabled child and other disabled children. She feels that she has found her calling which has given her purpose for her daughter and other children with disabilities. In 2008, Memorial Hospital via Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) contracted exclusively with Kathy to provide case management to ALL children with special needs in El Paso County Colorado via Healthy Communities (EPSDT). Kathy left the agency she founded and started A Rise Above (ARA). In 2014, Governor Hikenlooper appointed Kathy to the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities.
Sarah Brown is currently a Director for a local childcare center in Colorado Springs for the past 9 years. She attended college at Northern State University in South Dakota before moving to Colorado in 2006. She continued to study Early Childhood Development at Pikes Peak Community College on a scholarship program through Alliance for Kids, El Paso County’s local ECE Council. After completing her certification in 2012, she was given the opportunity to apply her passion for ECE to impact the quality of childcare in our community. She’s married to husband, Camron, for 5 years and enjoys hiking, camping, and dog parks.
John is a Lead I&E (Instrument and Electrical) Technician at NuStar Energy. He’s been employed by NuStar and its predecessor Diamond Shamrock for over 20 years. John and his family are dedicated SKSF volunteers supporting fundraising events and program support. He has served on various SKSF fundraising and staff appreciation committees and also volunteers his time with other local organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Care & Share. Over the years, John has recruited co-workers, friends and neighbors to support SKSF. John has been a longtime Colorado Springs resident, since 1986. He and his wife, Jenny, have 3 children, are adoptive parents to their youngest daughter, and were foster parents for 10 years.
Dan is a Colorado native hailing from Fort Morgan. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Finance from Colorado State University. He graduated honors with his MBA from Regis University. He currently is the Vice President of Commercial Lending with Adams Bank & Trust and is involved with several boards and organizations including BethHaven, Christian Business Men’s Coalition, and the Better Business Bureau. He relocated to Colorado Springs 7 years ago following his nuptials to his wife Christina. Together they have four sons, two of which have special needs. Dan’s goal is for all of his kids to live as fulfilling and high quality of life as possible.
Ms. Gehrett is the agent for Farm Bureau Insurance as the owner and operator of her business. Her work in the insurance business includes business development, marketing and training. She has prior work experience in the commercial real estate business and with property management. Amy has been an active volunteer for Special Kids Special Families for the past 4 years as a committee member for events. She has also had past experience as a CASA advocate and served as Treasurer for the Ivywild Improvement Society.
Eric is a former military veteran with over 25 years in the military. He holds an Associate’s Degree in General Studies and has taken numerous courses in leadership and management. Eric operates the day to day operations of a home care agency which employs over 150 individuals. He has a young adult daughter who was born with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a chromosomal abnormality called Cir-du-chat syndrome and receives services through the Medicaid waiver system.
Harold (Hal) is a retired Air Force Officer. Hal, along with his wife and three children have lived in El Paso County since 2001. Subsequent to that date, Harold received assignments abroad, and returned to Colorado Springs in 2009. Major Jordan received many military recognitions. In 2005, he received the Colorado Junior Achievement Leadership award. Harold has a Master’s Degree in Human Services and in Criminology and Police Administration. He had owned and operated a youth hockey arena, and has been active in youth hockey sports.
Sarah Kelso, Secretary
Sarah is a single parent of two school-aged children and has lived in Colorado Springs for 22 years. Her gifted son was diagnosed with ADHD at five, then Autism at age eight. Both of Sarah’s children receive services from SKSF which allows Sarah to indulge in both her career and service. Sarah has been working in a Quality Assurance role for over 10 years and is currently employed at Wide Open West, an Internet Cable and Phone provider as a Reporting Analyst. Sarah is a lover of outdoors, and includes her children in cycling, hiking and family oriented community events.
Mark was born and raised in Minnesota and moved to Colorado in 1993. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1989 from St. Cloud State University and earned a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1999. He’s been a licensed teacher since 1989 and has taught social studies at CHINS UP and Zeb Pike Youth Services Center. He is the current owner of Simple CPR, LLC since 2005 and has been instructing classes since 1992. Mark is currently active with Honor Flight of Southern Colorado and a number of veteran groups. Mark’s been married since 2010, has 2 stepsons and his hobbies include scuba diving, working out, traveling, reading.
Linda has been the Executive Director of the organization since 2000. Under her oversight, the organization has grown to include three locations and many significant programs to support individuals with special needs and their families throughout the individual’s lifespan. Before serving as the ED at SKSF, Linda was an area Director for a local agency and for a local Foster Care Program. She received her BSW from the University of North Dakota and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling, with over 25 years of experience in the Human Services Field. Linda has served on the Special Education Advisory Board.
As a single mother of a special needs son, who passed away at the age of 15, Linda is passionate about helping other families who are raising children with disabilities.