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.
Kathy Ciano-McGee RN, BSN founded a Home Health Agency in 2000 for her own disabled child and other disabled children. In 2002, Kathy was given a provider number by the State of Colorado to administer the Children’s-Home and Community Based Children’s Medicaid Waiver C-HCBS Medicaid Waiver. 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 Ciano-McGee to provide case management to ALL children with special needs in El Paso County Colorado via Healthy Communities (EPSDT). Kathy left the Home Health Agency and started A Rise Above (ARA). It is Kathy’s passion to assist ALL children ages 0-to their 21 on Medicaid with special needs. In 2014, Governor Hikenlooper appointed Kathy to the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities.
Greg has lived in Colorado Springs for over 20 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Northern Colorado. He later continued his education at Everest University where he obtained a Master’s in Human Resource Management. Greg is a Sales Manager for Academy Bank in Colorado Springs, with over 25 years of Sales Management experience. He has previously volunteered with Junior Achievement and Care & Share.
Greg is a step-parent to a special needs child and recognizes the importance of the organization in Colorado Springs.
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.