Vanessa Vogel-Farley: Executive Director (Vanessa.VogelFarley@dup15q.org)
Vanessa grew up on a family dairy farm in rural Wisconsin; she then went on to college at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she studied Chemistry, Biology, and French. While there she joined a research lab at the Center for Neurobehavioral Development. This experience got her interested in the processes associated with brain development during the neonatal period into adolescence and that factors that can affect normal development. She was the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Division of Developmental Medicine Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital, working on collaborations with scientists from MIT and Harvard examining several clinical populations, including autism. She also served as Director of Operations of ACEing Autism from 2008 through 2015. She is married and the mother of 3 young boys (Oliver, Thatcher, and Carter) who keep her very busy in her “spare” time.
Amy Kotnick: Operations Manager (Amy.Kotnick@dup15q.org)
Amy lives in Chicago’s northern suburbs with her children, Jackson and Abby. She majored in Communications and English at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and comes to us with almost 10 years of non-profit experience. Amy is skilled in database management, fundraising efforts and grant writing. She is very excited to be a part of our growing alliance. In her spare time she likes to write and practice yoga.
Naka King: Dup15q Alliance Administrative Director (email@example.com)
Naka King lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband Nick, daughter Rylan and son Bryer. With 12 years of experience in administrative management, she joined the Dup15q Alliance as an administrator in 2018. After 3 years of searching for medical answers related to their daughter symptoms, they were given a diagnosis of Dup15q Syndrome in March 2015. Naka believes in the importance of raising awareness in our communities so another family doesn’t have to fight for a proper diagnosis. She looks forward to contributing to the Dup15q Alliance Mission as our community of families continues to grow.
Krissa Harris: Support Services Director (Krissa.Harris@dup15q.org)
Krissa lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband Shane, daughter Hattie (idic 15) and dog Lily. She and Shane are both from the DFW area and both went to Texas Tech University. Wreck ‘em! Krissa taught 3rd grade for 9 years before becoming a stay at home mom when Hattie was born in April of 2013. After attending her first conference in California in 2017, she dedicated herself to fundraising, awareness, and volunteering for the Alliance. She looks forward to making a difference in the lives of our dupers and their families.
Ember Burke: Communications Coordinator (Ember.Burke@dup15q.org)
Ember lives in Park Ridge, Illinois with her husband Mike, her daughters Mikaela (17) and Alana (16), along with her sons Brendan (14) and Tommy (12). Her son Brendan was diagnosed with Dup15q Syndrome in 2008. That year she attended her first Dup15q Alliance family conference in Indianapolis, IN, and was inspired to contribute to the cause. Ember has since been actively involved in the Alliance for 12 years by volunteering her time, raising awareness and fundraising to support the Dup15q Alliance Mission
Ember joins us with experience as a former Special Education Teacher for 7 years along with assisting her husband run their family-owned, plumbing company. She is thrilled to continue her involvement within the Alliance as she utilizes her communication skills and experience to further the Dup15q Alliance reach in the Community and Rare Disease space.
Zoe Dannenberg: 15q Network Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zoe grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Elmhurst College in 2020 with a degree in Biology. Throughout her college years, Zoe worked as a pharmacy technician, sales associate, and also as an intern for the Alliance. After experiencing her first Family Conference, she became eager to get more involved within the Alliance community and help bridge the gap between clinicians, industry partners, and families. During her spare time, Zoe enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Emily Soludczyk: Genetics Intern (email@example.com)
Emily grew up on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!) in 2018 with a degree in Biology. Her undergraduate research in Genetics is what inspired her to help individuals learn about their own genetics and bridge the communication gap between science professionals and their communities. Emily loves to be able to contribute to the supportive community that the Alliance has built. She is currently a Master’s student in the Baylor College of Medicine Genetic Counseling Program where she looks forward to volunteering in healthcare, becoming a Genetic Counselor, and the Houston rodeo.