The Board

Rob Snow - Founder - 2013

Executive Director, Treasurer, and Founder

SnowsRob Snow is a native Ohioan, and graduated from Miami University in 1995. He moved to Chicago and began his comedy career in the late 90s while training at the famed Second City Theatre in Chicago, performing at comedy clubs and colleges throughout the Midwest. After three years of toiling in comedy, he decided to try his hand in the “real” world. He got the real job, real wife, and started a real family. After a 10 year hiatus from comedy, and a move back to Ohio, he decided to get back on stage in 2009. He quickly regained his comedy footing and began featuring at clubs again.

Another life changing moment happened to Rob and his family in 2009 – they had their second son Henry. Henry was born with Down Syndrome. The Snow family soon realized how amazing this little boy was, and that their lives were now moving in a different, but more exciting and fulfilling direction. Rob began using his comedy background to create a show called “We Need A Sign”, which talks about the oftentimes humorous commonalities parents share in raising a child with special needs, and the obstacles we overcome to help us navigate this journey. Rob performed his first show in October 2011, and has been entertaining various special needs organizations, high schools, corporate groups and other audiences since then. He has also created two other shows based on his experiences called “Minimize The Mountain” and “How Bout...Just Treat Each Other Right.” In 2014, Rob wrote a book called “What I Should Have Said” providing his wishful responses to the “interesting” things people say to those in the special needs community. On top of performing the shows and still doing some comedy, Rob is a National Account Executive for GENEX Services, Inc.

www.weneedasign.net


Ellen Snow - Founder - 2013

Major Events Director

Ellen SnowEllen grew up in the Chicago area and graduated with a BA in Public Relations in 1995 from University of Dayton. She married Rob Snow in 2000 and has two children: Charlie (born in 2004) and Henry (born in 2009). She specialized in Law Firm Malpractice in the insurance brokerage industry working at both Aon Risk Services and Marsh McLennan where she held the rank of Vice President before retiring to raise her family and move to Ohio in 2008. She also was President of a local insurance association for 8 years where she focused on marketing and networking opportunities for approximately 350 Chicago area professionals. Ellen and Rob learned of Henry’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome at his birth. For the first year, Ellen focused on learning and understanding the vast maze of public services and insurance issues  for individuals with special needs along with the coordination of Henry’s Early Intervention services and various therapies.

She also became involved in fundraising through the Upside of Downs, a Northeast Ohio support and educational group. By 2011, Henry was thriving and Ellen graduated from Partners in Policymaking, which teaches parents and self-advocates various ways to advocate within local and federal government in an effort to change the way people with disabilities are supported, viewed, taught, live and work. She is excited to continue her advocacy and fundraising within the Down syndrome and Special Needs community as a co-founder and Board Member of Stand Up for Downs.  Ellen knows that life with Henry will not always be easy, but will always be worth it.  

 


Jay Freund - 2014

jay

Jay Freund spent most of his life growing up in the Midwest.  In 1999, Jay and his wife, Susan, settled in the Cleveland area in connection with a new professional opportunity.  Susan and Jay have four kids:  Nick, Katie, Michael, and Emily.  Michael was born in January 2003 and immediately was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  Shortly after his birth and just before his tenth week of life, Michael had major open heart surgery.  Fortunately, the health care resources in the Cleveland area are unsurpassed relative to the rest of the United States, and Michaels’ surgeon was a world leader in the procedure that repaired his heart.  Today, Michael is doing great and always has time to “mix it up” with his three siblings.

Jay is a graduate of Ohio Northern University (B.S.) and the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University (MBA).  Jay began his career as an investment banker and has been in private equity investing for the past 18 years.  The Freund’s reside in Brecksville, OH and usually can be found at an athletic field or court watching their kids participating in a sporting event (that includes Michael).  The Freund’s have been looking for an organization that is unique within the Down Syndrome community.  Stand Up For Downs is the perfect mix of passion, energy, and fun that will make a difference in the lives of many families.


Kim Bergmann - 2015

 

Kim was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio and graduated with her bachelor’s degree from The University of Akron.  She offers nineteen years of sales and marketing and has literally grown up in the healthcare industry, as her mother spent forty-five years of her career in nursing and hospital administration. Kim’s career in healthcare started as the Community Relations Director for an Assisted Living and Memory Care community.  In this position she planned all the marketing and sales efforts by expanding referral source base to positively impact census.

In addition to her role as the Regional Marketing Director with Generations Healthcare, Kim has been heavily involved in many healthcare associations. Kim currently serves on Westside Healthcare Organizations (WHO) and UH Bedford Senior Network and Board of Directors, Co-Chair of UH Bedford Golf Outing from 2011 – 2013 and Membership Committee 2014. She is an active member of the Parma Resource Network and Eldercare Professionals of Ohio and throughout her career has won multiple awards in healthcare marketing, including the Cleveland Clinic’s Community Development Award (2010) and the Positive Impressions Award (2011).

Kim’s life was touched by Down syndrome in 1997 when her niece Kendall was born with Down syndrome.  Their family was filled with so many emotions as well as the initial shock and uncertainty that many families experience. However a simple fact remained that through any ups and downs, this little girl would be loved and supported by the entire family.  Kendall is now 17 years old and is becoming a beautiful young woman that touches everyone she encounters. Kim is excited to be the newest board member of Stand Up for Downs and fundraising for the Down syndrome community.

In her free time, she loves being active with her family at sporting events, skiing and traveling. She values her time with her husband Mike and her two beautiful children that they adopted from Guatemala, Madison, 10 and Mason, 8 and of course cannot forget the family dog a 4 lb. Chihuahua Charlie. 


Jennifer Johnson Palmer - 2016

 


Past Board Members

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to all of our past board members for helping us get where we are today.  Without your support, passion, skills, and efforts we would not be the organization we have become.  We know you will continue to better this world in many different and profound ways.

Shon Christy      2013-2014

Jennifer Towell  2013-2014

Josh Womack    2013-2014

Cody Heeney     2013-2015