Board of Directors

Executive Board

President: Dave Gazzillo

Dave and his wife, Jeanne, live in Wilmington. They are the proud parents of Kathryn, Jonathan, and Jason (Ds). Their family has been active with the DSA since J’s birth 21 years ago. Dave is the current President of the DSA of Delaware and has held previous board positions over the years, Vice President 2015 and 2016 and Secretary from 1998 to 2007. Dave works full time for Bank of America as an SVP of Statement Marketing Operations. In his spare time, he works on the board of his local civic association and supports other civic priorities and is looking forward to his continued work with the Board and rest of the community and the organization to promote all of the DSA of DE’s important initiatives now and in the future.


Vice- President: Joe McNesby

Joe is the proud brother of Michael McNesby (DS) who passed away at the age of 58 in March 2018.  Joe is also the brother of Teesie McNesby Bonk, a former member of the Down Syndrome Association Delaware and DSA DE Board of Directors.  Joe’s daughter Katie McNesby Adams is a former member of DSA DE Board of Directors.

Joe retired from the Delaware State Police in 1986, worked as Assistant Branch Manager at Wilmington Savings Fund Society for 2 1/2 years and retired from the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington in 2017 after 28 years as Director of CYM Sports.

Joe has participated in the Buddy Walk at the U of D in Newark and Boardwalk Buddy Walk in Rehoboth for a number of years as a member of the Michael’s Monkee’s team along with other family and friends.  Joe has also assisted and participated with the Take Your Team to Tavern Night for a number of years.  Katie along with Joe’s sister Teesie started the Take Your Team to the Tavern night in May 2009 and Joe was a guest bartender one year.

Joe and his wife Sharon are proud parents of 4 children and 8 grandchildren and live in the Newark area.  They just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. Joe also volunteers with St. Thomas Knight of Columbus, 1st Tee of Delaware and Catholic Youth Ministry.  In addition to enjoying his grandchildren, Joe enjoys playing golf.

Treasurer: Ted Griffith

Ted and his wife Krista joined the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware in 2014. Ted became the organization’s treasurer in 2018. Professionally, Ted is a Certified Financial Planner (TM). He and Krista live in North Wilmington with their sons, Sam and Nate.


Secretary: Tahita Muhammad

Tahita and her husband Leon Sr. lives in Newark, De  with their two children, Leon II, 11 (Ds) and Lea (7). Tahita and Leon are from Philadelphia and moved to Delaware 9 years ago right before their first child, Leon II was born. Leon is now in 2nd grade and he loves school  Tahita works full time as a Registered Dental Hygienist in a pediatric office. She is very passionate about dental care. She wants to make sure that children with disabilities are able to have a great dental experience and good oral hygiene habits. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with my family. They enjoy beach vacations, all Philadelphia sports and hanging out at the pool.


Rachel Rhea

Rachel is a self advocate who lives at home with her parents in Wilmington Delaware.  She graduated from Newark High School in 2013 and the Network Program in 2015.  While at Newark High, Rachel received two varsity letters for cheerleading during Basketball season.  Rachel was a member of YAC with Special Olympics of Delaware and completed the Toast Masters Class.  Rachel has been an active Down Syndrome Association Board member for 5 years and is the coordinator of the Friendship club, organizing monthly social events for young adults with disabilities and sending out monthly Birthday Cards.  Rachel was crowned Delaware’s Miss Amazing 2016 and went on to compete in the National Miss Amazing Pageant in Chicago.  Rachel is actively involved with Special Olympics of Delaware, Bella Dance Center and Totally Awesome Players.  Currently Rachel is volunteering at the Christiania Early Education Center and works two jobs, at a Law Office and Red Robin.


Laura Scott 

Laura is 35 years old and has lived in Middletown with her parents since 2001.  She is the oldest of 3 children and has a brother, a sister, and a brother-In-law.  Laura attended Middletown High School and shortly after graduation, found employment as a baker with Waggies by Maggie and Friends (a dog biscuit company).  Laura can also be found every week at Bob Evans in Middletown helping the servers wrap silverware for the Sunday morning crowd.  In her free time, Laura participates in bowling, volleyball, and swimming with Special Olympics Delaware.  In addition to being a DSAD board member as a self-advocate, she also serves on the Athlete Leadership Council for SODE.  Laura acts with Totally Awesome Players and takes a hip-hop dance class. She is a “party girl” and loves to help her mom plan the DSAD teen/adult dances. Laura enjoys every opportunity to get together with her friends for social outings of all kinds.


Members at Large

Lou Bartoshesky 

Louis Bartoshesky is a Pediatric Geneticist. He attended high school at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware; graduated from University of Notre Dame and Cornell University Medical College; earned a Master in Public Health at Harvard Public Health School and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at University of Delaware

He served 2 years as a Pediatrician in the US Air Force

He has practiced Clinical Genetics since 1976. He worked in general Clinical Genetics and was a geneticist member of various multispeciality teams in Massachusetts and in  Delaware including  collaborative clinics such as Cleft Palate, Spina bifida, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, limb deficiency, and Down Syndrome.

He was medical director for the Delaware Division on Public Health Newborn Screening Program from 1989 through 2017.

In 2015 he received a Certification in Pediatric Bioethics from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

He has been married for nearly 50 years, has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Theresa Berry

Theresa and her husband, Dave live in Townsend.  They are proud parents of Lauren who will attend Wesley College in the Fall as Special Education major and be a goalie on their Field Hockey team.  Theresa is a member of the Buddy Walk Committee and Days of Summer Camp Committee, and has volunteered with the Run for the Buds, Easter Egg Hunt, Teen Dance, and Rock Your Socks Mis-Matching Event.  Theresa and Lauren are volunteers with the DSA and enjoy having fun with the kids and advocating for people with disabilities.  Theresa is the HR Manager for the Town of Middletown and Dave is a Foreman for JW Walker & Sons.  Theresa co-created the MOT Challenger League Division in 2001, which enables kids with disabilities to play t-ball.  In her spare time, Theresa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, camping, kayaking, going to concerts, attending her daughter’s field hockey games, actively supporting her daughter’s interests, and volunteering with various organizations.

Vanessa Cannon

Vanessa is married to Orrie ‘Terry” Cannon and reside in Seaford.  They have daughter’s Libby 22, Adrianna 17, and Avary (DS) 9.  Vanessa has over 20 year of experience in Human Resources.  She is active in the Seaford School District as a volunteer and advocate.  She also plans several DSA events for Sussex County. In her free time you can find Vanessa enjoying the beach, shopping and visiting local antique and flea markets and supporting the girls in their sports and activities.

Along with his wife Susan and their 40-year old daughter Amy (DS), Ed and his family moved to Delaware in 2012 to be closer to their older daughter and her family, thinking ahead for Amy’s future care needs.

Ed Gootzait

Along with his wife Susan and their 40-year old daughter Amy (Ds), Ed and his family moved to Delaware in 2012 to be closer to their older daughter and her family, thinking ahead for Amy’s future care needs.

After a 40+ year career in industry and academia Ed retired as a Director of a Virginia company that developed sensors for healthcare, military and homeland security applications.

Ed has been an active volunteer in both Virginia and Delaware.  He is the treasurer and a board member of Innovative Community Living, Inc. a Delaware-based nonprofit working to establish fully integrated neighborhoods where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will live alongside non-disabled residents.

He is also a member of the Christiana Care Health System Patient and Family Advisory Committee and Christiana’s Center for Special Health Care Needs Patient and Family Advisory Committee and volunteers with the ARC of Delaware and Special Olympics Delaware.

Gail Hamblin

Gail Hamblin is a mom to three children, Natalie, Calvin (DS) and Aurora. Formerly a public school teacher, Gail has since taken to writing. Her first children’s book is More Alike Than Different… A Down Syndrome Awareness Tale. Gail is passionate about Down syndrome awareness and acceptance. She resides with her husband and three children in Kent County.

Shelvia Neely

Shelvia lives in Wilmington with their two wonderful sons, Solomon and Stuart III.   Shelvia is a native of Virginia.  Since moving to Delaware in 2003, she has established herself as an advocate, teacher, and mentor of children with special needs.   Shelvia earned a Bachelor of Science in Music from Virginia State University and has utilized her expertise to teach children of all ages and learning needs to love and appreciate music. She actively participates in numerous DSA events, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Annual Holiday party, the Hayride, and Rock your socks events.  To further raise awareness and gather support for Delaware DSA, Shelvia organizes a team of family, friends, and community members to participate in the Annual Buddy Walk each year.

Tara Pickett

Tara and her husband, Ryan Pickett, reside in Lincoln, DE.  She is mom to Landon (8 years old) and Kenzie (Ds, 6 years old).  Tara currently teaches sixth grade special education.  She has been advocating for Kenzie since her birth in 2013. She is eager to advocate for other children and adults as well.  She has been a member of IEP teams as an educator and as a parent.

Pam Rhea

Pam, her husband Joe, and their youngest daughter Rachel (24-Ds) moved to Delaware in 2006 after Joe retired from the US Navy of 24+ years.  Pam has 3 children, ages 33, 31 and 23(DS).  In Virginia Beach, Pam served on the Down Syndrome Board (TDSA) for 6 years and was an Ombudsman for a Navy Command for over 6 years.  Pam has been serving on the Down Syndrome Association Boards of Delaware for 5 years.  Pam is the Special Olympics Family Liaison for the Newark Dragons and volunteers at Camp Barnes as the arts and crafts coordinator, also she is the SODE Summer Bowling League Coordinator.  Pam also volunteers with Read Aloud Delaware.  Pam has been a preschool teacher for over 20 years and is currently working as a paraprofessional at the CEEC school.

Susan Scott

Susan and her husband, Brian, have lived in Middletown since 2001.  They joined the DSA more than 30 years ago, however, while living in Cecil County, MD.  They are the parents of 3 grown children; Laura (Ds age 33), Tracy (married to Chad Armstrong), and  Chris.  Susan has been organizing the DSA teen/adult dances for 15 years, serves on the Outreach Committee, and is an active volunteer with other DSA events and Days of Summer camp.  In addition, Susan serves on the Leadership Team of the Special Olympics MOT Area as Registration Manager and is a retired teacher.


Paul O’Brien

Paul is a Delaware native who grew up in Wilmington. After working on Capitol Hill for Tom Carper during law school, he joined the law practice established by his father, Kevin O’Brien. Their practice focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning, with an emphasis on planning for families who have children with Special Needs. Paul serves many of our families through his practice.

He is married to Juliana Hayman O’Brien and they have one daughter, Rowan. When he is not working, Paul enjoys hiking and sailing.


Joshua Corderio

Joshua Cordeiro and his 3-year old daughter, Isabella (Ds), reside in Magnolia, DE.  Joshua graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he received his BFA, and is currently in the process of obtaining a Masters in Elementary Education with a dual certification in Special Education from Wilmington University. Currently he works within the marketing department of Dover Federal Credit Union, volunteers with Junior Achievement of Delaware, and is a volunteer member of the Community Development Advisory Committee at Community Integrated Services.  In prior years he has participated in the Buddy Walk and Rock Your Socks, and looks forward to continuing to advocate for families within the community.