Board of Directors

Executive Board

Brian Ray - President

Brian Ray

Brian’s family relocated to Delaware 8 years ago for a professional opportunity. Although not a native “Delawarean”, his family found a home in the first state. Brian and his wife Michelle have four children, ages 11 – 18, which includes one son, Matthew, who happens to have Down syndrome. Brian and his family have been lifelong advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities, beginning with their time living in the Washington, DC area for many years. They have remained committed to not only their own work as advocates, but also imparting that same spirit in their own children.

Brian Ray - President

Brett Emerick

Vice-President

Brett is the owner of Cowgill Construction and the builder of the DSA Cafe & Gift Shop in Newark! Brett lives in Newark with his wife Stacia and 4 daughters – Madeline, Raegan, Ellie, and Faith (Ds). Brett is also an active member of the DSADE Golf Committee and coaches Soccer and Track & Field for Special Olympics.

Paul Mitchell
Treasurer

Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell was born and raised in Newark, DE. Paul and his wife Markie now reside in nearby Elkton, MD with their three sons Miles, Cole, and Malachi. Paul graduated from the University of Delaware and runs a financial planning practice called Precision Wealth Partners where he aims to help individuals and families make good decisions around retirement, investing, and navigating life’s changes. Paul is passionate about his family, faith, the Down syndrome community, and adoption awareness. Paul enjoys playing, following, and coaching sports, and is an avid runner.

Marcus Alexander
Secretary

Marcus Alexander

Marcus Alexander was born and raised in Newark Delaware. He met his wife Jasalyn in high school and have been married 14+ years. They have 3 sons Cayden 11, Maddex 9 (Ds), and Noah 4. As a graduate from Wilmington University, he was a middle school math teacher for 6 years after he moved into corporate America which led him to his current role with IFS Benefits as an employee Benefits Consultant. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, watching his kids in whatever sport they are currently playing, and playing golf.

Self-Advocates

Matthew Beck

Matthew Beck

Matthew is the baby in the family. He has a sister and two brothers. Matthew is 23 years old and graduated from high school in 2020. After he graduated, Matthew did a year internship with Project Search at Christiana Hospital. He applied for his dream job as a security guard. He had to pass the Maryland State Police security guard test. He did and Matthew is officially licensed as a security guard. Matthew works for Allied Security at the Gore plants at Elk Creek and loves his job. Matthew also volunteer at Brick Mill early childhood center once a week. He loves the little kids. Matthew participates year round in Special Olympics in golf, flag football, basketball, and swimming. Three nights a week he takes karate. Matthew is working on his blue belt and hopes to make black belt in two years!

Directors

Johnathan Fletcher

Johnathan Fletcher

Johnathan and his wife, Taryn, knew they wanted to be active members within the Down syndrome community the moment they learned they were having a child with Down syndrome. In November 2019 they welcomed their third child, Amari, into the world knowing they were not alone in their journey. Three months later, they attended the 2020 Welcome New Families event, and it was at this meeting that Johnathan had a chance to learn even more about this amazing community and the future of the organization.

Just a few months later, Johnathan found himself partnering with fellow member, Cameron, to relaunch the DADS group with ideas of fellowship, food, and fantasy football. He then started sitting in on meetings, sharing insight, and offering suggestions—like Breakfast with Santa, in order to help engage families. Before long, it seemed like a natural fit for Johnathan to become a more official member of the board. Johnathan brings a wealth of knowledge into the DS organization. He has project management, business management, finance experience, leadership expertise, and is passionate about issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Mike Honeysett

Mike Honeysett

Mike graduated from the University of Delaware in 2002 with a business degree in Operations Management. He currently lives in Milton with his wife Megan and their two children, Michaela and Charlie (Ds). Mike’s oldest brother, Chris, had Down syndrome and he was further drawn to volunteer for this organization due to first-hand experience at the full life his brother lived and the lives he touched. Mike has been in the homebuilding industry for 22 years and thrives in his role as a Senior Construction Manager with Schell Brothers. He’s a crossfit instructor, an avid golfer, a volunteer with the Boardwalk Buddywalk and a Special Olympics track coach. He’s passionate about his family, friends, and all things Philadelphia sports.

Nat Measley

Nat Measley

Nat Measley is the founder at YourCultureDesign.com and has worked as a workplace culture consultant for 15+ years. Nat is also an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship and leads their study abroad programming to Australia. Nat lives in Wilmington, DE with his wife, Kami and their dog Bondi.

Dr. Julie Nies

Dr. Julie Nies

Julie was born and raised in Dover, Delaware. After being educated in Boston, Baltimore, Wilmington, and Indianapolis, Julie returned to Kent County to practice dentistry with her father at Quinn Pediatric Dentistry. Julie and her husband Mike are kept very busy by their four children Jane, Maggie, Bridget, and Teddy (Ds). In her limited free time, Julie enjoys reading, crosswords, and caring for her many (too many?) plants. Since Teddy’s birth, the Nies family have become strong supporters of the DSA of DE and take great pride in advocating for Teddy and all individuals with Down syndrome.

Paul O'Brien

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 two daughters, Rowan and Claire. When he is not working, Paul enjoys hiking and sailing.

Cindy Olsavsky

Cindy Olsavsky

Cindy Olsavsky, CFRE, is the Director of Development for Serviam Girls Academy. Cindy has been a non-profit and fundraising professional for 16 years, having previously served with the Boy Scouts of America. Cindy earned her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2021 and is a graduate of Queens College, City University of New York with a B.A. in English. Cindy’s passion for advocating for those with disabilities was sparked when her daughter was born with Down syndrome in 2014. Cindy leads the Fund Development Committee for the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware and serves as a team captain for the Down Syndrome walk. She also helps with clothing, food, and toy drives in the Wilmington area. Cindy enjoys her time reading, walking, and being outdoors. Cindy and her husband Adam live in Wilmington, DE with their two kids, Lena (Ds) and Ethan. Cindy and her family can be found exploring local parks, climbing on the playground, or taking in a game.

Dr. Nina Powell-Hamilton

Dr. Nina Powell-Hamilton

Nina Powell-Hamilton has been a Pediatric Clinical Geneticist at Nemours for 15 years and is currently the director of the Nemours Down Syndrome Program and Co-Director of the Nemours Cardiovascular Genetics Program. She is also a clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. She received her medical school training at the University of the West Indies, completed Pediatrics Residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center and a Clinical Genetics fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Her areas of interest include Down Syndrome and Cardiovascular Genetics and she has authored a number of book chapters, abstracts and journal articles. Awards received to date include Delaware Today magazine’s Top Doctors, Best Doctors in America and the Nemours Physician Service Excellence Award. Her favorite pastimes include gardening, cooking, crafting, and taking care of her pet rabbit Cinnamon.

Mayra Santiago

Mayra Santiago

Mayra Santiago is a New York native who moved to Delaware in 2009, as a newlywed. Mayra now lives in Townsend with her husband Miguel and their two boys, Christopher and Aramis (Ds). She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Paralegal Studies. Mayra worked as a Paralegal for 19 years before switching careers to a become a realtor and a Bilingual (Spanish) Parent Consultant for Parent Information Center (PIC) of Delaware. Mayra and her family became active members with Down syndrome community the moment they knew their son, Aramis had Down syndrome. Mayra is passionate about advocating for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She enjoys working with families to help them obtain services as well as helping those navigate the diagnosis of Autism. Aramis has a dual diagnosis and since learning about Aramis’ Autism diagnosis she has become an enthusiastic learner about additional services that can benefit families. Mayra also serves as the proud Team Captain (AJ’s Musketeers) for the DE Down Syndrome Walk which she and her family participate in every year. During her free time, Mayra loves spending time with her family, cooking, crafting, and traveling.

Eileen Voltz

Eileen Voltz

Eileen is married to her amazing husband Matt and their son Daniel is the light of their world. Outside of the home, Eileen is a dedicated and nationally recognized STEM educator with over three decades of teaching experience in Delaware. Eileen is now working in higher education at the University of Delaware, West Chester University, and Wilmington University teaching elementary education majors and Statistics as well as mentoring graduate education majors serving in the Philadelphia School District. Eileen has also been a varsity basketball and softball coach for the last 22 years!