Meet the Team

Executive Director

Holly Zipperer is a career educational leader with 25+ years experience who joined the DSA-GC team in June 2018. She started working with individuals with disabilities in the early nineties in South Carolina. Over the years she has worked in homes, schools, camps and community settings and her life's work has solely focused on supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. Holly has experience in developing highly successful specialized programs, budgeting and fiscal management, fund development and grant writing; as well as cultivating partnerships with local businesses and community leaders.

A visionary leader, advocate and professional, Holly is a champion for people with disabilities and their families. She is excited to join the DSA-GC team!

Director of Programming

Stephanie Hoban Cook brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position along with a proven dedication to the DSA-GC and educating children with Down syndrome. Her years on the Board of the DSA-GC, the Planning Committee for the Down Syndrome Education (DSE) Conference in 2010, and her attendance at that DSE conference have given her an incredible knowledge base about children with Ds and how they learn best.

Board of Directors


President - Chris Coggins

(daughter, Avery)

Vice President, Programming - Melina Deleon

Vice President, Fund Development - Andrew Spafford

Vice President, Community Engagement - Ernie Hoag
(daughter, Lily)

Treasurer - Crystal Garrett

Secretary - Sara Weiss
(son, Ben)


Brendan Hammeke

Melissa Thomason

(son, Welles)

Shana Filkins
(daughter, Zoey)

  • 10/18/2014 -- 1st Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness at UNCC ... Read More
  • 03/09/2015 -- Dash for Down Syndrome Helps CMS Serve Students wi ... Read More
  • 03/01/2016 -- March 19 event to include 1,200 participants for 5 ... Read More
  • Down syndrome Charlotte