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Our Board Members

Tom Delaplane, Board Chairman

Meet Tom

Mr. Delaplane’s distinguished career in consumer packaged goods has spanned almost 40 years.

In late 2007 he co-founded The Boardwalk Group, LLC for which he serves as Chairman. 

Until late 2006, Mr. Delaplane was the Executive Vice President of Sales and Distribution for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream which manufactures and distributes brands including Dreyer’s, Edy’s, Häagen-Dazs, and Nestlė ice cream products. Mr. Delaplane joined Dreyer’s in 1983 when the company was a regional industry player with $75MM in revenue. In 1986, he became Vice President of Sales and Distribution and led Dreyer’s expansion into the Midwest and Eastern U.S and at that time joined Dreyer’s 6 member Executive Committee. In 1991, he advanced to Executive Vice President of Sales and Distribution for the entire U.S.

During his 23 year career with Dreyer’s, Mr. Delaplane had numerous accomplishments. He was responsible for building the only national direct store delivery (DSD) system in the ice cream industry. Today this system employs over 4,000 people and is widely considered one of the premier DSD systems in the consumer packaged goods industry. He also built a world-class selling and general management organization. This team was instrumental in growing Dreyer’s revenue to $2.2B in 2006, a 15.0% CAGR for the period during his tenure leading sales and distribution. In addition, Mr. Delaplane made over 20 brand and distributor acquisitions over the course of his career with Dreyer’s.

In 2002, Dreyer’s and Nestlé S.A. entered into an agreement to merge Dreyer’s operations with Nestlé’s U.S. operations in a deal valued at over $3.2 billion. Mr. Delaplane was one of the two lead negotiators and was instrumental in closing the transaction which involved a year of negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission and the divestiture of various brands and assets belonging to Dreyer’s and Nestlé. From the time Mr. Delaplane began leading sales and distribution in 1986 to the close of the Nestlé deal in 2003, Dreyer’s returned an average of 23.2% per year to shareholders, excluding dividends.

Mr. Delaplane is currently working for Nestlé on special investment and acquisition projects. He also continues to be an advisor on the operations of Dreyer’s. 

Prior to joining Dreyer’s, Mr. Delaplane was General Manager in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California for Oroweat Foods Company. He previously held general management positions for Ward Foods in Chicago and Cleveland.

Dan Ensminger, Co-Treasurer

Meet Dan

My wife Teri and I have been blessed with two lovely Daughters who continue to provide joy and happiness and make me proud every day of their lives. Our youngest daughter Mallory was born in 1987 with Cerebral Palsy leading us to a life of working with her one-on one, seeing her through the many challenges, and being her advocate in every aspect of her life. Having a child with Special Needs has made us stronger as we have worked with various agencies in our area to get her the care and assistance she needs to become the productive member of society that she is today. She continues to make us proud, recently receiving a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from San Jose State University. Seeing what our Daughter with all of her challenges can accomplish has inspired me to become more involved in the organizations that help and guide these truly special individuals. Joining the Board of DSCBA gives me the opportunity to share my experiences and become part of that guidance, building more inspirational stories like my Daughter’s. As my 33 year career winds down this opportunity just felt like a perfect fit. I look forward to making a difference for DSCBA and more importantly for all of our clients.

Jessica Graham

Meet Jessica

My family and I moved to the Bay Area in 2015. Shortly after, we began attending classes and events at the Down Syndrome Connection in anticipation of adopting a fourth child, a little girl with Down syndrome from China.  The DSCBA has been invaluable in helping our family navigate the complex world of developmental needs. They've helped us get plugged in with doctors, therapists and other medical professionals who don't just treat, but specialize in, persons with Down syndrome. In addition, our daughter greatly enjoys and benefits from the many classes the DSCBA offers, like music therapy and peer development. I joined the Board because I want to live in a world where the DSCBA's mission statement isn't just a statement but a way of life. 

Martha Hogan

Meet Martha

Martha is one of the cofounders of the Down Syndrome Connection and the proud mother of four boys, the youngest one born with Down syndrome. She continues to facilitate the Grandparent Group and loves to be involved in the DSCBA by serving as a board member. She has a passion for golf and life in general.

 

David Keenan

Meet David

My wife Alicia and I along with our 5 kids moved to the Bay Area from NY State in 2013. After many years working for software companies in CA it was time to move closer and travel less. We were lucky to quickly find the Down Syndrome Connection and establish a community of families with children with Down Syndrome. One of our boys, Simon now 10 years old, loves the friends he has found through the connection and looks forward to the step up walk fundraiser each year.  After observing first hand the impact the connection can have both with individual families, schools, and the medical community I joined the board to help directly in 2017. I started my career in the tech industry in 1996 and currently work as an engineering executive at Twitter. 

Jonas (Kriks) Kriksciunus

Meet Kriks

My wife and I have enjoyed the Bay Area for over ten years.  We were introduced to the DSCBA in 2010 and were impressed with the leadership team.  Our family has grown with the Connection and during this time we’ve had the privilege to meet and work with some of the best educators, service providers, and advocates.  I have worked in Information Technology for the last 20 years and lead an IS team in San Francisco.  I completed my degrees in Communications and Accounting in Northern California.  As our family grows older, I hope to give back some of the guidance we were fortunate to get.  I'm proud to be part of an organization focused on awareness and achieving the goals of academic and social success.

Nathan Leiser

Meet Nathan

First and foremost, Nathan is a husband, father of 3 and a friend to many.  His family joined the DSCBA  five years ago when they were solution seeking to better serve the needs of their youngest daughter Saige. 

At the DSCBA he found a community of advocates and educators that passionately served their members.  Nathan was immediately impressed with the organization’s leadership, plethora of programs and strategic approach.  The DSCBA’s “can do attitude” and attention to detail shines through and through.  

Nathan has served the Heavy Industrial sector (refineries, chemical, power) for 15 years with proven experience in strategy, thought leadership and business acumen. He received his Executive MBA from Saint Mary’s and has coached the city of Clayton’s Challenger Little League team for 8 years.  Let’s Go Rockies!!

Dana Morris, Secretary

Meet Dana

My husband and I met at Cal and have been fortunate to raise our three kids (ages 19-25) in the Bay Area. I’ve also been working either full or part time Nestlé Dreyer’s Ice Cream in the marketing department over this same time period.  Through my kids’ “growing up” years, I had been actively involved in several volunteer and non-profit organizations related to my kids and served on the various executive boards.  As I became an “empty nester”, though, I was looking for an opportunity to contribute to my community in a way that was meaningful to me. I discovered DSCBA through several friends who have special needs kids and rely on their services, and it immediately seemed like the perfect fit.  I am thrilled to now be part of such an amazing organization and hope to use my non-profit and marketing background to contribute further. 

Steven Pugsley, Co-Treasurer

Meet Steven
Our family moved to San Ramon in 2016. Soon after we arrived, we were introduced to the services of Down Syndrome Connection for our daughter, Jane (age 11). She absolutely loves going to “class” each Wednesday afternoon. We have been so impressed by the range of services and benefits this organization provides. I wanted to contribute to ensure its continued success.
 
I am a native Utahn with a love for the mountains, tennis, trail running, and road biking. I am a CPA and work as the Controller for Armanino Foods of Distinction. 

Chris Riffel

Meet Chris

A new career opportunity brought my family and I to the East Bay in July 2015. Immediately, we sought the services of the Down Syndrome Connection to help support our daughter who was born with Down syndrome in 2011. Through participating in events, we've met many new friends in the community who share in the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs.

Joining the board of the DSCBA is one way I'm hoping to give back and support people (and their families) with Down syndrome.  My career as a health insurance broker has given me a unique insight and perspective on the medical needs and challenges living with Down syndrome can present, especially early in life. I'm proud to support an organization helping to educate our medical providers and teachers in the community who provide the love and care people with Down syndrome need.

Gabe Savage

Meet Gabe

I’m helpful and friendly to others and I love to be well organized and kind. I can also lend a helping hand when others need my help. I’m brave and proud, love to smile to brighten up the room. I am well positive and love to make people I love dearly, to laugh!

Education:  Gabe is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri's THRIVE program, 

Employment: Sprouts Farmer's Market

Hobbies and Interests: Social media enthusiast. Enjoys working out, watching movies, and attending the DSCBA's peer development classes.

Family: Gabe and his wife Alex have been married 5 years.

Carter Westfall

Meet Carter

My wife and I moved to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, NY, in August 2014.  Having played collegiate athletics and worked in sports my entire career, I have enjoyed various opportunities to engage with kids with Down Syndrome, as well as their families and friends.  These experiences always impacted me in unique ways due to the love and inspiration generated by this special community.  I sought out the DSCBA as a way to make an impact and build new friends.  I feel privileged to leverage my professional experience, network and education to help DSCBA reach its objectives.  I currently work for the Pac-12 Conference and oversee its international strategy.  I completed my MBA at UCLA Anderson and Bachelor's Degree at Princeton University.  My wife, Kate, and I have a young boy, Shep, and we love the diverse and wonderful surroundings of Oakland and the Bay Area.

Rick Vandenberg

Meet Rick

Richard O. Vandenberg, Jr.

Managing Director, CIBC Private Wealth Management

Rick Vandenberg is a business development officer and head of CIBC Private Wealth Management's San Francisco office, with more than 35 years of investment management experience.

His primary responsibilities include leading the client service team and the firm's business development efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

Most recently, he was a managing director and business development officer for Bessemer Trust's San Francisco office, where his responsibilities included client account management and business development in northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Prior to joining Bessemer in 2007, Rick was a senior vice president and wealth advisor for the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch & Company, where he provided wealth advisory services to ultra-high net worth clients on the West Coast. Earlier, he spent more than 16 years with Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he worked with ultra-high net worth individuals and families. In 1981, he began his career at Salomon Brothers Inc. as a taxable fixed-income specialist covering institutional accounts in the Pacific Northwest.

Rick received a Bachelor of Science in finance from Brigham Young University and a Master of Business Administration in finance from the Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles.

He is a member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council and serves on the board of the John Muir Health Foundation. Additionally, he serves on the investment committee of the United Religions Initiative (URI).