A Golden Touch—A Golden Heart. Reading the biographies of icon Quincy Jones— musician, composer, producer, arranger, conductor—it would seem that everything Quincy Jones touches turns into gold (or at least platinum). Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Quincy has received 25 Grammy Awards and was nominated 79 times (the all-time most nominated Grammy artist). For three famously productive years he was Frank Sinatra’s conductor and arranger producing, amongst others, the arrangement Fly Me to The Moon —the first music played on the moon in 1969 by astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Jamie Foxx is an Academy and Grammy award-winning actor, musician, and comedian. He was born to Eric Bishop and raised by his grandparents in Terrell, Texas. He got his start in showbiz in 1989 when he tried his hand at an open mic night, under the stage name “Foxx.” After spending time on the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, and Damon Wayans in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series “In Living Color.”
DeOndra is Global’s inaugural Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award recipient and has been a GLOBAL Ambassador since 2011. DeOndra is 36 years old and lives in California with her brother, the Academy and Grammy award-winning actor and musician, Jamie Foxx. DeOndra is very grateful for her family, who have helped her reach her potential and she is eager to help others with Down syndrome do the same.
Marián Ávila is a Spanish model that in 2018 made her dream come true by walking the New York Fashion Week. She stands out for her responsibility, willpower and her determination to improve, to achieve her goals, her dreams. Her motto is: “I can”. Recently, she has participated in the ad campaign I am perfect to me from the international brand Levi’s. Moreover, she has appeared in the global campaign of the 2020 edition of de Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, as well as, the runway of Ibiza Inclusión Fashion Day.
Caterina Scorsone is a Canadian American Actress who has garnered the attention of audiences around the world portraying powerfully complex characters that bring real-world emotion to the screen. Scorsone began acting when she was eight years old on the long running Canadian children’s program, Mr. Dressup.
Best known for playing the reckless, yet compelling ”Dr. Amelia Shepherd” on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (2010-present) and its hit spin-off Private Practice (2010-2013), Scorsone has cemented herself as a beloved staple of immensely successful medical dramas. In 2020, Scorsone guest starred as Dr. Shepherd on multiple episodes of Station 19, a new Grey’s spinoff set in a firehouse.
While an understudy in New York in the Circle-In-The-Square production of John Patrick Shanley’s “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” John C. McGinley was spotted by director Oliver Stone and soon after was cast in “Platoon,” the first of a long list of collaborations between Stone and McGinley which includes “Wall Street,” “Talk Radio,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Nixon” and “Any Given Sunday.”
Zachary Robin Gottsagen, “Zack,” was born in New York City and moved to Palm Beach County, Florida before his first birthday. He was the first child with Down syndrome to be fully included in the School District of Palm Beach County. Zack was also involved in one of the first American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) litigation represented by the ACLU against Little League, resulting in mandatory training of all coaches and assistant coaches in including children with disabilities nationwide.
Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Ronnie DeVoe Jr. is recognized globally as R&B royalty. He is a member of the supergroups New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe. Beginning his career as a child, DeVoe’s musical legacy began in 1982 with the release of New Edition’s hit single, Candy Girl. Rated by the industry’s toughest and most respected critics, the single received a coveted 4-star rating from Billboard.
Born in Detroit and raised in Atlanta, Shamari DeVoe is a modern-day renaissance woman. She is a devoted wife, mother to twin boys, a thriving business woman, chart topping singer, and most recently a star of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Atlanta. Her entertainment career has spanned more than 20 years and has included 3 albums, several album features, musical stage performances, acting and writing. She first stepped onto the limelight as 1/3 of the chart-topping R&B-Pop trio Blaque.
Kyra Phillips is an award-winning journalist, author, and news anchor. She is currently an Investigative Correspondent for ABC News. Prior to that, Philips anchored “Raising America with Kyra Phillips” on HLN, and anchored various shows on CNN. She has traveled the world to cover and investigate a wide range of breaking news, including four tours reporting in Iraq.
John Roberts joined Fox News Channel as a senior national correspondent based in the Atlanta bureau in January of 2011. Before joining FNC, Roberts co-anchored CNN’s “American Morning.” Previously, he served as CNN’s senior national correspondent and anchor of “This Week at War.” Roberts has provided live coverage during numerous breaking news and political events, including presidential debates, the Democratic and Republican national conventions and the war in Iraq. Before joining CNN in 2006, he spent more than 14 years with CBS News, during which he was the chief White House correspondent, chief medical correspondent and anchor of the weekend editions of the “CBS Evening News” and “CBS Morning News.” Roberts is a GLOBAL supporter and has been an emcee for Global’s AcceptAbility Gala for multiple years.
Award-winning television and film actor Eric Dane has been a fan-favorite since his television roles in the 2000s. Dane is best known for his role as the hunky “Dr. Mark ‘McSteamy’ Sloan” in ABC’s critically-acclaimed, Golden Globe-award-winning, and Emmy-nominated tv series Grey’s Anatomy. Dane appeared in 138 episodes of the show. Along with his costars, Dane won the Satellite Award for Best Cast and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Currently, Dane can be seen in the HBO drama series Euphoria starring as “Cal Jacobs” alongside award-winning actress Zendaya.
Jamie Brewer is an award-winning actress, a model, and an activist. She is best known for her roles in the award-winning anthology TV series “American Horror Story,” created by Ryan Murphy on FX. Her first role on American Horror Story: Murder House was playing the role of Adelaide “Addie” Langdon. In Season 3 “Coven,” she played the lead role as “Nan.” In Season 4 “Freakshow,” she played “Marjorie,” opposite Neil Patrick Harris. In Season 7 “Cult,” Brewer played “Heather” opposite Lena Dunham.
Madeline’s modelling career began five years ago when she attended her first photo shoot and then posted the photos to a public figure Facebook page with the help of her mother Rosanne Stuart and they clearly spoke for themselves, overnight the post went viral. Madeline’s social media numbers grew, the photo was viewed over 7.2 million times which resulted in her hitting global headlines with publications in Iceland, Germany, the US, Australia, Mexico, Cuba and the UK picking up her story. Within weeks Madeline was receiving offers to model and walk at the world’s most prestigious fashion events.
Brad Hennefer is a 31-year-old self-advocate who is the inspiration behind the Brad Hennefer Golf for Life Foundation (www.golfforlife.org) that has been providing golf athletic opportunities for individuals who have Down syndrome since 2006. Born in 1988 in Philadelphia, Brad seems to have been destined to play “golf for life.” He started playing mini golf at age 2 with his 7-year-old brother Bob, who is now an accomplished PGA golf professional. Brad, who is a lefty, was somehow able to maximize his visual learning skills and master his brother’s right-handed golf swing at a very early age.
Matt Dillon’s successful film career has spanned over three decades and has showcased his wide range of dramatic and comedic talents. Dillon displayed his versatility with an arresting performance co-starring as a racist cop in the critically acclaimed Paul Haggis film “Crash,” which earned him nominations for an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics Choice Award, BAFTA Award and won him an Independent Spirit Award. In addition, the film earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics Choice Award for Best Ensemble.
Beverly Johnson is a Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of BJE LLC. Beverly’s “Vision” is to build BJE (aka Beverly Johnson Enterprises) into a global brand around The Beverly Johnson Luxurious Lifestyle Brand that represents the “highest quality” luxurious products in Fashion, Beauty and Media Industries to the global Multi-Cultural market for women of ALL colors.
Brandon McManus, one of the longest-tenured members of the Denver Broncos, is in his seventh NFL season in 2020. The most accurate kicker in team history, McManus’ unparalleled focus makes him one of the NFL’s greatest kicking weapons. After entering the NFL in 2013 as a college free agent from Temple University, McManus found his way to Denver and has thrived as the backbone of the Broncos’ special-teams unit.
Justin Simmons, a rising NFL star as a safety for the Denver Broncos, has established himself as a foundational piece of the Broncos’ defense and its famed “No Fly Zone.” Since being drafted by the Broncos in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft from Boston College, Simmons has posted multiple interceptions, sacks and blocked kicks in addition to ranking among the top tacklers on the team. A standout on the field, Simmons is also one of the most recognizable Broncos players in the community, having received the team’s Community Ambassador Award in 2017. In addition to being a regular participant in the Broncos’ High School game of the Week visits, Simmons has been a leader for the team’s relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, including speaking at its annual graduation ceremony and spending time at the Broncos’ branch during his free time. Global is excited to partner with Justin Simmons for this incredible event celebrating a brighter future for people with Down Syndrome.
Amanda Booth is an American supermodel and actress. She has worked on fashion editorials for Italian Vogue, Australian Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle and appeared in advertising campaigns for Lancome, Fiat, Hershey’s, Target, Old Navy, and more. She has been featured on network television shows including “Hot in Cleveland,” “Maron,” and “Community.”
A tv personality, public speaker, artist, and entrepreneur, Megan Bomgaars is a leader in the Down syndrome community. The 27-year-old stars on A&E’s reality television show Born This Way, which features 7 adults with Down syndrome navigating through life in pursuit of their dreams. To date, the show has several awards, including three Emmy Awards and two Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards. Megan was recognized by the A&E producers while giving a keynote presentation at the NDSC Annual Convention in 2015 and invited to participate in the show.
Frank Stephens is an active spokesman for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Virginia. As a member of his local theater group known as Artstream, Frank has acted in various original plays for the last ten years. Frank also had a feature role in the film Touched by Grace, and recently signed with a Hollywood-based talent agency. Frank has also made an occasional guest appearance on the Emmy Award winning A&E reality Show Born This Way.
Karen Gaffney is a Global Down Syndrome Foundation Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award recipient and the President of the Karen Gaffney Foundation. Her non-profit, funded entirely by Gaffney’s speaking engagements, workshops, and donations, is dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace, and the community for people with intellectual disabilities.
39-year-old Sujeet Desai is an accomplished musician who happens to have Down syndrome. He has mastered seven instruments, including Bb and bass clarinet, alto saxophone, violin, trumpet, piano and drums. In 1998, when Sujeet started to share his musical talents with his friends, family and community, the overwhelming positive response from his audience led to his decision to make music his career.
Kim Christiansen grew up in Colorado and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her first job was as a writer and associate producer for the 6AM news at 9News. She went on to work as a writer for the late newscasts and eventually made the transition to general assignment reporter. Her first anchor position was on the weekend morning news. Kim has won eight regional Emmy awards for spot news, news writing and news reporting. Kim is also devoted to the fight against breast cancer. She currently anchors the 4:00, 5:00, and 10:00 PM news. Kim has been an emcee for Global’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show for multiple years, as well as other GLOBAL events.
Tom Green has been a part of Colorado’s broadcast scene for more than 35 years, recently returning to 9News, where he worked from 1982-95 as an award-winning sportscaster. An exceptional journalist and broadcaster, and passionate sports fan, Tom was named Colorado’s “Sportscaster of the Year” four times, and has won 10 Emmy awards. Over the years, and between his golf games, he’s done a bit of everything on the air, from newscasting, to play-by-play, to even hosting a game show on ESPN – “Sports On Tap.” Many may also remember Tom from his afternoons talking about sports on the radio, co-hosting for three years on “The Fan,” with the legendary Doug Moe. Now, after 15 years of waking people up every morning on Channel 2’s Daybreak, Tom is sleeping in…and back at KUSA-TV, he anchors 9News every day at 4:00 and 5:00 PM. Tom is a GLOBAL supporter and has been an emcee at Global’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show for multiple years.
Harrison Foster Phillips, nicknamed “Horrible Harry,” is an American football defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills. He was drafted in the third round of the 2018 National Football League (NFL) draft. He is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, home of many GLOBAL supporters, including GLOBAL’s 2020 Ambassador, Walt Snodgrass, and Fashion Show Chairs and longtime friends of Phillips, Jill and Louis III Rotella.
One of the prized products of FC Dallas’ prolific soccer academy, Acosta logged three full seasons as a professional before his 21st birthday. A longtime U.S. youth international, the Homegrown is a rangy, two-footed player most valuable in midfield though he has experience as a fullback. After a down 12 months, Acosta was traded to the Colorado Rapids the day before his 23rd birthday. He started all 12 matches he appeared in with the Rapids in 2018, with two goals and three assists. In 2019, Acosta logged 2619 minutes, the most of his career, while accounting for 2 goals and 2 assist being implemented in a box to box midfield role. He played a key role in the Rapids’ resurgence down the stretch in 2019 and will be counted on as a lynchpin in the midfield for 2020. Acosta recently graced the cover of Down Syndrome World™ magazine with self-advocate Bert Defeo.
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