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 28 Grammys and an entertainment industry record of 80 nominations. 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. Quincy went on to produce Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum solo albums Off the Wall, Bad, and Thriller (the best-selling album of all time).
GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, songwriter, actress, author, and philanthropist Sara Bareilles consistently affirms herself as a modern renaissance woman whose impact can be felt across music, film, television, and theater. To date, she has received two Tony® Award nominations, three Primetime EMMY® Award nominations, and seven GRAMMY® Award nominations, garnering a 2020 GRAMMY® in the category of “Best American Roots Performance” for “Saint Honesty.”
Bryan Russell made history when he declared his candidacy for the Peruvian Congress in 2019. Entering the race in the 2020 election, he became the first person with Down syndrome to run for public office anywhere in the world. But firsts are nothing new to this twenty-seven-year-old. Five years earlier, Bryan became the first Peruvian with Down syndrome to graduate from university, where he majored in communications.
One of the most respected players to ever play the game of football, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, John Lynch is in his fifth season as the 49ers’ General Manager following a 15-year playing career and more than eight seasons as an NFL analyst. Following a 13-3 regular season record and a trip to Super Bowl LIV, Lynch was named the 2019 Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America after his third season as the team’s general manager.
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.”
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.
Miranda May, originally from Ohio, began acting at the age of 8. Soon after moving to Los Angeles at the age of 10, she was cast in “The Heartbreak Kid” starring Ben Stiller. She would follow this impressive debut with the film “Lower Learning” starring Eva Longoria and Jason Biggs. Her first television appearances began with a guest starring role on the iconic hit series “E.R.” followed by her portrayal of the young Melissa McCarthy on “Samantha Who?”.
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.
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.
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.
Peyton List began her career as a model, but with ambitions to transition into acting, and quickly landed the highly sought-after role of Emma Ross on the hit Disney Series, “Jessie.”. Following four seasons and due to the amazing response to her wildly popular character, Disney created a spinoff series based around her “Jessie” character, entitled “Bunk’d”, which wrapped its final season in early 2018. During the final season of “Bunk’d” she filmed three features: “Departures” opposite Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, and Nina Dobrev, “Anthem”, and “Valley Girl,” a remake for MGM, opposite Josh Whitehouse, Jessica Rothe, Chloe Bennet, and Mae Whitman.
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 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.”
Frank Stephens is an active spokesman and board member of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. 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.
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 currently serves as the co-anchor of America Reports (weekdays, 1-3 PM/ET) on FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined the network as a senior national correspondent in January 2011, based in the Atlanta bureau. Roberts is a GLOBAL supporter and has been an emcee for GLOBAL’s AcceptAbility Gala for multiple years.
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.
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.
A tv personality, public speaker, artist, and entrepreneur, Megan Bomgaars is a leader in the Down syndrome community. The 28-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.
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.”
Jeff Probst is a five-time Emmy Award winner. Four for “Outstanding Reality Host” and one more when Survivor won the first ever Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class) award in 2001. He has traveled the world serving as both host and executive producer for SURVIVOR. This fall, SURVIVOR completed its 41st season and the series celebrated 21 years.
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, and she reprised her role as “Nan” in Season 8.
Brad Hennefer is a 32-year-old self-advocate who is the inspiration behind the Brad Hennefer Golf for Life Foundation 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.
40-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.
“If you can dream it, you can do it!” This quote from Walt Disney has defined and inspired Tim Harris throughout his entire life. Born in 1986 with a big heart and contagious enthusiasm, Tim grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a graduate of Eldorado High School where he was named Homecoming King and student of the year. After high school, Tim attended Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell, New Mexico and graduated in 2008 with certificates in Food Service, Office Skills, and Restaurant Hosting. After college Tim emerged with a dream to one day open his own restaurant. In 2010 Tim’s dream became a reality. For five wonderful years Tim was the proud owner of Tim’s Place Restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico serving breakfast, lunch, and hugs. Over five years, he gave an impressive 75,402 hugs.
Madeline’s modelling career began when she attended her first photo shoot and posted the photos to a public figure Facebook page, overnight the post went viral. The photo was viewed over 7.2 million times, which hit global headlines in Iceland, Germany, the US, Australia, Mexico, Cuba, and the UK. Madeline now boasts over a million followers across her social media platforms and a readership of over 50 billion.
Brandon McManus, one of the longest-tenured members of the Denver Broncos, is in his eighth NFL season in 2021. 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.
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.
Ryan Spilborghs joined the Rockies television broadcast team in 2014. As a former National League Champion with the Rockies in 2007, Spilborghs provides a unique perspective on the broadcasts in his roles as game analyst alongside play-by-play man Drew Goodman, as well as sideline reporter.
Cory Sullivan joined the AT&T SportsNet team in 2014 and serves as the Pregame and Toyota Postgame analyst throughout the season. Sullivan was drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft by the Colorado Rockies and played seven Major League seasons with the Rockies, Mets, and Astros, while also spending time in the Dodgers and Phillies organizations. Sullivan made his Major League debut on April 4, 2005 and was a member of the 2007 National League Champion Rockies.
Kellyn Acosta believes that fashion is the connector of people and style is insight into an individual’s point of view. Fashion and sports have always gone hand in hand for him as a professional athlete. Both require a person to take chances and although the payoff can be unpredictable it gives people something to talk about. Kellyn’s love of fashion and his career as a professional soccer player in Colorado and for the United States Men’s National Team have created incredible personal experiences and connections internationally for him. In 2019, Kellyn had his first opportunity to walk the runway in the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show. It was a turning point for him to see the greater good of fashion.
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.”
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