Gio’s Garden Board Members
Lea Culver (President): Lea is co-founder of Culver Franchising System, Inc.. She is Executive Director of Culver’s VIP (Very Important Partner) Foundation, Inc., founded primarily to fund a team member scholarship program. She has worked on fundraising campaigns, helping to brainstorm and organize special events. She brings enthusiasm and passion to the Gio’s Garden Board and will be an avid ambassador for Gio’s Garden.
Charlotte Deleste (Founder, Vice President): Charlotte, founder of Gio’s Garden, recognized the necessity for specialized care and respite for families with children with special needs, after learning firsthand with her son Gio. Gio, who has endured countless surgeries and at one time suffered from up to 80 seizures a day, brought to light the challenges every family with a child with special needs encounters. Through her love and care for Gio, as well as other families in need, Charlotte, along with a small STRONG core group, began the drive to achieve their dream and opened Gio’s Garden Respite Home in Middleton in 2012. Charlotte continues to be the compassionate force behind the continued growth and development of Gio’s Garden, and the families and kiddos it serves within our community.
Jason Cooper (Treasurer): Jason is a CFO/COO at WIDA at the WI Center for Education Research, UW- Madison. He is also the parent of a 6 year old with Rett Syndrome and is a 2014 graduate of the Partners in Policy Making program hosted by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. Through this program he has had the pleasure to speak with representatives regarding different issues affecting the special needs community and has worked with the Waisman Center to reach out to students who will be working with individuals with disabilities once they graduate. He brings new ideas and hopes to build upon what the board has already started.
Hannah Kimyon (Secretary)
Hannah is the Director of Marketing for Madison Property Management. She first toured Gio’s Garden in 2014 and was blown away to learn that there’s such a disconnect between the support that is needed by families who have children with special needs and the assistance that is actually available to them. She believes Gio’s is amazing because it strives to provide families not only with much needed respite care, but with a support system as well. She is SO passionate about Gio’s Garden because it’s important that parents and potential future parents in her community understand just how fortunate they are to have a resource like Gio’s Garden in their back yard. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her dog and foster puppies, exploring new cultures however she can, and making every day an adventure in its own way. Her biggest dream for the world of families with disabilities is families would all have immediate and straightforward access to the information, care, and support they need.
Beth Viney (Past President)
Beth first learned about Gio’s Garden when she was involved with the Pet Pals Therapy Program at UW Children’s Hospital where she met the founders of Gio’s Garden. Beth said that their passion to help children with special needs, and the challenges they face each day, was heartbreaking and heartwarming. It was at that point that she knew they needed as much support as possible to help other families in the same situation. When she was asked to participate in the fundraising team to help raise funds for Gio’s Garden, she said yes in an instant and soon after, joined the Board of Directors.
Ever since Beth was a child, she has had a love of all things canine. Caring for, loving and raising Great Pyrenees and Newfoundlands, and being involved in the canine community, is a life-long passion. Animal assisted therapy for children as well as educating our community about canine cancer, is near and dear to her heart.
Beth’s dream for the world of families with disabilities is to have a local recourse that cares! A place where families can seek out and receive information and resources to help with the daily tasks and challenges that each family with children with special needs faces. And to know, that their child, can receive trusted, caring and professional therapeutic respite care in a fun, HAPPY, safe and protective environment.
Jean-Paul Aime: Jean-Paul is Vice President, Sales Manager, and Financial Advisor at Mass Mutual. He brings financial management skills, along with his energy and enthusiasm to help grow Gio’s Garden.
Hilary Berning: Hilary is a registered nurse at Madison Women’s Health Clinic as well as the parent of one of the first children to start at and age out of Gio’s Garden’s respite program. She brings first-hand knowledge of the supports families need to help them raise their child with special needs as well as a strong medical background.
Jason Cooper: Jason is a CFO/COO at WIDA at the WI Center for Education Research, UW- Madison. He is also the parent of a 6 year old with Rett Syndrome and is a 2014 graduate of the Partners in Policy Making program hosted by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. Through this program he has had the pleasure to speak with representatives regarding different issues affecting the special needs community and has worked with the Waisman Center to reach out to students who will be working with individuals with disabilities once they graduate. He brings new ideas and hopes to build upon what the board has already started.
Ron Giordan (Founder): Ron is Gio’s father and co-founder of Gio’s Garden with Charlotte. He serves as director of Content and Public Relations for Mid-West Family Marketing and uses his writing and marketing skills to promote Gio’s Garden to the community for fundraising efforts. He is a horrible golfer but loves helping put the annual Gio’s Garden Golf Classic together.
Amanda Houdek: Amanda is Speech and Language Pathologist and the owner of Communication Innovations, a private pediatric therapy clinic with locations in Fitchburg, Middleton, and Sun Prairie. She uses her experiences as a business owner, clinician and parent to facilitate positive change and broaden the reach of Gio’s Garden to further serve families in our community.
Joanne Landry: Bio coming soon!
A New England Native, Steve spent nearly his entire adult life in sales/sales management. He credits much of his success over the years to the excellent training he received early on and embraced throughout his career. Starting out in Vermont as Account Representative for Xerox, and then as an Account Development Manager for MCI, Steve benefited from the training programs both companies were lauded for at the time. Steve continued his training in New Hampshire as Sales Manager for Cellular One, and then spent over twelve years as an award-winning Manager of Sales with TDS, gaining from the commitment to training each of these companies possessed. Because of his reputation for turning lackluster sales teams from different regions into profitable units, Steve was moved to Wisconsin by TDS Telecom in 2007 to take over its troubled mid-west sales team. Within two years, Steve helped the team become number one in the country. Raised and schooled in Canada, Steve is bilingual in French and English and used his fluency when his territories included Montreal and Ottawa. A lifelong skier, Steve is also certified in both the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and in the Canadian Ski coach Federation.
Always a contributor to his local community, Steve has held various volunteer positions ranging from:
• President of the Board of Directors at the Ronald MacDonald House Madison, WI
• Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Lebanon, NH
• Former Vice President of the NH Antique & Classic Boat Museum in Wolfeboro, NH
• Member of the Madison College Advisory Board
• President and founding member, of the White Mountain Buell Club in Laconia, NH
Steve’s success driven attitude, his directness and honesty, combined with community involvement have been the hallmark of Steve Landry’s career.
Cherie Levy: Bio coming soon!