Megan Winkler joined the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma as executive director in January 2012. Megan assists the organization with a number of tasks including event planning, fund raising, publicity/awareness, advocacy and general office management.
Megan received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in sociology from the University of Oklahoma in 2003. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2009 with a master’s degree in business administration. Megan most recently served as the manager of business development and client services for the state's third largest law firm. She has previous non-profit experience as a communications/marketing specialist with KISS Institute for Practical Robotics in Norman, Okla.
Robert Powell, president, was raised in and lives in Edmond with his wife, Marne, and their two children, Luka and Lil’ Rob. Robert has been a member of DSACO since the birth of his youngest child, Lil’ Rob, who was born with Down syndrome in September of 2010. Robert holds a BA from the University of Central Oklahoma and a MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has held multiple financial positions in the private sector and has owned and operated a small business in the Oklahoma City area for the past six years.
Fara Taylor, vice-presdient, was born and raised in Krebs, OK. She graduated from OU with a degree in advertising. Afterward she moved to OKC and then to Edmond. She has been an active member with DSACO since her son, Beckett, was born in February 2007 and has been involved with the annual Buddy Walk every year since. She has previously served as co-chair and registration chair. She is currently involved with the DSACO Education Outreach Committee. She is the mother of Beckett (age 6) and Ansley (age 3). She is married to Matthew Taylor. Fara has worked in public relations for over ten years and currently works as public education coordinator of the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council. She volunteers with OK-AIM through TARC and the Martha & Mary Ministries through St. Monica’s.
Scott White, treasurer, has worked in the energy business for over 18 years and has extensive experience in fundraising at the non-profit level. Scott began and coordinated a golf tournament, which has become one of the largest fundraising events in the nation for the Whitefield’s Boys Home.
Sarah Soell, secretary, is the proud mother of Adliene, Kerstin (DS), and Koen. She works for the University of Oklahoma as the assistant vice president for Public Affairs, where she plans and coordinates many of the major university events. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University earning her BS degree in Hotel Management and her MS degree in Hospitality Administration. Sarah has been involved with DSACO since the birth of her daughter Kerstin and helped coordinate the FESTIVAL for the last four years, serving as Co-Chair the last two. She is currently a sustaining member of the Junior League of Norman, where she served on the board for two years, and serves as Vice President of the Cleveland County 4-H Foundation. She and her husband Preston along with their three children reside in Norman where they are members of the First Christian Church. Sarah was a member of the 2003 Leadership Norman Class and was selected as Oklahoma Magazine 40 under 40, April 2008.
Ronnie Bourgeois, self advocate, was born in 1980 with Down Syndrome. He is very active in the Oklahoma Special Olympics (Moore) and attends DSACO's Parent to Parent Support Group in Mustang to encourage parents of the unlimited expectations for children with Down Syndrome.
Dr. Ursula Bowling, PsyD is a clinical psychologist with a particular interest in marriage and family therapy. She is married to Michael and the mother of three young children by birth and adoption - Ephraim, Joy and Lydia. As the mother of a child with Down syndrome, Ursula is grateful for all the resources DSACO provides and thankful to be able to serve her community as a member of the DSACO board.
Kerri Brooks has been involved with DSACO since her son’s (Jacob) birth in 2001. She has served on several committees including the Easter Eggstravaganza, Buddy Walk and Governmental Affairs Committee. Kerri most recently assisted with planning the 2012 Reaching Across the Plains Conference. She is the co-coordinator for the Norman Sibshops and is a 2011 Partners in Policy Making graduate. She resides in Norman with her husband, Kris, and their two sons.
Cheryl L. Bryant, MD, is a pediatrician on faculty with the Pediatric Department at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and OU Children’s Physicians. She helps train pediatric resident physicians in an outpatient clinic setting and also has a small pediatric practice. She is an advocate for children with special health care needs, and enjoys helping resident trainees become knowledgeable and comfortable with providing pediatric care to this population of patients. She resides in Edmond with her husband, grown daughter with Down syndrome and 2 teenage sons.
Beverly Harris-Madison is a retired middle school principal of Houston,Texas. She now works in the Millwood Public School System as a teacher mentor for the Raising Healthy Children Grant Program sponsored by the Oklahoma County Health Department. She is the proud mother of Ronnie Bourgeois, who was born with Down Syndrome in 1980. She has two older children and 5 grandchildren. She has been very active in Special Olympics in Texas and Oklahoma.
Jennifer Hromek is a group event and ticket sales coordinator for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jennifer’s first experience with the Down syndrome association was as a
basketball court escort on a DSACO-Thunder game night. She quickly began volunteering for the organization after realizing how much she enjoyed interacting with people with Down syndrome.
Greg Little is a lifelong OKC resident and has three wonderful children. His first child, Ayden, was born in 2004 and has Down syndrome. He also has 2 daughters Isabella, born in 2006 and Megan, born in 2010. Greg and his wife, Malorie, are active participants in DSACO’s Parent to Parent South sharing and support group. They are also active members of Capitol Hill Assembly of God church in Oklahoma City where Greg has been a member for 37 years. Greg has worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security since 2002 and is currently a Behavior Detection Officer for the Transportation Security Administration.
Barbara Merckx is an Emmy-Award winning journalist currently employed at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City as the senior producer. She has also worked at KFOR and KWTV in Oklahoma City, as well as spending almost 10 years as the Executive Producer of Special Projects at the NBC Owned and Operated station, KXAS-TV in Dallas. Barbara is a native Oklahoman, residing with her husband, and daughter in her hometown of Norman. She hopes her skills and talent in the fields of communications, media relations and special events can benefit DSACO greatly during her term as a board member.
Shanda Moody is a special education teacher for the Edmond Public School District. She is dedicated to educational advancement of people with special needs that progressed through her relationship with her cousin, Zach, who has Down syndrome. In being a special educator and family member of someone with Down syndrome, Shanda believes she bring two worlds together, education world and the family world.
Chris Paynter, a Special Olympics athlete from Edmond, is one of the first Global Messengers from Oklahoma, beginning his career in 1997. Chris began competing at the age of eight. He competes in several sports including aquatics, bocce, and bowling; but is best know for his powerlifting accomplishments. Chris has represented Team USA at the 1995, 1999, and 2003 World Summer Games in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Ireland bringing home 7 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals in World competition. Chris also competes in Alpine skiing and snowshoeing each year at Heartland Games in Missouri. At the 2001 World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska Chris won a Gold Medal in the downhill and a Silver Medal in the giant slolam. Chris is what every Special Olympics athlete aspires to be – he’s competitive, fun-loving, warm, polite, and a true champion at heart. Chris is also a member Oklahoma Law Enforcement Torch Run Board of Directors.
Dana Poulter is an active advocate for persons with disabilities. She is the mother of 4- year-old Nathaniel and has served on a number of committees including the Lending Library, Buddy Walk and Reaching Across the Plains Conference. Dana is the owner of Heartland Business Solutions. She and her husband, Ivan, live in Edmond.
Catalina Riano is a nursing student and sister of brother with Down syndrome who currently serves as a translator between DSACO and the Hispanic P2P group. She has served as a volunteer at a number of DSACO events and is currently working with the association to develop more Spanish language promotional material.