We’re a team of individuals dedicated to fostering a Prader-Willi community of understanding, advocacy, and empowerment.
Paige Rivard, MBA | Chief Executive Officer
Paige Rivard joined the staff of PWSA | USA in April 2020 as CEO. In this role, she is focused on cultivating strategic relationships with organizations and funders, engaging with families in the PWS community, expanding programs and services offered by PWSA | USA, advocating for treatments to improve the lives of those living with PWS, as well as increasing advocacy and awareness of PWS throughout communities across the country.
Paige worked in the credit card processing industry for 20 years. She retired as Vice President of National Accounts in 2015. Paige holds a BS in Business Administration (Marketing) from Kansas State University and an Executive MBA in Healthcare Management from Creighton University. Paige lives in Omaha, NE and is active in her community, serving on the Board of Directors for Munroe-Meyer Institute, which provides evaluation, treatment and research for patients and families living with disabilities and special health care needs. Paige is a member of the Superintendent’s Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) for the Omaha Public School District. She served on the Quality and Patient Safety Leadership Team at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. In 2019, Paige created a non-profit organization, which supports patients and families affected by PWS in Nebraska. In addition to Paige’s business background, she brings with her a passion for advocating for newly diagnosed families and increasing awareness of resources to families affected by PWS.
Paige is married to Dr. Matt Rivard, and they have two children. Her daughter, Jordan, also has a passion for children with special needs and is working toward a career in providing behavioral health support to that community. Her son, Jake, was born with two genetic disorders, PWS (UPD) and Neurofibromatosis (NF-1).
In her free time, Paige loves to travel with her family (and dog Beau), and especially spend time in the mountains of Colorado.
Melanie McDonald | Director of Development
Melanie McDonald joined the staff of PWSA | USA in January 2021 as full-time Director of Development. Melanie brings over 20 years of non-profit experience to her role at PWSA | USA and feels honored to put those skills to work for our PWS community.
After over 20 years in various nonprofit leadership roles across New England, Melanie is eager to put her skills in Fundraising to work for PWSA | USA. Melanie has held Director positions at regional and state-wide organizations in the Arts, Economic Development, and in Jewish organizations, most recently as the Director of the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire. Melanie enjoys her role at PWSA | USA where she can focus her passion and enthusiasm for giving back to a community that continues to be so critical to her own family. Melanie believes fervently that participating in fundraisers can help to empower our community when so much about the PWS journey feels beyond our control.
Melanie resides in southern New Hampshire with two amazing children, Henry (age 11), and Josephine (age 4, living with PWS) and their dog Buddha.
Jennifer Hill, CPA | Director of Accounting
Jennifer joined the staff of PWSA | USA in January 2022 as the Director of Accounting. She lives in St. Joseph, Missouri and has BS degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from Lincoln University and is a CPA licensed in the state of Missouri. Early in her career, Jennifer worked briefly for a large public accounting firm before taking a position as the Manager of Accounting for N.W. Electric Power Cooperative for 14 years. In early 2020 she stepped away to be home full time with her growing family. She is married and has 6 children including 1 year old twins, one a daughter who was diagnosed with PWS in 2020 at 3 weeks of age. During and since that time, PWSA | USA has been a significant resource and beacon of hope for the Hill family in learning how to care for a child with PWS. Jennifer believes in the mission of PWSA | USA and is excited and honored to bring her years of accounting experience to the organization to help them accomplish it.
Dorothea Lantz | Director of Community Engagement
Dorothea Lantz is a licensed Real Estate Broker with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and is lifetime resident of Miami, Florida. After the birth of her son Hunter in 2017, Dorothea and her husband became involved in PWSA | USA through volunteer and fundraising events. She began working for PWSA | USA as the Community Engagement Specialist in May 2021 and has created an advocacy and awareness program to help educate and activate the PWS community.
In addition to real estate, Dorothea has an extensive background in public service, government administration and is a contributing member of the South Florida and PWS community. She has been a Parent Mentor with PWSA | USA since 2019 and resides on the Advocacy Committee. In addition, Dorothea is an appointed member of the City of South Miami Environmental Review and Preservation Board and a Mentor with the ACE Foundation Women's Leadership Institute. She is a member/specialist with the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (CLHMS), holds a Transnational Referral Certification under the supervision of the International Real Estate Associates (ICREA) and is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), which is the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents, managers, and brokers.
Lynn Garrick, MSN, RN | Medical/Research Coordinator
Lynn and her family live in Cottage Grove, MN. She is the mother of 5 children, including her youngest son, who has Prader-Willi syndrome. She has been the Nurse and Program Director with AME Community Services, Inc., a residential provider serving adults and children with Prader- Willi syndrome since 2007. She is a board member of IPWSO, their professional providers and caregivers board, and the Minnesota PWS chapter. PWSA|USA has been a significant resource since the birth of her son, and she is honored to help the community through her personal and professional knowledge. In her personal life, Lynn enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, reading, and gardening.
Carrie Larsen | Director of Marketing & Communications
Carrie joined PWSA | USA in May 2021 as the Director of Marketing & Communications. In this role, she coordinates our social media efforts, creates marketing and communication strategies, and works closely with the PWSA | USA network to share stories that offer help and hope. Carrie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a Marketing minor. For three years, she worked as a multimedia journalist and weekend anchor for news stations in Topeka, KS and Madison, WI. Carrie left the news industry to take on a role with a behavioral healthcare nonprofit in Cleveland, OH, where she worked as their Marketing and Communications Coordinator for four years. Carrie lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her fiancé Steve and their Cavapoo, Henry. In Carrie’s free time, she enjoys picking up her camera to capture anything and everything, and spends a lot of her weekends hiking through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Angela Frazier | Events Coordinator
Angela has been married for 20 years and lives with her family, including 4 children, in Austin, Texas. Her youngest, Joseph, was diagnosed with PWS when he was 2 months old and is currently in 4th grade. Angela has a love for gathering people around a cause, especially helping raise awareness for PWS. Over the years, she has helped multiple non-profit organizations with fundraising primarily through special events. It’s a natural fit for her since she has been in the hospitality and event planning industry for over 20 years. Angela enjoys travelling and spending time with her family often watching her girl at dance and her boys playing sports.
Paige Jackson | Web/Graphic Designer
Paige Jackson joined PWSA | USA in January 2022 as the company's Web & Graphic Designer. She graduated in 2019 from Eastern Arizona College with an AA Degree in Graphic Design. Paige is passionate about learning new things, personal growth, and enjoying the little things in life. Paige lives in Arizona with her husband, Damian, and their three cats. They are in a pursuit to find their forever home to start a family. In her free time, she enjoys spending time and playing video games with her husband or creating different forms of art, photography, videography, or practicing martial arts.
Kim Tula, MS, CSW | Alterman Family Support Counselor
Kim has been a Family Support Counselor with PWSA|USA since 2019. Kim holds a Master’s in Human Services with a specialization in Multidisciplinary Human Services and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. Kim is also a Certified Social Worker in Wisconsin. She had worked in a residential care setting since 1990, working with a wide variety of client populations, including children and adults diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome and with intensive treatment needs. Prior to joining PWSA|USA as a Family Support Counselor, Kim held positions as a Direct Care Staff, Behavior Specialist, Clinical Coordinator, and a Behavior Services Coordinator. Kim has also been involved in the Youth and Adult Program (YAP), at the National PWSA conference since 2011. In 2015, she was tasked with organizing YAP. In 2020 Kim became the Director of the YAP, YIP, and Siblings Programs for the National PWSA | USA convention. Kim loves working with and supporting individuals with PWS and their families. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, horseback riding, and gardening.
Kristi Rickenbach | Parent Support Coordinator
Kristi Rickenbach and her husband John ran a non-profit organization for 12 years. Kristi and John have been married for 33 years and have five amazing children and six beautiful grandbabies. Their youngest child, Justice Faith (18), was diagnosed with PWS (UPD) when she was 1 month old. Justice loves helping other kids that are also dealing with PWS. Three of Kristi’s passions in life are her faith, family, and helping families and children that are affected by Prader-Willi syndrome.
Kristi is the President of the PWSA Minnesota chapter, is a past board member for PWSA | USA. She has held committee positions with PWSA | USA and is currently a Family Support Coordinator for PWSA | USA.
Andrea Hughes | Development Database Coordinator
Andrea Hughes joined PWSA | USA in September 2022 as the Development Database Coordinator. In this role, she works closely with all departments to maintain the accuracy of the data while assisting with supporting all fundraising activities. She brings over 20 years of database and fundraising experience in the nonprofit and educational sector to her role with PWSA. Andrea is also a notary public and lease signing agent as well as a certified Zumba instructor. Andrea resides in New Jersey with her husband Sean. In her spare time, she loves to travel, read, dote on her children, and play with her two dogs.
Kristen Starkey | Accounting Clerk
Kristen joined PWSA | USA in May 2015 as the Accounting Clerk, while finishing the Accounting Operations program at Suncoast Technical College the same year. In this role, she works closely with all department teams to keep our income and expenses on track. Prior to joining PWSA | USA, Kristen spent over 20 years in retail, with a focus on merchandising and management. Kristen and her husband live in Sarasota with their son where they enjoy nature adventures and spending quality time together.
Sarah Kasaby | Information & Referral Specialist
Originally from Egypt, Sarah grew up in Kuwait where she studied Arabic and French languages. She moved to the United States in 2010. She is a legal and healthcare interpreter, and was an Executive Admin for the American Muslim Institute at the Trifaith Campus in Nebraska. Sarah is a new mom of a son diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. She likes to spend time with her son listening to music, singing and reading bedtime stories to him.