Julie Willson - Linwood, NJ
President and Co-founder
Julie Willson, a well-known photographer in Southern New Jersey, grew up with a sister who had Down syndrome. This experience shaped her into the person she is today. Using her talent in photography, Julie created a series of photographs in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which became a viral, international success. Julie hopes to carry on her sister’s memory by helping to raise awareness and educate parents on all the positives of having a child with Down syndrome. When Dina was born in 1975, her parents were encouraged to place Dina in a "home" and were told that Dina's life expectancy was no greater then 15. Dina surpassed all medical expectations and lived a wonderful 35 years bringing joy to everyone's lives who she met along the way.
Julie is a wife to her amazing husband of 6 years, Matt and a mother to 3 beautiful children, Chase (6), Cruz (3) and Mila (7 months). Julie and her family have a strong faith in God and are members of a local church where they devote some of their time to help serve.
Julie received a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice along with a certification in Elementary Education. Julie has been teaching now for 8 years in a local school district, teaching Second grade for 1 year and Kindergarten for 7 years.
Julie along with her husband, parents and siblings have helped raise money in Dina's memory over the past 4 years to donate to the Arc of Atlantic County which is a non-profit organization which helps make a difference in the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc offers many services and events which were a huge part of Dina's life.
Shannon Daughtry - Hamburg, Pa
Vice President and Co-Founder
Shannon Daughtry lives in Hamburg, PA with her husband, Dustin, and their three children, Gabe (18), Mackenzie (15), and Raegan (1). Her daughter, Raegan, is one of Nothing Down's original eleven, and her family is featured in the film "There's Nothing Down about Down Syndrome."
Shannon studied Communications in college and went on to work in editing for a small entertainment magazine, before starting her family. Aside from raising her children, Shannon's greatest joys have been from volunteering her time to causes that are close to her heart. In 2009, Shannon raised over $10,000 in funds and trained to walk over 60 miles for breast cancer research.
She has spent many years volunteering her time in support of families while their spouses are deployed overseas. These days Shannon is very active in supporting new parents and expectant moms who are struggling with their child's Down syndrome diagnosis. She is also a member of several local Down syndrome support groups.
Maryann Scoppa - Egg Harbor, Nj
Michael Hook - Manahawkin, NJ
Board Member / Filmmaker
Michael Hook is a New Jersey based Filmmaker and creative studio owner, best known for producing cinematic wedding films and documentaries. Michael has produced films for world famous chefs, professional athletes, musicians, as well as beautiful brides and grooms. Michael brings a wide array of creative and innovative talents to the table. You can see some of Michael’s work on display at www.FlagshipStudios.co.