From the day Denise’s fourth son was born with Down syndrome, she immersed herself in learning everything possible to better understand and assist him. This evolved into a desire to help all people with diverse abilities achieve their full potential to live healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful lives. This wish to see all people reach their life’s goals is what has propelled her into the disability field where she has been actively working for over two decades. In her work, Denise’s goal is always to empower those she serves to live self-determined lives and to boost them toward meaningful engagement in their community.
Her passion for serving those with special needs has filled every facet of her life. She is the President of the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands and the Legislative Advocacy Chair. She is a Past President and a member of the Board of Directors at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a board member of the Education Rights Counsel, and a board member of the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska. Denise is a member of the Nebraska State ADA Task Force, the Nebraska Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities, and the National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition. She was a 2019 ABLE National Resource Center Ambassador. Denise is the founder and past director of the BSC TOPSoccer Program and is the Nebraska State Soccer Special Needs Commissioner.