about us

Down syndrome (DS) also known as Trisomy 21, occurs when an individual has a 3rdcopy of chromosome 21.  One in every 700 babies in the U.S. is born with DS, making it the most common chromosomal condition.  In 1983, the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was a mere 25 years old.  Today, it is 60.


Started by a group of mothers in 2006, DSGO is an organization made up of a committed group of parents, professionals and other interested parties dedicated to creating an extensive network of support for individuals with Down syndrome and those who love and serve them in Southwest Missouri.  Our Board of Directors has six committed family members and area business leaders shaping the future.  We have one employee, an Executive Director.

It is our goal to become the leading resource of Down syndrome information for new and expectant parents, students, healthcare professionals, educators and all Southwest Missouri citizens.  We also are striving to bring awareness to early intervention services, promote inclusive education, highlight appropriate medical services, encourage quality employment opportunities, and advocate for community awareness and acceptance.

Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks exists to bring life and wellness to families who are advocating towards a community of inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome. 

scott kirby - executive director

Scott joined the DSGO family in August of 2019.  He is passionate about developing resources, programs and events that positively impact people; leading them to live life to the fullest.  Scott received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Evangel University in 1998.  He brings 20 years of experience in the creative consulting industry, and over a decade of non-profit executive leadership experience to assist in advocating for our DSGO families.

Phone:  417-885-9905

Email:  scott@dsgo.life

chloe pierson

SPRINGFIELD PROGRAMMING & Upside down mercantile

Chloe joined DSGO in September of 2022.  She is extremely gifted, creative, and has a heart for the Down syndrome community.  She recently graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Child and Family Development - Child Life.  She is excited to be a part of our team and is looking forward to using her skills to assist our families!  

Phone:  417-885-9905

Email:  chloe@dsgo.life

melissa rives

joplin programming

Melissa joined the DSGO team in 2023 to help us expand our reach into the Joplin area.  She is the main point of contact for families in the Joplin area.

Phone:  417-885-9905

Email:  melissa@dsgo.life

2023 board of directors

  • j.c. loveland > President

    J.C. graduated from Parkview High School and went on to obtain degrees from College of the Ozarks and William Woods University.  His background includes the Parks & Recreation field, followed by the banking industry where he is currently the Assistant Vice President, Concierge Banking Lender for Encore Bank.  J.C.'s cousin had Neurofibromatosis and J.C. wants to use his experience from that relationship to give back to families with special needs.

  • jen welton > VICE president

    Jen is Owner of Boundless Creative and Immersed Marketing. She comes to DSGO with 25+ years of nonprofit experience. Jen was introduced to DSGO through her older brother, Trent, who has Down syndrome. Her goal as Past President of the Board is to research and develop the opportunity for medical treatment in Springfield for our families.


  • Amy bullard > SECRETARY

    Amy has been a Special Education teacher for Springfield Public Schools for 15 years and is currently teaching in the Business Associated Student Education (BASE) program. Prior to teaching, Amy was a Recreation Therapist and ran the Accessible Recreation Program for adults with disabilities with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. She is excited to help support the families we serve. In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and three children, Kyler, Jayda, and Bryce.

  • kevin w. baker > PAST President

    Kevin and his wife Leisha are the owners of Club Z! In-Home Tutoring.  Kevin has served on the DSGO board for several years.  Kevin has also served as Vice Chairman of the Board at the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce and is a Charter Member of the Christian County Lions Club.  Kevin enjoys spending time outdoors with his chocolate lab Bailey!


    James has served as a banker with various roles in the Springfield community for over 30 years.  He currently acts as VIP and Business Services Relationship Manager for Great Southern Bank where he enjoys building and expanding relationships with his clients.  James has a son Toby with Down syndrome.

  • GabRIELLE "GABE" martin

    Gabe holds a Master of Arts degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Drury University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tulsa.  Recently honored as one of Biz 417's '10 for the Next 10,' she also enjoys volunteering for Springfield Catholic Schools where her two daughters, Alivia and Colette, attend elementary school.  

  • mary blair

    Mary is a financial advisor with an Edward Jones office in Nixa, Mo. She joined the DSGO board in 2021 as a way to connect with the community and advocate for families of aging individuals with Down syndrome. Her older brother Brian Graham has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2021. Mary, her husband Mark and their two children live in the Nixa community.


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