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 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 brings 20 years of experience in the creative consulting industry, and over a decade of non-profit executive leadership experience.

board of directors

  • jen welton > 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 President of the Board is to facilitate a smooth transition from a working board to a governance board and layout achievable goals for the organization moving forward.

  • kevin w. baker > Vice 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!

  • linda locke > treasurer

    Linda Buckels Locke is an Associate in the Accounting Services department at Abacus CPA's.  Linda is passionate about helping her clients resolve complex issues and learning new cloud-based software and apps.  Linda has one son, Alex, a pre-law student at Maryville University in St. Louis (Go Saints!) In her spare time, Linda enjoys playing golf, crafting, and sewing.

  • ken taylor

    Ken Taylor is President of ADsmith Marketing & Advertising. His goal is to help DSGO in their efforts in creating community awareness, education and connecting with new DSGO families. He and his wife Kim live in Springfield. They have 4 beautiful children. Their youngest, Brenna, is in grade school and has Down syndrome. Ken has been involved with DSGO since the birth of their daughter Brenna in 2010.

  • nacy ryerson

    Nacy is the Dean of Schools at Perspectives Preparatory Academy where there is an emphasis on inclusion, strength-based learning and advocacy.  With a B.S. in Psychology and Masters in Special Education, Nacy is an advocate for inclusion and is passionate about creating personalized learning environments for all students to succeed. In her free time she works on her Dissertation (about inclusion), and enjoys traveling and watching her husband coach basketball. She has two rescue furbabies, Ebby and Winston.

  • j.c. loveland

    J.C. is Branch Manager at BluCurrent Credit Union, after previously working in the Parks and Recreation field for 15 years.  A native of Springfield, you can find J.C. with his wife, Kristina, and two boys, Carson and Ethan outdoors and/or traveling most weekends. Growing up J.C. had a cousin with Neurofibromatosis and was blessed to learn so much from his cousin.  He wants to use this to give back to families with special needs.