Board & Staff

Amplify Life is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization that was founded in 1973 by a group of committed parents who wanted to increase opportunities for their children with disabilities to experience the world. Over forty years later, we are still going strong, and growing! 


Our Staff Members

Jessica Daum- Executive Director, M.Ed. in Special Education

Jessica holds a Master of Arts in Special Education, and a teaching license in Special Education and has worked in the Washoe County School District for 8 years in different special education classrooms. Jessica volunteered with Amplify Life for many years participating in Works! camps and programs before becoming Amplify Life’s Executive Director in 2019. Since becoming the Executive Director, she has started Café Canteen, as well as other dynamic programs.  Jessica is a University of Nevada, Reno Alumnus, and played volleyball for the Pack.  

Cindy Oesterle-Prescott- Office Manager

Cindy has been with Amplify Life since 2013 and is currently responsible for administrative duties and supporting staff. She is a special needs mother to a 28-year-old son with Autism and has been a supporter of Amplify Life for over 15 years. Cindy brings a unique perspective to her work at Amplify Life as she is able to serve in the capacity of both provider and receiver of services. 









Kennedy Martinez B.S.W. - Program Coordinator

Kennedy has been involved with children and worked at a preschool and daycare for seven years. Kennedy has experience at an administrative level, as well as teaching the young minds at her preschool about basic life skill needs such as, colors, letters, numbers, writing, and reading. She started her internship with Amplify Life in August 2021 and fell in love with our population. Kennedy graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She has two Pitbull Terriers, she also loves to read and write.





Sara Perez B.P.H. - Employment and Life Skills Coordinator

Sara graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently working on her Master of Public Health with an emphasis in health policy. Sara started volunteering with Amplify Life in September 2021 and joined the team in June 2022. Sara has experience teaching at the university level, designing lessons plans, tutoring, and assisting students. She is a public health researcher focusing on underserved and low-income groups. Sara is passionate about merging her public health background with serving individuals with disabilities in her community. 








Our Board


Chairman- Diane Thorkildson, MPA

Family Faculty at the Nevada Center of Excellence in Disabilities 

Vice-Chairman- Cyndy Gustafson, MA

CEO of Strategic Process, LLC

Secretary/Treasurer- Al Herak

Director, Financial/Decision Support, Renown Health 

Member- Stephanie Rice, Esq.

Partner, Midtown Law Group 

Member- David Frydman

Executive Director, Student Support Services, Washoe County School District

Member- Linda Barnes

Disability Advocate/Parent Special Needs Person

Member-Michelle Casey

Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo

If you would like to email the Board, please email us at and we will get right back to you.