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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, write, and spend time with family & friends.


Taylor Cheney M.P.H. - Employment and Life Skills Coordinator

Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Science with emphasis in Public Health from the University of Nevada, Reno. She graduated with her Master in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Administration and Policy in May 2023. While getting her Masters, she has found a passion for advocating and working with people with disabilities. Taylor is a pervious Registered Behavior Technician and has worked with children and teens for the past 3 years. She has experience in creating programs, fundraising and supporting families with children with disabilities. She loves to be outdoors and to cook!







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

Member - Travis Mills

Outreach Coordinator at Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED) where he takes pictures of all programming for marketing purposes. Travis joined the board to advocate for people with disabilities and share experience with his photography.

Member - Gabe Tejada

Pursuing his Associates of Arts Degree at TMCC. Gabe would like to get a degree in Secondary Education with emphasis in History. Gabe is on the Nevada Governor's Council as a self-advocate.

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

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