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 include:

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. While finishing her education, she started as a one-on-one aide in a Comprehensive Life Skills (CLS) classroom and became a special education teacher teaching at Damonte Ranch High School. Jessica volunteered with Amplify Life for many years participating in Works! camps and programs before becoming Amplify Life’s Executive Director in 2019.

Cindy Oesterle-Prescott- Office Manager

Cindy has been with Amplify Life since 2013 and is currently responsible for administrative duties and supporting the Executive Director and Program Coordinator on programming. 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. Cindy is involved in building disability awareness within the community and supports the work of other like-minded nonprofits to advance services for the disabled within our community.






Kennedy Martinez

Kennedy has been involved with children and worked at a preschool and daycare for seven years. She has had the excitement and pleasure of seeing and watching these children growth physically, mentally, and developmentally. 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 May 2021 and fell in love with our population. Kennedy graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.





Our Board Includes:

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.

Amplify Life is also staffed by over 100 volunteers who give their time and talent to the agency every year to make our programs successful.