President & Fundraising co-chair
Allie McCann is formerly a cardiac nurse at Breckinridge Hospital and Austin Heart, who also spent time as a legal nurse consultant for Clark, Thomas and Winters (CTW). She is now a full-time mother of three, and an avid athlete competing in numerous running and cycling events across Central Texas. She is a member of Dell Children’s Medical Trust and has published a children’s book, Stella and the Little Tree, to fund Down syndrome medical research.
Kristin Steen has been a member of DSACT since 2010, when her son was born with Down syndrome. She is a former product manager and partnership specialist for both small and large technology organizations. She is the creator of FlashCards by Me, an iOS app that focused on building speech and language skills in visual learners. Kristin is the mother of two children, and enjoys running and reading. She joined the DSACT Board in 2016 to help improve the educational journey of all individuals with Down syndrome.
Suzanne Shepherd is the mother of three boys – Connor, 27, Kevin, 22, and Jack, 15 who has Down syndrome. She is married to Carl Shepherd, co-founder of Homeaway. Suzanne is also the former Director of Legal Services for the Seton Family of Hospitals. Suzanne has been Co-Chair of the DSACT Healthcare Committee since 2008. She coordinates presentations to healthcare providers to improve the way the diagnosis of Down syndrome is presented to new parents. As part of this initiative, Suzanne scripted “Down Syndrome in the 21st Century” http://youtu.be/I13KxRYqoo0. Suzanne also coordinates the DSACT Teen Group and leads the DSACT Development Board. She was born in New Jersey and is actually proud of that. Having married a native Texan, however, she’s lived in Austin since 1983 and calls Austin home.
In 2015, Carl and Suzanne Shepherd were recognized as Lifetime Trustees of DSACT.
Nicholas Carlin is the proud father of 2 boys, Jean Pablo “Pablo” and Marco. Pablo has Down Syndrome, attends Casis Elementary School and participates in several great DSACT classes and events. Nicholas is a local CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner with Ameriprise Financial helping families work towards their goals by managing all aspects of their financial lives. He has a special focus and passion around advising families that are also dealing with the concerns and uncertainties that having a child with special needs can create.
As a teenager, Larkin volunteered for a local Wheelchair Sports Camp that sparked a lifelong interest in working with children who have special needs. After completing a Master of Early Childhood Special Education degree from The George Washington University, she relocated with her partner, a pediatrician at Fort Hood, to Austin. Her research interests include evidence-based practices for supporting early childhood mental health as well as promoting positive behavior in inclusive educational settings. She currently works as an early childhood special educator at the William’s Community School in North Austin. Originally, heralding from the Pacific North West, she loves winter sports, hiking, kayaking, biking, and strong coffee.
Public Relations Chair
Liz Jones-Dilworth is the VP of Operations at Jones-Dilworth Inc., a marketing and public relations firm that focuses on early-stage technologies. JDI also works with the nonprofit Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas. Previously, she taught communications at the University of Texas. She loves to explore the restaurants, parks, and swimming holes around Austin.
Social Committee Chair
Tracey Cantu lives in Austin and has been on the DSACT Board since 2013. Tracey works full time as an Event Logistics Manager with George P. Johnson Experience Marketing on the IBM, North America account. Tracy is married to Felipe Cantu and together have a son Benjamin, born with Down syndrome in April 2011. Tracey is currently volunteering her time as Co-Chair of the Social Committee and Calendar Gala.
Kyle Henry was introduced to DSACT through the new parent outreach program when his daughter was born with Down syndrome in 2006. He says the outreach provided an understanding voice and more importantly an inspiration for the opportunities ahead. Kyle joined the board in 2016 to help continue creating new opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome. He is the Director of Corporate Financial Planning at Advanced Micro Devices and enjoys spending time at his family's farm outside of Fredericksburg.
New Parent Coordinator
Beth Swanson is a personal trainer and mother of 2- Conrad and Delphine, who has Down syndrome. Beth was born and raised in the Midwest and met her husband Tom in Chicago 17 years ago.They moved to Austin in 2011 to escape the cold and are enjoying exploring Austin and all it has to offer. As a family we love to spend time outside hiking with our dog, Bentley. Beth is passionate about spreading awareness about Down syndrome.