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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan Hires New Executive Director

Feb 28, 2022 09:36AM ● By Two Eagles Marcus

GRAND RAPIDS, MI., [February 28, 2022]— The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM) is excited to announce that it has named a new Executive Director.

Katie Hollis has been hired for the leadership role, effective February 23rd. 

Hollis built her career in a variety of roles and industries from biotech development to academia, with over 15 years of experience in research and two graduate degrees. Most recently, she was a graduate research fellow at Van Andel Institute and currently serves as an adjunct faculty at Grand Valley State University. While she has been taking charge and directing projects for over a decade, Hollis recently solidified this with formal training in Leadership Development and a Certificate of Project Management.

She is also the mother of two, with her oldest adopted from the foster care system and her youngest having Down syndrome. Her family joined the DSAWM after the birth of her son to connect with the local Down syndrome network. With her unique family, Hollis understands first-hand what important resources like the DSAWM mean to families in West Michigan.

"As a parent member myself, I am honored to lead the DSAWM. The association is poised to build on the tremendous momentum it has had over the last few years, and I look forward to bringing the association to the next level, expanding our reach, and making a positive difference for those living with Down syndrome across Michigan.”

In her role as Executive Director, Hollis is responsible for the overall administration and management of the organization, including service programs, fundraising, and business operations for both the DSAWM and its sister organization, the DSAWM Foundation. Areas of responsibility include planning and evaluation, policy development and administration, personnel and fiscal management, and public relations. 

“Not only do I plan to improve the access and inclusion of our programs, but I aim to spread awareness by helping the community understand what joy and wonder these extra special kiddos of ours bring to the table,” says Hollis.

Hollis’ first major project will be the celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, recognized annually on March 21st. On this day, individuals with Down syndrome and advocates across the world raise public awareness and advocate for the rights, inclusion, and well-being of those with the condition.

DSAWM celebrates throughout the month of March as one of the state’s leading Down syndrome resource and advocacy organizations. The nonprofit currently provides services and programming through all stages of life to over 300 individuals with the condition and their families across 12 West Michigan counties. Since its founding in 1985, DSAWM has remained committed to creating communities that embrace Down syndrome, empower individuals, and promote opportunities for meaningful lives.

For more information about the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan, visit