Vanessa Vogel-Farley, Executive Director (

Vanessa grew up on a family dairy farm in rural Wisconsin; she then went on to college at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she studied Chemistry, Biology and French.  While there she joined a research lab at the Center for Neurobehavioral Development. This experience got her interested in the processes associated with brain development during the neonatal period into adolescence and that factors that can affect normal development.   She was the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Division of Developmental Medicine Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital, working on collaborations with scientists from MIT and Harvard examining several clinical populations, including autism.   She also served as Director of Operations of ACEing Autism from 2008 through 2015.  She is married and the mother of 3 young boys (Oliver, Thatcher and Carter) who keep her very busy in her "spare" time.  

Ava Markoutsas, Dup15q Alliance Office Assistant (

Ava Markoutsas lives in Highland Park, IL with her husband and two children, Matthew and Chloe.  She is passionate about working in the non-profit sector and her managment experience enables her to fulfill her role in the Dup15q Alliance with a wonderful energy and compassion.  




Naka King, Dup15q Alliance Adminstrator (

Naka King lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband Nick, daughter Rylan and son Bryer.
With 12 years experience in administrative management, she is excited to join the Dup15q Alliance as an administrator. 
After 3 years of searching for medical answers related to their daughter symptoms, they were given a diagnosis of Dup15q Syndrome in March 2015. Naka believes in the importance of raising awareness in our communities so another family doesn't have to fight for a proper diagnosis. She looks forward to contributing to the Dup15q Alliance Mission as our community of families continues grow.




Lauren Weissberg, Awareness and Outreach Coordinator 

Lauren holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Counseling Education.  Lauren works full time as a School Counselor at the high school level.  A native New Yorker, Lauren now lives in New Jersey with her husband Marc and two sons, Reid and Holden.  
In May 2016, Holden was diagnosed with Dup15q Syndrome.  Upon receiving Holden’s diagnosis, Lauren has been determined to raise money and awareness for Dup15q Syndrome so that all of the impacted families can have something to hope for and believe in.  In September 2016, she hosted the “Hope for Holden to benefit the Dup15q Alliance” event and raised over $10,000.  Due to the tremendous success of this fundraiser, Lauren knew it would have to become an annual event, and immediately started to plan for 2017.  Lauren enjoyed working on this event so much and she knew she wanted to do much more.  Lauren has since been instrumental in planning various smaller scale fundraisers to benefit the Alliance and has also taken to social media to help raise awareness for Dup15q.   Lauren is thrilled and truly honored to be an official member of the Dup15q Alliance and feels strongly that her role as an impacted mother is going to inspire her to work even harder to raise money and awareness for all of our children!

Stephanie Holz, Bookkeeper (


Krissa Harris (

Krissa lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband Shane, daughter Hattie (idic 15) and dog Lily. She and Shane are both from the DFW area and both went to Texas Tech University. Wreck ‘em! Krissa taught 3rd grade for 9 years before becoming a stay at home mom when Hattie was born in April of 2013. After attending her first conference in California in 2017, she dedicated herself to fundraising, awareness and volunteering for the Alliance. She looks forward to making a difference in the lives of our dupers and their families.