Taylor Kosnik, Executive Director

Taylor Kosnik will work in partnership with Cindy and the Camp Sunshine team and assume the role of executive director at the conclusion of the 2017 camp season. She is a graduate of Oakland University in Spanish and Sociology with K-12 teaching certification and has taught high school Spanish for the past five years. Regarded as a strong leader and innovative teacher, she has spent much of her career promoting service opportunities for youth and inclusion of students with different abilities.

Her sincere interest in education and advocacy started long before her teaching career. Taylor’s connection to adults with different abilities began early, when her younger twin siblings were diagnosed with autism. Taylor was 6 years old when she joined her first sibling advocacy group, marking the first of many roles she would obtain to support this special community. She then continued her work with local autism societies, the ARC of Macomb, and as a community life skills specialist. Taking away a lifetime of lessons from her siblings, parents, and mentors, Taylor has seen firsthand the direct impact that inclusion programs have made on her siblings and community.

Taylor offers a unique blend of insight as a sibling, direct care worker, educator, and advocate. She has deemed it her life’s purpose to use her personal and professional experiences to provide the best quality of life for adults like her siblings. Taylor is eager to begin this journey in a leadership capacity at Camp Sunshine. She says, “To have a place to come together to express triumphs and obstacles, joy and fears, has been a saving grace for my family. I have found nothing more rewarding than seeing the growing inclusion and acceptance of this community. I owe so much to the many people who, through hard work and unconditional love, have offered assurance, comfort, and opportunity to my siblings. My goal as the new executive director of Camp Sunshine is to continue to create the world I want for my siblings and others like them.”

Taylor enjoys the active roles she has in her school and in the special needs community. Outside of her professional interests, Taylor is most often found spending time with her family, her fiance, and friends. She enjoys participating in adaptive sports and activities with her siblings. She also loves traveling, visiting the latest restaurants, spending time outdoors, and cooking. Taylor has always had a love for learning and she tries to immerse herself in any opportunity she can to learn something new. Taylor is also very passionate about her faith, and enjoys any opportunity she has to be surrounded by and spread God’s love.

Brie Richardson, Program Director

Brie’s  first experience with Camp Sunshine was the summer after completing her freshman year at Hope College. Brie’s advisor and professor, Susan Cherup, shared the opportunity with her.  It is with great confidence that Brie can say her experience at Camp Sunshine completely changed her life. Originally, Brie considered majoring in special education, and her experience at Camp Sunshine solidified that desire.  Brie believes there is something special about the depth of love, acceptance, and passion that is found at Camp Sunshine.  She refers to it quite simply as, “The best place in the world!”  Brie has been involved with Camp Sunshine ever since in a variety of capacities: counselor, volunteer, office assistant, Talent Show’s #1 fan, and now in her new role as the program director.

Brie enjoys being part of the Sunshine community because of the feeling of complete acceptance, pure joy, and an essence of fully living in the moment that is unmatched to any other community.  Brie believes the campers bring such perspective to the busy world we live in, and their stories reach well beyond what she could have ever imagined. 

Brie lives in Holland, Michigan with her loving husband, Matt, and their 1-year old son, Brady.  Matt teaches Discovery Science at both Hudsonville Middle Schools and has also enjoyed being part of the Camp Sunshine community as a counselor and volunteer.  Brie’s past work experiences include teaching special education for 6 years, three in an inner-city setting in Grand Rapids with high school and alternative education students and three more years teaching special education to elementary aged students.  She also had the privilege of coaching girl’s JV basketball during this season of life.  The relationships and moments with her students have marked her life forever.  Brie, along with her family, are looking forward to being able to build more relationships with those in the Camp Sunshine community.

Lindsey Freiburger, Assistant Program Director

Lindsey’s story with Camp Sunshine began ten years ago, when she volunteered as a counselor for credit at Hope College. At the time, she had no idea what she was embarking on, nor how her life would be changed. Over the years, Sunshine grew from an annual experience for Lindsey into a way of life. Lindsey believes that she is taught and transformed more and more by each year, each session, each camper she experiences.

The thing Lindsey loves most about being a part of the Sunshine community, is the unending acceptance that is shared by all. She feels it is a community rich in love and grace, one like no other. In addition, Lindsey loves the freedom that she feels while at camp; the joy that comes, and the overwhelming sense of peace.

Though Lindsey has a travelling spirit, and a wanderlust heart, her home is in Grand Rapids. She values her family and the community she has built in West Michigan. Lindsey is currently teaching high school special education at iCademy Global in Zeeland. That said, her passion for reaching the international community of people with unique abilities runs deep within. In 2014, Lindsey established a program modeled after Camp Sunshine in Jinja, Uganda. This was the first camp and educational workshop for people with special needs in Uganda. Lindsey credits her efforts to her experiences at Camp Sunshine.

Doug Ammeraal, Recruiter

Doug’s story with Camp Sunshine began in 2001 at Camp Blodgett.  Doug came out to serve as a counselor, with a broken hand, and ended up meeting his beautiful wife, Roxie.  Doug and Roxie have served during all sessions ever since. ​

Doug originally came to Sunshine to receive credit at Hope College for an education class.  From then, Doug’s heart was focused on serving campers and counselors.  After many years of volunteering, Doug was asked to join the year-round staff as the main Recruiter. He accepted the position with the vision to expand the impact and mission of Sunshine, stating, “I wanted to share the story with young people across our state. Sunshine has impacted and influenced me as a father, a husband, a leader, and a servant.”

Doug enjoys watching our counselors experience the unlimited love, pure joy, and life changing impact that Sunshine has.  For him, it cannot be put into words, however, it can be witness, experienced, and felt.  In addition, Doug enjoys the impact that Camp Sunshine has on his children. Sunshine has taught them how to serve, how to love, and how to have an impact on another person’s life. Lastly, Doug appreciates that Sunshine centers him — spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.​

Sunshine embodies everything that is right in our world.  It teaches us how to love authentically, appreciate life in it’s fullest, and serve with a humble heart.  This is what fuels, drives, and focuses me for my work, my family, and my spirituality.  Camp Sunshine sends it’s ripples of love into all aspects of life; we only have to allow it.​

Corey Veldheer, Office Manager

Corey joined the Camp Sunshine community in 2016 as the office manager. Her experience in working with individuals with special needs started long ago, when she would spend time with her uncle who was born with developmental disabilities.

Since joining the team, Corey has found the culture at Camp Sunshine to be warm, welcoming and infectious. From the campers and the leadership team to the counselors and everyone else in the Camp Sunshine circle, Corey has found an amazing family she hopes to be part of for years.

Corey lives in Zeeland Township with her husband Steve and kids Frank and Sadie, and attends church at Pillar Church in Holland. They own an organic lawn and garden company, Good Sweet Earth, and spend much of their free time gardening and caring for their “farm critters.”

Corey is a graduate of the University of South Florida, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Communications and her Masters in Library Science, preparing her for a career in helping others to tell their stories through written and spoken word. Before joining Camp Sunshine, she served as a children’s librarian in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Bloomfield. She also ran the supper house program with North End Community Ministries in Grand Rapids for two years, helping to provide hot meals every week for hundreds of food-insecure residents.

Katie Arnold, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Katie joined the Camp Sunshine team in 2018 as the Communications and Marketing Coordinator. Originally from Canton, MI, she now resides in the beautiful city of Grand Rapids. Katie graduated with honors from Eastern Michigan University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and Marketing. Her passion is to share the stories and capture the moments of Camp Sunshine through words, pictures, and videos. 

Her experience includes a Marketing Internship with Starfish Family Services where she assisted and executed the Holiday Giving Program for over 300 families living in poverty. Katie also has experience working with the special needs community and exudes passion and excitement for Camp Sunshine’s mission. 
While attending Eastern Michigan University, Katie held numerous leadership roles. She was a Resident Advisor for three years with EMU Housing and Residence Life, a member of the EMU Dance Team, and a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Katie’s bubbly and friendly nature, her willingness to learn, her openness, and her excitement to be a part of Camp Sunshine truly shines!