Michelle Johnson, Executive Director
Before Michelle become the Executive Director, she was the Lincoln Area Director for Developmental Services of Nebraska where she worked for 21 years with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At DSN she held many positions including Direct Support Staff, Frontline Supervisor, Residential Coordinator and Area Director of Lincoln. In her free time Michelle is a volunteer for the Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland. During this time she has rescued 4 beagles who are her fur babies. Michelle loves to travel, her favorite spot is anywhere in Mexico as long as there are palm trees, white sandy beaches and a beautiful blue ocean. Michelle holds her Masters of Arts in Management through Doane of Lincoln.
Michelle has been a volunteer with the Arc of Lincoln for the Arc Expeditions for a little over five years. Michelle's first trip with the Arc was to a baseball game in Omaha and then Las Vegas. Michelle increased her involvement with the Arc by taking over the Program Coordinator duties with planning the Expeditions for 2015 to current. Michelle enjoys taking others on vacations and capturing memorable moments.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jennifer Meints, President
Jennifer Meints is the board president for The Arc of Lincoln. She works for ACN here in Lincoln and has a huge passion for finding jobs for all abilities in our community. She has three children Emilee(21), Grace(17) and Jack(12), and is married to her high school sweetheart, Eric. Why advocacy is important to Jennifer...Seventeen years ago she was blessed with a beautiful little girl. In the past 17 years, they have learned patience, hope, how to work as a team, compromise and more medical terms and acronyms than one would want to know. Grace loves people, parties, and making people feel special. During their journey they have met some amazing people, found their passion in helping others. When Grace was young they felt very alone and unsure of their daughter's future. Their vow from then on was to do their best to make sure no other parent felt alone.
Jennifer Stuhmer, Vice President
Advocating is important to Jennifer because she believes everyone deserves to be included in all things. She and her husband make sure Damon, their son, goes with them everywhere. Damon has a rare chromosome abnormality that compromises his respiratory system, mobility, cognitive function and many other parts of his daily life. He is happiest when amongst friends and family. His smile can brighten the darkest day and his giggles are contagious. They feel he needs his community as much as the community needs to know Damon. Each individual has a gift to offer... it’s our responsibility to share it with our community. Jennifer wants all abilities to be celebrated and shared so fears and prejudices disappear and a community of sharing gifts remains
Mary Phillips, Secretary
Mary is the Director of Student Services at Educational Service Unit #6 in Milford, having a 30+ year career in special education as a teacher, building administrator, district level supervisor and Director. Mary’s passion is to help build advocacy skills with parents, students and adults with disabilities. Besides serving the Board of the Arc of Lincoln, she also is on the board for APPSN, the Governor’s Council of Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council and the Executive Board of the Arc of Nebraska as Secretary, and is a parent representative on the Windsong Equine therapy Board. Mary is married with three adult children and five grandchildren. Serving others is a family affair with her spouse, Don, retiring from a 40 year career in the US Army and Homeland Security, their oldest daughter Laura being a speech language pathologist, their son Ty an occupational therapist, and their youngest daughter Erin as a Disability Policy Advocate for People First of Nebraska.
Mary Ells, Treasurer
Bio coming soon...
Lindsay Stanley, Board Member
Lindsay is a Nebraska Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and a Nebraska Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated with a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from St. Cloud State University. Over the past 20 years she has facilitated support for families and children with autism and behavioral challenges. Lindsay is currently the Clinical Supervisor at Autism Services of Lincoln. She has been a board member of the ARC of Lincoln for 2 years, as well as a board member of Autism Family Services for over 2 years. Lindsay is a Lincoln, Neb., native. She and her husband, Jeremy, are parents of two girls and love to spend any extra time traveling.
Adam Feser, Board Member
Adam believes communities are their best when every single citizen is given the support they need to reach their potential. Each of his career and volunteer efforts have been in support of this idea. He has previously worked 7 years for the Arc of Lincoln, served on the Arc of Nebraska Board of Directors, served as the Region V DD Council Chair, worked as a policy associate for First Five Nebraska, served on the HUB Board of Directors, and recently joined the Arc of Lincoln Board of Directors. Each of these roles involves advocating for every member of our community to have access to the tools they need to thrive. When all have the tools to succeed, the community as a whole thrives. Adam was raised on a farm in northeastern South Dakota and came to Lincoln for college where he has been ever since. In his spare time he enjoys playing, coaching and watching sports with friends and family. He enjoys a book club with friends, listening to music, going to concerts and socializing as much as he can.
Kathy Johnson, Board Member
Kathy Johnson, Ph.D. is a licensed and certified school psychologist in Lincoln, NE. Her graduate training took place at UNL and continues to be supplemented by life-long professional learning. For more that 30 years, she was a school-based practitioner, a field supervisor and an adjunct university trainer in the area of school psychology. Early in her career, she also worked for the state of Nebraska in the area of developmental disabilities. Special professional interests and experiences include mental health supports, response to intervention, positive behavior supports and parent engagement/partnering. She has various professional publications and has conducted many invited presentations for various audiences regarding child development, family and child learning, special education and mental health supports. Advocacy is important to Kathy because she really values social connections and believes we are all universally connected in this world. Kathy moved to Lincoln for graduate school many years ago but made Lincoln her permanent home with her husband, Phil. They have 2 adult children who also live in Lincoln. Hobbies include volleyball, walking and volunteering with church and community projects.
Alan Carlson, Board Member
Alan Carlson is a life long Arc member. He joined The Arc of Lincoln Board in January of 2020. He is also a member of the Lincoln Aktion Club and Lincoln People First. Alan enjoys playing cards and doing latch hook rugs in his free time. He also enjoys traveling, and has been to 48 of the 50 states and to 17 different countries. He believes advocacy helps people to speak up and get involved when decisions are being made about their life.
Ryan Rosenstiel, Board Member
Ryan Rosenstiel joined The Arc of Lincoln board in 2020. Ryan owns Rosie's Sports Bar & Grill in Lincoln and has always been kind with allowing The Arc of Lincoln to utilize his party room for fundraisers. Ryan believes advocacy is important because “I’ve been so blessed throughout life that it is not only our duty to give back to our community but it’s a pleasure. With having family with disabilities, it was a great fit to do what I can to help. Everyone deserves to smile and find happiness”. Ryan enjoys spending what free time he has, out at the lake camping, boating, and jet skiing. Ryan also enjoys all the time he can have with his beautiful daughter Harper.
Deb Safarik, Board Member
Deb is the president of Down Syndrome Advocates in Action Nebraska (DSAA). Their association works to help parents & individuals with Down syndrome feel better prepared to advocate for their loved ones & themselves. They are proud that they are community partners with the DSAA Kearney & better reach across the state to help families. Deb comes from a nursing background & last worked in-home health care for over 20 years before I retiring. Deb and her husband have 4 kids together. Their 3 daughters are all married with kids &/or fur children of their own. Two daughters live in Lincoln with six of their grandkids & one lives in Omaha. Their son Paul is 27 years old now. When he was born & they found out 6 months later he had Down syndrome for sure, and at that time there was no Down syndrome group for families, so they decided to start one!
Angie Willey, Board Member
Angie Willey has been an Arc of Lincoln board member for over 3 years. She believes that families who have loved ones of differing abilities often share many of the same challenges and The Arc is there to connect, support, and advocate for all families and all ages. Advocacy is important to Angie because she feels families need information, a sense of connection with other families, and up to date information. When her son Ben was born she was a Business Analyst at a local Insurance company. When Ben was 3 it became difficult to manage his therapies and school, so after 15 years, she gave up her career to be a stay at home mom. She started volunteering with different organizations and felt called to help families like hers to get connected and find resources. In addition to serving on The Arc board, Angie is the vice president of Down Syndrome Advocates in Action Nebraska (DSAA). Her other volunteer activities include ONE Coalition, Elmwood Christian Church, Bit’s and Pieces Thrift Store, and taking team and individual photos for the Elmwood-Murdock Booster Club and Baseball/Softball programs. Recently she became a Master IEP Coach to help families navigate the IEP process, and completed the Disability Rights Nebraska Inclusive Lay Advocacy Project. She is an Advanced Signing Time Instructor and enjoys many different crafts including crochet, jewelry design, t-shirt design, and in the fall can often be found doing craft fairs on the weekends. In her free time, Angie enjoys gardening, and working with her family's new dog, Bolt.
Erin Phillips, Board Member
Bio coming soon...
Rene Ferdinand, Board Member
Bio coming soon...
Linda Kistler, Board Member
Bio coming soon...
Kenny Nelson, Board Member
Bio coming soon...