“We are advocates, we are mentors, we are neighbors, we are friends, we are fellow co-workers.” Those are all roles Laurie feels are deeply important ones that Ollie Webb Center, Inc. fulfills for families. Her life journey has been tightly interwoven with the organization—two of her siblings benefitted from the programs offered and her parents were among the first “Pilot Parents.”
So it seemed destined that an organization that has meant so much to her family would be where she would land. She has served as the Executive Director since 2003, when she led the merger of The Arc of Omaha and Career Solutions, Inc. into what Ollie Webb Center, Inc. is today.
When she’s not championing the families she works with, she enjoys theater, movies, reading, traveling, and, most importantly, spending time with her family, which includes her son, David. Incidentally, she has a cat named Oliver (named after Ollie because he was a stray found at the center).
Annie Anderson has been a resource and a friendly face for families at the Ollie Webb Center, Inc. for years.
Annie Anderson has worked within the developmental disabilities field for over 23 years and is an Education Coordinator for the Continuing Education Program at Ollie Webb. Annie is the mother of an adult son with disabilities and is passionate about viewing all people as valuable and developing. She became involved in the Parent to Parent program in 1987 and has utilized parent-directed support as a central theme in her life ever since. Annie advocates on behalf of individuals who cannot always speak up for themselves and in doing so strives to change ineffective laws and systems that are not working. She enjoys being a Nana, nature photography, and the art of Zentangle.
Dave loves movies, listening to music, and exercising; and would love to attend the Tour De France one of these days and a World Series game. He loves baseball, overall, but has to have a World Series hot dog! Dave has been married to his lovely wife Mary since 2002 and they have a house in the Bemis Park section close to St. Cecilia’s parish. They have a cat, Magic and, of course, she is black.
Educated at the University of Nebraska -Lincoln in Special Education, Dave has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities since January, 1974 when he started at the Lancaster Office of Mental Retardation (LOMR). He moved back to Omaha (his hometown)to work at ENCOR in 1984. Dave arrived at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. in 2009 to work in the residential department of Career Solutions, Inc.
“Working at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. is fun, hard, rewarding, challenging.” Dave is proud to be surrounded by staff who are dedicated to the persons they serve, leaders who like to lead, who plan for better opportunities for all of those individuals who want that opportunity. He enthuses about working with men and women who own their own vehicles, have steady and valuable jobs that they love and wouldn’t leave for anything, love to socialize, want to budget and cook, attend concerts and games, will converse endlessly about a movie, their weekend and/or their favorite person. Simply put, “They are amazing!”
Adult Services Coordinator
(Adult Services, Just Friends, Sibshops)
Amanda has worn several hats at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. in her four years here. She started off as an Ultimate Life Companion and proudly counts many clients as friends. Some of them have actually known her for years, because as a teenager, she volunteered at programs helping people with disabilities.
“I love working here because it feels like I’ve come full circle…and I’ve found work I can truly be proud of.” ‘Mandy’, as she’s called by her family, was raised by adopted parents who are life-long advocates of creating opportunities for people with disabilities because of their late daughter. Amanda is continuing the tradition.
In her spare time, she plays tennis and dances, and loves to laugh at her lack of skill in both arenas. She’s passionate about her coffee and reveals she’s exceptionally talented at knowing how many calories are in every food and beverage on earth. She also knows a thing or two about real estate.
Human Resource Manager
In 2011 Lisa became the Human Resource Manager for Ollie Webb Center, Inc. However, she has been employed with OWCI since November 1999.
She began her affiliation with Ollie Webb Center, Inc. as a volunteer mentor with the Just Friends Program. Following her experience as a mentor, she was hired as the part-time Just Friends assistant for four years. After receiving a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Creighton University in May 2004, Lisa took a full-time position as a case manager and assistant counselor at ABH (Addiction and Behavioral Health) Services, Inc. While at ABH, Lisa continued her part-time employment with OWCI.
In March of 2005, Lisa was hired as the full-time mentoring services director for The Arc of Omaha at the Ollie Webb Center. Then in 2011 she began her new duties as OWCI’s Human Resource Manager.
In addition to her work for OWCI, Lisa has worked with the Munroe- Meyer preschool program, Camp Munroe and as the Creighton University Best Buddies Chapter Director.
From the day her 4th son was born with Down syndrome, her life was set on a new trajectory. She immersed herself in learning everything possible to better understand and assist him. That grew to a love of helping all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their full potential to live healthy, fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Today, her plate is very full, coordinating five programs at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. that truly allow her to enhance and elevate the lives of the people who participate.
Her passion for helping those with special needs has filled every facet of her life. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was the program director of the Down Syndrome Specialist Program for the Down Syndrome Association of the Midlands, working with specialists in 18 school districts. She is also the founder & director of the BSC TOPSoccer Program for athletes with special needs. In addition, she’s the Nebraska State Soccer Special Needs Commissioner and a member of the Special Needs Advisory Board at the Rose Children’s Theatre.
“My son, and all of the delightful people I have met along my journey, have inspired me to strive to raise awareness that all people are valuable, have abilities and deserve the opportunity to pursue their unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Mavis wears a couple of different hats at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she’s in the classroom teaching a variety of classes, including active listening, reading, creative writing, and cooking. The rest of the week, she serves as an accounting associate, helping with payroll processing, billing and accounts payable. Before coming to Ollie Webb in April of 2013, she worked in special education, both in Omaha and in Shreveport, Louisiana. She’s also been a human resources generalist and a research administrator.
Jim Hoggatt is the Artistic Director of the Art of Imagination, the arts program of Ollie Webb Center, Inc. Among his most recent projects with The Art of Imagination are Loud Mouths, Omaha’s only annual playwriting festival by people with developmental disabilities, and The Amazing Invincible Super Comic Book Project funded by the Developmental Disability Council of Nebraska. Prior to Ollie Webb, he spent 4 and half years as an educator, actor, playwright, and Director of Youth Productions at The Rose Theater (AKA Omaha Theater Company for Young People.) Jim began his career in theater as a college intern at the Emmy Gifford Children’s Theater in 1987. He has also worked for The Coterie Theater in Kansas City, Educational Theater Programs in Oakland, California and the New Conservatory Theater Center in San Francisco, among others. Jim earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his Master of Arts degree from San Francisco State University.
Employment Services Coordinator
In July 2009, Jenny Koley began her employment at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. as the agency receptionist. She also happens to be involved in many programs offered at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. One of her favorites is The Art of Imagination; she really loves the acting classes. Jenny also enjoys bowling, Next Chapter Book Club, and volunteering at Ollie’s Dream Gala ever year. She is proud to work for a great organization that has a wonderful, fun atmosphere and great co-workers.
“Everyone should be able to speak up for themselves and do it with confidence and assertiveness.” It is the mantra that Dena has used to guide her work at Ollie Webb Center, Inc. Clearly, it’s worked—she’s been making an impact in people’s lives since 1978.
As the Co-Coordinator of the Education Department, Dena believes her job is to listen and support the individuals and families who use Ollie Webb’s services, then help them make their goals and dreams come true.
She’s certainly inspired students. The Jingle, Jangle, Jive Class wrote a song about her cat that she performed with them at the 2013 Loud Mouths Festival (the playwriting festival for people with disabilities).
Right after graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1994 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, Mike spent two years as a paraprofessional in the Omaha Public Schools working with children with autism. “My experience those two years with the students at OPS became the most inspiring years in my life, it inspired me in the same way the Jesuits did when I was back at Creighton Prep in the late 80’s, being a ‘man for others’ as they always said at Prep. Those kids inspired me.”
So in 1996, Mike returned to UNO to pursue a degree in Education and he began working for Career Solutions, Inc. as a job developer and a job coach. Post-graduation, he did his student- teaching for two years in both regular education and special education classrooms, then went on to teach a behavioral education classroom at the Omaha Home for Boys. He also works as a GED teacher at Metro two nights a week, while raising four young children. He continues to work in art and also serves as the education coordinator for Career Solutions, Inc.
Robin has spent her career devoted to serving people with developmental disabilities. She began her career more than 20 years ago as a social worker for The ARC of Palm Beach County, Florida. Since then, she has lived in several parts of the United States and has had the opportunity to support individuals of all ages, from infants through adults in a variety of settings. Robin is passionate about promoting independence and quality of life for all individuals with developmental disabilities in order to help them achieve their maximum potential.
Educated in both Canada and the United States, Robin holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a Master of Social Work degree in Non-Profit Administration from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has served as a Board Member, Executive Director, Program Director and School Social Worker, all in the arena of improving the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. When not working, Robin enjoys spending time with her children and husband, reading, hiking and traveling.
Lisa is passionate about promoting independence and quality of life for all individuals with developmental disabilities in order to help them achieve their maximum potential. She has spent her entire career supporting individuals of all ages, from infants through adults in a variety of settings. She started 17 years ago as a Service Coordinator with adults receiving behavioral health services in Pennsylvania. Her work led her to the Early Intervention and Adult IDD Service Coordination Programs in Pennsylvania as a supervisor, program coordinator /QA specialist, and finally the Director of the IDD Programs at the county level. Lisa moved to Nebraska in February 2016 with her husband and 3 children.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania with a minor in Psychology. When not working, Lisa enjoys spending time with her children and husband, cooking new and interesting foods, & traveling.
Cathy loves the world of financial statements, accounts payable and balance sheets. She immersed herself in accounting, first in the banking and finance sector, then to the non-profit world, where she worked in low-income housing.
She joined Ollie Webb Center, Inc. in July, 2013 and makes sure people get paid, as well as oversees the organization’s financials.
Janey Ulmer’s heart is with families who have special needs and the agencies who give them support. She knows both realities intimately—as the mom and advocate for her child and as a consultant for the state of Nebraska where she reviewed agencies and programs.
She has also worked as a Program Coordinator and QA Specialist for a local service provider and as a Service Coordinator for the state.
Janey has her degree in Special Education and has also served as a teacher and school board member. She is the mother of four children and when not advocating for our students, she enjoys remodeling and taking gourmet cooking lessons.
Blaine’s personal and career goals have always been centered around helping people realize and reach their full potential in any capacity needed. Her career has reflected that purpose with time at Goodwill Industries helping individuals of all ages overcome a variety of barriers to employment both on an individual basis as well as in workshop settings. Before that she worked as a Foster Care Specialist and IFP Skill builder. Her education and non-profit work has made her recognize the need for advocacy in the employment world and she loves that work. She received her Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and went on to Bellevue University where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences. Blaine is the mother of two young boys that keep her very active. In her free time, Blaine enjoys cooking, art, and experiencing anything new!
Amanda is driven every day to help others, described by Marianne Williamson’s words, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
Amanda has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication and Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She is pursuing as Master of Science in Clinical Counseling with an emphasis on children and adolescence with disabilities. She began working at Ollie Webb the Fall of 2016 in the Supported Employment Department as a Coordinator and loves her current role because it allows her the opportunity to get to know individuals from all departments at Ollie Webb.