AFN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cathy Martinez, President
Cathy has owned and operated a daycare in northeast Lincoln since 1993. She has a degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Cathy, and her husband Cesar, have four children. Their youngest child received an autism diagnosis in 2005. She has served as president of the AFN board since 2008. Cathy has been appointed twice to the governor's advisory committee for developmental disabilities. Cathy has been recognized for her community work with the following : 2014 autism speaks national advocate of the year, 2016 arc of Lincoln advocate of the year, 2017 arc of Nebraska advocate of the year, 2019 Lincoln journal star inspire excellence in non profit management winner. Cathy has also been an active member in the following organizations: Served on autism society of Nebraska board 2008, Autism speaks Nebraska advocacy ambassador 2013-present, State advisory board for DD for governors Heineman and Ricketts, Member of Nebraska state autism collaborative, President of Advocacy Partnership for people with special needs 2016-2019, Arc of Lincoln board member 2011-2019.
Janelle Smith, Vice President
Janelle joined the Autism Board in 2015. Janelle is a Registered Nurse completing her degree in 2011 and then returning to school to complete her Bachelors of Nursing degree in 2015. She works with the pediatric population in the rehabilitation unit at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE. She has a teenage son that was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. She first joined AFN as a parent looking for a way to involve her son in community events. After witnessing the joy in her sons eyes at an AFN sponsored event, she decided to become a board member. Janelle is dedicated to enriching the lives of all individuals with disabilities.
Dr. Lorrie E. Bryant, Secretary
Dr. Lorrie Bryant has lived in Lincoln for over 30 years. She is married with two grown daughters and three grandchildren. Dr. Bryant’s experience in working with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental and learning disorders began in the mid 1970’s. Her experience ranges from being a teaching assistant in the first public school classroom for children with severe-profound disabilities in Hastings, Nebraska to directing several day treatment, educational, and vocational training programs for children and adults with severe disabilities and behavioral impairments in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Bryant graduated from Hastings College in 1977 and received her doctoral degree in 1996 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the area of school psychology. After working as a school psychologist for Lincoln Public Schools, she entered private practice at the Behavioral Pediatric and Family Therapy Program in 1998. Her private practice focused on evaluation, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent training and consultation for children ranging in age from 2 years through high school with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental and mental health concerns. She retired from private practice at the end of 2018 and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, scrapbooking and photography, Jazzercise, and volunteer opportunities. Dr. Bryant remains passionate about ensuring children and adults with disabilities receive appropriate intervention and opportunities so they may attain their maximum potential.
Allison Foreman, Treasurer
Allison currently functions as an Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Operations. Ms. Fredericks graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Business Administration. Her professional background includes working within the financial services, marketing and manufacturing industries. Allison has been a part of the Autism Family Network for over 5 years and recently increased her involvement by joining the board of directors of AFN, serving as Treasurer. Allison has a child on the Autism spectrum and is dedicated to helping children and families like hers find the resources and community support needed for those with disabilities.
Amera Nix, Board Member
Bio Coming Soon...
Colby Coash, Board Member
Colby has spent his career working with and for people with disabilities. He has worked for area providers as a direct support professional, supervisor, and administrator. He often states that "Working with people with disabilities is not a vocation that you choose, it is a vocation that chooses you." He now spends his time working with companies of all kinds sharing his message of relationships and passion for the work. Colby spent 8 years in the Legislature where he focused much of his time in advocating for vulnerable populations. He carried and worked on bills that impacted the lives of children, people with disabilities and the elderly. It is that wok that he is most proud of. Colby lives in Lincoln with his wife Rhonda and son Cole.
Jake Dwinell, Board Member
Jake is a recent graduate of Lincoln East High School. At the age of 18 months, Jake became suddenly non-verbal. He found his voice again around 3 years old but was not diagnosed until Kindergarten with an ASD as well as ADD and OCD. Despite the challenges Jake graduated this spring from Lincoln East High School – even making honor roll without accommodations his senior year. Jake’s interests include helping those with bigger challenges than his as well as continuing to hone his French. Jake has an older brother, younger sister and parents who work local radio. He hopes to begin a woodworking business out of his home this summer in Lincoln.
Cyndi Lamm, Board Member
Cyndi joined the AFN Board in 2015. Her life motto is “there is no expiration date on dreams.” She has been married to her husband Tim for 37 years and has 8 grandchildren, the youngest of which has Down Syndrome. Cyndi graduated from the University Of Nebraska College Of Law in 2004 and spent two years as a law clerk for Justice Kenneth Stephan at the Nebraska Supreme Court before becoming an attorney in private practice in Lincoln, Nebraska. She also currently is on the Lincoln City Council, elected in May 2015 to represent the citizens and businesses in Northeast Lincoln. Cyndi’s life experiences have caused her to have a heart for those who face
all types of challenges in life. Cyndi is past president of the People’s City Mission Board (2009), where she served 2006-2009 and 2014 to present.
Marcia Lepinski, Board Member
Marcia is an advocate for autism awareness, acceptance, and is especially passionate about Applied Behavior Analysis. Marcia and her family are highly involved in a very effective ABA program for their son, and have appreciated great progress for him. She has contributed her service to FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) of Nebraska and worked to bring staff and services to the area. Her background is in education, and her interests going forward is transitional and adult services for individuals on the spectrum.
Rebecca Olander, Board Member
Bio coming soon...
Jill Chaney, Board Member
I joined AFN as a board member in November 2018. I currently work for Collaborative Industries, which is a management company specializing in providing support for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. As the Senior Finance Manager, I am familiar with the state regulations, changes, and funding by working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services. I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from August 2005- May 2009. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Growing up with a brother with autism, I have always had an interest in spreading awareness and increasing my involvement. I am able to empathize with the daily struggles that others face. I have participated in past AFN events prior to becoming a board member.
Dwight Stolte, Board Member
Dwight started volunteering with Autism Family Network in 2009 when they sponsored their summer camp that his son participated in. He became a board member in 2011. At that time he also started supporting the Autism Family Network web site. Dwight has a degree in Computer Science from Montana State University. Dwight, his son along with a friend of his son also volunteered with one of the local high school bands helping move band equipment for half time shows and band competitions as both boys were managers for the band. He was active with Boy Scouts for 18 years, as a scout leader, committee chair, Wood Badge participant and Wood Badge staff member.
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 the Director of Operations at Behaven Kids as well as the lead BCBA supervising over all Behaven Kids’ Autism Services. Lindsay is a Lincoln, Neb., native. She and her husband, Jeremy, are parents of two girls.
Dana Gill, Board Member
Bio Coming Soon...
Brooke Fine, Board Member
Bio Coming Soon...
Vicki Depenbusch, Project Lifesaver Coordinator
Bio Coming Soon...
The current Board appoints these positions. The Board meets every other month, with weekly communication by e-mail.