Meet the Staff
Mikayla Border - Patient Services Support Worker
I am grateful to be a part of such an inspirational and passionate agency. I was hired at ALS in the Heartland for patient services in December 2017. I live in Omaha, Nebraska and work with patients in Lincoln, Omaha, and the surrounding area. I also attend the MDA clinic in Lincoln as part of a multidisciplinary team.
I earned my bachelors degree in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln in 2016, minoring in Family Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. I am now pursing my Master Degree in Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Outside of work and school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, visiting family and friends in Lincoln, growing my photography business, and I love to run!
I feel honored to be a part of this team and I am thankful to encounter the patients and families that come through our agency for services.
Tiffany Kresse – Administrative and Events Coordinator
I am thankful for the warm welcome I have received from the ALS in the Heartland family. New to the Omaha area, I come from a small town near Kansas City, Missouri.
I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting/Theatre from Northwest Missouri State University, and am grateful for having had the opportunity to employ creativity in my work, including teaching high school English/drama and writing for a toy company. I now hope to utilize my passion for writing, speaking, and even performing arts to benefit ALS in the Heartland and our patients, partners, and friends.
Outside of work, I spend time with my loved ones (and our beloved pets), travel (especially to participate in pop culture conventions), enjoy anything connected to classic Hollywood (TV, movies, music), and seek out creative endeavors (including growing my budding repertoire of published writings).
I recognize and appreciate the tremendous blessing and responsibility I’ve been given in being brought on as a member of the ALS in the Heartland team. I am excited to embark on this new adventure with all of you.
Dijah Lane - Equipment Coordinator
I was born in the capital of Kansas, and raised on the east coast in the beautiful state of Maryland. I graduated from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS in May 2016 with a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science with a Pre-Occupational Therapy emphasis. I worked alongside an occupational therapist (MSOT, OTR/L) in a school-based setting, and completed a pilot study related to the physical and mental health of elementary-age students and consistent physical activity. I shortly moved to Omaha in June 2016 upon earning my B.S. and being accepted to Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. I am currently a clinical doctoral candidate of Occupational Therapy in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, and will graduate in May 2019.
I absolutely love to hike, jog, read, and volunteer at different organizations in my spare time. I love my family, my friends, and my super sweet dog Lola! Upon graduating with my doctorate degree, I look forward to working with pediatric and medically complex populations, as well as completing research for my field of occupational therapy.
I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work at ALS in the Heartland, as it will give me a chance to connect with and help many clients and their families in a different light. I hope to create new opportunities for clients, as well as establish a wonderful relationship with the others that work for this amazing organization.
Emily Rokon – Patient Services Support Worker
I am honored to be given the opportunity to work at ALS in the Heartland. I grew up in Mondamin, IA. After high school, I attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and received my Bachelors in Psychology and minored in Sociology. After college, my husband and I moved to Omaha and started our life together here! Over the years, Omaha has become home to us!
After taking a year off to spend some time at home with my daughter (now almost 2), I am back at it working to finish my Masters in Social Work at UNO. Aside from part-time school, and my work here I also sell Usborne books and enjoy as much time at home with my daughter and our two pups! I would like to say I have hobbies, but right now homework, studying and chasing my toddler are about all I can squeeze into the day.
I consider working for ALS in the Heartland a blessing and look forward to doing my part in helping our clients and their families as they navigate their ALS journey.
Tammy Stalzer – Executive Director
I joined ALS in the Heartland in April 2009 after working nearly a decade in child welfare. I enjoy spending much of my time at ALS in the Heartland writing grants and fundraising, knowing the majority of the dollars donated will go directly to support the patient families we serve. I am honored to get to know the many individuals with ALS, families, friends, and community members who are supportive of the fight to end the debilitating disease of ALS. I have so much hope for the future of ALS in the Heartland and ALS.
In my free time, I enjoy being with my husband and two daughters. Also, I like exercising, reading, and friendships. I am truly blessed!
Meet the Volunteer Board of Directors
Kay Crocker is currently a Field Access Specialist for Regeneron Healthcare Solutions. In this role, Kay works with medical specialists and cardiologists throughout Nebraska and Kansas to ensure optimal access to Regeneron’s LDL cholesterol lowering medication Praluent. Kay has been in the healthcare industry for 18 years, but has always found the time to volunteer in our community. She has served on The Angels Among Us Guild, The Hope Center Guild, and was a Junior League Member. Kay has also been very active within the Elkhorn Public Schools as a Spring Ridge PTO member, Elkhorn Ridge Middle School Booster Club Vice-President and President and Skyline Elementary PTO Secretary.
Kay graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and a minor in Psychology. Kay and her husband, Joey, live in Skyline Ranches in Elkhorn. They have three boys, Henry (14), George (11), and Jack (8), two dogs and two chickens. Kay and her family enjoy many outdoor activities, cooking, spending time with family and friends and traveling.
Brian Dervin – Board Treasurer
I became involved with ALS in the Heartland late in 2007 when the former treasurer contacted me with some issues regarding IRS compliance. I was able to resolve those issues and give the organization some guidance on IRS compliance. When the former treasurer had to resign I saw a perfect opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering my services to the organization. I was so impressed with the passion the Board and the staff had in serving the needs of ALS patients in the area. This is truly a group that is dedicated to serving their fellow man and I am proud to be associated with them.
Veronica worked at Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company for 28 years. She was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mutual First Federal Credit Union for 13 years. Veronica was a volunteer for the United Way Campaign, College World Series ticket sales, Nebraska Public Television fundraiser, Omaha Symphony Designer Show house volunteer, and campaign chairman for the St. Vincent dePaul Shelter Christmas drive for 5 years. Veronica earned a Bachelor of Science in Management degree and a Master’s Degree in Management from Bellevue University. Veronica has been married to Rich Galas for for almost 50 years. They have 2 daughters, Heather Galas-Morris and Trisha Zook, and 4 grandchildren.
Dan Goaley – Board President
I currently serve as Board President and am a founding member of the Board. However, I feel as if it is a “title” only and that our Board acts as one to provide care and services to the people we serve. Dan is a partner at OMNE Partners. His expertise includes investment property acquisitions and dispositions of commercial real estate. Goaley has been involved in commercial real estate since 1995. Goaley is proud to be a part of ALSITH since its founding in 2006.
Shirlee Goaley – Board Secretary
Retired Executive Assistant, current Community Volunteer, Founding member of ALS in the Heartland, Secretary of the Board of Directors of ALS in the Heartland
My family and I shared the ALS journey with my husband, Don, who lost his battle in 2004. Our goal in establishing ALS in the Heartland was to use our experience and gained knowledge to offer, free of charge, emotional support, physical assistance, resource information, and needed equipment, to other ALS patients and families in our own community.
Kurt Grote – Board Vice President
I initially found out about ALS when a good friend of mine was diagnosed with the disease when he was 26 years old. Since then, my aunt has passed away from ALS and a friend of mine from college lost her husband to this horrible disease. I have been actively involved in the fight against ALS for over ten years.
My wife, Kristen, and I live in Blair and have four kids: Ashley, Cody, Emma, and Adam. I work at Bank of the West in Omaha and my wife is a dental hygienist at Heartland Family Dentistry in Blair.
Hi there, I’m Mandi Lackas. When my dear friend, Stacie Rhea, was diagnosed with ALS…we all knew what her future would hold. Her grandmother and mother had both passed from ALS in previous years, so Stacie knew her journey would be a rough one and the outcome was not promising. After witnessing firsthand the struggles and devastation ALS causes to its victims and their families, and watching Stacie suffer in her short time left…I knew something had to be done. Stacie lost her battle with ALS in 2010 and at that point I knew I needed to be more involved in spreading awareness. I came upon ALS in the Heartland and knew it was a true fit for achieving my goal.
I am a Realtor licensed in Nebraska under Nebraska Realty. Working with homeowners to sell their current homes, and buyers looking for just the right new house to fit their needs. Along with real estate, I assist new construction and remodeling customers with design and finishes for their new homes.
I live in a small town south of Omaha with my fiancé, Alan, and our yellow labs, Sugar & Whitley. I’ve known my fiancé since the 6th grade! We enjoy the outdoors, love to fish and vacation, and enjoy time on the lake with our friends and family.
Sitting on the Board of Directors for ALSITH is an honor and a pleasure. Together with the staff, other Board Members, and all of the incredible volunteers…we can make a huge difference in the lives of those who suffer. I know Stacie is proud of the work we do and is looking down with so much pride!
I feel truly blessed to be a part of ALS in the Heartland because of the caring nature of each staff person, board member and person/family being served. With almost 20 years of my professional life being devoted to serving others with disabilities, a terminal disease and aging frailties, I have always looked with a curious eye at those who lead the organization and truly follow the mission. The leaders of ALS in the Heartland carry the Mission Statement like a banner of honor, and I am proud to join their ranks in 2012.
What do I bring to my role of volunteer leadership on the Board? I bring experience in fundraising, development, marketing and the gift of creativity. I also bring my endless compassion and respect for “friends” with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families. People who were dealt a very bad hand in the game of life, but insist on playing it out with integrity and honor.
My wife and I live in Northwest Omaha. Pam is a pharmacist at The Nebraska Medical Center. We have two wonderful children.
My wife, Sharon, was diagnosed with ALS, and I remember the doctor looking at her and saying “there is no known cause, and no known cure.” After meeting with the doctor my wife and I went to a support group. We came home to the kitchen table and decided everything we needed to do. My wife said to me “we need to help others who are affected with this while we can.” I agreed and made a commitment to my wife that is what we would do. Still today I am following up on the commitment I made to my wife and doing all I can for those affected with ALS. My commitment is my passion and that is why I am here at ALS in the heartland – to find a cause and to find a cure.
My husband, John, passed away from ALS in 1996.
Four years ago, I was asked to join ALS in the Heartland Board of Directors. Immediately, I knew this is where I wanted to be. Having gone through John’s illness without this type of support system just reassured me that it was the thing to do. We have a hard working Board and many volunteers that strive to provide the services the patient and their caregivers need – mentally, physically and spiritually. Of course, our main goal is a cure for ALS but until then we will continue to work hard to provide those services.
Our family was greatly impacted by the challenge of ALS when my husband, Roger, was diagnosed in 2004 with this degenerative neurologic disease. Even though I am an experienced registered nurse, there is no way my family and I could have been fully prepared to deal with the changes that ALS brought for Roger. We were blessed to receive the dedicated support we needed, both physically and emotionally, from ALS in the Heartland.
I am honored to have now served for two years on the Board of Directors for this dynamic organization that contributes significantly to improving the quality of life for patients and families affected by this devastating disease. Our staff and board members work diligently to ensure that no family walks this journey alone.
My name is Jacquie Stewart and my journey with ALS began in 2000 when my Grandmother was diagnosed. In 2002, when I was 19, I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Council Bluffs, Iowa to help care for my grandma. She was a registered nurse by occupation, but was forced to retire when her symptoms started. She lost her battle to ALS in 2008, but it was her stories and guidance that inspired me to become a registered nurse and then go on to become a nurse practitioner. Currently I live in Syracuse, Nebraska with my husband and our two daughters.
I became a board member with ALS in the Heartland in the spring of 2009. ALS in the Heartland was an organization that I wanted to be a part of not only because of all the help they were able to offer us in our time of need, but also because I saw all the potential that the organization possesses. There are so many ways that we are able to help people in Nebraska and Western Iowa who are fighting this terrible disease, and that is something I knew I could be proud to say that I was a part of.
Christopher Richard “Chip” Tracey
Born Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Avid Red Sox fan
Peddler 1990 thru 2008
Fine Gifts, Diamonds, Seiko
Presently Regional Manager Regal Advertising
Lost my dad April 1991 to ALS
Extremely interested in patient care and a future cure.
I reside in Beatrice, and am retired from being the V.P. of Manufacturing at The Store Kraft Mfg. Co. of which I was a part of since 1972
My interest and current involvement with ALS started in December of 2003 when my wife Judy was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. Knowing nothing about this disease, our family quickly tried to educate ourselves because we found that the local medical profession knew very little as well. Thru the MDA, ALS in the Heartland support Group and Dr. Pattee in Lincoln we knew that there was no cure and no symptoms that indicate you have it. We found that the support group was the only method for each family that was experiencing this disease, and could share feelings, health related issues and ways to make things somewhat tolerable. That’s one of the many things ALS in the Heartland provides today. I am proud to be a member of this Board and hope for a cure soon.