Angie Remington, Deputy Director
Angie has 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration, communications, media relations and crisis response, grassroots advocacy, and fundraising. She believes deeply in helping communities build power to affect systemic change through organizing, leadership development, and collaboration. Angie also serves on the board of directors for Survivors Rising and Earth Day Omaha.
Aracely Rodriguez, Operations Director/Translator
Aracely has 5+ years of experience in Human Resources and administrative management. She was born in California, but has lived in Nebraska since age 12 and has made it her home. She loves playing volleyball and jet-skiing, and is a proud mom to 4 dogs that keep her very busy! Aracely is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Bill Yang, Weitz Fellow
Bill is a recent graduate of Carleton College with degrees in biology and history. He has experience working on local and congressional campaigns, as well as with advocacy organizations during his time in Minnesota. He is passionate about pushing for grassroots change in Nebraska. Outside of work, Bill enjoys reading history, playing bad chess, and cooking improvised Chinese food.
Chueqa Yang, Field Manager
Chueqa joined the Table in 2020 as part of our Organizer School and fell in love with relationship building, grassroots organizing, and creative place-making. She believes that intentional listening and civic engagement through art is an incredible tool for engaging with communities. When she’s not at work, you can find Chueqa walking her chihuahua lab Winston, training her new kitten to not bite her, or getting spontaneous tattoos.
Emma Craig, Data Director
Emma is a graduate of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with degrees in Global Studies and French. She has experience in managing local and statewide political campaigns, was previously the Table's Data Manager, and is driven by how through data we are able to see a clearer picture of our goals and the quickest path to attain them. When not at work, Emma can be found drinking too much coffee, and reading another history book.
Guadalupe Esquivel, Digital Communications Manager
Guadalupe is a recent graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received a Bachelor's degree in sociology, Spanish, and Latin American studies. She is a firm believer that compassion and equity belong at the forefront of community building. When she's not at the Table, you can find Guadalupe shopping for plants or trying to figure out a proper serving size for pasta.
J. Petersen, Supporter Engagement Manager
J. joined the Table team in 2018 as an intern and fell in love with the team and the mission. He has a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies & Global Studies with a focus in Human Rights & Humanitarian Affairs from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. J. strives to bring compassion and empathy to every role. His passion for equity, antiracism, and truly representative democracy drive his work, and his love for his wife, his dogs, and his many, many unfinished crafts and home projects drive his personal life.
Karina Hernandez, Voter Registration Manager
Karina is driven by the belief that every voice matters, and wants to increase voter participation in Nebraska by informing and engaging underrepresented communities to participate in the electoral process. Karina started her work at the Table as a bilingual canvasser and now aspires to implement voter registration programs across Nebraska. When she’s not at work, you can find Karina kayaking or listening to true-crime podcasts.
Kimara Snipes, Community Partnership Manager
Kimara has 12 years of experience in strategic communication planning and has been active in the North and South Omaha communities since she was 12 years old. She believes collaboration creates change and results in improved outcomes for peoples' lives. When she is not working with the Table, she serves as Youth Specialist with the Omaha Public Library, President of her neighborhood association and also as an Omaha Public School Board representative.
Kinzie Mabon, Field Director
Kinzie is a Nebraska native who has always been passionate about civic engagement and activism. In her time as an organizer, she found great joy in engaging young people as volunteers and interns. When she’s not at work, you can find Kinzie enjoying live music and contemplating how long she would survive in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Meg Mikolajczyk, Executive Director
Meg brings a wealth of experience in expanding access to health services and growing power across the state through direct and grassroots lobbying, organizing, and electoral programming. She earned degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Juris Doctor from University of Nebraska College of Law. In her off time, she serves on numerous boards and commissions, and enjoys time with family, true crime, and celebrations involving cake.
Melissa Breazile, Director of Communications & External Affairs
Melissa’s work in the Omaha nonprofit and political sectors has spanned communications, research, and volunteer management. Prior to this work, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia; and before that, a newspaper reporter and editor. She earned her MPA from UNO and her bachelor’s in digital media from Northwest Missouri State University. In her free time, Melissa dedicates herself to volunteering, traveling, and playing in the forest.
Sandy Griffin, Advocacy Campaign Manager
Sandy was born and raised in Nebraska and has been passionate about how getting involved can change people's lives for as long as she can remember. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science with a concentration in Government Affairs and Civic Engagement from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and has spent the past few years working with non-profits and political campaigns. In her spare time, Sandy enjoys any television show written by Mike Schur and trying to keep her cat out of trouble.
Sofia Gavia, Field Intern
Sofia is a graduating senior from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Environmental Studies, Community and Regional Planning, and Spanish. Through her work in climate advocacy, she has learned the power of grassroots organizing. Sofia believes that when people come together they can build strong and resilient communities. In her free time, Sofia enjoys gardening and sitting under a shady tree.
Board of Directors
Katie Weitz, PhD - Board President
Weitz Family Foundation
After graduating from Carleton College with a BA in Political Science, Katie moved to Chicago and became a middle school teacher earning a M.Ed. from DePaul University. She soon learned that the issues inside education were much broader than what happened in the classroom and returned to academia achieving a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy. Katie moved home to Omaha for a dream job at The Sherwood Foundation and spent six years there growing as a professional and as a person. Taking what she learned there, she has now turned her focus to her own family’s foundation and is currently the executive director.
Kathy Steinauer Smith - Board Treasurer
Woods Charitable Fund
Kathy has worked at WCF since 2012 and handles program review, grants management and public relations.
Before joining WCF, Kathy worked at the Lincoln Journal Star in several editing roles beginning in 2005. She also has worked in public relations for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been an editor at newspapers in Iowa, California and Nevada. She has volunteered with several local nonprofit organizations in varying roles since 2001. She received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Odochi Akwani is a recent UNL grad with a degree in Journalism and Advertising/PR. She has a passion for community empowerment through storytelling which aligns with her work as the Program Manager of Rabble Media. She's looking to serve on the board to encourage the use of creative storytelling in advocacy as well as share her perspective as a new grad working in a nonprofit space.
YWCA of Lincoln
Karen Bell-Dancy serves as the Executive Director of the YWCA of Lincoln. Bell-Dancy holds an Executive MBA in Management Degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Bloch School of Business and a Bachelor's in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University. She has over 30 years experience that consist mainly of higher education and all levels of work in public schools from elementary to high school. Bell-Dancy is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and has a passion for working and advocating for women, youth and social justice issues. Recently, she received the Nebraska Appleseed Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award for social justice and advocacy work and the Lincoln Journal Star Inspiring Women Non Profit Leadership Award.
You Go Girl
In addition to owning Catapult Consulting Solutions, Rachel also serves as a freelance instructor at the Metro Community College of Omaha. In 2018 she founded You Go Girl, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of self-doubt and low self-esteem in young women and girls by creating a vision for who they can be. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is pursuing a Master’s in Leadership at Oral Roberts University. In 2019, she was named the Greater Omaha Chamber Young Professionals Changemaker, and was a 2020 TOYO Recipient. She was also a top finalist for the Mrs. Nebraska pageant in 2019 and 2020. Rachel also received a Leadership Award from the Leadership Africa Summit in 2019.
Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School
Shannon Gilroy is the Vice President of Advancement at Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School. In her role, Shannon guides the school’s culture of philanthropy while building strategic programs that foster enthusiasm for charitable giving opportunities. Prior to working at Brownell Talbot, Shannon was the director of marketing and campaign manager at a fundraising consulting firm that specializes in the design and implementation of nonprofit feasibility studies and capital campaigns. Shannon is an Omaha native with a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from Marquette University and a Master in Organizational Leadership from Creighton University. In addition to her service to NCET, Shannon serves on the Laurizten Gardens Board of Directors and the Maha Festival Board of Directors.
Sarah Ann Kotchian
Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative
Sarah Ann serves as Chief Operating Officer, the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative’s internal leader, managing growth and ensuring sustainable operational excellence. She was one of the founding board members of the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table and brings deep experience in nonprofit strategy, corporate development, and public relations. Sarah Ann has worked extensively for nonprofits and in various local and state appointments to drive program, practice, and policy improvements for women, children, and families. She is a graduate of Creighton University and the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Valeria Rodriguez immigrated from Mexico to Mitchell, NE with her family when she was five years old, in 2000. Valeria holds a B.A. in Spanish and Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is currently pursuing her master’s in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. During her time at UNL, she founded the Define American Chapter @ UNL, which was named 2016 Chapter of the Year and in 2017 received the Roots for Justice Award. She then established the Dr. Juan N Franco Legacy Scholarship to help undocumented and DACAmented students pursue their education at UNL. In 2018, she co-founded Empowering Families, a Scottsbluff based nonprofit working to build a stronger and more welcoming community through education, civic participation, and individual empowerment.
Nic Swiercek serves as the Development & Engagement Sr Director at Nebraska Appleseed, and has managed its fundraising and supporter engagement efforts since 2010. Prior to Appleseed, Nic worked on a number of policy and organizing campaigns for affirmative action, worker health and safety, federal health reform, and LGBT rights. He received a bachelor’s degree with distinction in History and Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007. Nic was one of the founding board members of the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table and served as its Treasurer from 2016-2020. He also serves on the board of Rabble Mill and the Aksarben Curling Association.