FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today named his appointments to the Nebraska Children’s Commission. The 18-member commission was created by Legislative Bill 821 in the 2012 legislative session.
As outlined by law, the voting members of the commission will include:
CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services: Kerry Winterer.
Director of the Division of Children and Family Services within the Department of Health and Human Services: Thomas Pristow.
The commission will include the following voting members appointed by Gov. Heineman:
Director of a child advocacy center: Gene Klein of Omaha, Executive Director of Project Harmony.
Administrator of a behavioral health region: Beth Baxter of Kearney, Region 3 Behavioral Health Administrator.
Community representatives from the southeastern service area: Patrick Ethridge of Beatrice, Editor/ Interim Publisher of the Beatrice Daily Sun.
Community representatives from the northern service area: Dale Shotkoski of Fremont, City Administrator.
Community representatives from the central service area: John Northrop of Hastings, a local business owner.
Community representatives from the western service area: Becky Sorensen of Mitchell, a recently retired social worker and counselor.
Community representatives from the eastern service area: David Newell of Omaha, Executive Director of Nebraska Families Collaborative.
Prosecuting attorney who practices in juvenile court: Martin Klein of Grand Island, Deputy Hall County Attorney.
Guardian ad litem: Attorney Norman Langemach of Lincoln.
Biological parent currently or previously involved in the child welfare system: Candy Kennedy Goergen of Upland, Executive Director of Nebraska Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.
Foster parent: Lisa Lechowicz of Omaha, foster parent of two and business owner.
Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer: Nancy Forney of Scottsbluff, a 6-year CASA volunteer.
Member of the state or local Foster Care Review Board: Susan Staab of Lincoln, a member of the State Foster Care Review Board.
Child welfare service agency that directly provides child welfare services: Karen Authier of Omaha, Executive Director of Nebraska Children’s Home Society.
Young adult previously in foster care: Janteice Holston of Wahoo, a Certified Nursing Assistant who spent 17 years in foster care.
Representative of a child advocacy organization: Mary Jo Pankoke of Lincoln, Executive Director of Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.
Additionally, as outlined by law, the commission will include the following 6 non-voting ex-officio members:
Chair of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee: State Senator Kathy Campbell of Lincoln.