The CAC members represent a diverse group of Nevadans. Below is a list of members and a short but growing bio sketch of our members. If you are interested in joining the CAC, please complete the APPLICATION HERE.
My name is Gerald O'Brien and I am a member-at-large on the board of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Nevada. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology earned from the University of Nevada Reno in 1997. I also represent NAMI on the Disability Awareness Coalition and on the CAC. I have an interest in educating the public on the nature of mental illness and overcoming the stigma of mental illness.
An Arts and Media Education Specialist and a Grief-Bereavement Specialist, I have worked with well over 20,000 children, teens and adults. Raised in a culturally disadvantaged family with a sibling who had a developmental disability, I witnessed first hand both the difficulties and triumphs an impoverished and uneducated family experiences with disability. As a key note speaker, workshop facilitator, performer/producer and storyteller, I have presented in over 20 countries, always telling the story of my sister Linda, ” a angel who was mentally challenged but not spiritually challenged” and who for 33 years was married to Nelson “a man with a developmental disability and a sense of humor and loyalty that made him a genuine humanitarian.” I am currently the Executive Director of Sierra Association of Foster Families.
Tiffany was born in Carson City and grew up in the rural town of Stagecoach. She was very active in sports. She played volleyball for Feather River Community College. Tiffany sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury during a hiking accident in Quincy, California when she took a 168-foot fall into the Feather River.
Tiffany currently attends the Truckee Meadows Community College for her Associate in Arts degree. Tiffany became an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2006 and successfully completing her term of service in 2010. She is a member of the Carson City Chapter of People First of Nevada and is starting her fourth year as a member on the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. She is the Vice President, Personal Assistance for Persons with Severe Functional Disabilities subcommittee of the Commission on Services for Persons with Disabilities. Tiffany is the co-chair of the Community Advisory Committee for the NCED.
Chris Moran is a public relations specialist with the state of Nevada, with a background in newspaper reporting and editing. She has served on the NCED’s CAC since 2010. She is an avid skier, reader and dog walker and occasional baker.
Nicole Schomberg is the parent of a 23 year old young woman with Down syndrome. She has worked in the disability field for over 20 years and has extensive experience working with families and self-advocates in Nevada. She is the Project Coordinator for The Arc in Nevada, a project funded by the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and works part-time as a Legal Assistant. Additionally, Nicole is the treasurer for the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada.
Frank was born in Pasadena, California and has lived in Reno most of his life. He is a longtime member of the Reno Arch Lions Club. He is active in Special Olympics, where he participates year round in track & field (3 gold medals), softball (silver medal) and golf. He is soloist in the Note-Ables, an inclusive musical group, with which he has been singing since 2007. He is a member of the People First of Nevada Reno chapter, and has attended the People First of Nevada statewide conferences and the Alliance for Full Participation in Washington, DC. He has a member of the NCED CAC since 2008.
Sherry Manning is currently the Executive Director of the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Previous to being appointed executive director, she was Program Manager and Housing Developmental Specialist for the Council for four years. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Manning was the Director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Northern Nevada, where she provided education and counseling to clients in need of affordable/accessible housing and budget/credit assistance. Ms. Manning’s educational background is in accounting with twelve years as a senior auditor for the State of Nevada Department of Taxation.
Mary Kay Altenburg
Currently the Program Director for Family TIES of Nevada, Mary Kay Altenburg joined the NCED – CAC in June 2011. As the Family to Family Health Information Center for the state of Nevada, Family TIES provides Training, Information & Emotional Support to families of children with special healthcare needs throughout the state. Mary Kay implements and supervises all the activities for Family TIES programs including Information and Referral Service, Training, Community Outreach, Youth Transition, and Parent to Parent Peer Mentor Support.
As the auntie of two nephews with behavioral diagnoses, Mary Kay has a personal interest in providing support to families who have a child with special needs. She is a passionate advocate of family-centered care, self-determination, inclusion, and independence for individuals, especially children and youth, with disabilities and special health care needs.
Mary Kay’s community involvement began with the Board of Directors for Friends of Special Children, a non-profit group supporting Nevada Early Intervention Services, where she served for five years. She then joined the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada, serving on the Executive and Fundraising Committees for the past four years.