Owlish Team

Sarah Phelps

Sarah Phelps

Executive Director

Sarah is a Strategy + Creative Project Manager consulting with Collective Flow Consulting on communications projects worldwide. Her passion for global equity, coupled with her lifelong advocacy for the LGBTQIA2S+ community, led her to Owlish when it’s rapid growth necessitated a formal Executive Director. Sarah was delighted to step into that role.

Sarah brings 20+ years of non-profit and volunteer experience as well as award-winning professional experience building development programs, driving innovative thought, and leading diversity, equity, and inclusion groups.

Heather Holmes

Heather Holmes

Founder + President of the Board

Passionate about impacting individuals, Heather is an entrepreneur, community activist, and sought after mentor who is encouraged daily by the strong women and feminists in her life. Heather has spent her career and sees her life’s works as advocating for inclusion and diversity, more specifically for older LGBTQ+ adults.

Billy Boyd

Billy Boyd

Board Member

Billy Boyd is a licensed attorney working for the Native American Program of Legal Aid of Nebraska. Billy holds degrees in both Accounting and Law.  Currently, Billy works with Native Americans in Nebraska in both State and Tribal courts and assists with most civil legal issue.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Billy worked for twelve years with the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division.  There he helped families become more financially stable by making sure families received the child support they needed.  Billy has always had a passion for helping the public, especially those who may have difficulty accessing the justice system.

Billy was a 2019-2021 Family Law Section Fellow, and he previously served as the Co- Chair of the Family Law Section’s Modest Means Committee and on the Young Lawyer’s Division Resolutions Team.  He is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Family Law Section’s Vulnerable Adults Committee through the end of 2022.  Locally, Mr. Boyd serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Indian Law Section.

If Billy is not at work, he can be found spending time with his husband, Thomas, and their two cats, Charlie and Tralfaz.  They love to travel, eat at new and exciting restaurants, hang out with friends, go to the movies, and explore more of Omaha.  Neither he nor Thomas are from the area, so learning new places to go is always a treat.

Jacqelle Lane

Jacqelle Lane

Vice President of the Board

Jacqelle Lane is the leading voice behind Every Child Matters: Preventing Teenage Suicide and Reducing Bullying.  She isn’t just any teacher; she’s the teacher everyone remembers, the one that goes above and beyond the day-to-day so that every kid doesn’t just feel special but know that they are unique.  A resident of Nebraska, Jacqelle has teaching endorsements in English and English as a Second Language and master’s degrees in Education Administration and, most recently, school counseling. Her first book, From Bully to Bestie, guides students, teachers, parents, and counselors on strategies that students can use to cope with bullying behavior and create more positive behaviors!  Her new book Every Child Matters! is about preparing children with social skills and coping skills for diverse circumstances and experiences, which will provide a fundamental base that prepares them for change and helps them develop self-confidence. It is crucial to encourage children to focus on the positives. While not all change is welcome, we can find the silver lining if we look hard enough.  She also has the only podcast dedicated to youth and suicide prevention Education with an Edge, available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google podcasts.

Jacqelle Lane, M. Ed. is the former professional practice and policy teaching fellow for the Nebraska State Education Association. She worked diligently on implementing equitable policies and procedures to promote diversity and inclusion at the state and local levels within our public schools in Nebraska. She is now Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Director at the Omaha Children’s Museum.

Ariel O'Donnell

Ariel O'Donnell

Board Member

Ariel O’Donnell is a wordsmith, activist, and artist living in Omaha, Nebraska. O’Donnell is currently finishing a BA degree intersecting Religious Studies and Philosophy and will be releasing her third collection of poetry in 2022. In the summer of 2022, O’Donnell began training to be an End-of-Life Doula and will be receiving a professional certificate from the University of Vermont in December 2022. O’Donnell is grateful to serve Owlish and the LGBTQIA2S+ community through activism in the arts, end-of-life guidance, and support for those often further marginalized in our communities. 
David Thompson

David Thompson

Board Member

David is an attorney with Carlson & Burnett, where he focuses on Elder Law, Medicaid planning, Veterans benefits, and guardianships. He has presented and published articles on end-of-life planning, elder abuse and a range of other topics. David is the Executive Editor of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys journal. He received his B.A. with high distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, his master’s degree from Oxford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Mark Van Kekerix

Mark Van Kekerix

Board Member

Mark is a Senior Software Development Manager at Deluxe Corporation with over 30 years of experience developing software and managing teams for the financial technology industry.  He recently led the Pride+ ERG (Deluxe’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group) for over 2 years, including working to gain a perfect 100 score for Deluxe on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI).  He is also a long-time singer, board member, and Treasurer for River City Mixed Chorus, Omaha’s LGBTQ+ community chorus.

Mark has a B.S. and an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He lives with his husband Bob (a teacher with Omaha Public Schools) and their two dogs in the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha.  Mark & Bob also have three energetic grandsons that visit often!

Josh Brink

Josh Brink

Treasurer of the Board

Josh grew up in Fremont, Iowa on a farm and was raised with small town values – including helping others. Starting at a young age, Josh and his family would take mission trips across the country and the world to help individuals in many different circumstances. Now in his adult life, he continually upholds those values in both his corporate careers and everyday life and is now the Director of Development for Dreamweaver Foundation.

Graduating from Drake University in 2014 with a degree in Finance, Josh began gathering the skills that would lead him to be the avid networker and financial mind that drives his success in development for nonprofits. Outside of his corporate career in finance, Josh served in many philanthropic roles even founding his own organization, OPEN (Omaha, Philanthropy, Education and Networking). OPEN is an exclusive speaker series and networking event which was started as a development tool for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Omaha.

After joining the Dreamweaver Foundation’s Guild in 2019, Josh quickly learned that he had a passion for serving the senior community. As Director of Development, Josh’s passion for the mission of the Foundation has changed from volunteerism to a career, which he plans to take to new heights in order to impact the lives of even more seniors.

Currently residing in Omaha with his partner Wesley, Josh enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing outdoor activities with his dog, Ryder, swimming, going to the gym, traveling, and trying all different types of food and restaurants.

Cynthia Lindenmeyer

Cynthia Lindenmeyer

Board Member

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Lindenmeyer founded the virtual Sacred Activism Community and currently serves as a chaplain for American Public University System (APUS) and the American Military University (AMU). A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Cynthia earned her M.Div from Duke Divinity School and Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Her passions include ministry through Spinning, Zumba, and Yoga