Meet the Staff
Kylie Albrecht – Advocacy and Awareness Coordinator
I am a recent graduate of UNO where I received a bachelor’s degree in communications. I have been a part of the ALS in the Heartland family for four years; starting out as an intern, then a volunteer, and now as the Advocacy and Awareness Coordinator.
It is exciting to see how much the agency has grown in four years. I am looking forward to helping continue the growth and fight this horrible disease.
Sabrina Schalley – Patient Services Director
I am blessed to have been a social worker for nearly twenty years as it is my calling in life. After over 15 years in first a hospital setting and then in child welfare, I joined ALS in the Heartland in October 2008. It is my hope each day to use my credentials and experiences — Certified Master Social Worker, Licensed Mental Health Practitioner, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist – in ways that provide unconditional support to ALS patients, families, and caregivers.
It was a personal care giving journey with my very special Grandfather when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness that lead me to want to share this journey with others. Family is the most important thing to me and I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband and two boys (ages 9 and 7) to spend my time with away from work. I also enjoy participating in my book club of over twelve years, scrap booking, and practicing yoga. Both my professional and personal lives provide me with great fulfillment – I am truly fortunate.
Tammy Stalzer – Administrative Coordinator
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 patients, families, friends, and community members who are supportive of the fight to end the debilitating disease of ALS.
In my free time, I adore being with my husband and two elementary aged daughters. Also, I like exercising, reading, and friendships. I truly have the best of both worlds – a great cause that I work for, and a fantastic personal life!
Monica Tvrdy – Patient Services
Hi! My name is Monica Tvrdy and I am an intern here at ALS in the Heartland. I am a senior at UNO working towards my bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I have a deep passion to work with families and their loved ones affected by a terminal illness.
This year I lost my mother to a terminal illness, and I saw the impact of living in a rural community and accessing quality healthcare. It is very important to improve the rural community and healthcare relationship! ALS in the Heartland is a great organization that opens the doors to do this. I am very excited to be a part of the ALS in the Heartland organization.
Meet the Volunteer Board of Directors
I grew up south of Norfolk. I am a senior accountant at Christensen Brozek Faltys in Norfolk, Nebraska. My dad passed away from bulbar ALS in 2007. I have been involved with the Community Walk hosted in Norfolk since 2006, and joined the ALS in the Heartland Board a few years ago to help raise awareness and reach out to those who need support.
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.
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 our patients. My “day” job is an Associate Vice president for a local commercial real estate firm. My expertise includes investment property acquisitions and dispositions of commercial real estate. I began my career in real estate in 1995 and am fortunate to represent many companies and guide them through the process. I am proud to be a part of ALS in the Heartland.
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 the last 6 years.
My wife, Kristen, and I live in Blair and have four kids: Ashley (25), Cody (21), Emma (13) and Adam (8). I work at Bank of the West as a Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager in Omaha and my wife is a dental hygienist at Heartland Family Dentistry in Blair.
Sharon K. Kuncl has been an active supporter of ALS fundraising events for several years and has served on the ALS Board since 2007. She obtained a B.S. degree in 1961 and an MS degree in 1986 from the University of Nebraska. She taught school in Idaho Falls, Idaho and Downers Grove, Illinois before returning to Nebraska and raising three children with her husband, Larry Kuncl,
who was diagnosed with ALS in 1996. Sharon is Larry’s primary care taker. In 1986, she returned to her career as a mental health counselor and was an L.M.H.P. and a state and national Certified Professional Counselor. Sharon has organized three fund raising walks in outstate Nebraska and is passionate about finding a cure for ALS. In the meantime, her goal is to help families experiencing the journey of ALS. Sharon and her husband are the parents of three children, Corbin, Becky, and Millie. They are the grandparents of Nicole Kuncl, TJ and Luke Andreasen, and JJ, Clara and Reva Long.
I became involved with ALS in the Heartland through my work experience as an occupational therapist. I had the honor and privilege of working professionally with many people who have ALS. I was touched deeply by those experiences. When I was looking to volunteer some of my time, I looked for an opportunity to work with an organization that directly served ALS patients and their families. My initial role as a volunteer was, and still is, to act as a professional resource for the Agency and the people we serve. That role has expanded to include serving on the Board and supporting our staff in fund-raising, promoting community awareness of the disease and the services that are available, as well as to support patient services.
I consider my commitment to ALS in the Heartland to be a great honor and I’m incredibly proud to be associated with an organization that is committed to companioning people on what is likely the most significant journey of their lives.
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 Louisville, Nebraska with my husband and we are expecting our first child in the fall of this year.
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, V.P. of Manufacturing at The Store Kraft Mfg. Co. of which I have been 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.