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Staff Members

  • Susanne started at MTKO in 2000 as the first Executive Director. In addition to leading and supervising staff, she is actively engaged in fundraising, grant writing, community relations, and program planning & evaluation. She received the YWCA Tribute to Women, Social Worker of the Year (NE Chapter), and the Nonprofit Executive of the Year Awards. During her tenure, the facility was successfully relocated from its original downtown location to the current location on N. 27th Street. Susanne has developed a culture of hope, empowerment, and compassion which is nurtured and emulated by staff. She loves “The diversity of the people we serve, the diversity of our team with their skills, passion and personalities, and the diversity of my daily activities. There is never a dull moment!”

  • Sally started at MTKO in March 2015 - just in time to dive right in and help celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Feeding the Soul of the City". Needless to say, she hit the ground running! Sally's focus will be on fundraising, especially on building relationships with our many generous donors and introducing new donors to the joys of "Doing Big Good" with MTKO. Sally says she loves knowing the funds she helps raise will be providing daily support to so many of Lincoln's neediest people. And the rest of us love knowing Sally is on our team.

  • Janet educates guests, volunteers and staff about the importance of good nutrition, and how eating healthy can be done tastefully on a budget. Her favorite part of the job is interacting with the guests and helping make a positive impact in their lives. You can find Janet teaching adult and children’s cooking classes, providing nutrition education to community groups and to the Life Skills students at MTKO, mentoring nutrition and nursing students, writing a monthly column for the MTKO “Do Big Good” News, and coordinating our on-site “HOPE Garden.” Janet also sees folks individually for medical nutrition therapy where she provides education and counseling to clients with conditions that can be treated with diet changes.

  • Throughout the year Vicky is using her planning and creative skills to prepare for the next Matt Talbot event – from Feeding the Soul of the City in the spring to Huskers Helping the Homeless in the fall, and everything in between! Her goal and passion is educating the community about all the good that Matt Talbot has to offer.

  • Lynda is the glue that holds MTKO together. She is the “go-to” person that keeps the facility, the staff, and The Board of Directors running smoothly. Dedicated, loyal, and almost unbelievably optimistic, Lynda enjoys knowing that her job does “big good” for the community. She says that one of the best parts of her job is working with a team that inspires her every day. Well, right back at ya Sister.

  • Clarence provides alcohol and drug evaluations, individual counseling, and substance use education to people in the community who struggle with addiction and substance abuse issues. He finds helping people gain self-awareness in their relationships with substances to be the most rewarding aspect of his position. Clarence also enjoys sharing his personal addiction and recovery story with human service students and local law enforcement in an attempt to educate and inspire.

  • Knowing that addiction touches many people, Alanna sees her main role at Matt Talbot to be assisting individuals to constructively navigate through their struggles on their way to a better life. Alanna joined the MTKO team in 2016 to provide substance use evaluations and counseling to homeless individuals, and facilitate alcohol education classes for anyone in the community who has received a DUI or MIP citation. She is a proud recipient of the 2014 “Rookie of the Year” Award from Behavioral Health Specialists. And her clients at Matt Talbot are the thankful recipients of her professional services and caring heart.

  • Dave oversees financial management, human resources and information technology. And he thinks “Bold Hope” is an awesome motto for what Matt Talbot does! His position was created in 2017 as our programs (and building!) expanded, and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board. Dave likes working with an organization that has a clear mission and with a staff and volunteers who care so much about meeting the needs of the working poor and homeless.

  • Retha is a Certified Peer Support and Wellness Specialist and comes to Matt Talbot after working at CenterPointe as a Team Leader for several years. She is a certified WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) facilitator and enjoys helping people develop self-management tools to have more control over their well-being, enjoy long term stability and move toward their goals in life. Retha’s compassion and warmth are felt instantly and her commitment to the mission of Matt Talbot was evident on Day 1. When she’s not at Matt Talbot, Retha spends time volunteering for Lincoln Fencing Club and Relay for Life, as well as relaxing and fishing at Lake McConaughy with her family.

  • Rosie first came to Matt Talbot as an intern working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and then continued as a volunteer. And we are thrilled to have her join the MTKO staff team as a full time Housing Case Manager. Rosie provides case management to clients in the transitional housing program and in the Homeless Voucher Program. She has a heart for helping the homeless and believes all people deserve dignity, respect, and help. It is hard to say who is more excited about Rosie working at Matt Talbot – but it’s safe to say the staff, guests, and Rosie are all pretty blessed.

  • Randy Olaveson, Kitchen Assistant
    Randy Olaveson, Kitchen Assistant

    Randy works 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. He washes dishes for lunch meals, keep the kitchen and dish room clean, and makes sure all of our hunger relief volunteer teams are well supplied. Randy likes to keep busy which is a great attribute for the Kitchen Assistant. He also appreciates everything that Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach and all of our hunger relief volunteers do to help Lincoln’s homeless and working poor.

  • Victoria started working at Matt Talbot in February 2017 after moving back to Lincoln from Chicago to be closer to family. Her extensive career in project management and her love for serving others makes her the perfect fit for the job! Victoria’s favorite part of her work at Matt Talbot is getting to know the volunteers and guests, and she is honored to be part of an organization that is making positive changes in people’s lives every day. Victoria is the mom of five children (and the best dog in the world).

  • Robert provides substance use evaluations and counseling to homeless individuals, and just generally lights up a room with his positivity and determination. Evaluations are required before a person can enter treatment and are typically quite expensive (up to $300). The good news is that MTKO offers FREE evaluations to the homeless, and with Robert on board Matt Talbot is better positioned to meet the great community need for this service in a timely fashion. We think Robert describes it best when he says evaluations are “Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket to treatment”. Golden Ticket or just a caring counselor and community – Robert’s joy is helping clients find their way back to health and wholeness.

  • Jeanetta is the friendly face you see when you come to our facility. Her job is to welcome guests, answer the phone, and provide information and referral about available services. She loves her job at Matt Talbot and says her favorite part is that MTKO is warm and welcoming and doesn’t turn anyone away.

  • Glenn assists guests with the needs they have when they walk through the doors of Matt Talbot. If he can’t help, he will work hard to refer them on to someone who can. He enjoys working at Matt Talbot because every day is different and there is no end to the variety of people and situations that he sees day to day. Approachable, quiet, and competent – Glenn is key member of the Outreach Team helping to deliver services to prevent homelessness.

  • Sara started working at Matt Talbot in 2005 as an Outreach Specialist, and ever since has been a trusted advocate and champion for the most vulnerable folks in Lincoln. Her straightforward and practical perspective has helped her lead Matt Talbot in expanding the outreach program in ways that avoid duplication of services provided by other agencies and address the unmet needs of the homeless and near homeless in our community. In her current role as Outreach Coordinator, she oversees the First HOPE housing initiative which provides permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless individuals and families. Sara appreciates the community of colleagues, volunteers, partnering agencies and supporters that it takes to restore hope to every individual served at Matt Talbot. In addition to her role with First HOPE, Sara helps guests with basic needs and outreach services – such as obtaining vital identification documents needed for housing or employment and doing street outreach with the chronically homeless. She is always on hand for guests and staff to listen, support, and help when she can. Sara received the Lincoln Homeless Coalition 2010 Human Service Worker of the Year Award, and the 2012 Project Homeless Connect Award.

  • Susie spends the majority of her time putting words on paper (or the Internet) to help others understand the needs and services of Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach. Whether it’s writing a grant application to a local foundation or an article for the website, the goal is to keep the community informed about the latest happenings at Lincoln’s community kitchen and outreach center. A background in public health keeps Susie focused on the big picture of how homeless prevention and hunger relief services benefit the entire community.

  • Sydne started as a volunteer at Matt Talbot in 2000 and has been on staff since 2006. She manages our “army” of hunger relief volunteers as well as oversees the maintenance of our beautiful commercial kitchen. This is no small task and requires a big heart for serving the homeless and near homeless – so Sydne is a perfect fit for the job. Her favorite part of the work is getting to know MTKO’s incredible group of volunteers.