Voting Board Members

Gabriela (Gabbi) Caito – Gabbi is a credit risk analyst and a recent graduate of Creighton University, where she studied Mathematics and Data Science. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) candidate. She enjoys reading, traveling, brewing beer, and spending time with her dogs, Wrigley and Rizzo.

Dan Gard- CPA (Treasurer)- Dan is currently the Treasurer of Ataxia Connection. Dan joined the Board after being introduced to the members of the Board and learning of the mission and benefits that the organization provides to ataxians and enjoys helping the organization grow and mature. Dan has an undergraduate degree from Creighton and an MBA from UNO. He is currently working in the Finance Department at Nebraska Medicine. Dan is married to his wife Beth and they have three young children. 

Natalie Gregory – Natalie is a speech pathologist graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, however retired, she still helps out whenever someone calls. Natalie has a close family friend that has ataxia and began volunteering at Ataxia Connection events to show her support. She serves on the fundraising committee and is dedicated to her family, friends and our organization.

Jason Green – Jason is currently an enterprise Sales leader (Midwest) for Toshiba America Business Solutions possessing extensive sales and team leader experience with a proven track record in sales management. He joined our team as the Golf Challenge Co-Chair in 2023 and was quickly recruited to join the board shortly thereafter. Jason is a current mentor with TeamMates Youth Mentoring and a prior volunteer with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, working with teams of volunteers to build beds for children in need. Jason has a parent and extended family with ataxia and has a very good idea how this disease/condition impacts the individual and family.

Scott Moore-Scott is currently a board member who became interested in supporting Ataxia Connection’s mission as a person with a disability and as a longtime friend of Linda Snider. Scott himself is a person with a disability since the age of 18 after he became a paraplegic as a result of car accident. Scott is a partner in the Baird Holm law firm and specializes in disability discrimination law in all areas with a focus in employment, housing, and ADA work.  Scott hopes he can use his personal and professional experience to continue Ataxia Connection’s great work in the community.

Michelle Moragues- (Secretary) Michelle is proud to be on the board for Ataxia Connection, she truly values giving back to those in her community. Michelle has an aunt who is living with ataxia. Michelle worked at QLI for 19 years where she witnessed how devastating it can be to those affected after traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries. She is currently working at Fusion Medical Staffing. Besides giving back to her community, Michelle enjoys shopping, is a serial dater (not by choice) and LOVES to spend time with her family. She is often spending her time helping a family member with a home project, shopping with her mom or continuing her reign as world’s best auntie to her niece and nephews.  Always says yes and loves to be helpful to anyone who is in need – and will always try to brighten the room – if it calls for glitter, Michelle is your girl!

Jim Mowrer, MPP- Jim is a Des Moines, Iowa community leader, and is known for his diverse roles as a consultant, professor, and philanthropist. He served in key roles in the presidential campaigns and administrations of Presidents Obama and Biden. Joining the military after 9/11, he served with the US Army in Iraq. Post-service, Jim worked in national security policy development and served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. In Iowa, he ran for Congress and founded JDM Consulting to aid political and non-profit organizations. Inspired by his son Jack’s disability and passionate about advocacy, he worked as the Major Gifts Officer with Easter Seals Iowa. Jim’s commitment to service and community improvement underscores his dedication to causes like this.

Elizabeth Remmen- One of Ataxia Connection’s first board members, Elizabeth has been heavily involved in the organization since its inception. As a college roommate at Creighton University with Co-Founder, Linda Snider, she spent time with Linda’s family, including one summer living in their basement. Exposed to ataxia via Linda’s father, she became very familiar with the disease and how it affects not only the individual, but the family as a whole. A marketer and graphic designer by trade, she loves watching movies, is a voracious reader, and follows Bluejay basketball like a true alum.

Corie Sass, LCSW- Corie is a social worker by trade, and does consulting and facility support for a local Non-Profit organization, Vetter Health Services. She is married to husband Andy who is a nurse. Together they have 3 boys – Jake, Elliott and Graham. Elliott was diagnosed at age 2 with a rare form of ataxia called Ataxia Telangiectasia. They found Ataxia Connection shortly after Elliott’s diagnosis and it has been such a blessing for their family. Corie is “honored to be part of a wonderful organization.”

Mark “Skippy” Sidwell (President) – Mark is a Co-Founder of Ataxia Connection. He is happily married to the fantastic Linda. He’s the caretaker of an Ataxian and therefore is passionate about its mission and moving the organization forward. He’s a computer programmer at CSG in Omaha, Nebraska and his hobbies include scuba diving, biking, and anything that involves having fun.

Mark Slattery, CFS– Mark is a partner at Trusted Wealth Partners offering securities and advisory services. He is a member of FINRA/SIPC. He graduated from Creighton University and is married to his high school sweetheart Julie and has three daughters, Erin, Megan and Emma. He enjoys golf, hunting, travel, and fishing.

Mike Summers, MD- Mike is a board-certified pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine physician. He currently serves as the Section Chief of Sleep Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine.  He sees and manages all progressive neuromuscular/movement disorders (ataxia, ALS, MD etc.) patients at Nebraska Medicine. Additionally, his professional interests include improved clinical effectiveness and effective leadership. He and his wife, Allison, live in Omaha. They have a daughter, Isabella.. His hobbies include photography, playing ice hockey and home renovation projects.

Tonya Vhylidal – Currently Tonya serves as a Regional Senior Consultant for Wellbeing and Engagement with Gallagher. In this role Tonya serves a variety of clients across the United States ranging in client size from 50 – 40,000+ lives providing a variety of wellbeing and engagement and HR solutions. Tonya is dedicated to helping organizations thrive using wellbeing strategies. With over 20 years of experience, she creates workplace excellence by integrating wellness, safety, occupational health, and benefits to enhance company culture. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years and brings a unique perspective to the organization.  Tonya received her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and her Master of Education in Sport Pedagogy from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She is very passionate about coaching others to achieve personal and professional excellence, Trauma Informed Yoga, reading, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

David Wright (Vice President)-David Wright, a retired public school administrator, has an inherited form of ataxia, SCA5, also known as the Lincoln Disease. David understands the importance of staying physically active and socially connected in order to live life to its fullest. Ataixa Connection has been a great avenue for supporting a healthy lifestyle and has become David’s extended family. David is a husband, father and grandfather, and a loyal Husker fan! (…even in times of distress in football and thank goodness for volleyball!!!)

Non-Voting Members

Linda Snider-Sidwell, MD is a Co-Founder of Ataxia Connection and currently serves as a board member of the National Ataxia Foundation. Linda’s passion is helping others live life to the fullest. Linda is a physician by training and also has ataxia. She lives her life showing that although she has ataxia, ataxia does not define who she is. She is a force of nature, and her motto is: join her or get out of the way. She is a scuba diver, book lover, foodie, dancer, and traveler.  

Theresa Nelson(Executive Director) joined the organization June 1, 2021, and has experience in leadership positions for the last 10 years with both large and small nonprofit organizations. Nelson is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has been in or around the healthcare industry throughout her almost thirty-year professional career. With a passion for learning and development, she has been honored to be adjunct faculty for both University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University. Nelson is an advocate and champion for caregivers, being one herself for many years, she admires the individuals and families who work together to support and increase quality of life for themselves. Nelson and her husband live at Beaver Lake and love enjoying time with family and friends.

Dinesh Lulla, MD –Dinesh is a board-certified pediatric neurologist at Boystown National Research Hospital and specializes in neurogenetics and rare diseases.  He has a special interest in Leukodystrophy, Lysosomal storage disorders, ataxia, epilepsy and autism genetics, a broad spectrum of rare diseases.  He acquired his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of surgery at Topiwala National Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. His pediatric residency was in child neurology residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and fellowship in Neurogenetics at NYU Langone Medical Center.  He has a passion for his profession and enjoys working with the families and children he encounters.

Angie Uttecht – Angie is the Director of Client Accounting Services, Angie Uttecht, attributes her strong work ethic to being born and raised in the small town of Sargent, Nebraska. “That’s where I learned that you might have to get your hands dirty and make sacrifices to achieve your goals,” she said. Uttecht attributes all her success to having a strong worth ethic and a positive, never quit, attitude! Uttecht attended the University of Nebraska Kearney where she earned a BS in Business Administration. It was during her time in college that Angie became inspired to go into the accounting field because she loved her accounting classes. Angie knew she was organized and detail oriented, so accounting was a perfect fit. With more than 25 years in the accounting industry, Angie was a great addition to the board.  She enjoys time and travel with her husband and two sons.