About Us

ACN is a certified developmental disabilities service provider under contract with the State of Nebraska Health & Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities. Nearly one hundred and thirty individuals receive services from ACN, ranging in age from seven to 60. Although ACN specializes in autism, we serve persons with a variety of developmental disabilities. Individualized services and supports are designed to lead to a higher level of independence for each individual receiving services, addressing the individual’s desires for his/her future. ACN provides a variety of residential, vocational, pre-vocational and educational services. At ACN, we believe that every person, regardless of disability, is valuable, and deserves to be considered valued members of their home community.

ACN is guided by a team of committed individuals with substantial backgrounds in the field:

Chief executive Officer and President Brett Samson joined ACN in February of 2018. He brings 20 years experience with him working in the field of developmental disabilities, mental illness and with at-risk youth. He started supporting people with developmental disabilities as a direct support professional in the late 90s while working through college. A graduate of the University of Nebraska-at Omaha, he has experience at all levels in the field, including work in Community Relations positions and directing both vocational and residential programs. He most recently has served as the Area Director for a program in Iowa. Contact Brett at BSamson@ACNomaha.org.


Chief Financial Officer Richard Lowery joined ACN following 18 years in a similar position at the highly-respected Quality Living, Inc. (QLI), where he was instrumental in moving it from a start-up organization to a vibrant organization providing service to a previously under-served constituency. A graduate of UN-L, Lowery has worked in the accounting field for 34 years, the last 24 of which have been with nonprofit organizations. Contact Rick at RLowery@ACNomaha.org.



Leslie Bishop Hartung, director of quality assurance and staff development, brings more than thirty years experience in non-profit management to ACN. Previously, Bishop Hartung served for nine years as Executive Director of The Arc of Norfolk, Inc., an organization which advocates for the rights of citizens with developmental disabilities and their families. A family member of an individual who experiences developmental disabilities, Bishop Hartung sets a high standard for quality services at ACN. Contact Leslie at LBH@ACNomaha.org.




Diane Pacal, director of residential and supported services, Diane comes to ACN with 17 years of      experience, 8 of which has been with ACN as the Residential Coordinator. Diane also has 10 years of volunteering  for a organization that takes people with disability on vacations. Diane is very passionate about the mission statement we have at ACN.




ACN operates under the guidance and direction of the ACN Board of Directors.

Joan Marcus, chair (family member)

Ann Bird

Ken Keith, Ph.D.            

Marc Kraft (elected official – Douglas County Commissioner)

Cynthia Eillis, MD

Mary Gordon

Summer Mau (family member)

Dave Merrill (family member) 

Chuck Sederstrom

Richard Lowery, treasurer (family member)

René Ferdinand (ex officio)