Board of Directors

Executive Director
Penny Koenig

Penny J. Koenig has been the Executive Director of HELP Adult Services since 2005. She came to the organization as a consultant with the expertise of process engineering and strategic management. She has utilized these areas of expertise with HELP Adult Services to develop a focused mission and re-engineered the infrastructure to ensure future capacity of serving the needs of the community.

She founded a youth activities non-profit organization, Omaha STORM (now known as Junior Packers) and served the organization for 10 years. She also served on the Board of Directors of Suburban Rotary and continues to serve on many service committees. Her expertise and commitment to the community will continue to be an asset in the immediate and future goals of HELP Adult Services.

Officers of the Board
Kellie Morrell |President

Kellie Morrell is the President of the Board of Directors of HELP Adult Services. She has held leadership positions in several industries including Transportation, Financial, Insurance, and Consulting. She is currently the Delivery Leader and an Enterprise Agile Coach & Trainer at Agile Transformation, Inc. Kellie is an expert in Agile Transformations with 20+ years of experience in a variety of industries. As a servant leader, she finds great satisfaction working with teams to help them be self-organizing and achieve great results. She enjoys helping organizations and has led several large and complex transformations.
Kellie is also a Professor at Creighton University where she teaches graduate school Project Management classes. Kellie is passionate in assisting individuals, teams, programs, and organizations in transformations in a way that develops high performing teams that deliver value. I believe in servant leadership and the power that Agile thinking and techniques can bring to an organization. I have helped in financial services, transportation and healthcare industries.
Jackie Nelson | Vice President
Jackie Austad Nelson is the Vice President of the board of directors of HELP Adult Services. After a 31 year career at Union Pacific Railroad, where she held various positions in the finance and human resources departments, she retired. Jackie was responsible for the design and implementation of the human resource service center, redesign of the management compensation program, design and implementation of a new consumer driven health care plan for the management employees, design and implementation of an occupational health management system and management a nationally recognized employee wellness program. She and her husband currently own Nelson Painting & Decorating. She also holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Creighton University.

Jackie has served on the board of directors of the Omaha Literacy Council, the Heartland Foundation, March of Dimes, Integrated Benefits Institute, the National Business Group on Health, WELCOM and Live Well Nebraska. She has been on the Executive Committee of Go Red for Women, served on the UNO School of Gerontology Advisory Board, and chaired the Union Pacific Komen Race for the Cure corporate team. Jackie is passionate about giving back to the community and is excited about furthering the mission and values of HELP Adult Services.

Laura Ilcisin | Treasurer 
Marilyn Puett | Secretary
Marilyn Puett is a retired school administrator with forty-five years of service to the Omaha Public Schools. Prior to becoming the Dean of Students at Bryan Middle School, Marilyn taught vocal music for over thirty years at eight elementary schools and two middle schools. She was born and raised in Sheridan, Wyoming and learned a lot about volunteerism and serving the community from her parents, Wilbur and Alta June Pool. In 2010 her mother was chosen by the Jefferson Foundation as the volunteer of the year for the state of Wyoming. She is a graduate of Hastings College and holds a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska. She is the recording secretary of the Presbytery of the Missouri River Valley, a job which requires much skill in communicating, organization and diplomacy. She serves on the SID (Sanitary Improvement District) board for Standing Bear Village and has been elected to the Commission on Ministry for the Missouri River Presbytery. She has belonged to Presbyterian Church of the Master for over forty years and serves as the Vice-Moderator of the Presbyterian Women, along with singing in the Chancel Choir.

Marilyn first heard of HELP Adult Services when she had a friend/co-worker in need of medical equipment from having his leg amputated due to diabetes. They were very impressed with the possibilities of borrowing medical equipment and the vast array of equipment available. Another friend went for a walker for her husband. The friend was so impressed with the professionalism and expertise of the staff. Marilyn has also been involved with Presbyterian Women and the Christmas stocking project since its inception. Because of these experiences Marilyn felt HELP Adult Services would be a good place for her to provide service back to the community that has given her and her family so much over the past forty-six years.


Nancy Kelley

Dr. Nancy Kelley is an Associate Professor with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Grace Abbott School of Social Work. She received her PhD in Social Work with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Utah, Master’s degree in Social Service Administration from The University of Chicago, Bachelor’s of Social Work degree with a minor in developmental psychology from Moorhead State University in Minnesota, and her Associate of Arts degree and Certificate in Developmental Disabilities from Minot State University in North Dakota. Her professional background has been primarily in the fields of aging and developmental disabilities, holding mostly direct care, case management, coordinating and supervisory, and administrative positions in community-based organizations. She also has extensive experience working with adjudicated adults under legal guardianship who have been victims of elder abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation. Her research, practice, and policy interests include: quality of life and quality of care of older adults and people with disabilities; behavioral healthcare across the lifespan; community long-term care initiatives for older and disabled adults; family and nonfamily caregiving issues across the lifespan; elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; end-of-life care; service-learning and civic engagement; community building; program evaluation; and nonprofit administration. In addition to servicing on the Board of Directors for HELP Adult Services since January, 2013, Dr. Kelley has been actively involved in community efforts through her leadership within the Partnerships in Aging Network and the Nebraska Geriatric Education Center as well as her current activities serving as President of the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Family Support Network. 
David Daniels
David A. Daniels has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration. He has 26 years of experience in recreation and athletics. He has been an Assistant Director for the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Campus Recreation Department, but recently decided to exercise his other skills at Home Depot.
He has been an active volunteer for Habit for Humanity, UNO, American Lung Association, and Lauritzen Gardens. He is looking forward to being an active member on the Board of HELP Adult Services.
Anne Walsh
Anne Walsh is a board member of HELP Adult Services and is chair of the organization’s marketing communications sub-committee. During her 31-year career at Union Pacific Railroad, Anne led internal communications efforts connecting 45,000 employees in 23 states, building engagement by helping them understand their role in serving 10,000 customers. Reaching the diverse, unionized workforce required managing numerous electronic and print communications, as well as extensive executive outreach events. These efforts were closely aligned with the company’s social media, brand management and media relations strategies. Walsh retired in 2016.

Anne has served as president of the Omaha Press Club and the Association of Railway Communicators, and was an advisory board member for the University of Nebraska Omaha’s student newspaper, The Gateway. She is a contributor to Legacy Preservation, a leading publisher of family and business histories.

As a primary decision-maker for an adult relative’s healthcare, Anne has experienced firsthand the complexities of navigating long-term care options and maintaining independent living. She is committed to expanding and enhancing HELP’s reach and reputation, so that more can be served through its programs.

Kevin Welsh 
Cynthia Kohll Persky
Cindy Kohll Persky began her career in health care over 25 years ago working with her family business which included a retail and institutional pharmacy and medical supplies. After leaving the pharmacy business, she spent years as a photographer, which took her across the globe and finally settling in New York City for many years. A move back to Omaha in 2012 with her husband, Joshua and 2 children, Isabella and Isaac brought her closer to family. She came full circle in the last year with the health care industry – when she took a position as the Senior Living Advisor with A Place at Home.

Cindy has served the following boards over the years: The American Heart Association of Nebraska, Omaha Playhouse, Joslyn Art Museum Association and Dramatic Risks (a non-profit organization in NYC to promote and create art).

Steve Nath