With the All Makes 100-Year, $100,000 Office Makeover contest in its third week, we’ll hear from the finalists on why they should win the office makeover contest.
This week’s Omaha finalist is the Autism Center of Nebraska (ACN), which seeks to support and enhance the quality of life for persons with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. This week’s responses are courtesy of Kevin Mahler, director of development at ACN. Vote for the Autism Center of Nebraska here!
Q: Why do you need an office makeover?
A: ACN needs an office makeover because our building is several decades old and has never undergone a significant remodel, aside from a partial renovation of one enclosed area in 2017. Originally designed as a church in the 20th century, the building now has a DAILY traffic flow of hundreds of people – much more than it ever experienced as a church. The wear and tear that this building has endured in the eight to 10 years that it has served as home to ACN has eroded the quality of the furnishings.
Q: How do you devote ethical business practices to fulfilling your mission?
A: ACN is a transparent organization that is forthcoming with all information regarding client treatment protocol, staffing protocol and training, and financial matters.
Q: What are some positive examples of your influence on the community?
A: ACN treats people on the autism spectrum with empathy and respect as they seek to help them bridge the communicative, work skill, and behavioral gaps between neurodivergent people and a neurotypical world. ACN helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities work alongside the general population and show the world what disabled and non-disabled people have in common.
Q: Please demonstrate your leadership.
A: ACN is a leader in the community and the state because it provides the same vocational services that a lot of other organizations provide, but ACN chooses to go a step beyond and market itself as particularly welcoming to clients on the autism spectrum. ACN builds upon its excellent vocational services to help people discover artistic and workplace talents (see “TheArtGarden” in Applewood/Omaha), and hosting other autism-related service providers in its sprawling building, including Williamsburg Behavioral Health and Autism Society of Nebraska. ACN’s list of board of directors can be seen here.